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Palazzo Pitti

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Rent, Sell and Manage Properties in Florence and Tuscany
NEWSLETTER October 2009

October … The wine harvest is going full force, with olive picking and pressing season looming not far behind. There is a slight chill in the air with each new morning, but our October sun warms the stones of Florence and country hillsides during the day. Dress in layers you can peel off as necessary.

In this issue: an October calendar of new exhibitions, original language movies, music, fairs and markets plus a flurry of Thumbs Ups. Roving reporters Simon Clark and Anne Brooks bring us all the Florentine soccer/football team antics as well as more gelato tips.

From a sun-washed Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia SUZANNE, CORSO, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA, KIMBERLY and MARIO send greetings for a golden autumn to all.


Suzanne reports: Corri La Vita was a STREPITOSO success with the participation of about 15,500 people, though the Florence Marathon organization thought we were perhaps closer to 17,000 (as so many didn't have the T-shirts, since we'd run out the day before). I don't know at this point how much money we have made, but it was a beautiful walk, the weather was superb and the atmosphere was very friendly and happy...lots more children and dogs with T-shirts on. The International school had 330 signed up, and the aeronautic school had 380, Ferragamo employees were about 500 so I think the message is getting across. Changing the venue to Piazza della Signoria was wonderful and many tourists asked to participate...so next year we'll be 20,000 for sure.

Welcome to Reverend Canon T. Mark Dunnam and his wife Dottie. Please join us on October 11 as we welcome our new rector and his wife. Canon Dunnam comes to St. James from the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast where he has served as Canon to the Ordinary. He worked in the administration and program of a diocese of 63 congregations. He brings a wide variety of expertise and interests in congregational development and community outreach, as well as ecumenical and inter-faith relations, and Benedictine spirituality.
Adult Forums:
Sun. 4: Episcopal Relief & Development with Cindy D'Alimonte. ERD is the international relief and development agency of the Episcopal Church of the United States, guided by the Episcopal Church's principles of compassion, dignity and generosity as we work to heal a hurting world. Come learn more about what ERD does and how you can help.
Sun. 11: Piazza della SS. Annunziata and Piazza della Signoria with John Spike. Walking tour after at 11am. from Piazza SS. Annunziata to Piazza della Signoria. If Piazza Signoria is the most beautiful fourteenth century Florentine square, Piazza SS. Annunziata is the most harmonious. The irregularity of the Piazza Signoria reflects the medieval years of communal strife, while the SS. Annunziata was planned as a perfect square ennobled by classical porticoes, the culmination of the Via dei Servi, a 'new' street created on a straight axis from the Duomo. Both are Marian sanctuaries. The class will discuss the urban and artistic planning of these squares. The tour will visit them in person.
IY at St. James: This year the IY student dinners start the fall semester on Wednesday, October 7th and will continue through Wednesday, December 2. These dinners and lectures (short educational talks) have been taking place for over 20 years. For the cost of 5 euro, students are offered a lecture given by well-known men and women in Florence on very varied subjects: "How to stay safe and happy in Florence"; "Journal Writing"; and even "Where to shop at San Lorenzo's Food Market" are just some examples of subjects covered at these talks. A home cooked meal is offered with an appetizer, pasta and 2nd course, a vegetarian dish (often the pasta), wine, water, dessert and/or fruit. The Chief cook has student helpers who not only learn how to cook some Italian dishes, but also get to eat the meal FREE in thanks for their help. Held in the undercroft of the Church in Via B. Rucellai 9, the gates open at 6:30 pm (earlier for the helpers), the short lecture starts at 7:15/7:30 and dinner follows. A special Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, stuffing and all of the trimmings will be offered on Wednesday, November 25. For more about St. James, see www.stjames.it. St. James Church, Via B. Rucellai, 9.Firenze, email: info@stjames.it.

CONSIDER FOR A MOMENT…submitted by our Lori H.
If I told some of my American friends that while I was on vacation I was whisked away by an ambulance, x-rayed and examined, underwent emergency surgery, stayed in a hospital for two days and released with medications and then, once home, carried down four flights of stairs, loaded in an ambulance to go to an appointment with a top-level specialist, examined and x-rayed again and carried home and comfortably deposited on my bed with a pile of pillows lovingly tucked under my broken limb, they might ask what insurance company offers such comprehensive coverage. If I told them I received all this care without having to pay a single bill, they might think I’d been dreaming.
But no, it’s all true. And it happened to me.
I’m a permanent resident in Italy and as such I’m covered by the country’s national health plan. Recently, when I fell down some stairs in Spain and needed urgent medical attention, I was treated exactly as I would if the accident had happened here: European countries have reciprocal agreements by which they treat visitors from partner countries as if they were citizens. The proper bureaucratic procedure is to obtain a special form that attests to your right to coverage before traveling outside Italy, but in the last-minute rush prior to leaving on holiday, I forgot to get it. Fortunately, it was sufficient to show my government-issued health card.
If you are against the idea of universal health coverage, consider for a moment how differently you could face a health emergency if your treatment and recovery took first priority over your financial condition. No insurance-related questions or forms while you are perhaps afraid, in shock or in pain, nor worries about depleting your bank account in order to settle pages-long medical bills. The chance to just focus your energies on getting better as soon as possible. And when the patient is your child (as I have experienced more than once), I can assure you that you come away from the hospital feeling eternally grateful for the opportunity to concentrate on his/her wellbeing without having to think even once about whether your insurance company will cover the expense or how soon you’ll max out your credit cards.
Nationalized health care is not perfect and never will be, the same as all government institutions. But the security of knowing that medical attention is always available, irrespective of my bank account, my employment status or the whim of an insurance company helps me sleep better at night.

FOOTBAAAALLL!! by Simon Clark and Anne Brooks
Forza Viola!..........Developing a world-class team, club and ground fit to grace the city of Florence is a long-term process. Along the way, precious moments illuminate progress; think of last season’s glorious demolition of Roma or the previous year’s victories over PSV Eindhoven and the mighty Juve. But we’ve never had a night like 29 September. The Liverpool juggernaut rumbled into town. Liverpool, recent Champions League winners, losing finalists and semi-finalists, thought to crush the Tuscan upstarts beneath their metalled tracks. No-one told Mr. Prandelli what was expected; no-one told the squad; no-one told Jovetic!!

September Results
Week 3: Fiorentina-Cagliari WON 1-0
Champions League: Olympic Lyons-Fiorentina LOST 0-1
Week 4: Roma-Fiorentina LOST 1-3
Week 5: Fiorentina-Sampdoria WON 2-0
Week 6: Livorno-Fiorentina WON 1-0
Champions League: Fiorentina-Liverpool WON 2-0

Serie A. It’s early in the season for the Viola roller-coaster but, in a hectic month and with Adrian Mutu worrying about the money he owes Chelsea, the Viola do like to keep fans on the edge of their seats. Week 3 brought Cagliari to the Stadio. They already look like candidates for relegation; we gave them a 1-0 roasting, never in any difficulty; we ought to have notched up a few more goals. 55 minutes, Vargas down the left, nice cross, Gilardino’s header, 1-0. This is becoming a regular feature! Three games, seven points, lying fourth – what’s to worry about?
A Roma backlash, that’s what! Roma started disastrously, changed managers already and have been smarting from last season’s Stadio walloping. They put us on the back foot, rattling us until we gave away a penalty, blasted in by Francesco Totti. Another goal-mouth melee and Totti blasts in again; nothing Frey could do. Vucinovic slots in another; at half-time, we are 3-0 down-and-out. Prandelli does some sharp talking at the break and we win the second half (!) 1-0 as Gila knocks in a consolation. It was a nightmare, a disaster (depending on which paper you read). Following the Lyons defeat, the season’s prospects are congealing.....
.....But there’s the “Viola effect”. Prandelli, alchemist that he is, remixes the elements and turns lead to gold. Week 5 and we host Serie A co-leaders Sampdoria with our erstwhile colleagues, Pazzini and Zauri. For 25 minutes, it’s an even game; our fans breathe easier; we’re not being barbecued – and the players think the same. Marchionni plants a cross on Jovetic’s head and we lead. Frey makes two top-class saves, Gila shoots wide when it seems easier to nab a second. Now Fiorentina look like league-leaders....and that’s the way it goes as we dominate the second half. Vargas down the left, nice cross, Gila header – 2-0. Sampdoria bicker among themselves; Pazzini is invisible. Viola are brilliant – with Donadel, Vargas, Zanetti and Marchionni outstanding and Jovetic spreading panic with his every move. We spend the last 20 minutes teasing them. If only we played like this every week. Off to Livorno for a week 6 local derby.....
We turn it on, we turn it off. Prandelli rings the changes, resting some and looking to run others (like Mutu) into form. What drudgery; this was a Saturday game so under universal media scrutiny - studios full of experts yawning until the 73rd minute, when Prandelli launches Jovetic. Jo-Jo cannot help himself; within 2 minutes of his coming on, Gila is brought down in the area and Jo-Jo slots home the penalty. Ten minutes later, the referee does his bit for excitement by red-carding Dainelli. Livorno try hard but Frey has been here before and we hold out. Three points and Prandelli is free on Sunday to act as starter for Corre la Vita and Frey to attend the prize-giving – where he doubtless catches everything thrown at him.
Champions League. This was never going to be an easy group; opening with a trip to Lyons and a home tie against Liverpool only emphasises the challenge. In Lyons, we were holding our own and getting our passing game together when calamity called. In first half stoppage, Gila rose with a Frenchman who opted to dive and con the referee – a red card for Gila and we play the entire second half with ten men. We hold them and give them cause to shiver from time to time but with a mere 14 minutes to go, a chink appears in our defences and the ball nestles in Frey’s net. Nobody gives up. Lyon lay siege but right to the last Jovetic and Santana are worrying the French defence......to no avail; 1-0 to Lyons at the final whistle, Gila suspended for two games.....
....And so the City opened its arms to the renowned Liverpool and its travelling fans. Prandelli gets his team selection spot-on and Fiorentina dominate the first half. We trouble Liverpool on the left, the right and through the centre. 28 minutes in, Montolivo and Co wrap up the centre, Zanetti threads an inch-perfect ball to Jovetic – who takes on Reina and slams in our first goal. The Stadio erupts! And we keep going; Liverpool are made of paper. A Vargas volley is slid into the net by, once again, Jo-Jo; we lead by two goals. In the second half, if you believe the British press, Liverpool came on strong. However, they came nowhere near worrying Frey and continued throughout to worry about conceding a third. Forza Jovetic!
We’re basking! What a fabuloso month. This squad CAN win the Scudetto. September saw squad changes. Kuzmanovic has gone to Stuttgart (and, let’s face it, when we look at Jovetic, it’s impossible to argue that Prandelli has not made the right choice; the teenage Montenegrin is looking like the next Rooney). We’ve unloaded Manuel Da Costa to West Ham in part-exchange for Savio Nsereko, a Uganda-born German international. And let’s not overlook the continuing Fair Play project; the away fans cage is down – replaced by a low barrier or open space – and police stay outside the Stadio. Fiorentina is football for all ..........Forza Viola!

BUYING TICKETS: Ticket information – seating plan, prices, ticket outlets – is on the “biglietteria” section of the club’s website [ www.it.violachannel.tv ]. Basically, tickets can be purchased at official box offices and holders of TicketOne lottery franchises. Sources include:
CHIOSCO DEGLI SPORTIVI, via degli Anselmi (between the Piazza Repubblica post office and the Odeon cinema). 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 Luigi Alamanni 39 (close to SMN station). Tel 055 264321
FELTRINELLI FIRENZE, Via de’ Carreiani 39/32R

THE FIORENTINA SCHEDULE: After, as Britain’s Guardian newspaper styled it, “putting Liverpool to the sword”, need we fear anyone? No, but there are plenty of teams who can beat us. In October we have another Champions League game at Debrecen in deepest Hungary; we must grab the three points. We have four Serie A games against teams who will be nip-and-tuck with us through the season (no matter how they are starting the season). Juve away will be tough but we can do ourselves three favours in a month by defeating Lazio, Naples and Genoa:

Week 7: (Florence): 4 October Fiorentina-Lazio
Week 8: 17 October Juventus-Fiorentina
Champions League: 20 October Debrecen-Fiorentina
Week 9: (Florence): 25 October Fiorentina-Naples
Week 10: 28 October Genoa-Fiorentina

BONGO (Serves 12-15 )
The quintessential Florentine restaurant dessert, this ‘mountain’ of chocolate-covered cream puffs is composed of three parts: cream puffs, whipped cream filling and chocolate sauce. Once you’ve prepared these, you are ready to assemble the dessert.

Cream puffs:
2 cups water
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces
one half tsp. Salt
2 cups flour
7 eggs
Preheat oven to 425°. Combine water, butter and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Assure that butter pieces are completely melted. Remove from heat and immediately add flour. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a ball. Return to heat, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Whisk in eggs, 2 at a time, until well blended.
Lightly grease 2 baking sheets. Spoon 1-inch mounds of puff mixture into baking sheets. Bake until puffed (approx. 12 minutes). Reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue baking 20 minutes more. Turn off oven and leave puffs inside for 20 minutes until very crisp.

Whipped cream for filling and garnish:
2 cups whipping cream
3 Tbs. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
Whip cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Chocolate Sauce:
8 oz. good quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whipping cream
Heat whipping cream in a sauce pan. Remove from heat and stir in chopped chocolate until melted. Return to heat, if necessary, just until chocolate is fully melted. Be careful not to scorch chocolate mixture. Cool to room temperature.

Assemble Bongo:
Fill cream puffs with whipped cream. You can do this either by cutting the puffs open to fill or by using a pastry bag to poke and fill the puffs. Dip the filled puffs in the chocolate sauce and build a mountain of puffs on a serving platter. Pour extra chocolate sauce over all if desired. Garnish with extra whipped cream and slivered almonds. Chill a few hours before serving. Alternately, prepare individual servings in small dishes using 3-4 puffs per serving. If you prefer, you can also fill the cream puffs with pastry cream or a blend of whipped cream and pastry cream.

THUMBS UP – THUMBS DOWN - “Our Readers Right”
Our “Thumbs up, Thumbs down” column is your chance to toot the horn of businesses, events and those Florentine situations that strike you as either wonderful or terrible. Please note: all opinions are strictly those of the contributor. Lend us your thoughts!

Suzanne sites a ‘wonderful new restaurant called LungArno 23 Chianina hamburgers and cafè, great food, good selection of wine from about 12 euro a bottle upwards, limited menu with the hamburgers going for approx. 12 euro with salad, chips and sauces. There is steak tartar and hamburgers without bread. My friend D. Amoroso said and I quote "I had to come to Italy to have the best hamburger in the world". The atmosphere is lovely, and the service excellent, with a big terrace and lovely views over the monuments. I spent about 25 euro for a meal, all included’. Lungarno Torrigiani 23, tel. 055 234 5957 info@lungarno23.it www.lungarno23.it

GELATO: AN OCCASIONAL PROMENADE (continued......) from Simon Clark and Anne Brooks
We think it’s easily warm enough still to enjoy a daily gelato. We’ve also discovered that gelato qualifies as a health food! Alpina (by the Fortezza – see previous newsletters) has pinned up research demonstrating its vitamin (high) and calorie (low) content. But then we always knew gelato is good for you!. If you are meandering around the Oltrano.....
GELATERIA DAMIANI [20r via Domenico Burchiello. Tel: 055 233 5428]. To the west of San Frediano, a local café/bar with outside seating. Boasts a very good fruit range (pear, pink grapefruit and fabby apricot); good yoghurt, nice canella (cinnamon). Well worth a visit, even a detour. Sundays open 08.00-0100 with a 13.30-15.00 break; other days 08.00-01.00.
GELATERIA a SANTA TRINITA [Piazza Frescobaldi 11/12R. Tel: 055 2381 130]. Just on the Oltrano side of Ponte S Trinita (next one west of Ponte Vecchio); visible on the right-hand side as you come over the bridge. Carries a range of other Tuscan products. Crema with international flavour; excellent pear; flavoursome milk chocolate. Open every day 11.30-22.30.
GELATERIA PORTA ROMANA [piazzale di Porta Romana. Tel: 055 221 121]. By Porta Romana at the western end of the Boboli Gardens - close enough to the Boboli to make it before the ice cream melts (just!). TV and seating with gelato magazines inside. Very creative – someone here is a parfumiere manqué….chocolate & cigar smoke, pear & ricotta, vanilla & orange, chocolate with canella & peperoncino…….Gluten-free fruit options available. Open daily 11.00-midnight.

A report from friend Sig. Roberto Pontifex: “I was very disappointed with Mailboxes (Corso Tintori 39R office Number MBE 345 they go under the name of Guama Service SRL) who did me a very bad service, they didn't look at the label I was sending the package to, so when they saw it was a post office box address, they didn't send it, nor did they email, telephone me or my friend in Florence to advise us of the fact...they may have never sent it had I not made an enquiry. We eventually got the package after seven weeks. I'm trying for a refund but it doesn't look good, so my advice to everyone is make sure they (Mailboxes staff) look at the address before paying for the mailing. I paid 170 euro for a three-day service…”

With deep regret, we have to submit a “thumbs down” to the Newsletter in relation to your football coverage. The September Newsletter, effectively the opening bulletin for the football season, missed out on changes in the arrangements for buying tickets. We turned up at our regular outlet to find it had lost the contract. Boy, did we feel silly! Of course, we write the Football column so it’s only right that we should be the unwitting victims of our own oversight and it’s fitting that we give ourselves a “thumbs down”. We would like to apologise to anyone else who suffered from our failure to stay up-to-date!
Simon Clark and Anne Brooks

Following a recommendation from Lori at Pitcher-Flaccomio HQ, we enjoyed a visit to the Medici Villa at Poggio a Caiano. A COPIT bus (4 euro return) from the office at the Santa Maria Novella end of Via National and a 30-minute ride. Well-signed once within the village, admission is free. The guidance makes it look as though you have to take part in a guided tour but you don’t; a limited number (20) are allowed into the villa on the half-hour but then you just get freedom to wander around – staff are about if you need them; they make sure that you get around in time to admit the next group. Delightful gardens and Roberta’s, across the way, offers home-made gelato including a Crema Medicea with caramelised hazel-nuts!
Simon Clark and Anne Brooks


Until Sun. 4, elegant Palazzo Corsini hosts Florence’s prestigious 50th anniversary edition of the International Antiques Fair. Ninety of the world’s most important antique dealers have gathered in Florence from across Italy, England, America, France, Switzerland, Spain and Monaco offering a broad panorama of schools and styles of every epoch and provenance. The show gives Florentines and visitors alike, the chance to stroll through an elegant series of antique tableaus, as each dealer strives to present their unique, museum quality pieces (this year the collections feature a Tiepolo and a Tintoretto). Palazzo Corsini, Lungarno Corsini, Via del Parione 11. Open 10:30 am - 8:30 pm. Admission: 10 euro. www.biennaleantiquariato.it

Sat. 3 and Sun. 4, Piazza SS Annunziata is the site of the 10th annual Fiera della Ceramica, spotlighting contemporary ceramics made and decorated by over 60 Tuscan, Italian and European craftsmen. Open 10:00 am – 7:00 pm. www.artedellaceramica.net.

On Tuesdays 6 and 13, enjoy a concert at the Accademia Bartolomeo Cristori. In the Oltrarno neighborhood you will find a lovely, small theatre presenting a series of concerts highlighting the fortepiano, and featuring a display of these historical instruments. The fortepiano is an early version of the piano, invented by Italian instrument maker Bartolomeo Cristofori around 1700. It has leather-covered hammers, harpsichord-like strings and a much lighter case construction than the modern piano. The range of the fortepiano was about four octaves at the time of its invention and gradually increased. Mozart (1756-1791) wrote his piano music for instruments of about five octaves. The piano works of Beethoven (1770-1827) reflect a gradually expanding range; his last compositions are for an instrument of about six octaves. (The range of most modern pianos, attained in the 19th century, is 7 1/3 octaves.)
Like the modern piano, the fortepiano can vary the sound volume of each note, depending on the player's touch. The tone of the fortepiano is quite different from that of the modern piano; softer, with less sustain. The first reliable record of a fortepiano appears in the inventory of the Medici family (who were Cristofori's patrons) dated 1700. Cristofori continued to develop the instrument until the 1720's, the time from which the surviving three Cristofori instruments date. Cristofori's instrument spread at first quite slowly, probably because, being more elaborate and harder to build than a harpsichord, it was very expensive. For a time, the fortepiano was the instrument of royalty, with Cristofori-built or -styled instruments played in the courts of Portugal and Spain. Several were owned by Queen Maria Barbara of Spain, who was the pupil of the composer Domenico Scarlatti. One of the first private individuals to own a fortepiano was the castrato Farinelli, who inherited one from Maria Barbara on her death. (Wikipedia). ACCADEMIA BARTOLOMEO CRISTOFORI, via di Camaldoli 7/R, tel. 055 22.16.46. Ticket: 10.00 euro. www.accademiacristofori.it.
October concerts:
Tues. 6: VINCENZO PAOLINI, FRANCESCO GABELLIERI, music of Haydn, Beethoven. 9:00 pm.
Tues. 13: ROSAMARIA BENE, FRANCESCO GIORGETTI, music of Haydn, Beethoven. 9:00 pm.

Sat. 3 and Sun. 4, at the marvelous Giardino dell’Orticoltura, the Tuscan Society of Horticulture puts on an annual autumn market giving Florentines the opportunity to pick and choose among seeds, bulbs and plants, roses and chrysanthemums, peonies and perennials plus gardening tools and more. Over 40 individual exhibitors create the chance to wander through a vibrant array of colors and perfumes that fill the park.
Keep in mind that any day, this park is a beautiful place to pause from the bustling streets of Florence. In the afternoons, children come to play, while their grandparents sit on nearby benches, under the grandeur of the iron and glass tepidarium and near a historic loggia. Covering more than two hectares, the park is easily accessible from both Via Bolognese and Viale Vittorio Emmanuale. Not obvious from the nearby streets, local residents walk to the park to relax along with the few tourists lucky enough to know of its location.
The Tuscan Society of Horticulture began renting the gardens in 1859, later purchased the land in 1876, and commissioned the construction of a tepidarium in 1880. This iron and glass greenhouse, designed by Giacomo Roster, was inspired by Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace (1851) and the Winter Garden of the Royal Horticultural Society. In 1903, a new tepidarium replaced the previous one, and in 1911, the Bondi loggia was added to the garden in preparation for Florence’s celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of Italian unity. Giardino dell’Orticoltura, Via Vittorio Emanuele II ,4 and Via Bolognese 17. Open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. Free admission.

Thurs. 8 watch for a solemn procession through town. Starting at 5:00 pm from Palazzo Vecchio, a parade of historical figures will carry special candle offerings to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) in honor of Santa Reparata. A ceremony and mass will take place inside the cathedral at 6:00 pm..

FORTEZZA ANTIQUARIA – Monthly Antiques Fair
Sat. 17 and Sun. 18 the gardens surrounding the Fortezza da Basso bloom with kiosks selling every sort of antique including furniture, kitchen tools, books, etc.

From Thurs. 29 to Sat. 31, the Stazione Leopolda Exhibition Centre will host Florence’s first ever International Art and Restoration Fair. Florence has long been known as a capital of culture and a city of art and restoration. It is home to the largest percentage of organizations, companies, publishing houses, schools and restorers in Italy and in the world. Fair organizers hope to create a showcase dedicated to those studying or working in the sector, with the aim of sharing knowledge and know-how, and the promotion of Italy’s cultural and environmental heritage, providing this world of cultural heritage with a prominent stage. It will be a forum for the publication and exchange of information to promote developments in research and methodology, and also to inform a wider international public about the necessity of conserving our heritage
Florence hosts the well-known School of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure. A high number of other national and international institutions can be found in Florence, with thousands of students attending courses every month in Italian, art and restoration. The many graduates of these institutions will be able to return here, where they learned their artistic skills and restoration techniques. For them it will be a chance to share their experiences, plan future exchanges and come into contact with companies and people working in the sector. The Fair however, is also for the wider public who will be able to visit the exhibition stands and choose from a calendar of events, demonstrations, conferences, functions, award ceremonies, workshops, lessons, shows and exhibitions by experts and artists. For further info tel. 055 217940, info@salonerestaurofirenze.org. Hours and ticket information will soon be available at: www.salonerestaurofirenze.org

The British Institute Weekly Cultural Programme. Every Wednesday at 6:00 pm, the Sala Ferragamo in the Harold Acton Library hosts a free lecture, concert or other event, followed by an informal drinks reception. British Institute Library, Lungarno Guicciardini 9.
Wednesday 7 - Michael Holroy: Edward Gordon Craig: his family, friends and enemies. "No man in the English language is so hated and reviled, no man so passionately defended and revered...a man who can arouse such feelings of hatred and love can indubitably be no nonentity," wrote the Irish dramatist Lennox Robinson about Edward Gordon Craig, who lived for many years in Florence. The distinguished biographer Michael Holroyd speculates on the reasons for Craig's exiling himself from his homeland and asks whether he was a revolutionary influence on the modern theatre or, as enemies such as Bernard Shaw claimed, his reputation was illusory. Michael Holroyd's most recent book A Strange Eventful History is a group biography of the Victorian actors Ellen Terry and Henry Irving, mother and godfather respectively of Gordon Craig, and their families. The lecture will be followed at 7:15 pm by the inauguration of the photographic exhibition Books and Their Readers by the photographer Matteo Brogi.
Wednesday 14 - Warwick Lister: The music of Giovanni Battista Viotti. The music of Giovanni Battista Viotti (1755-1824) does not now have anything like the respect and popularity it enjoyed in his lifetime. And yet, his music for the violin is probably the most worthy to be set alongside that of his near-contemporary, Mozart. In this talk Warwick Lister, author of a new biography of Viotti entitled Amico, will point out and demonstrate some of the characteristics of Viotti's music and of his playing style. He will talk about several representative works, including a 'Duo for Solo Violin', excerpts from his sonatas for violin and keyboard, and a song (words by Thomas Moore), all of which will be performed during the evening.
Wednesday 21 - Rosalynd Pio: Petrarch, Simone Martini and the cards. While studying the friendship between the poet Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374) and the painter Simone Martini (c. 1284-c. 1344), Rosalynd Pio and her co-author Rolando Fusi found some surprising references to the Tarot and other cards that spread all over Europe in that period. In this talk Rosalynd Pio will share their discoveries, including a series of frescoes by pupils of Simone or by painters who had been in contact with Petrarch. The second edition of their book Petrarca, Simone Martini e le carte detailing their discoveries was published in 2004.
Wednesday 28 - Alessandro Cecchi: Baroque Splendours of the Pitti Granducal Palace and the Boboli Gardens. The splendid artistic patronage of the Grand Dukes Cosimo II (1609-1620) and Ferdinando II (1621-1670) is the topic of this illustrated talk. During their reigns the Pitti Palace was the object of exceptional works of enlargement and decoration, with the contribution of famous artists such as Giovanni da San Giovanni and Pietro da Cortona, and the Boboli Gardens was transformed into the present scenographic Giardino all'Italiana, thanks to the creation of the Amphitheatre, the Avenue of Cypresses and the Island Fountain with their rich sets of sculptures. Alessandro Cecchi is Director both of the Palatine Gallery in Palazzo Pitti and of the Boboli Gardens.

Odeon Theatre, Piazza Strozzi 2. Phone: 055 214 068. www.cinehall.it
Mon 5 - THE WACKNESS by Jonathan Levine with Ben Kingsley, Josh Peck, Famke Janssen. 4.30 – 6.30 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m.
Tues 6 – WHITEOUT by Dominic Sena with Kate Beckinsale, Gabriel Macht, Alex O'Loughlin. 4.30 – 6.30 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m.
Thurs 8 - DISTRICT 9 by Neill Blomkamp with Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt. 4.00 – 6.10 – 8.20 – 10.30 p.m.
Mon 12 - CHERI by Stephen Frears with Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathy Bates, Rupert Friend. 4.00 – 6.10 – 8.20 – 10.30 p.m.
Tues 13 FAME by Kevin Tancharoen with Naturi Naughton, Collins Pennie, Kay Panabaker. 4.00 – 6.10 – 8.20 – 10.30 p.m.
Thurs 15 - UP by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson (Animation). 3.00 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m.
Mon 19 - FUNNYPEOPLE (with Italian subtitles) by Judd Apatow with Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann. 4.00 – 7.00 – 10.00 p.m.
Tues 20 - INGLORIOUS BASTERDS by Quentin Tarantino with Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Mélanie Laurent. 4.30 – 7.30 – 10.30 p.m
Thurs 22 - BAD LIEUTENANT by Werner Herzog with Nicolas Cage, Val Kilmer, Eva Mendes. 5.30 – 8.10 – 10.30 p.m.
Mon 26 - BRUNO by Larry Charles with Sacha Baron Cohen, Alice Evans, Richard Bey. 4.30 – 6.30 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m.
Wed 28 - BAARIA (Italian with English subtitles) by G. Tornatore with M. Madè, F. Scianna, Alfio Sorbello. 4.00 – 7.00 – 10.00 p.m.
Thurs 29 - JULIE & JULIA by Nora Ephron with Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci. 4.00 – 6.10 – 8.20 – 10.30 p.m.

THE WACKNESS captures the spell of 1994--a time of pagers, not cell phones; a time when Tupac and Biggie were alive but Kurt Cobain had just died. Funny and moving, The Wackness is an offbeat tale of two lost souls stumbling towards maturity ( SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL).
In WHITEOUT Kate Beckinsale plays U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko, sent to investigate a body on the ice; Antarctica's first homicide, on the most isolated landmass on Earth, six million square miles of ice, six months of darkness. Beckinsale
is as lovely as ever, and does her best with the material, but moribund pacing and an uninspired plot leave Whiteout somewhat in the cold.
In DISTRICT 9, South Africa has become a haven for refugees--from outer space. Technically brilliant and emotionally wrenching, District 9 has action, imagination, and all the elements of a thoroughly entertaining science-fiction classic.
CHERI – Through the eyes of Stephen Frears (High Fidelity and The Queen) we see Paris just prior to World War 1, and a romance between Chéri (Rupert Friend) and ex-courtesan Léa (Pfeiffer). Charming, despite a lack of heat between the protagonists (BERLIN INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL 2009).
FAME – Follow a group of young actors, artists, singers and dancers through their years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts (sound familiar?) with Debbie Allen as Principal Simms.
UP - Pixar, does it again with a warm, belly-laughable, adventure told with keen wit and surprising depth (CANNES FILM FESTIVAL).
In FUNNYPEOPLE, Judd Apatow gives us his best to date, in this story of a comedian who has a near-death experience. Humorous and…surprisingly deep.
INGLORIOUS BASTERDS – Ride the classic Tarantino roller coaster of unrestrained, yet thoroughly entertaining violence. This time, set in German-occupied France, and elsewhere in war-strafed Europe. Go figure. (BEST ACTOR CANNES 2009)
BAD LIEUTENANT - Nicolas Cage plays a homicide detective with the New Orleans Police Department, promoted for a heroic act, where he injures his back. A year later, struggling with addictions to sex, prescription pain killers and cocaine – he finds himself in the battle to bring down his own drug dealer (VENICE FILM FESTIVAL 2009).
BRUNO – Once again, you can count on Crude and Offensive, but with cultural insights and big laughs. Post-Borat, this time a thoroughly gay Sacha Baron Cohen strikes again..
JULIE & JULIA - Writer-director Nora Ephron adapts two bestselling memoirs: Julie Powell’s Julie & Julia and My Life in France, by Julia Child, both true stories. The outcome is a light, but entertaining culinary comedy, based on intertwining the lives of these two women. (Thanks to Rotten Tomatoes for insight into the upcoming films.)

Theatre info: Teatro Comunale, Via Solferino 15. Tel. 055 27791. Teatro della Pergola, Via della Pergola 12/32, Tel. 055 2479651. Teatro Verdi, Via Ghibellina 99, tel. 055 212320. Teatro Saschall , Lungarno Moro 3, tel. 055 6504112. Teatro Goldoni, Via Santa Maria 15. Tel. 055 229651. Teatro Romano, Fiesole, Tel. 055/59187. Mandela Forum, Viale Paoli 3, tel. 055 678841. Stazione Leopolda. Viale Fratelli Rosselli 5. St. Mark’s Church. Via Maggio 16. Tel. 055 294764. Church of Orsanmichele, Via dei Calzaiuoli. Tel. 055-210305. Teatro Puccini, via delle Cascine 41, tel. 055 362067. Chiesa S. Stefano al Ponte Vecchio, piazza S. Stefano 5. Teatro Politeama Pratese, Via G. Garibaldi, 33 – Prato. Tel: 0574/603758, www.politeamapratese.com. Purchase tickets for theatre, concerts and other events at the following ticket agencies: BOX OFFICE: Via Alamanni, 39 (alongside the train station). Open Monday 3:30-7:30 pm, from Tuesday to Saturday 10:0-7:30 pm. Tel: 055/210804. Fax: 055/213112, INTERNATIONAL STUDIO, Chiasso de’ Soldanieri, Tel. 055/293393, ARGONAUTA VIAGGI, Lungarno Torrigiani 33/B, 055/2342777.9187. Many tickets can be pre-purchased via www.ticketone.it, www.boxol.it, www.classictic.com/en or www.festivalopera.it.

Every day
ORGAN CONCERT. Chiesa S. Maria de' Ricci, Via del Corso. Daily at 9:15 pm; Saturdays at 6:00 pm.

Sunday 4
ORCHESTRA DA CAMERA FIORENTINA, Giuseppe Lanzetta conductor, music of Sibelius, Villa Lobos, Mozart, Wagner. Church of Orsanmichele.
IL TROVATORE, Massimo Zanetti conductor, Franco Ripa di Meana director. Teatro Comunale. 8.30 pm

Monday 5
ORCHESTRA DA CAMERA FIORENTINA, Giuseppe Lanzetta conductor, music of Sibelius, Villa Lobos, Mozart, Wagner. Church of Orsanmichele.

Wednesday 7
RIGOLETTO, Stefano Ranzani conductor, Franco Ripa di Meana director. Teatro Comunale. 8.30 pm

Thursday 8
MUSICA DA CAMERA PER VIOLA D’AMORE E BARYTON- Vienna Concilium Musicum. Music of Haydn, Albrechtsberger, Hummel, Angerer, Tomasini. Salone Luca Giordano, Palazzo Medici, Via Cavour 1. Free. 9:00 pm.
LA TRAVIATA, Daniele Callegari conductor, Franco Ripa di Meana director, Teatro Comunale. 8.30 pm

Friday 9
IL TROVATORE, Massimo Zanetti conductor, Franco Ripa di Meana director. Teatro Comunale. 8.30 pm

Saturday 10
RIGOLETTO, Stefano Ranzani conductor, Franco Ripa di Meana director. Teatro Comunale. 3.30 pm

Sunday 11
ORCHESTRA DA CAMERA FIORENTINA, Giuseppe Lanzetta conductor, Andreas Blau (flute), music of Cioci, Gluck, Villa Lobos. Church of Orsanmichele.
LA TRAVIATA, Daniele Callegari conductor, Franco Ripa di Meana director, Teatro Comunale. 3.30 pm

Monday 12
ORCHESTRA DA CAMERA FIORENTINA, Giuseppe Lanzetta conductor, Andreas Blau (flute), music of Cioci, Gluck, Villa Lobos. Church of Orsanmichele.

Tuesday 13
IL TROVATORE, Massimo Zanetti conductor, Franco Ripa di Meana director. Teatro Comunale. 8.30 pm

Wednesday 14
LA TRAVIATA, Daniele Callegari conductor, Franco Ripa di Meana director, Teatro Comunale. 8.30 pm

Thursday 15
RIGOLETTO, Stefano Ranzani conductor, Franco Ripa di Meana director. Teatro Comunale. 8.30 pm

Friday 16
LA TRAVIATA, Daniele Callegari conductor, Franco Ripa di Meana director, Teatro Comunale. 8.30 pm

Saturday 17
BACH COLLEGIUM STUTTGART, Angela Hewitt (piano), music of J.S. Bach. Teatro della Pergola. 4:00 pm.

Sunday 18
GIL SHAHAM (violin), music of Bach. Teatro della Pergola. 9:00 pm.

Tuesday 20
IL CLASSICISMO VIENNESE, Erich Binder (violin), Michael Stüve (viola), Roger Low (cello), music of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert. Cenacolo di Fuligno, Via Faenza 42. Free. 9:00 pm.

Saturday 24
QUARTETTO KELLER, Juliane Banse (soprano), music of Webern, Widmann, Bartok, Schubert. Teatro della Pergola. 4:00 pm.

Monday 26
RENATO ZERO – Zeronovetour, Mandela Forum. 9:00 pm.

Wednesday 28
CRISTIANO DE ANDRE' - 'De Andrè canta De Andrè'. Saschall. 9:00 pm

Saturday 31
ALEXANDRE THARAUD (piano), music of Couperin, Ravel, Rameau. Teatro della Pergola. 4:00 pm.

MANIPULATING REALITY - How Images Redefine the World
Until Jan. 17, the new exhibition at the Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina at Palazzo Strozzi poses a question: “What is true and what is real in our daily lives today?” Twenty-three international artists use photography and video-art to manipulate our perception of the visible world and to build new models of reality. The great contradiction that characterizes photography and video-art is that both pretend to record reality while being, at the same time, a falsification of that reality. This ambiguity has increased with the spreading popularity of easy-to-use digital technology and the massive dissemination of images through the mass media and Internet; the conflict between appearance and reality is pushed to its outer edges and demands that the spectator play an active role in defining what he or she is seeing as real.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with entries written by university professors, by experts in the visual arts, and sociologists. Check the names of the artists and the details of the exhibition at: www.strozzina.org/manipulatingreality. CSSS Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Strozzi. Open Tuesday - Sunday 10.00 am - 8.00 pm. Special free entrance: Thursday 6.00 pm - 11.00 pm. Monday closed. Tickets (valid for up to 5 entries in one month) 5,00 euro. tel. 055 2446761.

ART AND ILLUSIONS - Masterpieces of Trompe L'oeil from Antiquity Till the Present
Starting Friday 16 (and running until January 24), Palazzo Strozzi offers a most unusual exhibit regarding trompe l’oeil… the art of deceiving the eye. The theme of this show is deception, illusion, and the eternal tension between fiction and reality shown not only in painting, but in sculpture, intarsia, scagliola, pietre dure and porcelain. Showpieces run from faux armoires, half-open, with books inside, to soup tureens and table furnishings in the shape of vegetables, to anatomical and botanical wax models. From ancient Greco-Roman mosaics, to European masterpieces of the 1300s, to today, two hundred works from museums and private collections tell the intriguing and spectacular history of trompe-l’oeil.
The jury is still out over when a work of art should be considered trompe-l’œil and when it’s simply trying to be realistic. What is it that makes a work of art a real trompe-l’œil? One of the keys is obviously the artist’s intention: does he want the work of art to "deceive" the observer or, is his work simply an attempt to reproduce faithfully and in a realistic fashion, as with a still life or an anatomical model?
The exhibit also dedicates a significant amount of space to wall decorations and interiors (detached frescoes from Ancient Rome, where the theme of deception gave life to a school) and to Flemish artists and their innovations in the trompe-l’oeil genre. Among the many curiosities are the famous cabinet called Scarabattolo (from the Opificio delle Pietre Dure), a painting of the late 1600s by the Flemish artist Domenico Remps, showing a collection of natural and artistic objects from the Medici family. There are masterpieces by Mantegna, Titian and Veronese that will induce the visitor to reflect on the duplicity with which spatial interaction is depicted in painting, whilst the 17th century works of Jean-François de la Motte, and the still lifes of the 19th American realists will allow us to explore subjects frequently encountered in optically deceptive painting, such as hanging letters, or panels with papers alongside other objects on them, or the motif of hunting trophies and of various objects hanging on doors and panels. In addition, works by American artists specializing in trompe-l’œil such as Peto, Kaye, Harnett and Haberle will be on display in Europe for the very first time.
And since the eye is not the only thing to be deceived, the exhibition will allow us to experiment with the way in which all of the senses – touch, smell, hearing and taste – can be tricked. For example, special captions and cards designed by celebrated Florentine master perfumer Lorenzo Villoresi will challenge the visitor to verify the ability and the reliability of his sense of smell, while an innovative audio-guide will prove that even sounds can be deceptive. The exhibition staff will be part of the show too: they will not simply help the visitor to discover the wonders of trompe-l’œil, they will also be capable of performing a few card tricks liable to deceive the eye and the brain.
Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Strozzi. Info: tel. 055 2645155. Hours: daily 9:00 a.m – 8:00 p.m,Thursday 9:00 a.m – 11:00 p.m

Until Nov. 15 an exhibition at the Alinari National Museum of Photography celebrates the Centenary of Futurism, when photography was used as a tool for marking and fixing the life of the Futurist Movement and its social events. Futurism in Photography consists of 126 works accompanied by original historical documentation. The exhibition investigates the first formal and anti-naturalistic intuitions of the late 19th century, analyses the revolution introduced by the Fotodinamismo of the Bragaglia brothers and the subsequent creative outcomes that Futurist theories produced in Italian photography. The genres explored include multiple photography, Fotodinamismo, photomontage, photo collage, iconographic manipulation and camouflage of objects, portraiture and photo-performance.
The founder of Futurism and its most influential personality was the Italian writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Marinetti launched the movement in his Futurist Manifesto, which he published for the first time in 1909. Beyond Futurism, which was created around the figure of Marinetti, the exhibit also presents images of the “Futurist culture” that developed freely and independently, with an avant-garde spirit, consciously involving photography as the medium of modernity par excellence, in daily life as well as in artistic creation.
Alinari National Museum of Photography, Piazza Santa Maria Novella,14 r. Open: 10:00am – 7:00pm, closed on Wednesday. Tel. 055 216310. www.alinarifondazione.it Ticket: 9.00 euro.

BETTY WOODMAN: The Cheerful Vitality of the Porcelain
Until Feb. 15, the Porcelain Museum at Palazzo Pitti is stage to the refined and imaginative creations of Betty Woodman. With their unpredictable shapes and the intensity and brilliance of the colors, the unusual Sèvres porcelain pieces created by Woodman revolutionize the traditional concept of prized tableware, while preserving a classy elegance. A potter who has already made her name in New York, Betty Woodman periodically lives and works in her house in Antella, just outside of Florence, where she has had the chance to delve into the stratifications of Italian culture. Her expressive freedom enables her to renew the design of traditional forms, drawing on diverse historical and geographical sources to bring forth a new, playful language of matter, unburdened by the labor and study that nevertheless lies behind each individual piece. As she herself puts it “I seek to make art that nods its appreciation towards the history of ceramics without attempting to imitate it”.
Palazzo Pitti Porcelain museum. Piazza Pitti. Hours: 8:15 am– 6:15 (up to 24 October), 8:15 – 5:15 (from 25 to 31 October), 8:15 – 4:15 pm (November, December, January, February). Closed 1st and last Monday of each month.

Until Nov. 1 the Museo degli Argenti (Silver Museum) at Palazzo Pitti hosts the personal exhibition Alberto Zorzi - Jewelry, silver, drawings 1973-2009. Zorzi is an artist-goldsmith trained in Padova. The exhibition displays the works donated to the Museo degli Argenti by Florentine silversmith Gianfranco Pampaloni, a Zorzi collector: jewels that retrace thirty years of the artist's activity and that are meant to be “sculptures to wear”, design objects for daily use. The pieces created by Zorzi, who works with the most varied materials (gold, silver, platinum, copper, but also ebony, steel and quartz), are fruit of his reinterpretation of the relationship between form and space, not only in the pure and abstract sense, but also in their relationship with the volumes of the human body destined to wear them. The metals are either worked in thin sheets or geometric solids; a dialog between concave and convex, full and empty, light and dark, emphasized, in some cases by the chromatic-pictorial effects of enamel.
The exhibition is open to the public daily, from Monday to Sunday, with the following Pitti Palace schedule: 8:15am – 6:30pm, then 5:30pm (coinciding with the shift from Daylight Savings Time). Closed on the first and the last Monday of each month. Tickets: 7 Euros (allowing visits to the Museo degli Argenti, the Porcelain Museum, the Costume Gallery and the Bardini Gardens).

FROM PETRA TO SHAWBAK - Archaeology of a Frontier
Until October 11, the Limonaia in the Boboli Gardens offers an exhibition of the latest international archaeology investigations and of the research conducted by the University of Florence in these past twenty years in Jordan at the sites of Petra and Shawbak. Petra was the capital of the mercantile empire of the Nabataeans which controlled the incense route, then conquered by the Romans, the Persians and the Arabs up to the epoch of the Crusades, between 1100 and 1118, when king Baldwin of Jerusalem built the two castles of Al-Wu’Ayra and Al-Habis. The “Crusader” century (between 1100 and 1189) revived the city’s ancient function in southern Jordan, as a frontier between the Mediterranean and Arabia, but also between Syria and Egypt. The Castle of Shawbak, also founded by Baldwin I, is one of the most spectacular medieval settlements of the eastern Mediterranean. It is located 25 km north of Petra, which it replaced as capital of Transjordan in the XII century. Studies conducted by the Italian archaeological mission have restored this site to the great history of the Mediterranean, along with its extraordinary monuments: the cathedral of Saint Mary, the palace of Saladin’s grandson, the monumental bastions of the late XIII century.
As of 2006, the Shawbak site has been the object of an innovative international Italian-Jordanian agreement of scientific and cultural cooperation between the Department of Antiquities of Jordan and the University of Florence, which combines archaeological research, conservative restoration and valorization. The exhibition itinerary has been conceived in three sections: 1) the discovery of an authentic capital that reinterprets the Crusader presence of the Seigniory of Transjordan, and beginning a succession that crosses the dynasty of Saladin; 2) documentation of the diverse role performed by the frontier: from the ancient age (Nabataean, Roman, Byzantine), Arab-Islamic (Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid) up to the Crusader-Ayyubid and Mameluke ages, explored through the archaeological observatory of the region and of the sites of Petra and Shawbak; 3) the collection and “publication” of visitors’ comments. Several films (from Indiana Jones to Aleksandr Nevskij) will contribute to drawing the public to the exhibition themes. Limonaia of the Boboli Garden. Daily from 8:15 am to 7:30 pm. Closed the first and last Monday of the month. Tel. 055 2654321.


So many festivals and fairs celebrating the chestnut take place in Tuscany each fall, that we will simply list the barest of details here, with websites and other contacts for further information:
Sun. 4, 11, 18, 25: Marradi – Sagra delle Castagne - Located in the upper Mugello, Marradi has one of the biggest and best chestnut festivals, including a special steam train from Florence on a couple of weekends. 9 am – 7 pm. Phone 055 8045170 or see www.sagradellecastagne.it for information & train times.
Sun. 11 and 18: Vicchio – Festa del Marrone – Mugello Valley, in Vicchio you will find music, fun for kids, foods to taste and buy based on the nutty, brown chestnut.
Sat. 10, Sun 11 and Sat. 17, Sun 18: Ronta – Sagra della Polenta e delle Castagne – Mugello again, for a hearty chestnut polenta served with meaty ragu. Phone 055 8403386 for info.

On Sat 3 and Sun 4, head to Poggibonsi for a weekend of competitive, foot-stomping, wine grape-pressing. The central square of town, Piazza di' Gioco will be stage to a “Minipigio” contest for kids, leading up to the serious grape-pressing final contest on Sunday between the best teams from the seven districts of Poggibonsi. The neighborhood that squeezes the most juice from their grapes wins the coveted Boccione, a hand-decorated demijohn painted by a local artist. Music, fun and wine tasting booths will fill the streets both days, on Saturday from 4:00 pm through the evening. Sunday’s events run from the 10:00 am Minipigio, to a 3 o’clock parade, to the 5:00 pm finals and later award ceremony. www.pigio.net for details.

MERCATINO DEL APRILANTE – “Artisan wares market”
On Sun. 4 (morning to afternoon), Panzano-in-Chianti holds their weekly town market expanded to include artisan booths of all sorts. Basket weavers, honey and pecorino (sheep’s milk) cheese producers, hand-embroidered linen makers, boutique wineries and antique dealers set up booths to market their wares. To visit Panzano by car from Florence or Siena, take Route 222, the pretty "Chiantigiana" highway passing through the Chianti wine area. From the west, there is a road connecting with the highway at Tavarnelle or S. Donato. It is also possible to reach Panzano by SITA bus from Florence. The trip takes about one hour.

On Fri. 9, Sat. 10, Sun. 11 take a gastronomic voyage to Certaldo Alto where the October weekend will be animated with cooking lessons, Tuscan food tastings, special dinners and demonstrations. Chocolate, grappa, cheeses, wine and much more, will be offered and sold from booths in the streets, courtyards and gardens of the medieval hilltown above Certaldo. Fridays: free entry. Saturdays: 3.00 euro, and Sundays: 5.00 euro (kids under 12: free). Hours: Friday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Saturday from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm. For detailed information and reservations phone: 0571-663384, www.boccaccesca.it.

From Tues 13 to Sun. 18, Impruneta is the place to be for everything from a horse race to a donkey race, from cattle and chicken competitions, to food, crafts, wine and fireworks. All week long a craft fair will run in the center piazza of town. On Thursday at 3:00, watch the Palio di San Luca, and stay til 10:00 pm for a fab fireworks display. Friday evening at 9:00 cheer on the town teams in a tug-of-war, winner take all. For info call 055 2036627 - 055 2036408

Until Dec. 31, the jewel-like Oratory of Santa Caterina, just above Bagno a Ripoli will showcase twelve masterpieces from the Uffizi and other collections. In addition to frescoes by Spinello Aretino telling the story of Saint Catherine, visitors can admire works from the Repository of the Uffizi Gallery, the Museo dell’Opera di Santa Croce and the Museo Nazionale di Villa Guinigi of Lucca, by Agnolo Gaddi, the Master of Barberino and Pietro Nelli. Hope is that the Uffizi – by lending a remarkable work tied to the Oratory itself – succeeds in sharing a bit of the fame the well-known museum enjoys, enticing foreign visitors to take a trip out of town, and to consolidate the historical awareness of those who live in Bagno a Ripoli. Open: Monday – 3:00 to 7:00 pm. Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, 3:00 to 7:00 pm. Ticket: 5.00 euro. By bus from Florence Santa Maria Novella central station: take line number 31 or 32, get off at the Chiantigiana 7 bus stop. Easy walk to the Oratorio di Santa Caterina. Driving directions (and lots of other information) can be found on the website: www.oratoriosantacaterina.lacittadegliuffizi.it.

THE STYLE OF THE TSAR - Italian and Russian Art and Fashions Between the 14th and the 18th Centuries
Until Jan. 10, a Prato Textile Museum exhibition brings together more than 130 paintings, costumes and fabrics from the leading museums in Russia - the Hermitage, the Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg, and the Kremlin Museum in Moscow - as well as numerous Italian institutions. The exhibition illustrates the origin and development of cultural, commercial and diplomatic relations between Italy and ancient Muscovy through the privileged channel of commerce of Italian textiles and luxury goods. The first section of the show gives an overall view of Italian silk production from the late 14th to the early 16th century, displaying masterworks of textiles and painting, illustrating the importance of these fabrics in the social and cultural context of the times. The nucleus of the exhibition is devoted to the relations existing between Italy and Russia in the period between the 14th century, moment of the earliest contacts between European merchants and the ports on the Black Sea, and the early 18th century when thanks to Peter the Great, the Russian Empire opened up to western ways of life. Despite the gradual decline in Italy’s silk production during the first half of the 18th century, Italian art still remained popular and, thanks to collectors, many important masterpieces reached Russia. Many of these are now incorporated in the collections of Russia's leading museums. The exhibition ends with the display of an altarpiece of the Circumcision, originally painted by Cigoli for the church of San Francesco in Prato and transferred in the 19th century to the Hermitage.
Prato Textile Museum is Italy’s largest centre for the study, conservation and exhibition of historic and contemporary textile. Its mission is to promote the study, enhancement and exploitation of historic and contemporary textiles and all related artistic, industrial and technical aspects of interest. It represents a centre of promotion of the textile production of Prato district, an area important for textile production since the early Middle Age. The Prato Textile Museum is located in the centre of Prato, approximately 300 meters from the Castello dell'Imperatore, in Piazza S. M. delle Carceri, and approximately 800 m from Prato Centrale railway station (direction city centre). Visitors wishing to use the bus service, should take the LAM blu line towards NENNI, which departs every 7 minutes. Get off at "Piave" or "Carceri 2" bus stop.
Lo Stile dello Zar. Prato Textile Museum, Via Santa Chiara 24, 59100 – Prato. Open: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm. www.museodeltessuto.it Tel. 049 2010067. info@lostiledellozar.it Ticket: 9.00 euro.

Over five centuries ago, Filippo Lippi ascended three stories of scaffolding in the dark recesses of Prato’s cathedral. Today, the three-tiered frescoes, which cover the walls and vaults of the main chapel with stories of St. John the Baptist and St. Stephen, are visible in renewed splendor after seven years of restoration. Small, guided tours of the fresco cycle now allow the public to come face to face with Lippi. Prato Cathedral. Open Mon. to Sat. 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission: 4 euro with audio guide. Small, guided tours available by calling 0574/24112. www.restaurofilippolippi.it

Until Dec. 6, Lucca’s Center of Contemporary Art will feature 50 works by Man Ray, one of the most unpredictable, genial, brilliant, anti-conventional, contradictory, impertinent, challenging and eclectic figures in the history of 20th century art. In this show, created in collaboration with the Marconi Foundation of Milan, fifty portraits of the artist's wife Juliet Browner, who he photographed between 1941 and 1955, will be presented. The Fifty Faces of Juliet was conceived by Man Ray in the early 1950's as a book in honor of his wife Juliet, but also as a selection of photographic works begun in Los Angeles in 1941. It presents fifty photographs, original prints using different techniques and styles, some hand-colored, in various sizes that Man Ray dedicated to Juliet, the definitive muse of his life.
Many of the techniques invented by Man Ray, such as solarisation, over-development, dithering (retinatura) and grains obtained in the shooting or printing phase, were applied in the series with Juliet. Since painting remained his great passion, he thought it was a good idea to touch up his photographs with colored and treated pastels drawn directly onto the paper. It is for this reason that the series The Fifty Faces of Juliet is unique in its kind; in fact it shows all the abilities of an artist who uses every expressive means at his disposition to reach the sublimations of his own ideas. The portraits of Juliet are for the most part informal; some are focused on her face: faces that are luminous and gathered out of time, superimpositions of photographs that are dreamy and romantic, sensual and daring. Others are refined investigations into the silhouette of the female form: never ordinary, rather classical in the poses and similar to works by painters like Ingrès or Vermeer.
The Fifty Faces of Juliet is the story of a love and of a lifetime. Fifty portraits in which the image of Juliet is each time invented, rewritten, modified, exalted with the mark of the pencil, a graphic effect, superimposition of a piece of cloth, a transparent veil, a mask obscuring the face, her face framed with a large winged hat, revealed in her nudity, transformed into an embroidery. Lu.C.C.A. - Lucca Center of Contemporary Art. Via della Fratta, 36, 55100 Lucca. Hours: Tues. to Sun. 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Closed Monday. Tel. O583 571712. info@luccamuseum.com, www.luccamuseum.com

All our best,

The Staff of Pitcher and Flaccomio

Newsletter compiled by Kim Wicks

Pitcher & Flaccomio Newsletter Copyright 2009

Direttore responsabile Mario Spezi -  Pubblicazione con iscrizione n. 5697 del 23\01\09 presso il Tribunale di Firenze