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IMPORTANT INFORMATION » Our Monthly Newsletter ITA -

Palazzo Pitti

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Rent, Sell and Manage Properties in Florence and Tuscany
NEWSLETTER October 2013

In October, after the excitement of Corri La Vita, life mellows a bit in Florence. It’s time to take an indoor/outdoor approach with lunch in the piazza in the sun and the afternoons and evenings at the new art exhibits and classical music concerts. Out in Tuscany the harvest festivals are bursting with truffles, new oil, and chestnuts.

Best wishes for a fun-filled October from SUZANNE, CORSO, BEI, LESLIE, VANNI, ANNA PIA, ANN and MARIO.



Join Suzanne and thousands of others for the Eleventh Edition of Florence’s CORRI LA VITA on October 13 at 9:30 in Piazza del Duomo. Either join the 5.2 km walk or the 14 km competitive race.

For many years Suzanne has had the pleasure of being on the committee organizing CORRI LA VITA, an event managed by volunteers to help the fight against breast cancer. Not only should you to “save the day” October 13, 2013, but you may want to take an active part, either by volunteering or opening you wallet, or both.

CORRI LA VITA is not only a walk/run, but is an event for people to gather together for sport, culture and solidarity in a great cause that has touched so many of our lives. All sorts of athletes and non-athletes, families, children, and pets participate. There are no limits in size, age or capability. See the routes on the CORRI LA VITA web site: http://www.corrilavita.it/programma.php

Last year, in recognition of the tenth anniversary of CORRI LA VITA, the mayor declared that all the museums of Florence (state museums) were free of charge for all CORRI LA VITA participants (wearing their T shirts of course) from 2pm to 6pm. We hope the same is happening this year. We believe that also the Ferragamo Shoe Museum, the Gucci Museum and the Palazzo Strozzi will be opened to participants.

CORRI LA VITA expects over 30,000 participants this year, which represents a phenomenal increase from the first edition. The official bright yellow T-shirt will yet again be generously offered by the Florence fashion house of SALVATORE FERRAGAMO. (The Fiorentina Calcio team already has theirs.)

We are hoping to raise a lot of money to continue supporting the following associations, and some of the projects created by CORRI LA VITA ten years ago:

C.S.P.O. Centro per Senologia - Progetto Donna 2 – to provide mammography service to all women.

LILT - Lega Italiana per la Lotta contro i Tumori, for support of Ce.Ri.On. – a rehabilitation center

The Vito Distante Project in Breat Cancer Research -- – provides scholarships for 1 or 2 young doctors to further their studies abroad.

Senonetwork Italia

FILE - Fondazione Italiana di Leniterapia – an association for palliative care.

We hope everyone will participate, but we also hope that when signing up, everyone will remember to be more generous than the request € 10 to enter and receive a T-shirt.

To sign up:

LILT – viale D Gianotti, 23 (office hours)

FILE – Via San Niccolò, 1 (office hours)

Universo Sport - one of the biggest, best and most loyal sponsors – P.zz Duomo, 7 Firenze, or Via Sandro Pertini, 36 (shop hours)

Pitcher & Flaccomio - Lung. della Zecca Vecchia, 30 (please telephone 055 234 3354 before you drop by)

For the competitive race there are extra requirements. You do not need to “compete” to be a runner. See details at: http://www.corrilavita.it/iscrizioni/

Note from Suzanne: You don’t have to be in Florence to participate: We of Pitcher & Flaccomio have given you – our friends and clients – up-to-date information on what is going on in Florence and Tuscany for the past years with our monthly newsletter. I know a lot of you read it and appreciate our work, so I was thinking that if you all have enjoyed visiting Italy and Florence; in particular, maybe you would like to give a donation to her citizens by supporting CORRI LA VITA. Cheques should be made out to: “L.I.L.T. sezione Firenze” (which means La Lega Italiana per la Lotta conto i Tumori - cancer society - Florence section). I really hope you will see your way to writing a few zeros after the number! You may send your cheques to our office and we will see that they get to the right place.

Thank you for your support.


P&F PICK APARTMENT RENTAL FOR OCTOBER – Historic Center Apartment for Two

For the couple who love to have centuries of history around them, but still want the modern conveniences, this is the vacation apartment for you. Medieval historical details have been lovingly preserved in the exposed wooden beams of the ceiling and the old stone niches in the walls. Imagine you are in the 14th century while you are enjoying this cozy one bedroom apartment and then step out into the center of the original street of medieval Florence.

The floors in the living area are terracotta tiles with hardwood in the bedroom. Bathroom is fully tiled and has an enclosed shower stall. The furnishings are mainly modern with some antiques and the kitchen is built-in and well equipped.

This unique place is on the first floor (one above ground level) so there are a few stairs. Restaurants, cafés, museums and the major piazzas are just steps away

For more information click this link.


Come for the aperitivo and go home with a necklace, a hand-died scarf, or a one-of-a-kind purse. On October 10 at 6:30pm, Women Supporting Women charitable event will open with drinks and food. The second edition of this very interesting market is supported by the American League of Florence and Artemisia (helping abused women and children since 1991). Tickets for the opening show are 12 euro (30% goes to the charity) and are available at Paperback Exchange (Via dei Oche, 4r). Ten percent of the proceeds from wearable art bought at the two-day show also go to the charity. This year it is the special space of the R.F.K., Center for Justice & Human Rights, located at Via Ghibellina, 12a come to meet the artists and start buying your holiday gifts. Open on both October 10 and 11.

BEST EXHIBIT FOR OCTOBER – Russian Avant-Garde, Siberia And The East At Palazzo Strozzi

Showing until 19 January 2014

The Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, is hosting The Russian Avant-garde, Siberia and the East. It's the first international exhibition to examine the fundamental importance of the Oriental and Eurasian connection to Russian Modernism, follows the destinies of Russia’s self-proclaimed “Barbarians” in their search for new sources of artistic inspiration. Neolithic stone figures, Siberian shaman rituals, popular Chinese prints, Japanese engravings, Theosophical doctrine and Indian philosophy are some of the elements which inspired Russia’s new artists and writers as they developed their aesthetic and theoretical ideas just before and after the Revolution of October, 1917.

The exhibition demonstrates how modern Russian culture experienced a deep attraction to—and an apprehension of—the exotic, the unknown and the “other”, qualities which artists and writers identified with the spirit of the taiga, the virgin territories of desert and steppe and the “otherness” of Oriental culture.

Emphasizing the key role that radical Russian artists played in the development of Modern art over a century ago, the exhibition underscores their complex relationship with the Orient (both the Russian East and the Far East). Léon Bakst, Alexandre Benois, Pavel Filonov, Natalia Goncharova, Wassily Kandinsky, Mikhail Larionov, Kazimir Malevich and other prime movers of the avant-garde were deeply aware of the importance of the East and contributed to the rich debate (“West or East?”) which left a profound and permanent imprint upon their creative imagination. In addition to the heroes of the Russian Avant-garde, the exhibition also acquaints us with other, less familiar, but still original, artists of the time such as Nikolai Kalmakov, Sergei Konenkov and Vasilii Vatagin, many of whose works are being shown in the West for the first time.

See more: http://www.palazzostrozzi.org/Sezione.jsp?idSezione=1768

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


Coquinarius has been a lunch favorite of Florentines for years and everyone was happy when it moved three doors down to a bigger, rustically elegant space, which has served many purposes over the past 600 years. The enoteca offers some of the tastiest food in town at great prices.

It's the perfect place to come if you aren't sure what you're hungry for, as they offer a little bit of everything: salad-lovers will have a hard time choosing from among the lengthy list (the Scozzese, with poached chicken, avocado, and bacon, is a winner); those with a yen for pasta will face agonizing choices (the ravioli with pecorino and pears is particularly good). A revolving list of piatti unici (single dishes that can be ordered on their own, usually served only at lunch) can also whet the whistle, as well as terrific cheese and cured meat plates. The well-culled wine list has lots of great wines by the glass, and even more by the bottle.

Address: Via delle Oche 15/r, Phone: 055/2302153, Website: www.coquinarius.it

BEST BOOK FOR OCTOBER – Treasure Hunt by Andrea Camilleri

The sixteenth Sicilian mystery in the irresistible New York Times–bestselling Inspector Montalbano series

In Treasure Hunt, Montalbano is hailed as a hero after news cameras film him scaling a building—gun in hand—to capture a pair of unlikely snipers. Shortly after, the inspector begins to receive cryptic messages in verse from someone challenging him to go on a “treasure hunt.” Intrigued, he accepts, treating the messages as amusing riddles—until they take a dangerous turn.

''Like Mike Hammer or Sam Spade, Montalbano is the kind of guy who can't stay out of trouble . . . Still, deftly and lovingly translated by Stephen Sartarelli, Camilleri makes it abundantly clear that under the gruff, sardonic exterior our inspector has a heart of gold, and that any outburst, fumbles, or threats are made only in the name of pursuing truth.'' --The Nation

Andrea Camilleri is one of Italy's most famous contemporary writers. The 'Inspector Montalbano' series has been translated into thirty-two languages and was adapted for Italian television, screened on BBC4. The Potter's Field, the thirteenth book in the series, was awarded the Crime Writers' Association's International Dagger for the best crime novel translated into English. He lives in Rome.

BEST BOOKS FOR KIDS FOR OCTOBER – Italy Unpacked by Clive Gifford

This beautifully designed title offers kids an engaging insight into Italy: its major cities, culture, way of life, food, language, and history - all presented in an engaging writing style. Alongside this core information, readers will find out about fashion, music, popular culture and sport, as well as quirky facts and bite-sized information on the Italy's customs and everyday life.

Clive Gifford is an award-winning author of over 120 books for children and adults. These range from the serious (Refugees, Robots, Planet Under Pressure: Pollution, Spies and Spying) and sporty (with books on the Olympics, football and tennis) to the downright silly (Pants Attack, Kelly's Smelly Wellies, The Huge Rude Duke).

Clive has travelled through 70 countries, run a computer games company and taken part in all manner of sports from parachuting and gliding to Ultimate Frisbee (he was top scorer at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg back in the nineties).

BEST PALAZZO VISIT FOR OCTOBER – The Biennale Dell’Antiquariato

From October 5–13 at the fabulous Palazzo Corsini, on Lungarno Corsini, internationally prestigious art and antique dealers will bring some of the world’s finest paintings, sculptures, furniture, books and rugs currently for sale. Purchase that glorious piece of artwork you’ve always wanted or simply to take a look at the great works on display. To get a chance to wander around the Palazzo Corsini is pure joy in itself.

Seventy-four antiquarians “over half a century old and still as passionate as ever” said Giovanni Pratesi, Secretary General of the Biennale since 2001. The Florence International Antiques Fair is back again, in its 28th edition, with a layout flaunting the superb artistry of the choreographic and theatrical “staging” by the Maestro Pier Luigi Pizzi.

On 10th October prizes will be awarded to the best painting and sculpture at the Fair. The prizes, amounting to 10,000 euro each, will be destined to the restoration of a work of art from the public cultural heritage. On the same date the Lorenzo d’oro prize will be awarded to Giuseppe Tornatore.

In 2007 the Organizing Committee of the Florence International Antiques Fair set up a prize to be awarded at each edition of the Fair to a person who has made an outstanding contribution at international level in the form of a documentary or film dealing with art. The Lorenzo d’oro is awarded upon the recommendation of an authoritative Committee, serving on which are Claudio Strinati as Chairman, Luca Verdone and Cristian De Sica.The prize is in the form of a sculpture in gilded bronze mounted on a porphyry base portraying Lorenzo de Medici, created by the Florentine sculptor Marcello Guasti.

In 2011 the Florence International Antiques Fair decided to set up, for the first time, the "Prize for the Best Stand". This is awarded by the Supporters’ Committee, which is made up of prominent international figures from the world of culture, society and business. Come pick who you think will win the prize in 2013!

See www.mostraantiquariato.it for more information.


SO YOU STILL WANT TO RUN? – Every Wednesday Run or Walk With Others

Inspired by the Corri La Vita, Firenze Corre has be created so that every Wednesday a group will run or walk through Florence. The first outing is scheduled for October 16, meeting at 7:30pm at Piazza del Duomo and returning back there at 9pm. You understood that right – get off your tush every Wednesday from 16 October 2013 until 11 June 2014.

“No matter how slow your pace, you will always be faster than those who remain on the couch” is the motto of Firenze Corre. Find out more information on the web site at: www.firenzecorre.it . Or stop by Universo Sport in Piazza del Duomo. There is a fee for participation.

ARTISTS INFLUENCING ARTISTS – Florence and Venice Share A History

Free exhibits for centuries-old art are rare in Florence so take advantage of a free exhibit at the Palazzo Ricasoli-Firidolfi, via Maggio 5. Masterpieces from Florence and Venice are on display that show the influence Venice had on Florentine painting during the seventeenth century, and the rich elegance of Florentine works during the last days of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. The exhibit is entitled Fra La Natione Fiorentina e Veneziana; learn more at www.frascionearte.com.

October 5-December 21, Palazzo Ricasoli-Firidolfi, via Maggio 5

ART AND BOOKS – Anima Mundi, 12 Libri Bianchi

From 4 October, at the Library of the British Institute of Florence, an exhibition of work by the artist Lorenzo Perrone, ANIMA MUNDI, in which the book, synonymous with culture, becomes the positive soul of the world.

12 White Books, real books on which the artist works, using water and glue, eradicating their content and thus obtaining his primary material. At this point the unequivocal shape of the object and its meaning remain intact and Perrone applies plaster, white varnish and other materials. White draws our attention, it brings us to reflect, to look to the long term, it softens sound and color, it smooths our senses; we need this. In the end, freed from the weight of words, in its static purity, the book is even more eloquent and shouts in silence to be read otherwise.

The exhibition is open until 31 October, from Monday to Friday, 10-18.30. Info: www.libribianchi.info


The English-language newsletter and Alexandra Lawrence have put together some of the most interesting, smart tours in Florence.

Friday, October 4, 3:15pm, 65 euro

Women Artists in the Vasari Corridor

Meeting point: Piazza della Signoria

Wander the Vasari Corridor and experience one of the world's most renowned collections during an unforgettable tour with TF editor-at-large and licensed guide Alexandra Lawrence, and receive a copy of the latest book from The Florentine Press, Art by Women in Florence: A Guide through Five Hundred Years, by Jane Fortune and Linda Falcone.

Saturday, October 5, 10am, 15 euro

Curious Florence

Meeting Point: Dante statue, Piazza Santa Croce

Ever wondered what’s left of Roman Florence? What Via della Ninna is named after; what acculattata and essere ridotto al lumicino mean; where Florence’s first university was and how it connects to Giotto’s bell tower? See new details and hear unique stories on this walk from Santa Croce to Piazza Duomo—you will never look at Florence the same way again!

For more information on all tours and to book a place, e-mail Alexandra Lawrence at a.lawrence@theflorentine.net or call 333/8689458. Reservation is obligatory.

A SHORT VISIT OF ITALIAN ART ON LOAN FROM PARIS – Sold by Bardini, Now Shown at His Villa

Most visitors do not know where Villa Bardini is located, but this October they should take a slow walk up through the Bardini Garden to the villa at the top (of course, you can also hike up Costa San Giorgio and skip the cost of the garden ticket). An excellent exhibit awaits. Until December 31, 2013, Il Rinascimento da Firenze a Parigi: Andata e ritorno (The Renaissance from Florence to Paris: To and From) contains thirty works that form the Italian nucleus of the Jacquemart-André museum in Paris. They were sold to Nélie Jacquemart at the end of the nineteenth century by the antiquarian Stefano Bardini, and this is the first time they have returned to Florence. Mantegna, Botticelli, Paolo Uccello and other big names are part of this exquisitely displayed temporary show. Bardini was one of the turn of the century art dealers that is responsible for a great loss of Italy’s artistic patrimony to France, England and the United States.

A highlight of the collection is St. George and the Dragon by Paolo Uccello. It depicts the saint on a bucking horse, driving a lance into a dragon while a not particularly distressed damsel looks on. As art historian Alexandra Korey says, “Uccello was obsessed with perspective, and here he uses plots of farmed land to create a perspectival grid and give a (rather artificial) sense of depth. Look closely and you will spot, in the background, a cardinal (in red) speaking animatedly with two other figures.”

One room in this small exhibit is dedicated to these works of Botticelli, including a large tondo of the Virgin and Child and a panel from 1510 representing the Flight into Egypt.

Just four small rooms hold these works of art, but the admission price of 8 euro (6 euro for members of various associations, including those with a Coop card) also gains you access to the Capucci artistic clothing design exhibit on the top of the villa.

Villa Bardini, Costa San Giorgio 2, www.bardinipeyron.it

ROBERTO CAPUCCI – Fabulous Fashions

The Capucci Museum at Villa Bardini, Costa San Giorgio 2, Florence

Fashion designer Roberto Capucci creates strikingly colorful and fluid garments. Using fabrics ranging from silk, taffeta and velvet to organza and georgette, Capucci experiments with the ways materials can be formed, draped and sculpted, so that they glide over the body or form stiff waves, swirls, frills and pleats. This exhibit displays 27 of the Italian designer’s best creations. See www.fondazionerobertocapucci.com for more.

THE GRAND PRINCE – Last Chance to See Grand Duke Ferdinando’s Collection at the Uffizi

Until November 3, there is an evocative exhibit at Uffizi Gallery – The Grand Prince. Marking 300 years since the death of Grand Duke Ferdinando de'Medici, this exhibit celebrates the life of one of the most important collectors and patrons of the arts in the history of the Medici, including sections on iconography, art collected by the Prince, renovations he commissioned in Florence, and Florentine statuary. For more, see www.unannoadarte.it .

FLORENCE QUEER FESTIVAL 2013 – Art, Literature and Music

Although the Queer Festival doesn’t start until November 6, the Queer Art and Queer Lit sections of the Festival start in October.

Queer Art from 19 October to 23 November

The big news this year is the exhibition of The Pink Choice by Maika Elan, Vietnamese photographer and winner of the World Press Photo Award 2013, one of the most important awards in the context of photojournalism. In exhibition runs from October 26 to November 23 at IED - Istituto Europeo di Design in Florence (free admission), with 32 photos depicting scenes of daily intimacy of Vietnamese couples (Opening Oct. 26 at 6pm with a presentation by the artist).

On 19 October, at 6pm, another photographic exhibition will open: Corpovisione Sandra Tapes at Ireos at Via de’ Serragli, 3. Exhibition of selected works by two photographic projects, one in color and one in black and white, both using the body to depict travel and other forms and surfaces other than skin. (Mon-Thurs 18-20, free admission. Until December 1).

Queer Book from 23 October to 23 November

In October, the cycle of literary meetings of the Florence Queer Festival begin at the IBS Bookstore and at the Villarosa Center (free admission). It kicks off on October 23 with Beppe Ramina, one of the protagonists of the LGBT culture in Italy. On Friday, 25 October, at the center Villarosa, at 6pm,the book Anarchismo queer: un’introduzione by Samuele Grassi, will be presented by the author. Wednesday, October 30, at IBS Bookstore at 6pm, there will be a presentation of the book "Alice In Un Mondo Reale" a graphic novel by Isabel Franc and Susanna Martin. The authors will be present. On Thursday, October 31, at 6pm at IBS Bookstore, the book L’amore folle by Francoise Hardy will be presented.


Infoline: 347 8553836 Ireos: 055 216907; Tel. 055 240397

info@florencequeerfestival.it – www.florencequeerfestival.it

IED – Istituto Europeo di Design- Via M. Bufalini 6/r – t. 055 29821 – 055 2645685

Ireos – Via de’ Serragli, 3 – t. 055 216907

IBS Bookshop – Via De’ Cerretani, 16 r – t. 055287339

Exhibition hours The Pink Choice Maika Elan at IED Florence: Monday to Thursday from 9 to 21.30, Friday 9-18, Saturday 10-18


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.


"50 Days of International Cinema in Florence", is the largest film festival in Italy. There are nine international festivals: Women in Cinema, French Film Festival, Florence Queer Festival, Contemporary Art Film Festival, Florence Indian Film Festival, Documentary Film Festival, Finnish Film Festival, New Italian Cinema, and Ethono-Music Film Festival.

On October 25, will kick off the International Festival of Cinema and Women, with 50 films that put the spotlight on female actors, directors and producers who have made some of the best movies and documentaries of all time. (Oct. 25-30)

Info: www.50giornidicinema.com


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.

Wednesday, October 02, 18.00

Lecture: Cecilia Hewlett and David Rosetzky

A talk to mark the new Australian ‘Talking Pictures’ series

Wednesday, October 09, 18.00

Lecture: Ben Downing (by Skype connection)

An Anglo-Tuscan dynasty: Janet Ross and her descendants

Wednesday, October 16, 18.00

Lecture: Anne Harding

The battle of Incontro, 2 to 8 August 1944: opening the way for the liberation of Florence

Wednesday, October 23, 18.00

Lecture: Clare Hornsby

Ellis Cornelia Knight as artist, writer and traveler in 18th-century Italy

Wednesday, October 30, 18.00

Concert: Margaret Lumley Savile (pianoforte) and David Owen-Lewis (baritone)

Celtic fringe: music by Britten, Chopin and Schubert

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 international success of movies from Australia and New Zealand is a relatively new development in the countries' long histories of cinema production, and the Post-Modern, Post-Colonial ethos of the 1970s seems to have resulted in something of a flowering of directorial, as well as acting talent. Australian and New Zealand actors in particular are nowadays household names. The Tolkien adaptations of recent years have also made stars of antipodean landscapes. But landscapes are only a part of the rich cultural heritage of Australia's Aboriginal, and New Zealand's Maori, pasts, and filmmakers in the last 40 years or so have chosen to investigate the difficult and sometimes traumatic social and cultural interface between the diverse inhabitants of the region.

It is no coincidence then that this select overview should feature a set of films, sometimes challenging, sometimes unpleasant, sometimes silly, sometimes shocking, sometimes just good for a laugh. The colonial past is represented in Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock, the most successful Australian film and the one that signposts the surge of cinema in the following years. The controversial The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith doesn't shy away from racial issues. Another film set in the early 1900s is Breaker Morant, again an 'issues' film with injustice as its theme. Jane Campion's The Piano gives us yet another glimpse into the colonial past in a well-received and memorable film. The future is represented by Mad Max, the film, which for all its faults, really launched Mel Gibson's international career. For the more recent past, directors turned to the 1930s to examine the misconceived 'ethnic cleansing' policies of successive Australian governments, notably in Rabbit-Proof Fence. The undeniable talent of Baz Luhrmann is first aired in what may be his best film to date, Strictly Ballroom. (Text from the original site.)

Wednesday, October 02, 20.00

Film: Picnic at Hanging Rock

(Peter Weir, AUS, 1975) with Rachel Roberts, Anne-Louise Lambert, Vivean Gray

Wednesday, October 09, 20.00

Film: The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith

(Fred Schepisi, AUS, 1978) with Tom E. Lewis, Freddy Reynolds and Ray Barrett

Wednesday, October 16, 20.00

Film: Mad Max

(George Miller, AUS, 1979) with Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne

Wednesday, October 23, 20.00

Film: Breaker Morant

(Bruce Beresford, AUS, 1980) with Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson, John Waters

Wednesday, October 30, 20.00

Film: Strictly Ballroom

(Baz Luhrmann, AUS, 1992) with Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice, Bill Hunter



If you ever wanted to listen to classical music in a theater where you could imagine Verdi or Mozart to walk in any second go to the jewel box Pergola Theater. The Amici della Musica of Florence presents various concerts at the Teatro della Pergola. Works by Haydn, Schumann, Debussy, Liszt, Chopin, Bach, Mozart and Beethoven are only a small sample of what will be performed.

Concerts take place on October 2, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and 27.

Find the full schedule here: http://www.amicimusica.fi.it/stagione/

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


The Maggio Musicale Festival is back with a autumn series! The 77th season of Florence's historic opera company has been one of the best yet. The Maggio spent the September in Spain, receiving rave reviews everywhere the orchestra and chorus performed. The New Florence Opera House only makes the experience better.

Find the calendar here: http://www.maggiofiorentino.it/calendar

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 October and November:

DEGAS, MONET & RENOIR IN FLORENCE – Impressionists at Palazzo Pitti

The Pitti Palace will exhibit 12 masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, including some of Degas’ ballerinas and paintings by Monet, Cézanne, Renoir and Pissarro. The exhibition of these works by nineteenth-century French Impressionists represents one half of an exchange between the two cities: several of the Pitti Palace’s Macchiaioli paintings went to Paris earlier this year.

Find out more at www.polomuseale.firenze.it. Until January 5, 2014 at the Gallery of Modern Art, Palazzo Pitti


A couple of months ago the bell tower on the Palazzo Vecchio was opened to visitors. Literally "towering" over Florence, the 95 mt. high Tower of Palazzo Vecchio is one of the city's unmistakable symbols and focal points. It is also one of the oldest parts of the building built between 1299 and the early 14th century, possibly to a design by Arnolfo di Cambio, as the seat of the city's government. The interior of the tower was witness to many important historical events, as it was the home to the Alberghetto, which was the cell that held such state prisoners as Cosimo the Elder before his exile and Girolamo Savonarola before his execution.

Ticket Office inside courtyard of Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza Signoria (tel. 055 276 8325)

Tickets: €6.50 to climb the tower or €10 if you combine it with a visit to the Palazzo Vecchio. It’s open every day from 9am to 9pm, except on Thursdays when it closes at 2pm. There’s no need to book tickets in advance. Web Site: http://www.palazzovecchio-familymuseum.it/

CYCLING THROUGH THE PAST – Antique Bicycles on Display

The history of the bicycle abounds in surprises. Until November 17, he exhibition Cycling Through the Past: Stories of Men and Trades at the Museo Galileo is divided into two sections and shows some of the most significant stages in the development of two-wheeled vehicles. In the first section, antique bicycles from the museum’s collections – which are usually kept in storage – are now on display. Heavily damaged by the 1966 flood in Florence and restored in the last 10 years, they were donated by various collectors.

The second section is devoted to the so-called “biciclette dei mestieri” (working bicycles) from Marco Paoletti’s collection. They are two-wheeled vehicles which were modified and fitted with tools to be used for different jobs. This part of the exhibit is free and at the Palazzo Giudici in Piazza di Giudici, 1.

Opening hours: 9:30am – 1pm

Tuesdays 9:30am – 1pm

Entrance fees (Museo Galileo)

Full € 9,00

6-18 years old, over 65 years old € 5,50


From October 25 to December 15, 2013

"50 Days of International Cinema in Florence", is the largest film festival in Italy. There are nine international festivals: Women in Cinema, French Film Festival, Florence Queer Festival, Contemporary Art Film Festival, Florence Indian Film Festival, Documentary Film Festival, Finnish Film Festival, New Italian Cinema, and Ethono-Music Film Festival. Info: www.50giornidicinema.com. These films all are screened at the Odeon Cinema Theater in Piazza Strozzi.

FLORENCE QUEER FILM FESTIVAL 2013 – Save the Date for LGBT Films

2013 marks the Eleventh Edition of the Florence Queer Film Festival, which is packed full of films with LGBT themes. This year’s directors are Bruno Casini and Roberta Vannucci. Save the dates of November 6 to 12.

For all of the details see the Festival website at http://www.florencequeerfestival.it/



So many festivals and fairs celebrating the chestnut take place in Tuscany each fall, that we will simply list a few of the details here, with websites and other contacts for further information:

Sun. 6, 13, 20 & 27: 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 (Campo di Marti train station) on every Sunday in October. Open: 9 am – 7 pm. Phone 055 8045170, 055 80442363 or see www.sagradellecastagne.it or www.promarradi.it for information & train times.

Sun. 13 and 20: 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. www.comune.vicchio.fi.it

Sat. 19 and Sun 20: Ronta – Sagra della Polenta e delle Castagne – Mugello again, for a hearty chestnut polenta served with meaty ragu. Join in for a special dinner on Saturday, and lunch and dinner on Sunday. Phone 055 8403386 for info.

Sat. 19 and Sun. 20: Lucolena – Festa delle Castagne – near Greve in the Chianti Classico region – info: 055 8546299 - 055 8545271 – www.comune.greve-in-chianti.fi.it


From Sat. 12 to Sun. 20, 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 2:00, watch the Palio di San Luca horse race, and stay until 10:30 pm for a fabulous fireworks display. Friday evening at 9:30 cheer on the town teams in a tug-of-war, winners take all. For info call 055 2313729, 055 2036627.


Pievasciata, a tiny village in the heart of the Chianti region, has been transformed into a contemporary art center. The focal point, the Chianti Sculpture Park, a permanent exhibition of sculptures and installations, is an integral part of a mystical wooded area.

There are three distinctive characteristics of the Park: integration of art and nature; diversity of cultures, represented by artists from all over the world; and a variety of materials. Each artist has been invited to visit the wood in order to choose a location and subsequently submit a site-specific proposal. This accounts for the harmony of the sculptures with the trees, the sounds, the colors, the light, and other elements of the wood. In fact, these man-made works do not extend beyond the limits of nature; rather, they integrate with it and enhance it. Inside the Park an Amphitheatre has also been created to offer visitors a rich program of concerts and cultural events.

The Chianti Sculpture Park is an indispensable stop not only for art lovers, but also for anyone who wishes to experience the delights of a walk through nature while admiring fascinating works of art. The visit is suitable for persons of every age on foot along a walking path of 1 km, but is also accessible with a child’s pushchair or a wheelchair.

Parco Sculture del Chianti, S.P. 9, Loc. La Fornace 48/49, 53010 Pievasciata (Siena); Tel. +39 0577 357151

Fabulous web site: http://www.chiantisculpturepark.it/, http://www.chiantisculpturepark.it/en-index.htm

Email: info@chiantisculpturepark.it


Head to Volterra on October 26, 27 and November 1-3, for an unique Festival celebrating a delicious treasure of earth, the White Truffle. The 16th Edition of Voterragusto, makes cheese, wine, chocolate and white truffles the focus of the theme weekends that will be based in Piazza XX Settembre of the famous Etruscan Tuscan town. Exibitions, lectures, tasting... White Truffle for all your desire!

Hours: 11:45 am - 7:45 pm

For more information: +39 058887257

Web site: http://www.volterragusto.com


How will the Internet affect the future? Quality of life? Business? Education? Culture? These are some of the important questions that will be addressed during a series of conferences, training workshops, films, readings and dozens of other free events throughout Pisa. Find out more at www.internetfestival.it .

October 10–13, free


ITALIAN FOOD RULE: Don’t Touch the Fruits and Vegetables

Food shoppers in the U.S. feel free to poke, prod, squeeze, thump and sniff the fruits and vegetables whether they plan to buy the produce or not. At a fruttivendolo stand in Italy that habit will garner you a withering look and a command to unhand the eggplant: “Non tocchi le melanzane, per favore!”

One of the pleasures of life in Italy is the taste of vine-ripened (or tree-ripened) fruits and vegetables. This is a major reason Italian food is so good – there are fresh local ingredients at the perfect level of ripeness. They are a feast for eye as well as the stomach. This also makes the produce delicate to the touch, even if you don’t have the outsized fear of germs that most Italians have.

The Italian Food Rule – Don’t Touch the Fruits and Vegetables – has its basis in both the protection of the produce and the desire to reduce the spread of disease.

The proper procedure is to approach a shopkeeper and say "buongiorno" followed by saying exactly what you'd like to buy. You'll have to deal with weights and/or numbers. "Un chilo di fagiolini, per favore" – a kilo (2.2 pounds) of green beans, please; "Tre cipolle, per favore" – three onions, please; or harder still for the metrically-challenged: “Quatro etti di zucchine, per favore” – four hectograms (400 grams) of zucchini.

It’s considered rude to tell the fruttivendola exactly which fruit she should put in your bag. She’s the expert. Locals will tell a vendor when they plan to eat their fruit and she'll use her expertise to pick those at the appropriate stage of ripeness, especially for repeat customers she wants to keep happy. If you want ripe fruit to eat today, add clarification, "da mangiare oggi, per favore" – to eat today, please. (If you don't know the language, you can always point to the bin and use hand signals.)

Sometimes a vendor will tell you to just go ahead and pick out your own fruit, or you can request permission by asking “Posso?” – may I?. Then wait for a nod or the passing of a plastic or paper sack for your use. But just because you have permission to select your own potatoes, doesn't mean they want to see you rooting through the bin tossing your rejects hither and yon. You're expected to carefully select and touch only those items you wish to buy, unless there's obviously something wrong with them. It's all about hygiene.

You may have the luck to find the one or two produce vendors in Italy who love foreigners and take pride in providing all of their customers, new and old, with the very best fruit and vegetables they have to offer. Do not feel bad if this is not the case on the day you are shopping for figs and plums. Your ortolano may not have your best interests at heart. It most likely has less to do with the fact that you don’t speak Italian with the local accent as it has to do with the fact that you are not a regular customer and he has produce he needs to offload.

One of my most memorable experiences when I followed this Italian Food Rule to my regret came on the day I wanted to buy three large fresh porcini mushrooms. I went to a stand in Florence’s Mercato Centrale where the vendor only sold mushrooms – the expert. There was even an example of his high quality porcini split in half exposing its firm white worm-free center. I followed the Italian Food Rule – Don’t Touch the Produce. I asked for three large porcini with stems and caps. He selected three fine looking specimens and placed them carefully in a paper bag. I trudged home with my sacks of shopping, unloaded them on the table and discovered that one of my fine mushrooms had a toothpick holding the cap to the stem and was turning slightly brown at the center. But there were no worms.

Buying groceries at an Italian supermarket is easier. You get to touch the produce, but not with your bare hands. At Coop or Esselunga or Conad, it won’t be the vendor upholding the Italian Food Rule: Don’t Touch the Fruits and Vegetables. It will be Italian housewives, young to very old, enforcing a subset of the rule – Don’t touch the produce without a plastic glove. A withering look from an Italian grandmother is just scary. A sarcastic comment is even more frightening.

You'll find plastic gloves near the plastic bags in the section with the fruits and vegetables, and you're expected to use them. This is the procedure for buying loose vegetables and fruits in a supermarket:

1) Find a plastic glove; 2) Put it on; 3) Get a plastic bag for each of your desired fruits or vegetables; 4) Select your produce from the bins; 5) Look for and remember the code on the bin's label; 6) Place your bag on the nearby scale and push the button that corresponds to the code; and 7) Wait for a printed sticker to exit the scale and paste it on outside of the bag.

If you don't follow this procedure, the checker will have to do it for you when you check out (or worse, will send you back to do it), much to the displeasure of the people in the line behind you.

One of the pleasures of living in Italy is shopping at the food markets. The produce is fresher and more flavorful than at the supermarket. But to enjoy the experience, you must by trial and error, with good humor, find an ortolana who treats you right and then get to know her, asking her advice about what to buy and how to cook it, greeting her even when not shopping for produce. It is a relationship that can last seemingly a lifetime and can save you from finding a toothpick in your porcini.

Tuscan Traveler’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.

To read more, go to TuscanTraveler.com.


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 .


In October, join your friends and make new pals as you run (or walk) the Corri la Vita and then, feed your mind, your senses, and your stomach – enjoy the new exhibits in Florence, walk through the Florentine gardens, and savor the harvest festivals in Chianti and the rest of Tuscany.

All the best,

Pitcher and Flaccomio