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Palazzo Pitti

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Rent, Sell and Manage Properties in Florence and Tuscany
NEWSLETTER November 2012

In November, Florence is alive with FLORENS 2012 and the largest cinema event in Italy – The 50 Days of International Film Festival. We hope that you dive into both of these global cultural events with gusto (and Happy Thanksgiving) from SUZANNE, CORSO, BEI, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA, ANN and MARIO.


FLORENS 2012 – Celebrate Florence from Grand Tour to Global Tour

FLORENS is held every two years and is currently in its second edition. 9000 attendees were recorded at conferences during FLORENS 2010, and around 200.000 at the other events, including the particularly successful commemoration of the miracle of San Zanobi, involving the installation of a green lawn between the Duomo and the Baptistery and the revival of the dispute over the location of Michelangelo’s David.

FLORENS 2012 aims to unite organizations and individuals who deal with the relationship between economy and culture, and believes that long-term prospects for economic growth must be based firmly on the revitalization of culture. They will convene in Florence, in order to develop ideas and innovative proposals, cultural institutions, banking foundations, companies and associations, and will include the most important people, both nationally and internationally, in the different fields of the economy of culture: opera theatres, film festivals, cultural entertainment, universities and research centers, publishing, art magazines, creative industries – from luxury crafts, to agribusiness design – art fairs, antique shops, museums and the most innovative elements of conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage and the landscape, companies and researchers working in the field of environmental technologies and smart cities.

It is the combination of these themes, subjects and experiences which enhances quality of life and it is from this extraordinary heritage that FLORENS 2012 seeks to define a new model of development and new proposals for Italy, boosting economic growth in this necessary time.

The program of FLORENS 2012 will include the International Forum on Cultural and Environmental Heritage, more than 40 round tables and conferences, 7 keynotes, exhibitions, cultural aperitifs, musical events, installations and shows. (Text from Official Website)

Go to the excellent web site for a day-by-day list of all of the events.

Calendar on the Web: http://www.fondazioneflorens.it/en/view/en-florens-2012/calendar/

P&F PICK APARTMENT RENTAL FOR NOVEMBER – Rooms with a View of Piazza Signoria

This cozy apartment is in a beautiful 18th century building (elevator, plus approx. 12 steps) is perfect for a family of four who love restaurants, but want the convenience of breakfast “at home.” The big plus is that you open the windows and are at the heart of Florence in Piazza Signoria, looking at the Palazzo Vecchio.

The kids get the sofa beds, but have their own bathroom; the parents have their own bedroom with en suite bathroom. The air-conditioned apartment is fitted with satellite TV and an internet connection. The small kitchen is equipped with 4-burner gas range, microwave, fridge and a small dishwasher, linens and kitchenware.

For more information click this link.

A NOVEMBER NOTE FROM SUZANNE – Hold the Date and Donate

Ciao everyone! We need your help. On December 8th each year the American International Women’s League organizes a Christmas 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. Last year we managed to make about €42,000.00.

This Christmas 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 Fiona Allen who is running the clothing stall this year at 055 223848 or email: allen.fiona@gmail.com 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.

As always there is a lottery with of wonderful prizes and tickets are already flying out the door, so call Pitcher & Flaccomio at 0552343354 for tickets QUICKLY.

Don't forget to mark the date and place (Dec. 8, at the Pagliere - Viale Machiavelli 18) on your calendar so you can come and replace everything you donated and have fun doing it! There will, of course, be food and drinks donated by the ELFINS of General Electric. I very much look forward to hearing from you, as we do NEED all the help we can get to make this event a great success.

Ciao Suzanne

(tel. 055 2343354, fax 055 5609916, info@pitcherflaccomio.com )

BEST FESTIVAL FOR NOVEMBER – 50 Days of International Film Festival

The 50 Days of International Film Festival in Florence has become over the last 6 years a major event of the Florentine fall. This year, it runs from October 25 to December 14.

In fact, it is the biggest Italian retrospective of cinema since 2007 and it features NINE international festivals, as well as reviews, previews, events and meetings with authors.

The joy of the 50 Days of International Film Festival in Florence is that many of the films are premiering in Italy; and the festival encourages the audience to learn more about contemporary film today, particularly of lesser known countries and cultures.

The novelty of this edition is the “Florence Balkan Express” (26 to 29 November), a film festival that will offer a significant cross-section of the film scene from the Balkan Peninsula – films from Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania, will be shown.

50 Days of International Film Festival in Florence includes: The 10th Florence Queer Festival, which focuses on cinema, art, theater, and literature that touches on gay, lesbian, and transgender themes, runs Oct. 25-31; followed by 4th edition of France Odeon, dedicated to French cinema, Nov. 1-4; the 53rd Festival dei Popoli documentary event Nov. 10-17; Nov. 18-19 will feature the 5th edition of Images and Sounds of the World, which focuses on films about ethnic music; Nov. 20 is the first Kibaka Florence Festival for African Film; followed by 5th The Screen Art Film Festival, which focuses on cinema about contemporary art Nov. 21-15; the first Balkan Florence Express festival for productions from the Balkans Nov. 26-29; then the 34th edition of the International Festival of Cinema and Women Nov. 30-Dec. 5; followed Dec. 7-13 by the River to River Florence Indian Film Festival.

All told, more than 200 films are expected to screen over a 50-day span. Also on the agenda are special events, including an event Nov. 5-6 on the “Myth of the American Indian” as told through the eyes of John Ford and Michael Mann, and several award events, including the N.I.C.E. – short for New Italian Cinema Events – City of Florence prize.

The 6th edition of the “The 50 days of International Cinema Festival” will take place at Cinema Odeon in Florence’s Piazza Strozzi, and includes 200 screenings, 9 festivals, and many special events. Almost 50,000 admissions were recorded in previous editions.

Drop by the theater to pick up the brochures for your favorite festivals.

PICK EATERY FOR NOVEMBER – Caffé Giacosa inside Palazzo Strozzi

"Sweets, pastries, wines and spirits, restaurant, tea room, chocolate factory. Licensed furnishers to the Royal family. Casa Giacosa, founded in 1815." This was the letterhead in 1927 of the historic Caffè Giacosa when it moved to Via Tournabuoni. Meeting place for a refined and choice international clientele, the Caffè Giacosa became the center of Florentine society, a prestigious "show window" for aristocrats and the elite.

Now, in cooperation with the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation, a satellite Caffé Giacosa has opened in the courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi, changing its look and name with every new exhibit shown on the piano nobile above. It is the perfect place to take a break between seeing the fabulous Strozzi exhibit – The Thirties: The Arts in Italy Beyond Fascism (see below) and The 50 Days of International Film Festival in Florence showing at the Odeon Cinema on the other side of Piazza Strozzi.

Thanksgiving Note: Check with St. James American Church for special services and dinner. Also, Osteria di Giovanni and the Il Palagio restaurant at The Four Seasons Hotel will be serving a holiday menu.

MUSEUM FOR NOVEMBER – Museo Casa Siviero, an Unknown Jewel (and entry is Free)

In the Oltrarno of Florence, upstream from the Ponte alle Grazie, is a small jewel of a museum that is open free to the public. The Museo Casa Siviero is located at the ground floor of the fine 19th century building on the banks of the river Arno, where the sophisticated collector and wartime “James Bond of Art”, Rodolfo Siviero lived from 1944 until his death in 1983. He left his home and its contents to the Region of Tuscany.

Siviero played a very important role in protecting Italy’s cultural heritage. Thanks to his efforts, most of the works the Germans wanted to take from Italy during the Second World War were either hidden away or found and returned. Born in the Province of Pisa in 1911, Silviero’s family moved to Florence in 1924. It was here that Rodolfo received his education, frequenting the city’s artistic and literary circles and cultivating his ambition to become a poet and art critic.

A keen collector and refined intellectual, Siviero managed to collect many works of ancient art among which Etruscan findings; ancient Roman busts; 14th and 15th century wooden statues; Medieval paintings on gold backgrounds, Renaissance and Baroque pictures, bronzes, terra-cottas, liturgical objects, beautiful furniture. He befriended a group of important Italian modern artists such as Giorgio De Chirico, Giacomo Manzù, Ardengo Soffici, and Pietro Annigoni, and collected their works.

Hermann Goering, Hitler’s Reich Marshall, during the German occupation of Italy (following the armistice on September 8, 1943) initiated a special military corps, the Kunstschutz, which under the pretext of saving Italian works of art from the bombings, requisitioned them and transported them to Germany. Siviero, already working with Florentine partisans, sought to thwart the flow of art out of Florence and Tuscany. The most important work of art saved by Siviero during the German occupation is Fra Angelico’s Annunciation. The painting was originally kept in the Franciscan monastery of Montecarlo near San Giovanni Valdarno. In early 1944, Siviero heard that Goering wanted the masterpiece for his own collection and that the Kunstschutz had been ordered to take the painting to Germany. Siviero turned to two Franciscan friars in Florence and the masterpiece was removed and hidden the day before the Germans arrived. (The painting is now in the Museo della Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie in San Giovanni Valdarno.)

After the war, having succeeded in obtaining the return nearly all the works of Italian art found in a deposit in Munich, Siviero turned his attention to the hunt for missing masterpieces and works, which were stolen or illegally exported from Italy to collectors and museums throughout the world. Siviero continued his work until his death, but over the years the role of the delegation for the return of works of art began to loose importance. In his last years, Siviero expressed bitterness about the scant attention paid by Italian government to the problem of recovering the country’s cultural heritage.

Museo Casa Siviero is located on the corner between Lungarno Serristori and Piazza Poggi, at the foot of the steps leading to Piazzale Michelangelo. Its Neo-Renaissance architectural style, is typical of Giuseppe Poggi, the architect who was responsible for the urban redevelopment of Florence at the time when the city was Italy’s capital, and who was probably involved in the design of the house. The ground floor was Siviero’s home. His sister and parents lived in an apartment on the second floor. The museum occupies only the first floor, but there are plans to restore and include the second floor in the future.

Italian web sites are not known for their clarity or appearance. The site for the Museo Casa Siviero is a pleasant surprise, providing an attractive, information-packed site. It is in English, with video tours of the rooms, a full online catalogue of the museums artistic contents, histories of Siviero and his house, and even a game for students to play. (Text from www.tuscantraveler.com)

More Information: Website: http://www.museocasasiviero.it/ww4_siviero/casasiviero.page

Address: Lungarno Serristori, 1-3; enter through the garden.

Opening Hours: Saturday, 10.00 am - 6.00 pm (from October to May); 10.00 am-2.00 pm and 3.00 pm-7.00 pm (from June to September); Sunday and Monday 10.00 am -1.00 pm (all year round). Check the web site for holiday opening hours. A certain number of people are allowed to be in the small museum at a time. There may be a short wait.

Cost: Entry is free of charge.

BEST BOOK FOR NOVEMBER – Death in August by Marco Vichi

A new crime series full of Italian flavor – the first novel in the Inspector Bordelli series, set in 1960s Florence.

Florence, summer 1963 (perfect for reading in cold November) – Inspector Bordelli is one of the few policemen left in the deserted city. He spends his days on routine work and his nights tormented by the heat and mosquitoes.

Suddenly one night, a telephone call gives him a new sense of purpose: the suspected death of a wealthy signora. Bordelli rushes to her hilltop villa and picks the locks. The old woman is lying on her bed – apparently killed by an asthma attack, though her medicine has been left untouched.

With the help of his young protégé, the victim’s eccentric brother, and a semi-retired petty thief, the inspector begins a murder investigation. Each suspect has a solid alibi, but there is something that doesn't quite add up . . .

Marco Vichi was born in Florence in 1957. The author of eleven novels and two collections of short stories, he has also written screenplays and music lyrics for radio, and has collaborated on projects for humanitarian causes. His novel Death in Florence won the Scerbanenco, Rieti, and Camaiore prizes.

BEST BOOKS FOR TEENAGERS FOR NOVEMBER – Flirting In Italian by Lauren Henderson

Four girls. One magical, and possibly dangerous Italian summer. Family mysteries, ancient castles, long hot nights of dancing under the stars . . . and, of course, plenty of gorgeous Italian boys! Violet Routledge, a teenage girl from London, arrives in Italy on a mission. Back at home, while visiting a local museum, she stumbled upon a portrait featuring some unknown Italian aristocrat who looks exactly like herself and could easily be her twin. Fascinated by the painting, Violet decided to learn more about the model, and find out if she's in any way related to her. She convinces her mother to send her to Italy for a two month long private course, under the excuse of learning Italian. After arriving in Tuscany, Violet meets the other students - an English red head, and two confident American chicks, and she decides to make the most out of her time in Italy.

Lauren Henderson is the author of the young adult Scarlett Wakefield series published by Delacorte Press. She is also the author of several acclaimed "tart noir" mystery novels for adults, as well as the witty romance handbook Jane Austen's Guide to Dating, which has been optioned for film development. Lauren was born and raised in London.

FORZA VIOLA!! FOR NOVEMBER – Florentine Calcio

P&F Sports Reporters Simon Clark & Anne Brooks bring you October’s Florentine Calcio results and the upcoming schedule for December.

Forza Viola! A slim month due to another break for internationals but this season is starting to look like more than just a rebuilding year. If that is true, what might next season hold? Somehow, a new group of players is gelling fast as a squad. Does the key lie with the new management or the new squad......or a mixture?

Even when some bulwarks of the “new” Fiorentina – Pizzaro or Roncaglia – are unavailable, the team system and ethic continue to blossom; some sensitive management is involved. Our only worry has been the reliance on Jovetic for goals, so Llajic’s screamer into the Lazio net carried a long-term halo! Prandelli couldn’t get him to do that! Forza Montella!

Fiorentina’s Results:

Week 7: Fiorentina-Bologna WON 1-0

Week 8: Chievo-Fiorentina DREW 1-1

Week 9: Fiorentina-Lazio WON 2-0

Serie A. October begins at the Stadio as we entertain (!) Bologna, rivals from just over the Appenines – and the home of ex-Viola stars, Natali and Gilardino. Our starting line-up was fascinating, going well beyond the strictures of disciplinary penalties (Rodrigues) and injury (Aquilani); Toni started at the expense of Llajic; Pizarro and Cuadrado were on the bench. Our Mr thinks a lot! And we coasted it. Once Jo-Jo had flicked in an assist from Tomovic, we were in control. Gila never got a look in, neither did any other Bolognese. Even with Luca Toni in the first half and a flurry of chances late on, we didn’t rack up the goals our dominance deserved. Those who rememeber the night we stuffed four past Bayern Munich will have raised an eyebrow.

To Chievo, who had struggled early in the season but recently whipped Sampdoria and now showed no sign of being awed by our reputation as a coming team. They even had the nerve to take the lead on 17 minutes. We didn’t care for that; one minute later, Rodriguez prodded in the equaliser. Chievo have often proved tricky and did so again as Toni hit the woodwork, our shots went wide and the referee denied us a clear penalty. We didn’t lose but we should have won.

Wow! Lazio are always a handful, in the top four this year. They start brightly but, as we take a grip, it seems they have come to roughhouse. This is Pasqual’s game: in a sparkling display, he wins a penalty (missed by Fernandez off a post: can no-one take a penalty properly?) and sends in an exquisite free-kick thwarted by an amazing save from their keeper. It doesn’t matter. With everyone on the pitch, Llajic gives us the lead with an explosive volley from the edge of the penalty area – the kind of strike that elevates the scorer to “this week’s goals”. Thank goodness Montella kept him. Later on, one and then a second Lazio player gets a red card. Toni manages a splendid second goal. We didn’t miss Pizzaro; Viviano has work to do but nothing serious. Cuadrado is SO focused on getting a goal! We are up to 5th and beating teams sitting higher up the league!

We are, as it were, on the ball, looking forward to a cup game that should be straightforward and five league games. They won’t be automatic but we should be looking at three or four wins and at least a draw away to Milan. Genoa will be an interesting test of our credentials but there is no reason for us to fear anyone. Forza Vincenzo!

Over the next few weeks, Fiorentina test their mettle against:

Week 10: 31 Oct/away Genoa-Fiorentina

Week 11: 4 Nov/home Fiorentina-Cagliari

Week 12: 11 Nov/away Milan-Fiorentina

Week 13: 18 Nov/home Fiorentina-Atalanta

Week 14: 25 Nov/away Torino-Fiorentina

Coppa Italia: 27 Nov/home Fiorentina-Juve Stabia


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 Duprè 28 (corner of via Settesanti).
NUOVO BOX OFFICE, Via delle Vecchie Carceri, 1, (inside the Murate). Tel 055 264321
FELTRINELLI FIRENZE, Via de' Cerretani 39/32R

BEST PARTY FOR NOVEMBER Election Night in the U.S.A.

On the evening of Tuesday, November 6 and into the early hours of November 7, the Americans in Florence (and hundreds of others) will be watching and waiting for news of the Obama/Romney face-off. Several local associations have organized non-partisan events in the city, open for all to attend.

The RFK Training Institute of the RFKC/Europe will hold a special training course for American and Italian students on November 5 and 6, which will be followed by a discussion on election night, November 6, among political experts, students, representatives of the Republican and Democratic parties, journalists and others (in person and via Internet) of the election returns. Those interested can follow the discussion via live streaming at www.rfkennedyeurope.org . Both events, organized in collaboration with the U.S. Consulate in Florence, are being held at the Auditorium Folco Portinari on Via Folco Portinari, 5, made available by the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze.

Democrats Abroad Florence welcomes Americans of all political persuasions and anyone else interested in U.S. politics for a fun-filled evening at the Rifredi Theatre (Teatro di Rifredi), Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 303. There will be live satellite coverage from CNN, as well as live streaming coverage from MSNBC and Democracy Now. Attendees can also participate in a mock presidential election and other political games, and enjoy live entertainment. A specially priced catered buffet serving American- themed snacks and sweets, provided by American Salad Co. and Mama's Bakery, will be available, and a cash bar will be open through the night. All are welcome to attend, but as space is limited, only those who have reserved at http://event.pingg.com/ElectionFlorence will be guaranteed entrance. Call 349/2459298 and see http://tinyurl.com/8kd8oyb for more information.

The Tuscan American Association and Filippo Mazzei Association have organized a festive election night at Otel Varietè (Viale Generale Chiesa, 9). The evening opens with a dinner (8pm, 35 euro, reservations required: write to segreteria@taaonlus.org or info@mazzeifoundation.org ). Entrance is free after dinner to watch the election results on giant screens, with updated results through live video connections (in addition to live music and DJ sets), as well as stations for food and drinks. Various local public officials are expected. http://www.toscanausa.org


FOOD FOR THOUGHT – The Biennale Enogastronomica Fiorentina

If you are a Buona Forchetta (a Good Fork, a Foodie, a person who lives to eat, not eats to live) get ready for the 3rd edition of the Biennale Enogastronomica in Florence from November 3 to 18, with a journey through the taste, history, production, and preparation of Italian food, wine and beer. Too late for the before-the-feast diets…

Biennale Enogastronomica Fiorentina opens on November 3 with free tastings of local produce in a very special place, not seen before by most tourists – the inside of the former courthouse, located in piazza San Firenze. It is followed by a journey through the history and taste of Lambrusco wine from Emilia Romagna (and in the process, help to support this region as it recovers from the earthquake that ravaged it last spring).

Conceived and organized by Confesercenti Firenze and Studio Umami (www.studioumami.com), under the artistic direction of journalist and wine critic Leonardo Romanelli, the Biennale Enogastronomica Fiorentina holds – in the shops, restaurants, squares and palazzos of Florence – markets, tastings, meetings, food shows, performances, food itineraries and aperitifs.

The main role of the Biennale will be interpreted by more than 90 Florentine restaurateurs who, for the entire duration of the event, under the heading A Dish At The Restaurant, will offer on their menus traditional dishes, which today are very hard to find, for a taste of the genuine gastronomic culture of Florence.

One of the many guided tastings on the calendar is dedicated to Brunello wine (Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Duomo). Other events include “Gelato of the Biennale”, the “Fermented Beer Show” on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 November, “Sweet Temptations” on November 9, the “Florence Wine Event” on November 10 and 11, “Oil, what passion” on November 18, “Relay of Taste” on Sunday, November 4, “Florence between food and history” on November 11 and “Solidarity Lunch” on November 12.

There is a great article by “Tom Fork” in the latest The Florentine (Oct. 25 ed.)on page 20 that describes each of the events (we plan to be at Utopia of an Idea: Gelato for Dinner).

See the article on line at: http://www.theflorentine.net/articles/article-view.asp?issuetocId=8034 .

On November 6, the new association inVite (www.associazioneinvite.it) will present their training course on ‘life and wine’. The Biennale will end on November 18 with “Florence on the plate”, a competition event of judging the best typical Florentine food.

The calendar of the festival is rich and varied, a not-to-be-missed series of events in Florence dedicated to tastes and food. For more details on the event visit the website: www.biennaleenogastronomica.it .

MUST-SEE EXHIBIT AT PALAZZO STROZZIThe Thirties: The Arts in Italy Beyond Fascism

Do not miss Anni ’30 at the Strozzi Palazzo. This challenging, beautifully presented show may be one of the first of its kind, showing a thoughtful look at the arts created during a challenging time in Italy’s history.

Italy in the 1930s, when Fascism held sway, was the scene of an extremely vigorous artistic battle in which every style from classicism to Futurism, from expressionism to abstract art, and from monumental art to decorative painting for the bourgeois home was involved. The situation was further complicated by the arrival on the scene of design and mass communication—posters, radio, the cinema and the first illustrated magazine—which stole numerous ideas from the "fine" arts and transmitted them to a broader audience. It was this complex and lively workshop, open to the international scene that introduced the concept of modernity to Italy.

The exhibition explores the 1930s through the masterpieces of over forty leading artists of the period, including Mario Sironi, Giorgio de Chirico, Alberto Savinio, Achille Funi, Carlo Carrà, Corrado Cagli, Arturo Nathan, Achille Lega, Ottone Rosai, Ardengo Soffici, Giorgio Morandi, Ram, Thayaht, Antonio Donghi, Marino Marini, Renato Guttuso,Ivanhoe Gambini, Carlo Levi, Filippo de Pisis, Scipione, Antonio Maraini and Lucio Fontana (99 paintings, 17 sculptures and 20 objects of design). They tell the story of a crucial era characterised by an extremely vibrant and innovative arts scene. The 1930s also witnessed the increasing mass production of household objects, which led to dramatic changes in people's lifestyle, allowing ordinary families to live out a dream of modernity surrounded by designer objects, a practice that continues to this day. It was the era that defined what we might call "the Italian path to modernity" in architecture, design, painting and sculpture through an original interpretation of the stimuli coming from the broader European context (from France and Germany, but also from Scandinavia and Russia) together with the return to an Italian (14th and 15th century) tradition.

The Thirties. The Arts in Italy Beyond Fascism provides us with another opportunity to show the strong bond linking Palazzo Strozzi with the history of this country and of this city, but at the same time it perfectly reflects our determination to ensure that the visitor in Palazzo Strozzi isn't passive but active... in fact interactive! A series of special areas allow visitors to explore some of the key issues addressed in the exhibition, such as mass communication (the Radio Studio, the Reading Room ), industrial design (the Design section) and artistic creativity (interactive touch-table) in an involving and stimulating manner. And like all our exhibitions, this one also has a broad programme of educational activities held in the Palazzo, collateral events involving the city and the region, and a full set of publications linked to the exhibition. (text from official exhibit website)

Website: http://www.palazzostrozzi.org/SezioneAnni30.jsp?idSezione=1853

Tel. + 39 055 2645155

Opening times: Daily 9.00-20.00, Thursdays 9.00-23.00

Tickets sold until one hour before closing time.


Full price € 10.00

Concessions € 8.50, 8.00, 7.50

Schools € 4.00


The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights / Europe has organized the first ever "RFK Thanksgiving Weekend" in Florence and Tuscany on November 22-25, 2012.

The events will all support the activities of the RFK Center in Italy and in particular that of the RFK Training Institute in Florence, located in the former prison known as Le Murate.

RFK Center Europe was established in 2005 to promote and develop the projects of the RFK Center in Washington, DC. Through the office in Florence, RFK Europe is carrying out human rights education in Europe and promoting change.

For the first time, Tourism, Enterprises, Culture, Trade Associations and Individuals will commit themselves to a single cause, that of defending human rights.

Participants of the “RFK Thanksgiving Weekend" will have the opportunity to taste wines and local food in Chianti, take tours of Florence and Tuscany in a historic Fiat 500, visit the Basilica of Santa Croce like never before, take part in unique cooking classes with famous chefs and finally have the chance to attend a concert of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra, directed by Zubin Mehta.

Special guests of the evening will be Kerry Kennedy, President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights e Honorary President of the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation of Europe, and the Russian defender against domestic violence Marina Pisklakova.

After the opera show, RFK Center Europe will organize a gala dinner inside the Piccolo Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino to raise funds for the work of the RFK Center Europe and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

During the night event there will be a "win win” lottery and an auction of the photographic exhibition "Presidents" by Harry Benson.

All those who are interested in attending the concert and Gala dinner, register using the registration form available for download at http://rfkcenter.org/rfk-thanksgiving-weekend-in-florence?lang=en . More information via email to naldi@rfkcenter.org .

See The Sights And Support Human Rights!

In support of the Robert F. Kennedy Center Thanksgiving Weekend in Florence, Artviva is offering two special not-for-profit guided tours on 22nd November.

Walk and Accademia Tour. Over three hours, hear the fascinating stories behind the charming Florence city centre. Then, visit the Accademia Gallery to view heroic David, plus Michelangelo’s Slaves composition. Pass by Florence’s oldest building, Il Bargello, whose history has passed from a dark place of corruption to a National Museum holding the world’s greatest collection of Italian gothic and Renaissance sculptures.

Uffizi Gallery & Vasari Corridor Tour. Experience the greatest highlights of the Uffizi, being entertained by our guides renowned for their ability to bring the past to life. Hear fascinating stories behind the masterpieces and their famous artists. Then experience a private-entry viewing of the Vasari Corridor, seeing the world’s most unique collection of portraits by famous master artists. (text provided by Artviva)

The cost is 50 euro per person for the Florence Walk and Accademia Tour, and 89 euro per person for the Uffizi and Vasari Tour. All museum costs and reservation fees included.

Email staff@artviva.com for more information or to reserve places.

The RFK Center is a non-profit organisation established in 1968 to fight for human rights internationally and to defend the environment and law. Focus is on projects concerning the power of the individual to generate change, specifically through collaboration with other individuals/organisations.

Visit http://rfkcenter.org/rfk-thanksgiving-weekend-in-florence?lang=en for more information.


Historic Crosses on Display

It has only bee 1,700 years, but we still remember the vision of Emperor Constantine in October 312. On the eve of Battle of the Milvian Bridge he saw a cross accompanied by the words “In hoc signo vinces”, “In this sign you win”. With the 2nd edition of the International Week of Cultural and Environmental Heritage (FLORENS 2012), this Christian sign is placed in the spotlight as three historic crosses are displayed in the Baptistery of St. John: the wooden crucifixes of Filippo Brunelleschi and Donatello, along with that carved by the young Michelangelo Buonarroti from the church of Santo Spirito.

The Giant Cross in Piazza Santa Croce

For Florens 2012, Mimmo Paladino has designed a new site-specific work specifically for Piazza Santa Croce. It is a monumental project: an enormous cross made by placing huge blocks of marble in front of the magnificent Franciscan basilica in Florence. Paladino’s project is both austere and courageous. Mimmo Paladino has already addressed the idea of the public space on other occasions, such as at Piazza Plebiscito, when in 1995 he erected Salt Mountain. Paladino will outline the archaic signs, faces and limbs on the walls of boulders, lettering that the artist often uses to give an air of mystery to his figurative scores. The blocks will vary in height from 2 feet to 5 feet, and will be different in color and shape. Paladino’s cross will enter into dialogue and contrast with the centuries-old facade of Santa Croce and will be perceptible in its entirety from the churchyard and from the windows of the buildings. With this urban monument, Paladino faces once again the limit and the possibility of communication through symbols and images in contemporary art, exploring the vitality of figurative, including Christian, archetypes.

The Olive Garden in Piazza San GiovanniIn Piazza San Giovanni an installation of urban decor will come to life with over 70 olive trees, arranged in a checkerboard, in harmony with the lines of the Baptistery and the Piazza. The olive tree, a plant typical of the Tuscan landscape, also refers the Scriptures, evoking the garden of Gethsemane. The installation also aims to go beyond the symbolism of the olive to propose elements of values such as good food and where it is produced, where those who do so take care to preserve culture and the identity of the landscape. It is a production that protects the landscape, using mobility infrastructure and energy in a sustainable development approach, which allows land protection to coexist with economic development and is useful for combating climate change and preventing hydro-geological instability.


If you aren’t exhausted from the 2012 CORRI LA VITA, try the 29th Florence Marathon On Sunday, 25 November.

Step by step all along its 42 kilometers and 195 meters you are surrounded by centuries of art, history and culture, a unique emotion that can only be experienced by those who run in Florence. Year after year, thousands of sportspeople and enthusiasts from all over the world come to participate in this classic race on the last Sunday in November. This great event in Florence has increased immeasurably recently so much so that they expect more than 10.500 participants in 2012. Official web site: http://www.firenzemarathon.it:81/index.php?lang=en

This extraordinary increase in participation also testifies to the constant attention given to the organization of the race. Florence Marathon is now the second Italian marathon (after Rome), and among the 20 most important marathons in the world. The route takes you by all those landmarks of singular beauty that have made Florence famous worldwide: views over the enchanting hills and countryside, and passing right by the Cathedral Square, Piazza della Signoria, Ponte Vecchio (to mention only just a few of historical importance), before entering the majestic Piazza Santa Croce. The road is entirely asphalted and ramp-free, except for the short, slightly sloping stretch of road at the start, and these characteristics make it a particularly fast route appreciated by runners.

For all the info you need:



The Fulgor is starting to make one of their theaters available for Original Sound movies , seven days a week, three show times a day. Call to find out what is showing in English. Via Maso Finiguerra – Tel. 055 238 1881


Check the web site http://www.cinehall.it/ for updated information or stop by the theater for a brochure. The Fifty Days of Film festival starts at the end of October. Located in Piazza Strozzi.


The usual Odeon Cinema Original Sound film selection moves to the Asta 2 Cinema in Piazza Beccaria for the month of November.

COGAN- KILLING THEM SOFTLY (USA 2012 - 87') By Andrew Dominik.

MON 5 5.15 – 8.30 – 10.30 pm

TUE 6 5.15 – 8.30 – 10.30 pm

New Zealander Andrew Dominik’s follow-up to his brilliant 2007 The Assassination of Jesse James again stars Brad Pitt but in a crime thriller of a completely different sort. In the New Orleans underworld Jackie Cogan is the enforcer investigating a heist. ‘The film is terribly smart in every respect, with ne'er-a-false note performances and superb craft work from top to bottom’ (Hollywood Reporter).

SKYFALL (USA, UK 2012 - 135') By Sam Mendes

MON 12 5.00 – 8.00 – 10.30 pm

TUE 13 5.00 – 8.00 – 10.30 pm

Daniel Craig is back as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 in Skyfall, the 23rd adventure in the longest-running film franchise of all time. In Skyfall, Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.

LE BELVE (SAVAGES) (USA 2012 - 131') By Oliver Stone.

MON 19 5.00 – 8.00 – 10.30 pm

TUE 20 5.00 – 8.00 – 10.30 pm

Oliver Stone, indulging his dark side, takes a look at the horrors of the Mexican drug trade. Cartels versus individual producers with a shared girlfriend in the middle, not to mention the FBI. ‘Savages is Oliver Stone doing what he should have done a long time ago: making a tricky, amoral, down-and-dirty crime thriller that's blessedly free of any social, topical, or political relevance’ (Entertainment Weekly).

ARGO (USA 2011 - 100') By Ben Affleck

MON 26 5.15 – 8.20 – 10.30 pm

TUE 27 5.15 – 8.20 – 10.30 pm

Based on real events, the dramatic thriller “Argo” chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis, focusing on the little-known role that the CIA and Hollywood played—information that was not declassified until many years after the event. ‘A superbly crafted and darkly funny real-life political thriller, with pitch-perfect performances’ (USA Today). ‘The results are nothing less than sensational’ (Wall Street Journal).

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. Check the web site at www.britishinstitute.it/en/events/default.asp for times, dates, and detailed information or stop by the library for a brochure.

The Autumn 2012 Edition of Talking Movies highlights the work of Ken Russell, who died last year after a long and controversial career as an all-round filmmaker. Regarded by some as one of British cinema's greatest talents, he is also derided, denigrated and even discounted by others. His interests - for his critics, obsessions - were mainly in the areas of sex and religion, but he was praised too for his insights into creativity in music and art, his extravagance and joie de vivre often receiving as many bouquets as brickbats.

In a career spanning 50 years, 18 feature films were made as well as numerous television movies and shorts. This commemorative retrospective is incomplete but it gives a flavour of the highlights (and perhaps lowlights) of Russell's work. Starting with Russell's famed adaptation of D H Lawrence's Women in Love (1969) the series includes Russell's 'biopics' of Pyotr Tchaikovsky (The Music Lovers), Gustav Mahler, Franz Liszt (Lisztomania) and sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (Savage Messiah). Altered States with its psychedelic and hallucinatory questing for the origins of life is disturbing and profound. The other 'American movie' is Crimes of Passion, a shocking satire on American sexual mores. Russell's unusual take on the creation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (Gothic) and his daring adaptation of Oscar Wilde's Salome (Salome's Last Dance) are complemented by Gothic horror/thriller The Lair of the White Worm, an adaptation of a Bram Stoker story and, to conclude, his second adaptation of D H Lawrence, the Women in Love 'sequel' The Rainbow. The season promises to be an adventure ride that is never dull and always stimulating, where taste is sometimes questionable, images disturbing and truths unpalatable but in which Russell's flair for free, expressive cinema, excessive or not, is celebrated. (text from the official web site)

Wednesday, November 07, 20.00

Lisztomania (1975)

Wednesday, November 14, 20.00

Altered States (1980)

Wednesday, November 21, 20.00

Crimes of Passion (aka China Blue) (1984)

Wednesday, November 28, 20.00

Gothic (1986)


Every Wednesday at 18.00 from September to June there is a lecture, concert or other event in the Sala Ferragamo in the Harold Acton Library followed by an informal drinks reception.

Thursday, November 08, 18.00 (note Thursday exception)

Lecture: Hugh Roberts

The diamonds of Queen Elizabeth II – This talk examines the history of the most historic pieces of diamond jewellery in the Queen's personal collection, considers its formation from George IV to modern times, and looks at the way the wearing and design of these jewels has changed to suit changing fashions.

Wednesday, November 14, 18.00

Lecture: Sara Soncini

War images/War of images: looking at contemporary conflict through Shakespeare – Sara Soncini of the University of Pisa has made a study of the representation of war on the modern British stage. She shows thrilling clips of recent productions, such as Nicholas Hytner's Henry V at the National Theatre with its overt parallels with the war in Iraq.

Wednesday, November 21, 18.00

Lecture: Michael Griffiths

The Olympic Games, ancient and modern – The Vice-Chairman of the British Institute, who has a degree in classics, looks at the ancient games as reflected in the victory odes of Pindar, and at the revival of the modern games in late-19th-century France.

Wednesday, November 28, 18.00

Reading: Tiffany Murray

A reading from Diamond Star Halo and Happy Accidents – The young British writer and lecturer Tiffany Murray reads from two of her recent novels. Happy Accidents was shortlisted for the Bollinger/Wodehouse Prize, and in 2005 she received an Arts Council Award.



The Amici della Musica of Florence presents various concerts at the Teatro della Pergola. Works by Haydn, Schubert, Bach, Mozart and Beethoven are only a small sample of what will be performed. See the schedule for concerts at http://www.amicimusica.fi.it/.

Amici della Musica - Concert Season Highlights for November – Rias Kammerchor Choir, Ensemble Zefiro Baroque Orchestra, Trio di Parma playing Dvo?ák, and pianists Paul Lewis and Angela Hewitt.

Teatro della Pergola, Via della Pergola, info: 055/609012 – 055 607440 - 055 2264333, and www.amicimusica.fi.it


The Maggio Musicale Festival turned 75 this year! The 75th season of Florence's historic opera company has been one of the best yet. The New Florence Opera House, opened last December, only makes the experience better.

New Florence Opera House

Nov. 3 & 4, 8:30pm

Conductor Tomas Netopil

Soprano Andrea Dankova

Tenor Suren Maksutov

Baritone Daniel Schmutzhard

Orchestra & Chorus del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Sergej Rachmaninov

Le campane, cantata op. 35 per soli, coro e orchestra

Johannes Brahms

Sinfonia n. 2 in re maggiore op. 73

New Florence Opera House

Nov. 9 & 10, 8.30 pm

Conductor Zubin Mehta

Soprano Chen Reiss

Alto Elisabeth Kulman

Orchestra and Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Gustav Mahler

Symphony no. 2 in C minor, for soloists, chorus and orchestra The Resurrection

New Florence Opera House

Nov. 27, 28, & 29, 8:30pm


Music by Giacomo Puccini

Conductor Zubin Mehta

New Florence Opera House

Nov. 30, 8:30pm

Conductor Zubin Mehta

Pianos Güher & Süher Pekinel

Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Paul Hindemith

Mathis der Maler

Béla Bartók

Concert for two pianos, percussion and orchestra

Antonín Dvo?ák

Symphony No. 7 in D minor Op. 70

Ticket Office Teatro Comunale

Corso Italia 16 - Firenze - fax: +39 055 287222

Tues. - Fri. 10:00-16:30 & Sat. 10:00-13:00

Tickets on line



Not to worry! … here are a bunch of events or exhibits that will still be happening in late November and December:


Fifty years after her death, an exhibition “Marilyn,” is currently running at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, where a visitor can see that the Florentine shoemaker made the star’s shoes for many of her most famous movies, including a pair of red stilettos covered in Swarovski crystals.

Ferragamo once wrote that the “women who come to me can be divided into the Cinderella, the Aristocrat, and the Venus ... Venus is usually a great beauty, of glamour and sophistication, yet under a glittering exterior she is often a homebody, loving simple things.” Monroe, who wore a size 6, was definitely in the Venus category. The exhibit contains not only her shoes but also the costumes she wore in many of her movies and dresses designed (not by Ferragamo) for special events. The film clips, alone are worth the price of admission.

The most interesting room of the exhibition seeks to show the close connection between Marilyn and Florentine Renaissance culture. There is Stern’s famous picture of Marilyn standing on the beach wearing a cardigan, her bare legs slightly crossed, alongside a reproduction of Botticelli’s La Primavera. There is the Roman marble bust of the dying Alexander, which the photographer Cecil Beaton drew upon in his quest to represent the “spiritual intensity” of Marilyn’s face. Parallels are drawn between images of Monroe and the sensuous nudes of Canova and Boucher. Then there is an extraordinary pairing of Tom Kelley’s famous Playboy nude of Monroe against a red satin background and the penitent Magdalene by the 17th-century Florentine painter Francesco Furini, both women holding a similar pose and an air of languid sensuality.

Entrance fee € 5,00

Hours: open Wednesday to Monday, 10 am-6pm

closed Tuesday, 1 January, 1 May, 15 August, and 25 December.

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum

Via dei Tornabuoni 2

Tel 055 35621


The Renaissance bronze and gold doors of the Florence Baptistry – a masterpiece known as the Gates of Paradise – were unveiled in September after a 27-year restoration. Hidden away in 1943 during World War II and damaged by the flood of 1966, the doors were replaced by a copy in 1990 mainly because of the damage done by vehicle emissions over the previous 50 years. Now the priceless doors have been restored to their former glory are on display in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, located behind the cathedral, not hanging in their former home on the Baptistry.

The doors are 5.2 meters (16.7 feet) by 3.1 meters and are 11 centimeters thick and were built between 1426 and 1456 by the artist Lorenzo Ghiberti. Ironically, the restoration took almost as long as they took to make. The story goes that when the work was unveiled, Michelangelo was so struck by the beauty of the doors that he said that the Gates of Paradise could not be more wondrous than Ghiberti’s doors.

The doors are divided up into 10 panels, each with a story from the Old Testament. Each panel is itself surrounded by a border with 48 tiny images, including a self-portrait of the artist and representations of the prophets. The doors are kept in a transparent display case to keep the humidity low so as to avoid the formation of various salts that could damage the thin covering of gold on the different panels. Innovative lighting shows them in all their glory.

Museo dell’Opera del Duomo

Piazza del Duomo, 9

Web site: www.operaduomo.firenze.it



On Sat. 3 and Sun. 4, 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.

The return on Sat. 10 and Sun. 11 for the Moterfest – Car Edition at the famed Scarperia race track. See www.mugellocircuit.it for information.


Sat. 17 and Sun. 18, starting at 10:00am, 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. Info: tel. 055 8457053 - assotartufi@tiscali.it - www.tartufaimugello.it


On Sun 11, 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.

For more info: http://www.itinerarinelgusto.it/eventi/san-martino-in-cantina-2012-in-toscana-0779

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, CARMIGNANO Tel: 0573 750191

Fornacelle, www.fornacelle.it. Loc. Fornacelle 232/a, CASTAGNETO CARDUCCI - (Li), Tel: 0565 77555


TuscanTraveler’s Italian Food Rules written by Ann Reavis has been published! Find a copy at The Paperback Exchange at Via delle Oche, 4r, or at BM Bookshop, Borgo Ognissante, 4.

ITALIAN FOOD RULE: No Eating While Walking

Italians never eat or drink while they’re walking. They have no culture of snacking on the types of food that Americans are frequently noshing on as they hurry from place to place – no Big Gulps, Grande Lattes with extra foam, bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, Big Macs, or even, a panino con mortadella (bologna sandwich). (Yes, sadly there are Big Macs in Italy, but they are being eaten – slowly – while at the table provided, not on the run.) There are no take-away sippy cups for coffee or cappuccino in Italy.

This aversion to eating and drinking while walking is learned at a young age, taught by a mother who values spotless clothes on her off-spring and wants her family at the table on time and hungry, not stuffed with chips or a giant soda before the meal even begins. Italians stay thin by eating three meals a day at a table, not grazing on their feet, on the run.

So what about gelato? Yes, it is an exception to the Italian Food Rule – No eating while walking. Italians walk while licking a small (2.50 € or less) cone – a cone, not a cup – of gelato. If you are eating gelato out of a cup, you should be sitting in the gelateria or on a nearby bench. If you order a large cone (more than 2 scoops) you are not Italian.

While Americans are speed-eating, gulping down a 550 calorie lunch, solely consisting of a Starbucks Venti Dulce de Leche Blended Creme Frappuccino (”Che esagerazione!” say the Italians), before the light turns green and it’s okay to cross, the Italians are taking small mouthfuls, resting their cutlery between bites, discussing the food – because it is worthy of discussion.

To read more, go to TuscanTraveler.com or purchase Tuscan Traveler’s Italian Food Rules.


From The New York Times by Elisabetta Povoledo (October 23, 2012)

Dapper as always in their bleached white shirts and matching caps, members of Rome’s municipal police force were out on the Spanish Steps one warm autumn day, trolling for offenders.

Stefano, look! There’s another eater,” one officer said to another before sauntering over to a baffled couple who had begun munching on an inoffensive-looking meal while sitting on the steps. The culprits, a couple of foreign tourists, had settled down on the landmark, one of Rome’s most famous. In their hands were the offending items: sandwiches.

The officers pounced, and after much waving of hands, the couple wrapped up the sandwiches and slouched away, looking sheepish.

They were in violation — unwittingly, in all probability — of a municipal ordinance that went into force this month. The measure outlaws eating and drinking in areas of “particular historic, artistic, architectonic and cultural value” in Rome’s center, to better protect the city’s monuments, which include landmarks like the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Spanish Steps. Fines range all the way up to $650 for culinary recidivists.

Italian cities, Rome included, have long enacted ordinances and regulations to protect monuments from ill-mannered tourists (and residents). But after a recent stroll through the city center, where he saw several people making themselves at home, literally, Rome’s mayor, Gianni Alemanno, decided the rules needed toughening.”


Invitation to Newsletter Readers & Friends:

The Pitcher & Flaccomio Newsletter would like to invite readers and friends of readers to submit announcements of upcoming events that may be of interest to visitors and residents of Florence and Tuscany, provide shopping tips, and/or comments on what’s “right” or “wrong” in Florence (or the Newsletter). We can’t promise to put every announcement in the newsletter, but we appreciate your support, interest and messages.

Please send an email to info@pitcherflaccomio.com or newsletter@pitcherflaccomio.com .

Email from the UK

[Y]ou are to be commended for a broad and useful information service,

matching the florentine lifestyle with the residential possibilities.

[A] home without an environment of culture is simply isolation.


luke w.


In November, Florence is packed full of cultural events, but make sure you partake of a bit Fiorentina Calcio to round out the last autumn days before the winter weather begins and the end-of-year holidays take up your time.

All the best,

Pitcher and Flaccomio