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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 september 2009

September … "Scents and Sensibility" is the theme of the month, with a perfume fair, grape harvest and wine events, and back-to-school in the air. The summer Tuscan sun burns just a little less brightly, as we move into one of the busiest months of the year. The city fills back up with Florentines returning toasty brown from the seaside, semester abroad students and all the visitors who thought they were travelling in the off-season.

September in Florence and Tuscany offers a gazillion events, fairs and fun, so in addition to what we have outlined here, keep your eyes out for posters with dates and times for some great parties like Borgo San Lorenzo’s Sagra delle Ficattole featuring fried bread puffs stuffed with various salumi (from Friday 4 to Sunday 6 at Borgo’s Foro Boario area, every evening beginning at 7:30 pm, just in case you were wondering). In this issue: our September calendar of what’s happening in and out of town including new exhibitions, concerts, fairs and markets in the countryside. To pinpoint locations mentioned in our newsletter, copy the address onto the MAP FINDING space on www.mappy.com

From Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia SUZANNE, CORSO, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA, KIMBERLY and MARIO send greetings for a fabulous Fall to everyone.


With registration beginning September 1, act soon to get your official Corri La Vita, Ferragamo-designed T-shirt before supplies run out, so you too, can spend all of September wearing your shirt and publicizing the 7th edition of Corri La Vita, a charity event to raise funds for conquering breast cancer. A list of sign-up sites can be found below, but if anyone should find it handier, keep in mind that registration and T-shirt pick-up can be taken care of at the P & F office: Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia, 30 (next to the Lucchesi Plaza hotel), tel. 0552343354, office hours 9 a.m. straight through to 5 p.m (just call if you would like to come outside of these hours). The minimum donation to participate is Euro 10.00 which entitles one to a T-shirt (as long as supplies last). The shirts come in sizes S-M-L and XL this year.
Corri La Vita will be held on Sunday September 27 at 9:30 a.m. Booths will open at 8 a.m. to accommodate sign-ups on race day. The big news is that it will be in PIAZZA DEL SIGNORIA and not Santa Croce as previously. The new mayor Renzi has given Corri La Vita the main Piazza of Florence as a thank you, and he will be there to start the race from Palazzo Vecchio.
Corri La Vita (literally translated means Run for Life) is a walk/marathon organized in collaboration with LILT Italian Cancer Society, CE.RI.ON Oncological Rehabilitation Centre and File Italian Palliative Foundation. Participants may choose between a 5.7 km. walk weaving through town from Piazza Signoria, round the Duomo, past Piazza della Repubblica, over Ponte alla Carraia, through the Oltrarno and the Boboli and Bardini gardens, back across the Arno and finishing in front of Palazzo Vecchio. The 10.2 km. run adds a leg out to Porta Romana and Poggio Imperiale. The event features the exclusive opening of selected historical sites along the route. This year there will be visits to the Frescobaldi private garden, the courtyard of Palazzo Rucellai, San Jacopo Church, cloister of San Pier Martire and the Bardini museum.
Corri La Vita brings together friends, families, serious runners and celebrities against the backdrop of historic Florence. All are invited to participate: residents and non-residents, from the most serious athletes to the most sedentary, but also children, adults of any age, individuals, whole families, groups, colleagues and friends…everyone is welcome.
Events to raise funds and awareness for Corri La Vita include an auction sponsored by the exhibitors of the XXVI edition of Biennale Antique Fair in Palazzo Corsini and Christies Auction House. On September 26th Viscount David Linley, the president of Christies Auction House will be presiding over an auction of items donated by the exhibitors, with all proceeds to be donated to Corri La Vita.
Every edition also brings a new color and design created especially for the official Corri La Vita T-shirt, and this year, for the first time, more than 2,400 virtual friends on Facebook selected "Orange" because of its "energy, vitality and warmth". The Salvatore Ferragamo fashion house donated 12,000 T-shirts to participants last year, with 14,000 being projected for this 7th edition. The new shirt has already enthusiastically been worn by a famous Italian football player Filippo Inzaghi and his equally famous girl friend Alessia Ventura, Sergio Munzi the actor, and winner of the popular TV show "Island of the Famous", Senator Bobby Kennedy's grandson Bobby Kennedy III who is directly involved in environmental and civic issues, Umberto Pellizzari diver and host to numerous underwater TV programs, Jimmy Ghione the combative reporter of the famous TV program “Striscia La Notizia” and Andrea Agresti comedian, to name just a few fans. These special people join the other 170 world famous faces to be promoters of our cause. Please visit the site www.corrilavita.it to see the complete album of supporters.

Throughout September you can sign up for the WALK or RACE at the following Florence locations:
LILT - Viale Volta, 173, tel. 05576939
Firenze Marathon - Viale Fanti, 2, tel. 055 5522957 055 5522957
L'Isolotto dello Sport - Via dell'Argingrosso, 69 A / B

Sign-up for the WALK at the following locations:
FILE - Via San Niccolò, 1, tel. 055 2001212, 055 2001212
Universo Sport - Piazza Duomo, 6/7/8r
Universo Sport - via Masaccio, 201 / d,
Universo Sport - via Sandro Pertini, 36 (corner of Viale Guidoni).

On Saturday 19, come hear the new Willis organ. At 8 p.m. St. James is proud to host a recital by Colin Walsh, organist laureate, Lincoln Cathedral, England, including works by Bach, Bossi, Dubois, Elgar, Franck, Meck, Vierne and Widor. Our new organ is one of the finest instruments in Europe and was installed in February of this year. Admission euro 10. St. James Church, Via B. Rucellai, 9.Firenze, email: info@stjames.it.

We are happy to feature a few blurbs from Robert Nordvall’s entertaining site, where Suzanne’s friend Bob spends words on everything from his fashion observations (slave sandals are in this summer) to great nutshell round-ups of current Italian politics, newsworthy events, views of Italy from inside and out, and keen observations of “things Italian”.
Cell Phone vs. Computer - Italians are the number one users of cell phones in Europe, but lag far behind in the use of the computer. Why? One friend suggested it was because the costs of access to the Internet are higher in Italy than elsewhere and Wi-Fi is rarely seen. This could well be part of the reason. Cell phone costs, however, are also generally higher in Italy than in the rest of Europe. So I have an alternate theory. Italians love to talk. This is a country also where personal modes of communication are more primary than impersonal ones. On the cell phone one talks (although there are also text messages) and the interaction is more personal than on the computer. Another friend came up with a third theory that may explain the phenomenon more than any other: the incredibly high frequency of intra-family communication in Italy, most of which is by phone.
Why Things Go Slowly in Italy - The first thing to note is that when you go to the bank, a post office, or a government office, you might receive quick and efficient service. You simply cannot count on this happening. Why? Here are the factors I can determine:
1. Transactions tend to be more complex. You have to sign more places, the clerk has to stamp whatever you sign, etc. There is obviously a large premium on “control” instead of “efficiency.”
2. The social is more important than the commercial. If the clerk knows the person he is serving, a pleasant social conversation may ensue while others wait in line.
3. (Related to number 2) The idea that “time is money” may be prominent in Milan (the most businesslike Italian city), but it is not pervasive in Tuscany, and I doubt if you see much of it at all in the South.
4. Service is always focuses solely on the person in front of you. If he has a very complex transaction which may able to be facilitated by offloading it to another person or having the customer step aside and organize his papers better before they are processed, few clerks would think of doing so.
5. A job in Italy is something you have not something you do. By that I mean Italians are less likely to be invested in doing a job well. Once you have the job, job security is very high. You aren’t going to get any more money by doing the job better, and as long as you meet minimum standards, you won’t be fired. This attitude doesn’t lead to a “customer service” mentality.
In short, when the service you get is not good, there is no single cause. It is part of a cultural matrix. Italians are accustomed to waiting and don’t seem to complain much about it.
Slave Sandals - This is a fashion note. I hope that all my woman readers who are using sandals are wearing slave sandals. Those are the rage in Italy. They are sandals with at least one strap around the upper ankle. I assume you could see them if you looked at a DVD of Spartacus. For more of Bob’s wisdom see http://thisweekinitaly.com.

You won’t regret becoming a member of the non-profit “Friends of the Uffizi” Association. The Association supports the Florence art scene sponsoring important publication, exhibition, acquisition and restoration projects. With an annual (January to December) membership donation, the privileges that members enjoy include free, unlimited access to Florence’s most important museums including the Uffizi, Accademia, Bargello, Pitti, Boboli gardens and more. Not only that, members may skip any line, showing their membership card directly at the museum entrance to gain immediate access (numbers permitting). Members are also offered exclusive guided visits, invitations to exhibits and cultural events and reduced price tickets for concerts and performances in the most important theatres of Florence. There are different ways to “join”. Memberships include: Individual - valid for one adult (EUR 60.00), Family - two adults and two children under 18 years old (EUR 100.00), Young - under 26 years old (EUR 40.00). Find further information or join online at www.amicidegliuffizi.com. The Amici degli Uffizi Welcome Desk is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm in the Uffizi courtyard at no. 2. The “Amici” main office is located in Via Lorenzo il Magnifico 1. Tel. 055-4794422.

To celebrate the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition, until Sept. 10 the Accademia Gallery will open with FREE entry during special hours from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Thursday evenings only. Plus, until Sept. 29, both the Accademia and the Uffizi will extend Tuesday evening opening hours until 9:00 pm (regular entry fee) making for cool, crowd-free art enjoyment.

FOOTBAAAALLL!! by Simon Clark and Anne Brooks
Forza Viola!..........We’re off and running. So far, we haven’t been knocked out of anything and we haven’t lost touch with the top of Serie A (but then we are only two games into the Scudetto). In fact, we are unbeaten so far this season. Let the fantasies begin..........
August Results:
Champions League: Sporting Lisbon-Fiorentina DREW 2-2
Week 1: Bologna-Fiorentina DREW 1-1
Champions League: Fiorentina-Sporting Lisbon DREW 1-1
Week 2: Fiorentina-Palermo WON 1-0
Fun & Games. Unabashed by the drubbing administered by our French “friends” from PSG, Fiorentina jetted off to the Birmingham fleshpots for a final work-out against Aston Villa – a match of two sides knocking at the top-flight door of their respective leagues. We lost by the game’s single goal but Prandelli will have finished the happier coach; we fluffed a penalty, struck the woodwork twice and looked more and more a cohesive unit the longer the game went on. Now it gets real with the Champions League qualifiers and the start of Serie A.
Transfer Market. Rumours swirl as the deadline comes closer but, amidst the mist, there has been a modicum of concrete activity. Semioli has, as presaged last month, left for Sampdoria; a tale is brewing about Stuttgart and Seville sizing up Kuzmanovic. Definitely donning violet are midfielder Christiano Zanetti (a classy internationalist surplus to Juve’s requirements; if he can shrug off injury problems, he’s a prime candidate for the makeover Prandelli has given Mutu and Gilardino) and Di Silvestri (an Under-21 international defender from Lazio).
We anticipate further activity; Prandelli sees the competition intensifying and wants to strengthen the squad. Having qualified for the group stages of the Champions League, we’re guaranteed at least 11mn Euros income; the piggy bank will be replenished - and we may need it. A nasty shadow is rising behind Adrian Mutu. “Il Fenomeno” is being harried by the rich burghers of Chelsea FC (owner: Russian oligarch Roman Abramov) for 14mn Euros. It’s not clear that Adrian has enough small change lying about. People are wondering if the courts might require him to pay up; if he can’t, suspension may be the order of the day. Here in Florence, team, club and City are with Adrian (as well as the Italian players’ union).......Forza Adrian!
Serie A. Once more we start sluggishly. Last month, your correspondents were confident that “three points at Bologna should be in the bag”. Don’t act on any of our racing tips! Even with star striker Marco Di Vaio out injured, Bologna insisted on taking the lead and, naturally, it had to be a goal from ex-Viola favourite, Osvaldo. We had the edge in the second half but it still took us to the 64th minute before Mutu blasted the equaliser into the roof of the net. We tried but couldn’t quite find a winner – so that’s two points lost. Maybe the starting temperature – 37 degrees – wore the players down.....
.....Whatever, the home game with Palermo suddenly became even more significant. Prandelli’s pre-match utterances suggested that he was a tad concerned. Jovetic, who has started the campaign with a rare thirst for goals, soothed concerns. After hitting the Palermo post in the opening minutes, the Montenegrin guided in what turned out to be the only goal just short of the half-hour mark. For the rest, while Palermo had their chances, it was mostly Fiorentina – and we do expect Frey to contribute two or three blinding saves in each game! It was nice to see Walter Zenga, Palermo’s coach, taking time after being beaten to wrap his arm around Mutu’s shoulders.
Champions League. With no big-name signings and erratic pre-season form, some have worried about Fiorentina’s chances of reaching the group stages. We needn’t have been so anxious but the team, in true Viola fashion, ensured that we were biting our nails to the last! Away in Portugal, we looked good; six minutes in, Vargas dances around a Sporting Lisbon defender and drills us into the lead. They must teach Peruvian children to shoot like that! Thereafter, we did our best to lose, allowing Sporting to equalise with a full team on the pitch and then to go ahead after a red card reduced them to ten men. Eleven minutes to go and Gilardino produced one of his trademark “control-turn-and-shoot-inside-the-box-at-amazing-speed” episodes and we come away not only with a draw but also two away goals.
So, what’s the best thing to do back at the Stadio? Yes – let Sporting dominate and go ahead on 35 minutes; they lead 3-2 on aggregate and we are going nowhere in Europe. One goal could make all the difference. Prandelli bravely shuffles his pack at half-time. He introduces Jovetic who sparkles and threatens before creating space brilliantly on the edge of the penalty area to rifle home the strike that takes us through on the away goals rule. Forza Jovetic!
We’ve been rewarded with an uncertain group - Liverpool, Olympic Lyons and the Hungarians, Debrecen. Everything to play for. Debrecen are lying third in the Hungarian league and have to be considered candidates for last place in the group. Liverpool, the top-seeded team, have begun their domestic season with two defeats in their first three games; they will recover but may be missing Xabi Alonso more than expected. Lyons, by contrast, are riding high and unbeaten but we startled them before and we can do it again! It looks like two out of Fiorentina, Lyons and Liverpool and there is no reason to suggest that it’s anything other than an even race!..........Forza Viola!
Ticket information is available from the “biglietteria” section of the club’s website [www.acffiorentina.it]. There is a plan of the stadium seating areas, prices and a list of ticket outlets in Florence, including:
CHIOSCO DEGLI SPORTIVI, via degli Anselmi (between the Piazza Repubblica post office and the Odeon cinema). Tel 055 292363.
BAR MARISA, via Carnesecchi 1. Tel 055 572723.
BAR STADIO, viale Manfredo Fanti 3r. Tel 055 576169.
ASS. SPORTIVA COLLETTIVO AUTONOMO VIOLA 1978, via Lungo l’Affrico 10r. Tel 055 672580.
BAR H9, via dell‘Ariento (south side of the central market).
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

This is going to be a tough, telling month. In Serie A, we have two home and two away games. We must win the two at home and the away match at Livorno; we could be excused for a draw at Roma – they are going well in the Europa Cup but have lost both opening Serie A games (away at Genoa and at home to Juve); we mustn’t lose all three points in the capital. We need a good start to our Champions group campaign. Last year we gave Lyons a fright in France; we need to repeat the medicine and make the most of a home tie with a misfiring Liverpool. Six games in a month – Prandelli will have to manage his resources adroitly:
Week 3: (Florence): 13 September Fiorentina-Cagliari
Champions League: 16 September: Olympic Lyons-Fiorentina
Week 4: 20 September: Roma-Fiorentina
Week 5: (Florence): 23 September Fiorentina-Sampdoria
Week 6: 27 September Livorno-Fiorentina
Champions League (Florence): 29 September Fiorentina-Liverpool

This is a super-fresh, lemon and pine nut pasta dish, perfect for a simple, summer first course.
1 cup toasted pine nuts
½ cup chopped parsley,
juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
20 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup grated, aged pecorino cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
Cook 500 grams/1 pound penne (or other) pasta in generously salted water until firm to the tooth (al dente).
In the meantime, smash half of the pine nuts to a “cream” with a mortar and pestle (or drag them under the side of your butcher knife). Stir pine nut cream and the remaining ingredients together in your serving bowl. Toss hot pasta together with sauce and serve immediately.

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 our readers. Lend us your thoughts!

Dear Suzanne,
I haven't been able to come back to Florence for a couple years now unfortunately....after having lived there for 6-8 months at a time in about 2001-2004*. Your newsletter is always so wonderful and brings back so many memories. Hopefully the euro will not be as strong in the future, so that I can visit you again.
Best Regards,
Joan Vorpahl
*I arranged several different apartments through your office at the time.


Sat. 5 and Sun. 6, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, come to Piazza SS. Annuziata and enjoy a fair that for the last 25 years, has celebrated small-scale organic producers, sustainable agriculture and artisan crafts.

On Sun. 6, the Synagogue and Museum of Jewish Art and History will host a series of events celebrating European Jewish Heritage Day 2009. At 10:00 am, a music-filled parade will depart from Piazza della Signoria for the Synagogue on Via Farini, bringing Yiddish music to the streets of Florence. At 10:30 the doors of the Synagogue and garden will open with Hebrew cooking demonstrations and tastings, plus puppet shows (at 12:00 and 4:00 pm), music, discussions and historical visits throughout the day until the closing concert at 6:30 pm. Hop a shuttle over to the Jewish cemetery on Viale Ariosto for a guided visit of this nearly unknown Florentine monument. Free entry. Donations accepted for food tastings. Synagogue and Museum, via Farini 4, Tel. 055 245252. Info: comebrfi@tin.it

Every Sept. 7th Florence celebrates the eve of the birth of the Virgin Mary with a centuries-old fair called la Festa della Rificolona. For the fest, children (and adults) purchase or carefully construct paper lanterns to hang on long poles. Come evening, neighborhoods around town are brightened with groups carrying these lanterns, lit within by a burning candle. Enjoy live music and fun starting around 8:00 pm in Piazza Santa Croce, as a group gathers to cross the historical center on foot, arriving in Piazza SS. Annunziata, the traditional site of the Rificolona fair. Part of the “fun” involves an all-out attack on the paper lanterns in the form of young boys armed with pea shooters. The accepted end to the paper lanterns comes as they are made to self-combust by a well-shot spit ball. Go figure!

Tuesday 8, enjoy an extraordinary panoramic view Florence from over 100 feet up, as you take advantage of the one day each year that the terraces of the Duomo are open for exploration. The occasion celebrates the laying of the first stone of the cathedral which took place on the feast of the birth of the Virgin Mary 713 years ago. Also open for free visits, the Opera del Duomo marble restoration workshop (Via dello Studio 23 red) where master artisans work to keep the marbles of the Duomo in top condition. Top off the evening with a free concert at 9:15 pm in the Baptistery entitled “Three Organs for Three Organists”.

Fri. 11 to Sun. 13 Florence’s hippest convention space; the Stazione Leopolda, fills with the glorious aromas of the Fragranze trade fair. This trade event is dedicated to the world of artistic and selective perfumery, and will showcase fragrances, body care and wellness products, plus the latest research in cosmetics and scented accessories. There will be high quality crafts, and unique items from brands including: Creed, Diptyque, Floris, Fragonard, Juliette Has A Gun, Lorenzo Villoresi, Penhaligon's, Acqua Di Stresa, Prudence, Thermes Marins Saint-Malo and Vero Profumo.
One of the features of this edition will be IL PROFUMO DEL FUTURO [The Fragrance of the Future]; four talk shows – on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. A panel of Italian and international experts and celebrities from the worlds of quality fragrances, wine-and-food, fashion, design and communications will discuss topics such as: “What will the future smell like? Do we all have the same type of nose? Does everyone like the same smells to the same degree? And how do our sensations change over the years?” Stazione Leopolda. Viale Fratelli Rosselli. Hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Free admission for members of the trade. Open to the public on Saturday 12 only. Admission 10.00 euro.

Thurs. 17 to Sat. 19 check out the Stazione Leopolda for the 4th annual Nextech Festival, dedicated to the world of electronic music and digital arts. This year we have Swedish artist Adam Beyer (19th), and the Modern Deep Left Quartet (19th) putting together Mathew Johnson, Cobblestone Jazz and The Mole for a live concert all about energy and invention. On the 18th watch for DJ Troy Pierce, master of minimal house; and the French group Masomenos known for their fashion creations and their deep house beat. The full program is available on the Nextech site: www.nextechfestival.com, along with ticket reservation information. Stazione Leopolda, viale Fratelli Rosselli, 5. Open 6:00 pm - midnight.

From Wed 23 to Sun. 27 four days of non-stop theatre will brighten the calendar of Florence events when nearly all of Florence’s theatres open their doors and raise the curtain on free shows, recitals, book presentations as well as “aperitivi” and guided visits through historical backstages. The shows will be geared toward both young and old. To access all included events, simply purchase a TEATRICARD ticket, on sale for 7 euro at the theatres involved in the project.
In Florence some of the participating theatres are: Teatro Cantiere Florida, Teatro di Cestello, Teatro Everest, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro della Pergola, Teatro del Sale, Teatro Puccini, Teatro di Rifredi, Saschall and Teatro Verdi ORT. In Bagno a Ripoli: Teatro Comunale di Antella; in Calenzano: il Teatro Manzoni; in Scandicci: il Teatro Studio di Scandicci and in Sesto Fiorentino: the Teatro della Limonaia.
The final calendar of events will be posted on www.firenzedeiteatri.it. For further info: Firenze dei Teatri, tel. 055 2779362 055 2779362. promozione@firenzedeiteatri.it

From Fri. 25 to Sun. 27 Florence’s Oltrarno neighborhood will shimmer with activity. Wander from Piazza Pitti, to Piazza Santo Spirito, through Piazza della Passera and down via San Niccolò to Piazza Demidoff, exploring the world of Tuscan food and wine, wine, wine. Over 50 wine producers (including Cecchi, I Collazzi, Antinori, Castello di Cacchiano and more) will be present, pouring two of their favorite wines (a basic best-seller, and a “riserva”). Here is a great chance to taste and learn about Chianti, Brunello, Barolo and Morellino. Watch for interesting whites as well, including several from Italy’s north and northeastern provinces. On Friday from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Sat. from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm, with an inexpensive Wine Event Kit participants will receive a glass, glass carrier and drink card good for tastes of 16 wines at stands spread through the main piazzas of the Oltrarno. The event will also feature jazz presentations and al fresco dinners with theme menus. www.florencewinevent.com.

From Sat. 26 to Oct. 4, elegant Palazzo Corsini will host Florence’s prestigious 50th anniversary edition of the International Antiques Fair. Ninety of the world’s most important antique dealers will gather 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). Friday 26 at 9:00 pm the fair will host a charity auction in favor of “Corri la Vita”. Palazzo Corsini, Lungarno Corsini, Via del Parione 11. Open 10:30 am - 8:30 pm. Admission: 10 euro. www.biennaleantiquariato.it

On Sun 27, head to Piazza della Signoria and join the mini-marathon/walk to help raise funds and awareness about the battle against breast cancer. See above for details.

The Odeon Cinema Sept. schedule was not available at “press time” but films this month will start up again on Sept. 14 and should include Whatever Works by Woody Allen, The Informant with Matt Damon, My Sister’s Keeper with Cameron Diaz and Cheri by Stephen Frears. The hours and times will soon appear on the Odeon site www.cinehall.it

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.

Thursday 3
FLUTE AND PIANO DUO. Palatine Gallery, Pitti Palace. Free entry. 5:00 pm. (www.conservatorio.firenze.it)

Tuesday 8
THREE ORGANS FOR THREE ORGANISTS. Baptistery of San Giovanni. 9:15 pm.

Thursday 10
PATTI SMITH – I WAS IN FLORENCE. American rock legend Patti Smith returns to Florence exactly 30 years after her September 10th, 1979 concert, an event that stayed with her for years. "At least once a day, every day since September 10, 1979, I remember that unforgettable concert, maybe the best, and without a doubt the most powerful concert I have given in my artistic career." This amazing artist rocked the 70’s and 80’s with hits “Because the Night”, written with Bruce Springsteen, and the anthem “People Have the Power”. The 2009 event will be held in Piazza Santa Croce. Tickets: 12 euro. 9:00 pm.
SAXOPHONE AND PIANO DUO. Palatine Gallery, Pitti Palace. Free entry. 5:00 pm. (www.conservatorio.firenze.it)

Thursday 17
POOH – ANCORA UNA NOTTE INSIEME TOUR. Robby, Dodi, Stefano and Red, the Italian “Fab Four”, continue in their 38 year career run. Tickets from 30 to 50 euro. Mandela Forum. 9:00 pm
PIANO, VIOLIN AND CELLO TRIO. Palatine Gallery, Pitti Palace. Free entry. 5:00 pm. (www.conservatorio.firenze.it)

Wednesday 30
RENAISSANCE CONCERT: ITALY AND FLANDERS. Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo). 9:15 pm.
THE TALLIS SCHOLARS. Peter Phillips conducting. Ensemble of the Master Class of Renaissance Voices. Music of Palestrina, Ingegneri, Isaac, Desprès. Teatro della Pergola. 9:15 pm.

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: September: 8:15am – 6:30pm, October: 8:15am – 6:30pm, then 5:30pm (coinciding with the shift from Daylight Savings Time), November: 8:15am – 4:30pm. 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.

Until Sept. 14 the Museo della Casa Buonarroti presents a show based on studies carried out by the Département des Arts Graphiques at the Musée du Louvre on the vast graphics collection (about three thousand drawings and thirty thousand engravings) donated by Edmond de Rothschild to the Louvre in the 1930s, that has led to the identification of a remarkable number of works by Italian Renaissance masters. For many years now, Fondazione Casa Buonarroti and the Département des Arts Graphiques have had excellent scientific relations, with the result that the Museo della Casa Buonarroti is now putting on an exhibition of the highest level, with over ninety items, almost none of which have been shown previously. A particularly enchanting introduction to the exhibition is given by a group of twenty-one International Gothic drawings, visible from both sides. On the front, there are fabulous images of ancient castles, and on the back architectural and figure drawings of the finest draughtsmanship. The various subjects include an Angel Defeating Vices, a Saint George and the Dragon, a Crucifixion with God the Father and Mary Magdalene, and Architecture with Peacock and Birds in Flight. These are followed by nine niello works by famous artists; then we find the main section of the exhibition, which consists of about sixty-five sheets, with masterpieces by Pisanello, Jacopo Salimbeni, Leonardo, Raphael, Fra Bartolomeo, Benozzo Gozzoli, Maso Finiguerra, Niccolò dell'Abate, Perin del Vaga, Battista Franco, Cavalier d'Arpino, and other great names from Quattrocento and Cinquecento Italian art. Casa Buonarroti, via Ghibellina 70, tickets: € 6.50, opening hours: 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., closed Tuesdays. Tel. 055 241752. www.casabuonarroti.it.

Until Sept. 27, an exhibition dedicated to the great American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, in the twentieth anniversary of his death, illuminates the Accademia Gallery. For the first time works of this renowned artist of photography are exhibited with universal icons of art like the David, flanked by the Prisoners, and paintings by masters from the fourteenth century to the full Renaissance. From its very title, Robert Mapplethorpe, Perfection in Form, the show expresses the profound principle that associates Mapplethorpe with the great Renaissance masters and, in particular, with Michelangelo: the search for balance, the precision and clarity inherent to ‘Form’ that tends toward perfection by means of the geometric rigor of volumes defined by line and sculpted by light.
In Mapplethorpe’s own words: “I look for perfection in form … I am trying to capture what could be sculpture”. The photographer confessed his fascination for the art of Michelangelo, stating: “If I had been born one hundred or two hundred years ago, I might have been a sculptor, but photography is a very quick way to see, to make sculpture”.
The material is grouped into four sections addressing the single theme of Form; Geometry of Form, Fragment as Form, Repeating Form, and Sculptural Form. Michelangelo’s David and the four Prisoners, as terms of comparison, in addition to four drawings and a wax model also by Michelangelo, reflect off 93 works by Mapplethorpe that include human subjects as well as numerous still-lifes, where Mapplethorpe confirms his attention for the study of light and shadows on the object, giving it a clear placement in space. Accademia Gallery. Via Ricasoli 58. Open Tues-Sun 8:15 am-6:50 pm; last admission 30 min. before closing. Ticket: 10 euro. Closed Monday. Firenze Musei Tel. 055. 2654321

Until Sept. 30 the Uffizi Gallery hosts a fascinating special exhibit. With the extinction of the Medici dynasty (1743), Florence did not lose its prestige as capital of culture and the arts, thanks to the government of the Lorraines, who gave the city the international profile required by Enlightenment policies. This exhibition is the first overall panorama of the principal artistic events of the eighteenth century in Florence, with 120 paintings, sculptures, art objects and furnishings, works from the entire century, recording the changes in taste from the late Baroque period to Neoclassicism.
The show starts with commissions made by Cosimo III and the Grand Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici, that opened the city to “foreign” artists like Sebastiano Ricci and Giuseppe Maria Crespi. They favored sculpture (with personalities like Giovan Battista Foggini and Massimiliano Soldani Benzi), and developed the manufacture of tapestries and semiprecious stone work.
Following the Medicis, Peter Leopold of Lorraine brought the European version of Rococo and Neoclassicism to Tuscany, along with the reformist spirit that accompanied the theories of the Enlightenment even in the figurative arts. A new elite of patrons took shape in Florence. In this context, the families of the Florentine aristocracy held a conspicuous role: the Gerini family for the diffusion of the veduta (landscape), the Ginori family for their famed porcelains of Doccia, the Corsini family for their constant relations with pontifical Rome. In this climate of civic and cultural fervor, the Frenchmen François-Xavier Fabre, Bénigne Gagnereaux, Louis Gauffier and Jean-Baptiste Desmarais came to Florence, driven from Pontifical Rome after the murder of the diplomat Nicolas de Basseville. With them came the international version of neoclassicism, thus contributing to the “reform” of the portrait, the veduta and the historical painting, on the eve of the instatement of the Napoleonic court (1799). Uffizi Gallery. Ticket: 10 euro. Open Tuesday to Sunday 8:15 – 6:50 pm. Closed Monday. Firenze Musei Tel. 055. 2654321


GIOSTRA DEL SARACINO (Joust of the Saracen)
On Sun. 6, the Piazza Grande of Arezzo explodes with the principal event of the Arezzo summer; a knight’s tournament highlighting horsemen from each Quarter of the city, charging round a track with a lance aimed at the rotating bust of a Saracen. By striking its shield, the jousters attempt to win points for their neighborhood. Once the Saracen is hit, it twirls round, threatening the horseman with a heavy whip armed with lead and leather balls. The Quarter obtaining the highest score wins the “Golden Lance”, a prized trophy made each year by an Aretine craftsman. Prior to the joust, a colorful procession, involving more than three hundred participants, winds through the streets of the city, accompanied by musicians and Arezzo's famous "Sbandieratori" flag-bearing standard wavers, before going into Piazza Grande, where the tournament takes place. Arezzo, festivities from 8:00 am to nearly midnight. Tel. 0575 377262. www.lagiostradelsaracino.it

At 10:00 am on Sun. 6 the Sienese Synagogue will open its doors to special visits and discussions. Throughout the day until 5:30 pm, taste Jewish foods presented by the Association of Jewish women in Italy. Siena, Vicolo delle Scotte 14, Viale del Linaiolo, 17. Free entry. Donations accepted for food tastings.

MERCATINO DEL APRILANTE – “Artisan wares market”
On Sun. 6 (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 Sat. 5 and Sun. 6 the northern Tuscany town of Scarperia turns the clock back 500 years, with minstrels, archers, guards and noblemen strolling the ancient streets. Taste foods from the era, and pay for them in florins, the only currency recognized during these fun days. Saturday hours: 6:00 pm to midnight. Sunday: 11:00 am to 11:00 pm. Info 055 8490434. www.prolocoscarperia.it.

Every Sept. 8 (“di otto” or eighth day) the city of Scarperia celebrates its 1306 foundation by the Florentine Republic. In 1953, the authorities of Scarperia decided to revive the antique ritual of a political changing of the guard. The celebration recreates a historical transfer of power from Albertaccio di Andrea Corsini, the outgoing governor, to Carlo di Roberto Acciaioli, the incoming governor, which occurred in September 1545.
The modern festivities begin at the first shadows of night fall (around 9:00 pm.), when the doors of Palazzo dei Vicari are thrown open to allow the procession of the outgoing governor and his train of more than one hundred followers to exit to the sound of horns and drum rolls. They make their way among the crowds lining the streets to meet the new dignitary who will shortly take his position as governor at the Vicariate. At the Florentine Gate, the two figures meet, the procession which has come from Firenze escorting the new governor unites with the local procession and they enter the village together. Games are organized in honor of the new governor. The games include knife-throwing, barrel race, tug-of-war, brick race and climbing a slippery pole. Tuesday 8, Scarperia (Mugello), from 8:00 pm to nearly midnight. Info: 055 8468165

From Fri. 11 to Sun. 13 Greve-in-Chianti, heart of in the renowned Chianti Classico wine region, hosts a fabulous wine fair. From 5:00 pm on Friday and from 11:00 am until 8:00 pm or so, enjoy music, wine tasting and Tuscan specialties in the main square of town. Free admission.

VINO AL VINO (local producer’s wine fair)
Fri. 18 to Sun. 20 Panzano-in-Chianti holds a lovely, annual festival bringing together wines from the many, excellent Panzano area estates. There is music, a festive atmosphere and loads of wine to be sampled. Twelve euros gets you a tasting glass and tastes of wines from the estates: Carobbio, Casaloste, Castello di Rampolla, Cennatoio, Fattoria La Quercia, Fontodi, Il Vescovino, La Marcellina, La Massa, Le Bocce, Le Fonti, Panzanello, Podere Le Cinciole, Vecchie Terre di Montefili, Villa Cafaggio, Vignole and more. Starts Friday at 12:00 am, ending Sunday evening at 8:00 pm.

On the afternoon of Sun. 27, Impruneta’s four neighborhoods (rioni) compete in a pretty spectacular display of hometown pride. After more than a month of secret preparations, each neighborhood presents a float decorated with grapes and papier-mâché, accompanied by swirling, whirling choreographed crowds of participants in a heartfelt competition for first prize. The show culminates two days of wine market/food fair promoting the local Chianti from the Colli Fiorentini area of the Chianti region. For info and tickets call 055 2036408.

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

From Sun. 13 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 honour 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-coloured, 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 coloured 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