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IMPORTANT INFORMATION » Our Monthly Newsletter ITA -

Palazzo Pitti

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Rent, Sell and Manage Properties in Florence and Tuscany
NEWSLETTER November 2011

November brings white truffles to Tuscany and tango to Florence. By the end of the month, we all will have passed judgment on the just-pressed olive oil of the 2011 season and sipped a glass or two of vino novello.

We are wishing for a November filled dancing in the streets, truffle festivals, and treasure rooms to all of you from SUZANNE, CORSO, BEI, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA, ANN and MARIO.



Put you high heels on and head to Via dei Neri on Saturday, November 5 where from 3pm to 9pm the street will be closed for a tango extravaganza. If you want to see how the Argentinians do it, go to the nearby Teatro Verdi for Puro Tango at 8:45pm or the next day (Sunday) at 4:45pm. (www.treatroverdionline.it).


Ciao everyone! I need your help. On December 8th each year the American International Women’s League organizes a bazaar, which is held at the Scuderie Reali near Porta Romana. I am asking you all to think about what you would like to do to help make this a fabulously rich affair.

The holiday bazaar needs your clothing to sell, so please go through your closets (and those of your significant other, plus your kids etc.) to collect the things you no longer need. We are looking for all types of clothing plus purses, gloves, scarves, evening gowns, cocktail dresses, jewelry (diamonds, or not) and hats. Another idea…. ask your local dry cleaner if they have anything that their clients have not collected over the past year, perhaps they would donate abandoned clothing. Naturally, please take a moment to be sure that all you are donating is clean and in good condition, then give me a buzz or contact Roberta Magni who is running the clothing stall this year at 055 282148 or email: magni.roberta@libero.it Toys for children are also on our list, so if you have children, grandchildren or know of any child living close by, please ask them for all of the toys that they have outgrown. Here again they must be complete and in good working order.

Once again there is a lottery full of wonderful prizes with tickets already flying out the door, so call any member of the AIL onlus or phone Pitcher & Flaccomio at 0552343354 for tickets.

Don't forget to mark the date (Dec. 8) on your calendar so you can come and replace everything you donated and have fun doing it! There will, of course, also be food and drink galore! Thanks, and I very much look forward to hearing from you. Suzanne (tel. 055 2343354, fax 055 5609916, info@pitcherflaccomio.com )

P&F PICK APARTMENT RENTAL FOR NOVEMBER – A Private Spot in the Historic Center

Apartment “Rita” is located on Via del Palascio, a very narrow street situated in one of the oldest most historic parts of Florence. It lies between Piazza Santa Croce and Piazza della Signoria.  The second floor apartment (about 40 steps, no elevator), is within a few minutes' walk from the Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery. Nearby Via dei Neri is a fascinating street where Florentines go for winebars, restaurants, and groceries (and, on November 5, to tango in the street (see above)). 

This elegantly furnished one bedroom apartment can accommodate up to three people and offers all of the modern amenities: satellite TV, internet, washing machine, dishwasher and air-conditioning. It is available for stays of one week to one month.To learn more, click on this link.

MUSEUM FOR NOVEMBER – All Things Gucci at the new Gucci Museum

The new Gucci Museum that opened in October is surprisingly vast. Housed in the Palazzo della Mercanzia that was built in 1337, near the Palazzo Vecchio, originally the offices dedicated to the protection of local guilds, among them Florentine cloth importers, wool manufacturers and silk weavers, the museum takes its tone from the past while being very, very modern.

Now, the basement houses the Gucci archive, as well as an array of ready-to-wear clothing, accessories, photographs and a Gucci-themed Cadillac car. The ground floor includes a gift shop, a bookshop, the Gucci, travel collection and a café, which is pricey, but serves large portions and offers free Internet access.

The first floor holds displays of evening wear, handbags, precious jewelry and flora, as well as contemporary art. The elegant evening bags, crystal-studded clutches, gold brooches and silver make-up cases highlight Gucci's ability to cross the practical with the luxurious. The exhibit features five dresses made for actresses to wear at the Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Awards.

The second floor showcases pieces from the Gucci brand “lifestyle” and sport sections. The two contemporary art spaces offer video artwork from American artist Bill Viola and clips of such influential films as Fellini's La Dolce Vita. The Gucci Foundation is active in funding the preservation of classic films. The sporting gear on display is inspired by the favored leisure activities of Gucci's high-profile clients. Along with Gucci saddles and riding boots are golf bags, tennis racket cases, diver's masks and even surfboards.

The tradition that Guccio Gucci began in 1921 with the aim of a Gucci branded lifestyle is on display as the museum explores the role of the now-iconic ‘GG' logo in branding clothing, bags and accessories.The entrance fee for the Gucci Museum is six euro.


La Casa di Babbo Natale (Santa Clause’s House) is being built at Stazione Leopolda to be ready for the Christmas Fair that opens Friday, November 11 and runs for three days. Slide into the holiday spirit – there will be stalls selling gift items, chocolate and other foods, as well as Santa inside his house where children whisper their wishes or write and post letters to him. Tickets: 6.50 euro for 12 to 65 year olds, 5 euro for everyone else.

For a little less fantasy and better food and free is the Mercato Tedesco di Natale (German Christmas Market) that starts on November 30 and runs for two weeks in Piazza Santa Croce.

The best of the bunch is the Fierucola di San Martino on November 5 and 6 in Piazza SS. Annuziata where you will find the best of the Tuscan harvest including new oil and vino novello, as well as holiday crafts.


This family-run restaurant, near the Mercato Centrale, serves Florentine specialties and was opened on March 1, 1953 when Romeo and Amelia Colzi and their son Mario created Fiaschetteria Mario on Via Rosina in a 16th century building that had once served as a stable for the Palazzo del Gattamelata (today, Palazzo Alessandri). In the beginning they sold wine, continuing the type of business previously at the same location and their customers were the workers from the Mercato Centrale, and the "old folks" who were numerous at that time in all quarters of old Florence.

But in 1957, when Mario married Elena, the business began to take on the character of a proper trattoria, with table service and hot food cooked on a small stove in the back. They served bean and vegetable soup, minestrone, pappa al pomodoro, trippa alla fiorentina, braciole in salsa, baccalà in umido and bistecche alla fiorentina.

When Mario died in 1980, his wife Elena and their two sons, Romeo and Fabio continued the business and the tradition of serving good wine and home-style Tuscan food. Romeo began learning to cook by watching his father, mother and grandmother in the home kitchen and at the trattoria, and when his mother retired he took over the cooking duties. Fabio runs the front of the house, greeting diners, pouring wine, and orchestrating the seating. Trattoria Mario is only open for lunch Monday through Saturday and there are no reservations so get there before 1pm when it is full and the line starts to form.

Trattoria Mario
Via Rosina 2r, Phone: 055 218550, email: trattoriamario@libero.it
Open only for lunch; Closed Sundays
No credit cards

FORZA VIOLA!! FOR NOVEMBER – Florentine Calcio

Forza Viola!.........We felt Mihajlovic’s sense of discipline this month as Vargas found himself dropped for “unprofessional conduct” – aka partying the night before a game and turning up late for training. We set rules; we apply rules. It hasn’t appeased the fans who want victories or the media-sharks hungrily speculating on which manager will be the next to be out of work. The Della Valle family are sticking with Sinisa; they know how long a season is!

Fiorentina’s Results

Week 6: Fiorentina-Lazio LOST 1-2

Week 7: Cesena-Fiorentina DREW 0-0

Week 8: Fiorentina-Catania DREW 2-2

Week 9: Juventus-Fiorentina LOST 1-2

Week 10: Fiorentina-Genoa WON 1-0

Primavera. The Viola youth team are setting the example. They’re are unbeaten in the Campionato Primavera and stand second to Juventus (already among this season’s scalps). They blew Sampdoria away 3-1, managed the same score at home to Sassuolo and won 1-0 at Grosseto. If only the Big Boys.........

Serie A. Sometimes, the Force isn’t with you. We bubble as Jovetic outflanks the Lazio defence and Cerci fires his tenth goal in eleven games. Then our midfield goes flat; Behrami is splendid, Vargas looks unfit (we now know why), Montolivo is asleep. Our defence looks better-organised than in years but suddenly gifts a goal. At the break, each side has manufactured one chance and taken it (in 30 degrees!) Vargas is off; Montolivo wakes up and shows what he can do. Cerci and Silva are denied by the Lazio keeper hurling his body at their feet in desperation, Lazio clear off their goal-line. Now the gods declare their allegiance. The omens are there as Boruc parries point-blank. In the Champions League, we lost at Bayern Munich to a blatantly offside goal from Klose, now with Lazio. The gods love coincidences; the Viola wall parts and there is Klose. Lazio didn’t win – Fiorentina lost.

To Cesena, where Adrian Mutu has not been settling in well. He didn’t last the full game this time – red-carded in the second half. All but one of the Serie A Sunday afternoon games ended goalless; this one begged to be fired up by our Peruvian cannonball but he’s in detention. We had two sides striving to remember how the ball gets into the net. Cesena hit the bar twice; the Viola were thrice denied at the last, Gamberini conducting a master-class in how to get the ball over the bar when only one metre out; both keepers earned their corn. With Jovetic, Silva and Cerci all looking likely, it’s hard to put a finger on just what is holding us back – but we are missing Gilardino and his innate sense of where the opening is.

We host Catania, fresh from defeating Inter. Two steps forward, two steps back. One step forward as Jovetic scores two goals, the second a peach curled around their keeper; Jo-Jo is getting back to full fitness. One step back as we lead twice but sloppily give Catania a share of the points; Boruc was going mental at his “defenders”. A second step forward as Gilardino comes on for the last ten minutes; we need him. A second step back as our coach is red-carded for dissent. Miha is under pressure and there will be jeering after the game – but he needs to stay cool; we all need to stay cool. Catania’s ambitions match our own - a draw ain’t bad but we had the edge and didn’t make it count.

Amazing tactics for Turin and Juventus – we start with just one player. Fortunately, he is Artur Boruc; he leaps, dives, stretches, races towards the half-way line to head danger away and we scrape through to the break only one goal behind. The other ten men have been on the pitch as observers. Mihajlovic’s half-time talk must have blistered the paint on the dressing-room walls. Fiorentina in the second half, with Gilardino on, are transformed. On the hour, Gila and Vargas carve Juve open and Jovetic scores with power and precision. Then one more moment of madness. Pepe is encircled by five (5, cinque) Fiorentina defenders but still sets up the winner. Look at it this way – we drew the second half!

Finally this month, here come Genoa with old friends Frey and Dainelli. Phew! The Fiorentina on the pitch is the one that drew the second half with Juve. Gilardino starts. It’s all Viola although it takes forty minutes to get ahead. Neat passing releases Pasqual to cross and Lazzari to slide in through a flat-footed defence. That’s pretty much it aside from a late moment of chaos in Genoa’s penalty area, Gamberini hitting the underside of the bar. Did it cross the line? We don’t care: we have the tre punti and sit tenth, just two points off the Top Six. Mihajlovic can breathe again.

Next Month. There are no easy months. Off we go to Chievo, a side who started brightly but are stuttering (like us). Then we host Milan. The Coppa provides a break with a home 4th round tie against local Empoli. We finish the month with another visit to Sicily, this time against a Palermo riding well above us...........Forza Viola!

For November, the Viola are looking at the following games:
Week 11: 06 Nov/away Chievo-Fiorentina
Week 12: 19 Nov/home Fiorentina-Milan

Coppa Italia: 24 Nov/home Fiorentina-Empoli

Week 13: 27 Nov/away Palermo-Fiorentina


Ticket information - seating plan, prices, and ticket outlets - is on the "biglietteria" section of the club's website [www.it.violachannel.tv ]. Tickets can be purchased at official box offices and holders of TicketOne lottery franchises. Sources include:

CHIOSCO DEGLI SPORTIVI, via degli Anselmi 1. Tel 055 292363.

BAR MARISA, viale Manfredo Fanti 41. Tel 055 572723.
BAR STADIO, viale Manfredo Fanti 3r. Tel 055 576169.
ACF OFFICIAL TICKET-OFFICE, via Dupre 28 (corner of via Settesanti).
NUOVO BOX OFFICE, Via delle Vecchie Carceri, 1, 50122 Firenze, Italy (inside the Murate). Tel 055 264321
FELTRINELLI FIRENZE, Via de' Cerretani 39/32R

BEST BOOK FOR NOVEMBER – Why Italians Love to Talk About Food by Elena Kostioukovitch

Italians love to talk about food. The aroma of a simmering ragú, the bouquet of a local wine, the remembrance of a past meal: Italians discuss these details as naturally as we talk about politics or sports, and often with the same flared tempers. In Why Italians Love to Talk About Food, Elena Kostioukovitch explores the phenomenon that first struck her as a newcomer to Italy: the Italian “culinary code,” or way of talking about food. Along the way, she captures the fierce local pride that gives Italian cuisine its remarkable diversity. To come to know Italian food is to discover the differences of taste, language, and attitude that separate a Sicilian from a Piedmontese or a Venetian from a Sardinian. Try tasting Piedmontese bagna cauda, then a Lombard cassoela, then lamb alla Romana: each is part of a unique culinary tradition. Umberto Eco wrote the amusing “Forward” to the book.

In this learned, charming, and entertaining narrative, Kostioukovitch takes us on a journey through one of the world’s richest and most adored food cultures. Organized according to region and colorfully designed with illustrations, maps, menus, and glossaries, Why Italians Love to Talk About Food will allow any reader to become as versed in the ways of Italian cooking as the most seasoned of chefs. Food lovers, history buffs, and gourmands alike will savor this exceptional celebration of Italy’s culinary gifts.

BEST BOOK FOR KIDS FOR NOVEMBER – Count Silvernose: A Story from Italy by Eric A Kimmel

She is as "ugly as a barn door," with a wart on her nose and a glass eye, but Assunta is clever, and she dearly loves her beautiful sisters. When a mysterious stranger with a silver nose rides in looking for a servant, Assunta's foolish sister Maria goes off with him. A week later, the stranger returns for another sister, claiming Maria has died. When he comes a third time, Assunta goes with him, determined either to rescue or to avenge her sisters, as the case may be. With ingenuity and courage, Assunta finds her sisters behind the forbidden thirteenth door, puts her glass eye to good use, and gives Count Silvernose his just reward. Kimmel's storytelling combines humor and suspense, pitting good against evil and delivering a magnificently satisfying conclusion. Rayyan's watercolors ingeniously reproduce, as his note indicates, a sixteenth-century Italian sketchbook, with the beatific faces characteristic of Renaissance art in fine contrast to the lumpy homeliness and power of Assunta. Tattered edges and tiny cracks of age add character to the sketchbook pages, and lightly sketched details blend with more finished work to create an effect that is both elegant and energetic. Perfect for convincing older children that picture books aren't just for preschoolers.Show More

Show Less

BEST DEAL FOR NOVEMBER – The Treasure Rooms of Florence

Le Stanze dei Tesori, the initiative links “The Small Great Museums” of Florence – eight museums for ten euro: Museo Stefano Bardini, Museo Stibbert, Museo Horne, Fondazione Salvatore Romano, Museo di Palazzo Davanzati, Museo Casa Rodolfo Siviero, and Museo Bandini. Each museum has its special collection, many of them the personal collections of antiques collectors from the 19th century, the treasures they decided to keep instead of selling or auctioning around the world. These collections now are part of small, separate museums such as the Horne, Bardini and Stibbert – all named after the collectors themselves.

Ongoing until April 15, 2012, the museums are showing off their collections with a special focus on the Florentine artistic craftsmanship and the golden era of when private antiques collectors in Florence were very active.

The exhibit at Palazzo Medici Riccardi presents a general summary of the era, while the Stibbert Museum offers an international exhibit of Florentine “maiolica” created by Ginori and Cantagalli. The Bardini museum reopens its Hall of Paintings, with the original setup Bardini used to display the works, at the center of which is the newly restored 13th century crucifix by Bernardo Daddi. The Horne museum offers a collection of designs from Raphael to Constable, while the Palazzo Davanzati exhibits photographs by Elia Volpi that document the original furnishings of the house before they were sold in a large auction in New York during the Great War.

A very special way to see many treasures in Florence, particularly since a special “Treasure Pass” has been created at just € 10 to allow you to visit all* of the museums — a really good deal, since it also includes free entrance to the Fondazione Salvatore Romano, Bandini museum, Casa Rodolfo Siviero museum,  the Ceramic Museum in Montelupo and the Museo della Manifattura Galileo Chini and discounts on entry to Palazzo Vecchio, the Brancacci Chapel, the Santa Maria Novella museum and the Richard Ginori of Doccia Works Museum.

See the website: http://www.stanzedeitesori.it for more information.

Cantina del Gelato

Cool. Is the word. Tom Waits can be cool. Steve McQueen was very cool in Bullitt. Miles Davis is eternally cool. And the Cantina del Gelato is cool. Sitting on the Lungarno Torrigiani, 150 metres left over the Ponte Vecchio - where via dei Bardi snakes up towards the fabulous Bardini Gardens. Pass through the ancient facade into a very contemporary interior, from the tourist hubbub to a composed space with spare decor and furnishings, from any heat into forever cool. It has a sense of space in a small room, steel carapinas, a feeling of poise and gelato for those who like it creamy. Try the lemon; first refreshment and then the citrus swells up to envelope your taste buds. The strawberry strikes slowly; the chocolate challenges your expectations. It’s an experience, gelato-plus.

Find Cantina del Gelato at via dei Bardi 31 (telephone 055 050 1617). Open noon to 23.00 every day bar Mondays (15.00-21.00). www.cantinadelgelato.com Cool!


As the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification comes to a close, turn out one more time for a fabulous night of musical comedy presented by excellent theatrical artists and musicians and all done in support of a worthy cause. On November 13 at 7:30pm at the Teatro Verdi, two choral groups – Il Coro dell’Accademia del Delitto (Florence) and Il Coro del Bric (Torino) – join actors Teresa Fallai and Marizio Lombardi in presenting the stories and music of Italy in the late 19th century. Proceeds from the evening benefit ITACA, a volunteer association for the prevention, support, and rehabilitation of persons with mental and emotional problems and the support of their families. For tickets and information contact accademiadeldiletto@libero.it or Georgiana Corsini at 340 251 4033.

PALAZZO STROZZI EXHIBIT – Money and Beauty. Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities

Masterpieces by Botticelli, Beato Angelico, Piero del Pollaiolo, and the Della Robbia family – the cream of Renaissance artists – show how the modern banking system developed in parallel alongside the most important artistic flowering in the history of the Western world. The exhibition also explores the links between that unique interweave of high finance, economy and art, and the religious and political upheavals of the time. Money and Beauty. Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities at the Palazzo Strozzi recounts the birth of our modern banking system and of the economic boom that it triggered, providing a reconstruction of European life and the continent's economy from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

Co curator Tim Parks writes: In 1237 Florence set up a mint and struck the silver florin. Until then the town had been using the denaro of the declining Holy Roman Empire, but the coin was now so debased that it had to be supplemented with more valuable coins from the then larger centres of Siena and Lucca. It was becoming more important to monetise all transactions, to be able to transform all wealth into money and redistribute or invest it as one liked. The silver florin was worth one soldo, that is, 12 denari. It would buy a few eggs, a loaf of bread, a litre of wine. This wasn’t enough. In 1252 the Florence mint struck the gold florin, 3.53 grams of 24-carat gold which today would cost you around £110. This was a coin for serious trade, and the Florentines made sure that its weight and purity remained absolutely unchanged for the almost three hundred years it was minted, keeping meticulous records of alterations in design and instituting a system of quality control that saw each superintendent serving only six months in order to prevent corruption. By the end of the 13th century, the florin was being used in commercial transactions all over Western Europe and where not physically present was widely adopted as a currency of account. It was a major coup for what was then a small commercial centre.

Info: +39 055 2645155 E-mail:  http://www.palazzostrozzi.org/SezioneDenaro.jsp?idSezione=1214
Opening times: Daily 9.00-20.00, Thursday 9.00-23.00 Tickets sold until one hour before closing time.


The Vasari Corridor is the most fascinating and the most exclusive gallery in Florence a pearl of the Renaissance that few people, including the residents of the city of the Medici, have had the chance to see ... until now! For this reason, during the 500th anniversary of Giorgio Vasari’s birth, the Friends of the Pergola Theatre, in collaboration with the Museums of Florence, are offering a series of extraordinary scheduled visits, aimed at reviving the glorious spirit of an era that has left a heritage of remarkable masterpieces.

The actors of the Compagnia delle Seggiole and F.E.S.T.A. Theatre Company will bring the audience back in time. With a script written for the occasion, full of anecdotes, chronicles, and stories, the actors will accompany visitors on this magical journey.

This unparalleled visit through the Vasari Corridor, a one km. passageway that connects the Uffizi Gallery to the Pitti Palace, will allow the time travelers to discover enchanting views of the Ponte Vecchio and Santa Felicita Church. It is a true journey back to the Renaissance, on the most breathtaking stage of the art world.

Visits are in in Italian and in English:

12 November 2011:

English 20.30, English 21.45

26 November 2011:

Italian 19:00

Ticket of the theatrical journey: 80 Euros

After the theatrical journey we can arrange wine tasting or we can make dinner reservations in the best restaurant, where you can also celebrate the art of the Tuscany food. Theatrical journey at Corridoio Vasariano + wine tasting: 100 Euros

Theatrical journey at Corridoio Vasariano + dinner: 110 Euros

RESERVATIONS: www.pirene.it , at the “TOURS” section

INFORMATION: info@pirene.it Tel. 055 2322112; cell. 334 6886707

MEETING POINT: in front of the entrance of Uffizi

TAROT AT THE UFFIZI – The Art of Francesco Clemente

Here is another reason to visit or revisit the Uffizi. And to climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator to the top. The Uffizi Prints and Drawings Department's interest in contemporary art dates back to its very origins, in other words, to the mid-17th century. But this year, in the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi space on the first floor, the contemporary artist Francesco Clemente has chosen to express his own unique creativity by addressing a theme as old as that of Tarot Cards: his drawings on display were made ??in different parts of the world, including Naples, New York, India and New Mexico.

New Yorker Clemente has created a set of 78 mixed media Tarot images featuring drawings of well-known people who are among his personal friends as described by Calvin Tompkins in The New Yorker. Edward Albee sat for the Emperor, Salman Rushdie is the King of Swords while Scarlett Johansson is the Queen, Jasper Johns is the Pope. Clemente, himself, is the Fool. See a sampling of the images here.

In addition to the Tarot Cards, twelve canvases in the Sala del Camino feature self-portraits of Clemente in the garb of the Apostles; these continue the mesh of temporal cross-references between the imagery of the past and between the many possibilities of the present.

Francesco Clemente. The Tarot

September 9 to November 6

Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi

info: 055 2388 624 - 055 2388 671


Florence Marathon becomes more technical and much more spectacular. The 2011 race on 27 November (the 28th year) will depart from Lungarno Pecori Giraldi, from the wide open space in front of the barracks of the Carabinieri (and no longer from Piazzale Michelangelo, as in the past).

The over 10.000 participants, once they have finished the race and arrived in Piazza Santa Croce, will find the area of assistance and the cloakroom area where they can collect their belongings – the same area where they will have deposited their bags before the start, so they will then be able to reach their hotels, cars, etc. without having to take a shuttle bus over the river as in the past.

The technical aspect of the race has been greatly improved, allowing it to take place on entirely flat roads, no hills, nor any type of slope that in the past created difficulties. This year, participants will be able to avoid the tortuous “toboggan” down Viale dei Colli, and will turn straightaway into the wide tree-lined avenues, after which they will head toward the Cascine Park, and subsequently return to the center and the triumphant arrival in Piazza Santa Croce, making Florence the home of one of the most attractive marathons in Italy and in the world. It is already the second in Italy as regards number of participants (after Rome).

Check out the post-marathon party, too.

For more info: http://www.firenzemarathon.it/index.php?lang=en


Yes the crowd is mostly 18 year old boys and Goth teens, but if you need a break from the beauty of the Renaissance, and want a walk on the wild side, head to Fortezza del Basso for the International Tattoo Art Convention. Running from Friday, the 4th, through Sunday, the 6th, late each night, the convention offers demonstrations, bands, exhibitionists and tattoo parlors – a small Botticelli Venus on your ankle?

Times: 3pm to 3am Friday, noon to 3am Satuday, noon to midnight Sunday

Tickets: 15 euro - one day, 25 euro - two days, 30 euro - three days

Info: http://www.florencetattooconvention.com/2011/index.php?lang=en


For lovers of Italian art, it’s as close as you can come to ascending a stairway to heaven and looking angels in the eye. For the first time after a major restoration, the scaffolding that has shrouded the 850 sq m (9,150 sq ft) of frescoes of the Cappella Maggiore in Florence’s famed Santa Croce Basilica will not be dismantled immediately.

The scaffolding erected for the restoration will stay in place for another year or so, and small groups of visitors will be allowed to view the splendid work close up. Guided visits on the nine-level scaffolding, last for about 40 minutes.

The restoration of Agnolo Gaddi's fresco cycle is one of the most important projects in Italy. It was financed in part by Japanese businessman and patron of the arts, Tetsuya Kuroda, who donated almost 1.2 million euro; an equivalent sum was provided by the Opera di Santa Croce. The federal arts ministry provided 285,000 euro in funding, in addition to arranging for the assistance of restorers from the Opificio delle Pietre Dure.

Excellent instructions about the logistics (and there are quite a few), costs, and time schedule can be found at the following website: http://www.santacroce.firenze.it/english/informazioni/visite/

ORIGINAL LANGUAGE FILMS – Talking Movies at the British Institute

The Talking Movies Series at the British Institute Library. Every Wednesday at 8:00 pm, the Sala Ferragamo in the Institute's Harold Acton Library hosts a film, followed by discussion. The British Institute Library, Lungarno Guicciardini 9.

The present series is a bilingual selection of the joint and individual work of the two great cinema legends – Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini. It begins one of Bergman's movies from her classic Hollywood period: the Hitchcock classic Notorious. Rossellini's war time trilogy follows - the neo-realist masterpieces that brought the world's attention to Italy in crisis, Roma, citta' aperta, Paisa' and Germania anno zero. Bergman and Rossellini made 5 films together between 1950 and 1954: Stromboli, Europa 51, Viaggio in Italia, La paura and Giovanna d'Arco al rogo. Their scandalous marriage (and collaboration) broke up in 1957. Both went on to make further notable contributions to cinema, among which are one of Rossellini's last films - before moving to television - Il generale della Rovere, and Bergman's last film role in Ingmar Bergman's Autumn Sonata.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011. 20.00

Film: Stomboli


Wednesday, November 9, 2011. 20.00

Film: Europa 51



Thu 3rd


(Italy, France, Ireland 2011- 120’)

By Paolo Sorrentino with Sean Penn, Frances McDormand

SHOWS 3.30 – 5.50 – 8.10 – 10.30 p.m.


Mon 7th


(USA 2011- 98’)

By Tom Hanks with Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts

SHOWS 4.00 – 6.10 – 8.20 – 10.30 p.m.


Mon 14th


(USA 2011- 133’)

By Bennett Miller with Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman

SHOWS 3.30 – 5.50 – 8.10 – 10.30 p.m.


From Fri 18th to Sun 20th


(USA 2011- 135’)

By Bill Condon with Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner

SHOWS 4.30 – 7.00 – 9.30 p.m.


Mon 21st and Tue 22nd


(USA, New Zealand, Belgium 2011- 72’)

By Steven Spielberg with the voices of Simon Pegg, Daniel Craig

SHOWS 4.30 – 6.00 – 7.30 – 9.00 – 10.30 p.m.


Wed 23rd and Thu 24th


(USA 2011- 135’)

By Bill Condon with Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner

SHOWS 4.30 – 7.00 – 9.30 p.m.


Mon 28th

ANONYMOUS with Italian Subtitles

(Germany 2011- 130’)

By Roland Emmerich with Edward Hogg, Vanessa Redgrave, David Thewlis,

SHOWS 4.30 – 7.00 – 9.30 p.m.

LECTURES IN ENGLISH - British Institute of Florence

Every Wednesday at 6:00 pm, the Sala Ferragamo in the Institute's Harold Acton Library hosts a free lecture, concert or other event, followed by an informal reception. The British Institute Library, Lungarno Guicciardini 9.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011, 18.00

Lecture: Peter Vassallo

Peter Vassallo is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Malta. He is general editor of the Journal of Anglo-Italian Studies, and was recently elected Fellow of the English Association. In this talk he examines the appropriation and adaptation of the myth of Persephone, who embodies the most spiritual aspects of ancient Greece, from the Homeric Hymn to Demeter through Ovid, Dante, Milton to Swinburne, Pater and D.H. Lawrence.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011, 18.00

Lecture: Lauri Thorndyke

Throughout the centuries, Florence has undoubtedly held a unique interest for the English. In this talk Lauri Thorndyke, who has researched, written, designed and published the series of leaflets The English Walks in Florence (‘The Grand Tour', ‘The Victorian Tourist', ‘The Edwardian Residents') on sale in the Library, draws on the letters and diaries of travellers in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth century to create a composite picture of the English involvement with the City of the Lily.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 18.00

Lecture: Adrian Lyttelton

This talk will discuss the re-evaluation of ‘passion' and ‘faith' by Italian writers from Alfieri to Mazzini, and the reaction against 18th-century ideas of a politics based on reason and self-interest. Italian Romanticism did not however represent a simple rejection of the ideas of the Enlightenment. In the Risorgimento, the politics of passion (Mazzini) and the politics of interest (Cavour) were both present, in various combinations. The eminent historian Adrian Lyttelton will consider what can be learned from the events of 1859-1861 about the long-term problems of Italian unification, and will also discuss the major ‘families' of interpretation of the Risorgimento (Marxist, liberal, nationalist).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 18.00

Lecture: Mahnaz Yousefzadeh

This talk investigates the first national festival of modern Italy, the celebrations in honour of Dante's sixth centenary in 1865. Mahnaz Yousefzadeh, who teaches Humanities at New York University, has made an historical reconstruction of the event based on unpublished documents left by the organisers. She sees the centenary as the platform for the emergence of a new definition of Italian national identity, one based on Florentine cultural nationalism rather than on Piedmontese territorial nationalism.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011, 18.00

Lecture: Paul Ginsborg

Paul Ginsborg, Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Florence, is best known for his studies of post-war Italian politics (including A history of contemporary Italy, 1943-1988 and Italy and its discontents: family, civil society, state, 1980-2001), but his first historical passion was for the 19th century, and he wrote his dissertation on Manin. He has published Daniele Manin and the Venetian Revolution of 1848-49 with Cambridge University Press and co-edited the innovative recent volume on the Risorgimento, published by Einaudi as vol. 23 of the Annali della Storia d'Italia.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011, 18.00

A Christmas event with mince pies

Charles Dickens was born in 1812, so we are shortly to celebrate his 200th anniversary. During his lifetime his name became synonymous with Christmas, so that on hearing of his demise in 1870 a London costermonger's little daughter exclaimed, ‘Mr. Dickens dead? Then will Father Christmas die too?' We present a selection of Christmas readings from Dickens and his contemporaries, concentrating on the startling and the grotesque, as well as on the seemly and the beautiful.

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ST. JAMES’ NEWS – Holiday Crafts Fair

Sunday, November 13, at noon come to St. James Church, Via Rucellai, 9, for the annual Holiday Crafts Fair. For other St. James news see the web site: http://stjames.it/calendar/event-calendar

ST. MARK’S NEWS – Formal Fundraising Dinner

Dress up and enjoy a fancy holiday dinner at St. Mark’s Church on Via Maggio. Drink will be served at 6pm followed by a three course dinner at 7pm. For more information and reservations: http://www.stmarksitaly.com/


Thursday 24 is Thanksgiving. A few tips for do-it-yourselfers from Kim Wicks… cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie filling can be found at Old England on Via Vecchietti, Vivimarket on Via del Giglio, at Pegna on Via dello Studio or at most Esselunga supermarkets. For your turkey, think ahead and order a whole one from a local butcher or supermarket butcher. Some of the stalls in the Central and Sant’ Ambrogio markets also have them. Keep in mind… Italian turkeys can be BIG, and Italian ovens are often SMALL. Tell your butcher to not go over a max of 6 or 7 kilos. If you are looking for a restaurant with a Thanksgiving menu, last year the Savoy Hotel on Piazza della Repubblica offered a special menu at lunch and dinner (enquiries.savoy@roccofortecollection.com). The lovely Four Seasons Hotel usually does something superb. Check with the Lungarno Hotel and Il Salviatino Hotel which may be putting on a traditional menu for the occasion.



The Maggio has a packed schedule of operas (Janácek’s The Markropulos Affair, Rossini’s Barber of Seville, and Puccini’s La Bohème) and concerts (Zubin Mehta conducting Beethoven and Lutoslawski). See the calendar on the Maggio’s website: http://www.maggiofiorentino.com/?q=node/1852

CLASSICAL MUSIC IN MUSEUMS – Cherubini Conservatory of Music Concerts

The Conservatorio Statale di Musica L. Cherubini is offering a series of free concerts in museums (Accademia, Marini, San Marco and Bargello), Medici villas (Poggio a Caiano and Petraia), and libraries (Oblate). See the website at: http://www.conservatorio.firenze.it/index.php?id=1148 for the complete schedule and performances.

PIANO HOUR – Jazz in a Classical Setting

Shelia Raamen writes in The Florentine: The spirit of musical experimentation and innovation is palpable elsewhere in Florence, thanks to organizations such as Musicus Concentus, who stage performances of jazz and contemporary music in a cloister inside the complex of the Brancacci Chapel. On November 11, Indian-American jazz pianist Vijay Iyer will perform there as part of the company's Piano Hour series. Iyer is one of the most prominent jazz pianists worldwide. The Jazz Journalists' Association Jazz Awards named him the musician of the year in 2010, and the New York Times named his album Historicity the best jazz album of 2009. His appearance promises to invigorate and influence the local jazz scene. On November 4 - Piano Hour will feature Italian jazz masters such as Simone Graziano and Enrico Pieranunzi.  By juxtaposing the Italian musicians with Iyer, a dialogue is established between the Tuscan scene and the international scene, and, through the concerts' location in the beautiful cloister, between the ancient and modern artistic lives of Florence.

For more info about jazz and alternative music in Florence see http://www.musicusconcentus.com/.


The Don Byron Quartet featuring Don Byron on clarinet, Ralph Alessi on trumpet, Lonnie Plaxico on bass, and Billy Hart on drums will perform at Pinocchio Jazz (Viale Gianotti, 13) on November 12 at 10pm.

For over a decade, clarinetist and composer Don Byron has been exploring widely divergent traditions while continually striving for what he calls "a sound above genre." Down Beat's 1992 "Jazz Artist of the Year" redefines every genre of music he plays, from funk and salsa to classical and klezmer, and any jazz style from swing and bop to cutting-edge improvisation. Time Magazine says: "Calling Don Byron a jazz musician is like calling the Pacific wet - it just doesn't begin to describe it... Byron has carpentered an extraordinary career precisely by obliterating the very idea of category."


Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler have teamed up for a European tour this fall. They will play in Florence one night only at the Mandela Forum (Viale Paoli) on November at 9pm. Knopfler has been recording his next album, but was happy to interrupt sessions to hit the road with Dylan. Knopfler and Dylan first worked together in 1979 on Dylan’s Slow Train Coming album and Knopfler produced Infidels. Knopfler said on his website: “I’m much looking forward to going out on the road with Bob in such a special year. Also, it was an honor to be asked to record one of Bob's songs on the forthcoming Amnesty International 50th anniversary album to mark his 70th birthday.”



November is one of the best “foodie” months in Tuscany. We have listed a number of wonderful fairs and festivals below, but keep an eye out for posters reporting news of all the other celebrations of Tuscany’s autumn treasures: chestnuts (marroni and castagne) and white truffles (tartufi bianchi), freshly pressed olive oil (olio nuovo) and the first tastes of this year’s wine (vino novello).


On Sat. 5, Sun. 6, Sat. 12 and Sun. 13 Scarperia is the place to be. This medieval village in the Mugello area north of Florence will host two weekends of festivities honoring one of their local specialties, the Tuscan white truffle. Buy truffles to experiment with at home. Taste Tagliolini with truffles, Bistecca with truffles and Tortelli Mugellani (pasta stuffed with potato filling). The fun goes until midnight, Saturday from 5:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am. Tel. 055 8468142/20, 338 255643.


On Sat. 12 & Sun. 13, you will find Via Roma in nearby Bagno a Ripoli filled with the stands of local olive oil producers giving tastes and selling their best. Bagno a Ripoli is easy to get to with local ATAF buses. Hours: 10:00 am to 7:30 pm. On Sat. 19 & 20 the whole party moves to Piazza della Repubblica in Florence.


Sat. 19 and Sun. 20, starting at 10:00 pm in Borgo San Lorenzo, you have another chance to taste and buy the local white truffles found in the Mugello area. The town’s historical center hosts stands and local restaurants will present special truffle menus. At Villa Pecori Giraldi there will be truffle hunt demonstrations, wine and vinsanto tastings and dinners. Info: 055 8456230.


On Sun 13, enjoy the crisp Tuscan autumn and tour selected wineries open for tastings of their Vino Novello (the Tuscan version of Beaujolais) in celebration of Saint Martin. Young Novello wine, soft and fruity, may tease the palate, but also taste great older wines during this event sponsored by the Wine Tourism Movement. Even if you are the designated driver, the special celebrations are a good excuse to spend the day outdoors in an intimate and cheerful atmosphere. The wineries welcome visitors by also offering art exhibitions, wine tasting in conjunction with local produce cooked according to traditional recipes, "lunch with the winemaker" and walks among the vineyards. Check individual wineries below for their ideas

Corte di Valle, Via Vicchiomaggio 26, 50022 - GREVE IN CHIANTI Tel: 055 853939
Castello di Volpaia, Loc. Volpaia, 53017 - RADDA IN CHIANTI Tel: 0577 738619
Fattoria di Bacchereto - Terre a Mano, Via Fontemorana 179, 59015 - CARMIGNANO Tel: 0573 750191
Fornacelle, www.fornacelle.it. Loc. Fornacelle 232/a, 57022 CASTAGNETO CARDUCCI - (Li), Tel: 0565 77555


The weekends of November smell sweet (if you like truffles) in San Miniato (Pisa). On Sat. and Sun. 12-13, 19-20, and 26-27, you will find truffle stands galore from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm each day. San Miniato is located in the lower Arno valley, halfway between Pisa and Florence. For 41 years the Mostra Mercato Nazionale del Tartufo Bianco di San Miniato, has transformed the city for the month of November into an open-air tasting workshop. Apart from selling fresh truffles, laid out like jewels in various parts of the historical centre of San Miniato, they host stalls and markets where you can eat, drink and enjoy all types of Tuscan products.

www.cittadisanminiato.it. Tel. 0571418739.

See the program: http://www.sanminiatoturismo.it/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/programma41mostratartufo.pdf


On Sat. 26 and Sun. 27 head to Reggello (between Florence and Arezzo) for the freshest olive oil to be had. The entire town celebrates their annual festival with an invitation to join local producers as they present this year’s best extra virgin olive oils Taste and buy directly from the source. Nuovo Palazzetto dello Sport, via Brunetto Latini 111, Reggello (FI). Open all day.


So to add a little dolce to the vino, olio, and tartufo, once you are done with all of the other sagras, head to Certaldo for the Chocolate Festival on November 19 and 20 and nosh on chocolate from 9am to 8pm.


We hope that you spend November savoring the end of the harvest as you get ready for the holidays of December. Remember to spend some time in the Treasure Rooms of Florence in between fabulous feasts of Florentine food.

All the best,

Pitcher and Flaccomio