Rent, Sell and Manage Properties in Florence and Tuscany
|NEWSLETTER – September 2010
| September … Grapes are ripening on the vines, a hint of chill can be felt in the morning air, and we begin to look forward to the sureties of autumn; good food, good friends and good times.
September in Florence and Tuscany this year offers wine fairs, the Corri La Vita marathon/walkathon, a fragrance fest, plus new exhibitions, concerts and markets in town and out. 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, BEI, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA, KIMBERLY and MARIO send fabulous Fall greetings.
& FLACCOMIO REPORT
|“CORRI” TO SIGN UP FOR SEPTEMBER 26th’s CORRI LA VITA!
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 8th 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 (and 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 (while supplies last). Anyone who cannot make it on Sunday 26th is encouraged to support the cause with a donation which can be made through the LILT (the Italian Cancer Society) bank account: Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, Agency 25, account n. 175, IBAN: IT92M0616002825100000000175. Please specify that your donation is directed toward “Corri la Vita”.
FRIENDS OF THE UFFIZI
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.it. 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.
THE AMERICAN CEMETERY OF FLORENCE – by Ann Reavis
When a visitor tires of the gray stones of Florence amid the noisy teeming crowds, he or she should board the SITA bus or travel by car to the American Cemetery of Florence, located south on the road to Siena and Greve. In the green silence, this historic location is a place to learn about the importance of the American sacrifice in World War II and the reason Italy still holds the U.S. in esteem. Also, it is the perfect spot to meditate in the beauty of the Tuscan countryside, while thinking of the past.
Don’t stop at the base of the hillside monument in the fragrant rose gardens. Climb or drive to the very summit where the high stele (pillar) topped by a symbol of peace, a woman clutching olive branches while flying on an eagle, seems ready to fly over the grave sites. There is a multi-denominational chapel with a star-filled ceiling on one side and a map created in stone (pietra dure), showing the progress of the allied troops on the other. In between is the wall of the missing – those brave pilots and seaman whose final resting place was never found.
Following the capture of Rome on June 4, 1944, the Allies pursued the German army northward toward the Po River and the Alps. On July 23, they entered Pisa. The U.S. Fifth Army liberated Florence on August 4, 1944. But some of the worst fighting was left to come. The Gothic Line, north of Florence, was the final German defensive effort in Italy. Almost a year later, Bologna fell to the U.S. Fifth Army on 21 April 1945. With the establishment of a bridgehead across the Po River on 23 April 1945, the fleeing forces were pursued rapidly northward. On May 2, 1945, the German troops in northern Italy surrendered.
The Florence American Cemetery is one of 14 permanent American World War II military cemetery memorials erected on foreign soil by the American Battle Monuments Commission. 4,402 servicemen and women are interred in the cemetery. Most died in the fighting which occurred after the capture of Rome in June 1944. Included among them are casualties of the heavy fighting in the Apennines, shortly before the war’s end. The seven-acre site, a gift of the city of Florence, is located astride the Greve River, and is framed by wooded hills.
The Tablets of the Missing, which connect the north and south atria, inscribed with the names and particulars of 1,409 Missing in Action in the region or lost or buried at sea, are constructed of travertine stone. Running the full length of the Tablets of the Missing above the names is the following inscription: HERE ARE RECORDED THE NAMES OF AMERICANS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY AND WHO SLEEP IN UNKNOWN GRAVES.
Within the graves area, the pure white marble (quarried north of Lake Como) headstones radiate in soft arcs, curving inward slightly, following the shape of the gentle sloping hills. Two rows of tall plane trees border a walkway that divides the cemetery. The 69-foot pillar at the top of the walkway is inscribed in English and Italian: 1941-1945 - IN PROUD MEMORY OF HER SONS AND IN HUMBLE TRIBUTE TO THEIR SACRIFICES THIS MEMORIAL HAS BEEN ERECTED BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
The Florence American Cemetery is situated approximately 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) south of Florence, Italy, on the west side of the Via Cassia, the main highway between Florence and Siena. The SITA bus from Florence to San Casciano stops at Falciani, the stop for the cemetery. The cemetery is open daily to the public from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm except December 25 and January 1. A staff member is on duty in the Visitors’ Building to answer questions and escort relatives and groups to grave and memorial sites.
Ann Reavis has two abiding interests in Florence. One is to write about whatever catches her fancy as Tuscan Traveler (www.tuscantraveler.com) and the other is to introduce people to her Florence and Tuscany as Friend in Florence (www.friendinflorence.com).
FOOTBAAAALLL!! by Simon Clark and Anne Brooks
Forza Viola!.......... Welcome back to Serie A. Pre-season has been bad for the nerves. As kick-off loomed, bad news and trouble have been our only friends. With rumours swirling about how big a bag of euros we rejected for Jovetic and with Mihajlovic building a squad around the Montenegrin, the wunderkind damaged his cruciate ligament. This seems to be the contemporary footballer’s designer-injury-of-choice in recent years. It means no Jo-Jo for eight months on top of no Mutu till the autumn and Gamberini finishing off a ban. But hey, the season is underway and the theme became clear after seven minutes of football – they are out to get us!
August Result - Week 1: Fiorentina- Napoli 1-1
Pre-season. No-one else has left. Vargas, Gilardino, Jovetic, Frey and company start the new campaign in viola. With the transfer window creaking shut, it looks like we have everyone we are going to buy. Insua ain’t coming from Liverpool. Last month we suggested his move was doubtful; after delays, Corvino issued a deadline – bye-bye the Argentine. Corvino is reputed to be here, there and everywhere seeking cover for Jovetic but nothing concrete has materialised. We have added another under-21 international in midfielder Alessio Cerci (came off the bench against Napoli and looked impressive) signed from Roma – the word is he rejected a move to mogul-backed Manchester City; if you had a choice of Manchester or Firenze, where would you go? We may not have signed many new players but it looks like we have enhanced the squad with players who want to be here.
The Italian habit of playing friendlies against teams of one-legged veteran footballers and pick-up convent sides, leading to 20-0 victories is all very well but eventually something serious has to take place. To London for a real game against Tottenham Hotspur. Given the Jo-Jo problem, this was a chance to try out Plan B; it didn’t look bad at all. The English are closer to the start of their season; Spurs were ahead in terms of fitness; they had their formation sorted. Despite all that, we lead twice. Gilardino nods us ahead in 8 minutes only for sloppy defending to gift them an equaliser. We do it again with, on 35 minutes, a glimpse of what the future may hold – a Marchionni cross and Ljajic crashing the ball home. We tire during the second half, slip-ups creep in and Frey has to show North London his best. They equalise and then snatch a winner in the last minute. We look tired again in Spain, facing a Valencia side preparing for Manchester United in the group stages of the Champions League. We look out of our depth, admittedly with a patched-up squad (the key to Plan B, Adem Ljajic, now being out for a fortnight) but the Spaniards are always a metre faster and deserve their assured 2-0 victory.
Serie A. The opening home game against Napoli isn’t dull; it’s heated as we score a great goal, they are given a non-goal and two players are red-carded. This was set to be a good test as both teams have their sights on a Top Four place. Seven minutes in and Frey stares in disbelief as the “referee” awards a goal for a shot that hit the bar and bounced down onto the line – but clearly didn’t cross it. The linesman turned out to have left his spectacles at home as well. Minutes later, Marchionni was scythed down in their penalty area and the “referee” just waved play on! The writing was on the wall. We have to give the new Mr full marks for his half-time team talk – the Viola came out full of purpose and equalised within four minutes. Gila expertly laid the ball off to D’Agostino who, from 20 metres out, took aim and lashed a terrific shot into the corner of the Napoli net. It could yet be the goal of the season and the curva loved it. For the rest of the game it was a question of whether we could manufacture a winner, even after Vargas stupidly ducked his head into an opposition player after a bad tackle and the “referee” saw a great chance to do us down; not long after, he had to send off one of the Napoli team. At ten-a-side we continued to bombard their goal but it ended one apiece and that will do nicely.
Next up is a trip to Lecce, thumped 4-0 by a Milan side who will have salivated as Roma could only draw and Juventus were beaten in Bari, followed by a home game against Lazio. The biancoceleste can be troublesome but they failed to score in their opening game, yielding 2-0 to Sampdoria. We finish September with a couple of tough ties – away to Genoa and at home to Parma, both of whom started with a win. It won’t be easy but we have to be looking at ten points out of twelve for a good start to the season.
Well, it’s only one game but Fiorentina looked good. We’ll probably have to compensate for more referees with dark glasses and white sticks but we have the class to do it. Sinisa Mihajlovic will be feeling good but Gaetano D’Agostino will be the happiest man in Firenze....................Ale Viola!
THE FIORENTINA SCHEDULE:
These are the September fixtures.
Week 2: 12 Sept/away Lecce-Fiorentina
Week 3: 19 Sept/home Fiorentina-Lazio
Week 4: 22 Sept/away Genoa-Fiorentina
Week 5: 26 Sept/home Fiorentina-Parma
BUYING TICKETS - Ticket information – seating plan, prices, ticket outlets – is on the “biglietteria” section of the club’s website [www.it.violachannel.tv ]. Tickets can be purchased at official box offices and holders of TicketOne lottery franchises. Sources include:
CHIOSCO DEGLI SPORTIVI, via degli Anselmi (between P.za Repubblica/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 delle Vecchie Carceri, 1 (near S. Ambrogio), open M-F 9:30 to 7:00 pm, and Sat. 9:30 to 2:00 pm. Tel 055 264321
FELTRINELLI FIRENZE, Via de’ Cerretani 39/32R
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
PENNE SOGNO DI MEZZ’ESTATE
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 write us and share your own ideas and information, or to toot the horn of businesses, events and those Florentine situations that strike you as either wonderful or terrible. Please note: all opinions are (usually) those of our readers. Lend us your thoughts!
My name is Pamela Hanson and I met you in your office 3 summers ago. I am just writing to THANK YOU SO MUCH for your wonderful newsletter every month!!! I am continually amazed at the extent of the writing about all the events. So many things to imagine for me! Please thank everyone who contributes. I know many of the places and sometimes have fun looking at my maps to find the streets listed for the events.
And most of all, it makes me feel like I am there, which is the best feeling in the world for me! Hope to see you in the not-too-distant future!
GELATO: AN OCCASIONAL BUT ETERNAL PROMENADE by Simon Clark and Anne Brooks
Is gelato the new black? It seems to us that new “propria produzione” outlets are springing up by the day. Thank Heavens - as the Ferragosto heat begins to relent, the ambient temperature is still roasting and sending us darting from the shade to grab a cooling gelato, wherever we happen to be in town.......
IL GELATO GHIOTTONE (Via de Macci 75/R). Handy for the Sant’ambrogio market and in no way complacent about a captive market; a crisp lemon, a good coffee, a lampone to relish and a strong yoghurt. Open in winter from midday to 20.00; from May midday to “late”. They closed for the inaugural Gelato Festival weekend, decamping to Piazza S Giovanni but they’re back “at home”.
GELATERIA CILLO (via de Neri 51/R). We have puffed Gelateria Neri before but it’s not the only game on that street. Cillo has been here for 30 years and also took part in the Gelato Festival. Open 11.00 to midnight daily - www.gelateriacillo.it Or duck out back of the Uffizi and try chocolate & peperoncino, the vanilla or the dark chocolate – delectable. These guys know what they are doing!
IL GELATO DI FILO (Via S Miniato 5/R, San Niccolo). To the Oltrano, a tiny latteria at the base of the steps leading down from san Miniato and just before reaching the junction with san Niccolo. This was a delightfully decrepit latteria with magical gelato; it’s been bought and made over but still stands the competition. Sharp lampone; excellent lemon; creamy caramel; a gianduia to be devoured. Open..... www.ilgelatodifilo
CARAPINA (Piazza Oberdan 2R). Back to Pitcher-Flaccomio territory. North of Beccaria, “carapina” refers to the traditional steel lids covering the gelato. Styled in steel and modern glass design, Carapina brings tradition up to date. We know a 12-year-old who tracks an inverse relationship between the volume of gelato on display and its rewards to the taste buds; he loved Carapina! And so did we – see that chocolate & vanilla or the dark chocolate! www.gelatocarapina.it There’s a second outlet at Via Lambertseca 18/R on 055 291128. Here try the chocolate & pinoli, the dark chocolate or the crema al Artusi. All made fresh every day.
|FIERUCOLA DEL PANE
Sat. 4 and Sun. 5, 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.
EUROPEAN JEWISH HERITAGE DAY
On Sun. 5, the Synagogue and Museum of Jewish Art and History will host a series of events celebrating European Jewish Heritage Day 2010. At 10:30 the doors of the Synagogue and garden will open with Hebrew cooking demonstrations and tastings, plus music, discussions and historical visits throughout the day and events held throughout Florence at the Uffizi, Palazzo Vecchio and more. Synagogue and Museum, via Farini 4, Tel. 055 245252. For further info: email@example.com, www.firenzebraica.it
Every Sept. 7th (Tuesday) 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 glowing lanterns, lit within by a burning candle. Part of the “fun” involves an eventual and inevitable, 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! 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.
BIRTH OF THE VIRGIN MARY DUOMO CELEBRATION
Wednesday 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. 10 to Sun. 12 Florence’s hippest convention space; the Stazione Leopolda, fills with the glorious aromas of the Fragranze trade fair. This yearly 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 over 150 brands including: Dr. Bronner’s, Dr. Vranjes, Mad et Len, Technique Indiscrete, Washington Tremlett, Diptyque, Floris, Fragonard, Juliette Has A Gun, Lorenzo Villoresi, Penhaligon's, Acqua Di Stresa, and Vero Profumo.
One of the features of this edition will be the presence of Sissel Tolaas. The Norwegian scientist, artist and scent provocateur has been invited from her Berlin laboratory where, to date, she has filed away up to 6730 odors – in a kind of “olfactory diary”. With her creations and artistic performances Tolaas has launched a unique olfactory education project: training people to recognize, accept and define the odors of places, things, bodies and emotions. 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.
NEXTECH ELECTRONIC MUSIC FESTIVAL
Thurs. 16 to Sat. 18 check out the Stazione Leopolda for the 6th annual Nextech Festival, dedicated to the world of electronic music and digital arts. This year we have contributions by Alva Noto & Blixa Bargeld, Lali Puna, Flabbergast, Agorio, Guy Gerber and more. 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.
FIERUCOLINA DI SAN MICHELE
Sun. 19, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, stroll amongst the kiosks in Piazza Santo Spirito and find handmade goods, from jams, to shawls, to beads and bobbles. This is one more way that Florence celebrates its organic food producers, sustainable agriculture and artisan crafts.
FREE MUEUM ENTRY
Sab. 25 and Sun. 26 please remember to take advantage of free entry into a couple of Florence’s museums in recognition of European Culture celebrations. A special visit to the Uffizi can be booked by phoning tel. 055 284272; see Palazzo Davanzati via a free guided visit with no reservations necessary, and view the Biblioteca Nazionale as never before by booking at tel. 055 24919257.
CORRI LA VITA – A SPORTING, CULTURAL AND FUND RAISING EVENT - Piazza della Signoria, Sunday Sept. 26, starting time 9:30 am.
CORRI LA VITA is an event managed by volunteers to help the fight against breast cancer. CORRI LA VITA is not only a walk/run, but is an event for people to gather together for sport, culture and solidarity. All sorts of athletes and non-athletes participate. There are no limits in size, age or capability. Two routes have been designed that vary in length and difficulty: one is a competitive/or non-competitive race of approx. 12 km. The second is a walk of approx. 5.7 km specifically designed for families, friends and children. The walk winds through the historic center of Florence and crosses over the river to the “Oltrarno”, stopping along the way to visit gardens, churches, palaces and museums opened especially for the occasion.
This year’s itinerary has visits to the church and crypt of Santo Stefano al Ponte, the Tribune of Galileo in the Specola Museum and the Museum of Natural History. We pass through the Boboli Gardens strolling along the amphitheatre, to the steps of the Meridiana, the Botanical Gardens and more.
CORRI LA VITA expects 20,000 participants this year which represents a phenomenal increase from the first edition seven years ago. The official T-shirt will yet again be generously offered by the Florence fashion house of SALVATORE FERRAGAMO and the color this year is purple, the color of the Florentine football team. We suggest you be quick to sign up as only the first 20,000 registered participants will receive a shirt. All funds raised will be donated by CORRI LA VITA to the following projects:
The purchase of the digital mammography unit fitted with special software for digital breast tomosynthesis. This is a new method that promises brilliant clinical results, giving a very precise three-dimensional view of breast, thereby improving the speed of prognosis. We support L.I.L.T (the Italian Cancer Society) together with Ce.Ri.On. (Oncological Rehabilitation Centre) in offering psychological and physical help for women, especially breast cancer victims. VILLA DELLE ROSE is one of the most advanced oncology rehabilitation centers in Italy and CORRI LA VITA has been committed to support VILLA DELLE ROSE from its inauguration in 2005. F.I.LE Onlus (Palliative care) "Bridging" - a continuity of care between the oncology day-hospital and palliative care for the Florentine community. This ensures constant and continued assistance for patients with a bad prognosis together with their families. Plus the "The Vito Distante Project in Breast Cancer Clinical Research" dedicated to the memory of Professor Vito Distante, who believed in the importance of training and encouraging young doctors to assist and improve the care for women with breast cancer. A jury will select two young Italian doctors after presenting their curriculum and their specific publications. They will be sent abroad on a scholarship for six months to one of the world best oncology clinics for further studies. CORRI LA VITA will sponsor one doctor.
FROM SEPTEMBER 1st YOU CAN SIGN UP FOR CORRI LA VITA. The cost is €10.00 per person (children under 10 years of age free). Please note: for the competitive run a medical certificated or a membership card for agonistic sport must be shown. You may run the race without being competitive. Sign up for the competitive run and walk at the following places:
L.I.L.T. - Viale Giannotti 23 - Florence, tel. 055 576939 (new location)
Florence Marathon - Viale Fanti, 2 Florence, tel. 055 5522957
The Islet Sports Argingrosso - Street, 69 A/B Florence
Universo Sports - Piazza Duomo 6/r Florence
Sign up for the walk ONLY:
F.I.L.E. - Via San Niccolo, 1 - Florence, tel. 055 2001212
Universo Sports - corner Via Sandro Pertini, 36/and Viale Guidoni, Florence
BOX OFFICE - any one of their offices (like Via delle Vecchie Carceri, 1 ( near S. Ambrogio ), open M-F 9:30 to 7:00 pm, and Sat. 9:30 to 2:00 pm.) PLUS this year you can sign up for the walk online at the following address: www.boxol.it (this will cost an additional €1.00).
On Saturday September 25 from 10 a.m. to 1.p.m. you can register for the COMPETITIVE RUN and WALK in Piazza della Signoria. On Sunday September 26 between 8 and 9 a.m. last minute registration for the WALK ONLY can be done in Piazza della Signoria. T-shirts will be given to all registered participants while supplies last.
From Thurs. 30 to Sun. Oct. 3 Florence will be the gathering place for a myriad of wine producers and wine enthusiasts. This new event is designed for those love wine, including wine stewards, professional buyers, gourmets, connoisseurs, journalists, and world travelers looking to discover the Italian art of living. For four days, visitors can meet important wine producers and taste excellent local products at a joyful festival of art, culture and entertainment. Many events will take place in the historic city center, moving guests from one piazza to another, and avoiding the classic scheme of a “closed” event.
Thursday, September 30, will be reserved for professional encounters and conventions, while on Sunday, October 3, the celebration and awarding of the most excellent wines and of the visitors that participated in the various games organized will take place. Friday, October 1 and Saturday, October 2, will feature at least 20 events in the historic buildings, cloisters, and hidden corners of the city. Tastings will be offered by participating wine cellars by way of a pre-paid 10 euro WineCard (good for 5 tastings).
With the final schedule of events yet to be defined, here is a taste of the action: Friday Oct. 1 at 4:00 in the Salone de' Dugento at Palazzo Vecchio, a discussion of the San Giovese grape will take place between wine journalist Daniele Cernilli and seven of the greatest Italian enologists: Franco Biondi Santi, Giacomo Tachis, Marco Pallanti, Vittorio Fiore, Franco Barnabei, Alessandro Cellai and Graziana Grassini. See www.winetownfirenze.com for all the breaking news.
EASY LIVING BEACH
Through to the end of September check out the beach scene Arno-style just below Piazza Poggi. Get a snack at the bar kiosk, and wander down to catch some rays on a sandy, new beach equipped with umbrellas and showers. Entry is free. The beach is open from 9:00 am til late afternoon, and the action then continues on the Terrazza di Piazza Poggi overlooking the Arno, with sunset music events, plus contemporary dance, cinema and more. Lungarno Serrestori. Tel. 335 6630341. Check their site for activities and upcoming events. www.piazzart.com
EXHIBITS AROUND FLORENCE
THE LARGE BRONZES OF THE BAPTISTERY - LEONARDO AND RUSTICI
From Sept. 10 to January 10, 2011, the Bargello National Museum hosts the first exhibition ever dedicated to Giovanfrancesco Rustici. Born in Florence in 1475, the sculptor trained in the celebrated Garden of San Marco under the protection of Lorenzo the Magnificent, and was the heir of Andrea del Verrocchio and Benedetto da Maiano. Close to Leonardo, whose student and assistant he was, Giovanfrancesco was also friend of Andrea del Sarto, Jacopo Sansovino, Domenico Puligo and Baccio Bandinelli, and preceded Rosso Fiorentino and Benvenuto Cellini in accepting the invitation of Francis I - king of France tied to the birth of the so-called Fontainebleau School - in 1528 moving to France, where he died in 1554.
The focal point of the exhibition is Rustici's masterpiece, the Sermon of Saint John the Baptist. This group sculpture of three grandiose bronze figures, designed and executed with the participation of Leonardo da Vinci, was placed over the North Door of the Baptistery of Florence in 1511. The challenging restoration it was subjected to has restored the splendor of material and conception: an undertaking supported by the Opera del Duomo di Firenze and the generous contribution of the "Friends of Florence". The presence in the show of the monumental group sculpture constitutes an unmissable twofold opportunity: on one hand, to show Leonardo's contribution in its creation through the comparison with Leonardesque autographic works and, on the other hand, to reconstruct for the first time Rustici's artistic personality, which the latest studies have shed light on.
The show will indeed present a practically complete review of his works (glazed ware, marbles, terracottas, paintings and other bronze sculptures of middle to small dimensions) which testify to his great technical versatility and the features of his style. Alongside Rustici's works from the Bargello - such as the monumental Della Robbian Noli Me Tangere altarpiece or the Struggle of Horses and Horsemen in terracotta, inspired by Leonardo's Battle of Anghiari - the exhibition will be completed by the most significant pieces attributed to his hand, and today divided among the major museums in Europe and the United States.
Bargello National Museum. Hours: Monday to Sunday, 8:15 – 5:.00 pm. Closed 2nd, 4th Monday of each month, 1st, 3rd, 5th Sunday of each month, New Year’s Day, May 1st and Christmas Day. Ticket: euro 4.00
BRONZINO. ARTIST AND POET AT THE COURT OF THE MEDICI
From September 24 until January 23, 2011 Palazzo Strozzi presents one of the greatest painters of the sixteenth century, Agnolo di Cosimo, known as Bronzino (1503-1572). Bronzino embodied the fullness of the ‘modern manner’ in the years of the government of Cosimo I de’ Medici. Florence is clearly the preferential location for a monographic exhibition on Bronzino, since the majority of his paintings are still conserved here, above all in the Uffizi, but also in other city museums and in the churches. This exhibition, the first devoted to Agnolo’s pictorial work, will also avail of loans from the most important museums all over the world.
The exhibition will comprise a selection of works of the very highest level: autograph works by Bronzino and other artists connected with him – such as Pontormo and Alessandro Allori. The idea is, through direct comparisons made possible for the first time, to enable a broad public to admire and comprehend the unrivalled poetic heights achieved by the artist. Finally, it will be possible to study and compare several works, most of them attributed with certainty to Bronzino, displayed to the public for the first time. The exhibition will be divided into chapters devoted to crucial phases, episodes or genres in Bronzino’s work. The show will present a wide variety of Bronzino’s masterpieces, some of them displayed together for the first time, in addition to a selection of drawings originating from the greatest museums in the world. Alongside the works conserved in the Uffizi, will be Venus, Cupid and Jealousy from the Szépmuvészeti Múzeum in Budapest, the Portrait of Young Man with a Book from the Metropolitan Museum of New York and the Holy Family and Saint John, in the version of the Louvre (Paris) and of the Kunsthistorisches Museum of Vienna.
Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Strozzi. Hours: daily 9 a.m-8 p.m, Thursday 9 a.m-11 p.m. Info: 055 2645155
VINUM NOSTRUM - Art, science and myths of wine in ancient Mediterranean civilizations
Until May 14 the Museo degli Argenti hosts Vinum Nostrum. From Mesopotamia to our tables, from the rite of communion to avoidable drunkenness, from distasteful habit to the gate of spirituality, wines and vines are the protagonists of this exhibit. Original showpieces, sculptures, frescoes and mosaics, accompanied by multimedia and video installations tell the millenarian history of the grapevine and of wine, and the important influence they exerted on ancient cultures. Following a chronological development, the exhibition illustrates the origin of wine-growing in the Near East, its full affirmation along with its related symbolic, religious and cultural significance in the Hellenic world, up to the wine production and large-scale diffusion practiced by the Romans.
By virtue of the abundant archaeological remains of the Vesuvian cities, the particular case of Pompeii’s vineyards is illustrated, while the exhibition devotes another section to the contribution of the Phoenicians and the Etruscans, who played an essential role in spreading vitis vinifera throughout the Mediterranean. While inviting visitors to reflect on the evolution of cultivation techniques (reproduction and genetic improvement, plowing the land, tending the vineyard, theoretical principles and practical instructions for pruning and grafting), specially selected exhibits also illustrate the religious and cultural values of the grapevine, expressed through a series of depictions regarding the divinities, rituals and festivities of wine. Sculptures and painted vases illustrate the cult of Dionysus. Elegant table-services clarify how the consumption of wine represented one of the most important moments of conviviality among patricians. A cella vinaria where wine was stored, reconstructed based on finds uncovered at Pompeii and on the precise descriptions contained in Latin literature, enable the visitor to delve into the reality of the past, through tools for the vineyard, wine amphorae and wooden barrels, baskets for harvesting, carts and more.
The exhibition itinerary aims not only at scientifically documenting the entire cycle of wine, from harvest to consumption, but also by stimulating the visitor’s senses of taste, smell and sight. Museo degli Argenti, Palazzo Pitti. Hours: 8:15 am to 6:50 pm. Ticket: € 10.00. Closed on the 1st and the last Monday of each month. Info: Tel. 055294883
“PARIS IS WELL WORTH A MASS!” - THE MEDICI TRIBUTE TO HENRY IV, KING OF FRANCE
Until November 2, the Museum of the Medici Chapels links the Medici with Henry IV. Four hundred years after his assassination on May 14, 1610 in Paris, Florence celebrates the King of France and Navarre with a major exhibition. The fulcrum of the exhibition consists of 19 monochrome canvases that Cosimo II de' Medici commissioned to Florentine academic painters to celebrate a funeral service for Henry IV with great pomp on September 16, 1610 in the Basilica of San Lorenzo.
Having recently succeeded his father Ferdinando I to the throne, the new Grand Duke had an important funeral held in effigy for the "most Christian King". This decision was part of the consolidated practice that, as of the sixteenth century, saw the Medici family, rulers of Florence, show their political influence in Europe with dramatic productions tied to the family events of the principal dynasties: births, weddings and deaths. The paintings were arranged along the walls of the church, entirely decked in mourning, with elements evoking the King's triumphs and virtues, so as to perpetuate his glory beyond death. Executed by an until-then little-known group of painters and artists, the paintings had subjects dictated by historians and men of letters, and dealt with episodes in which the Medici had played an important role.
A part of the exhibition is dedicated to the Medici and the family politics which saw Maria, granddaughter of Ferdinando I, marry Henry IV in 1600 and, following the assassination of the King, assume the regency of France for the dauphin. With the magnificence of the funeral ceremony celebrated in Florence, the Medici court emphasized the legitimacy of that regency and of the succession to the throne of Louis XIII. In addition to the paintings, the show will also present books, engravings and drawings for the celebration, the Medici family tree, medals of the principal figures tied to the episode, wedding documents, precious portraits of the King and Queen in painting and sculpture, and a magnificent drawing by Pieter Paul Rubens with Maria de' Medici Landing at Marseilles, executed as a model for the cycle in the Luxembourg Palace, which Maria commissioned the painter between 1622 and 1624.
Medici Chapel. Piazza di Madonna degli Aldobrandini 6. Tel. 055 2388602. Hours: 8:15 am – 1:50 pm. Closed on the second and fourth Sunday of the month; the first, third and fifth Monday of every month. Ticket: € 6,00.
UNA GLORIA EUROPEA – PIETRO DA CORTONA
Until Oct. 11 the Casa Buonarroti museum hosts a show of works by Pietro da Cortona covering the decade 1637 to 1647. Pietro da Cortona was one of the foremost artists of the Baroque period in Rome but also in Florence. He worked in Florence for long periods on several occasions between 1637 and 1647, leaving his mark mainly as a fresco painter in the famous rooms of Palazzo Pitti. A key figure for Pietro da Cortona during his stays in Florence was Michelangelo the Younger, the owner of Casa Buonarroti, where the artist lived and where he left as a sign of gratitude to his generous friend and host, numerous examples of his art, the starting point for this exhibition.
The event is particularly important given its unusual, innovative layout, which helps to understand the artist’s role in Florence. The exhibition displays a selection of paintings and drawings from Italian and foreign museums, illustrating the decade in which Florence embraced the Baroque and began to follow the new directions indicated by Rome and destined to spread throughout Europe. Casa Buonarroti, via Ghibellina 70. Tickets: € 6,50. Hours: 9.30 a.m. - 4 p.m., closed on Tuesdays and on August 15th. Tel. 055 241752. www.casabuonarroti.it
THE VIRTUES OF LOVE - NUPTIAL PAINTING IN XV CENTURY FLORENCE
Until Nov. 1 the Accademia Gallery is hosting an unusual show of furnishings and paintings of subjects focusing on marriage in the 1400’s. An entire array of objects, from wooden storage chests, to wall panels to headboards were often decorated with scenes meant to give advice to newlyweds on how to adopt an exemplary form of personal conduct. These “nuptial paintings” served the fundamental function of conveying messages of warning and encouragement to a couple, helping us today to better understand a mainstay of fifteenth-century Florentine culture: the role of the family and those of the husband and wife.
Drawing on classical mythology, the Bible, historical episodes and contemporary literature, many facets of love are depicted, along with the ensuing duties: from love triumphant over adverse circumstances (The Marriage of Thetis and Peleus), to the virtues of obedience and abnegation that a woman must pursue (The Legend of Griselda from Boccaccio's Decameron), to the courage of the heroines Lucretia and Virginia, who choose death as source of redemption.
An entire section illustrates the harmful consequences of love as sexual beguilement capable of totally subduing a man's will. We must not forget however, that marriage meant first and foremost to give life to new progeny and perpetuate the family. To this end, the last section of the exhibition is dedicated to family pride in stories that recount the foundation of famous families like those of Aeneas and David or that following the texts of Petrarch, celebrate the Triumphs of Fame, Time and Eternity.
The exhibit features works by Botticelli (Story of Virginia Romana, Bergamo, Accademia Carrara), Filippino Lippi (Story of Lucretia, Florence, Galleria Palatina), and Pesellino (Stories of Susanna, Avignon, Musée du Petit Palais), opening an extraordinary view onto the Florentine workshops that made the objects, and that enjoyed their greatest fortune precisely in the fifteenth century. The exhibition has been organized in collaboration with the Museo Horne of Florence. Galleria dell’Accademia, Via Ricasoli 58. Hours: Tues. to Sun – 8:15 to 6:50 pm. Until Sept. 30, free entry on Thursday evenings from 7:00 to 10:00 pm. And up to Sept. 28 the exhibit will be open Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 pm (entry ticket required).
CARAVAGGIO AND CARAVAGGESQUES IN FLORENCE
Until October 10, three of Florence’s most important museums (the Pitti Palatine Gallery, the Uffizi and Villa Bardini) unite forces to offer a fascinating overview of the works and influence of one of Italy’s greatest masters Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.
Born in 1573 in the town of Caravaggio, this artist’s life is as turbulent as his personality. We know he had numerous run-ins with the law and was arrested on several occasions. For example, in 1606 a bet over a game of tennis led to an argument, at which point Caravaggio drew his sword and killed his opponent. We also know that Caravaggio's artistic influence was widespread: outside Italy he inspired painters as diverse as Georges de La Tour and members of the Utrecht School, e.g. Gerrit van Honthorst – artists who in turn later influenced Rembrandt. Caravaggio was particularly celebrated for his use of chiaroscuro, a technique using light and dark to achieve a 3-D effect.
While many aspects of this artist’s life remain a mystery, what we do know is that splendid paintings by Caravaggio - the Bacchus and the Medusa - reached the Uffizi towards the end of the XVI century. Others (two or three) were purchased by the Grand Dukes who proved to be early and staunch admirers - especially Cosimo II - of the controversial painter and of his followers. The presence of important artists in Florence such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Battistello Caracciolo and Theodoor Rombouts, and direct dealings with artists like Gerrit Honthorst, Bartolomeo Manfredi and Jusepe Ribera gave rise to an intense Caravaggesque "season" which left an extraordinary number of paintings in Florence itself.
Gerrit Honthorst (who painted the Adoration of the Shepherds, today in the Uffizi Gallery, though heavily damaged by the Via dei Georgofili bombing of 1993) was the protagonist of one of the most important episodes of the fortune of Caravaggesque painting outside of Rome; the unfinished decoration of the Guicciardini Chapel in the church of Santa Felicita. Honthorst was commissioned to execute the work with Cecco del Caravaggio and Spadarino. This exhibition presents a landmark virtual reconstruction of the work. In addition, on this the IV centennial of Caravaggio's death, the show will include more than one hundred paintings, both famous and less famous, in the light of research, with new attributions that have modified our view of this outstanding master. Galleria Palatina at the Pitti Palace, the Uffizi, Villa Bardini. Hours: the usual hours of each venue. Ticket: a cumulative ticket for the three venues will cost euro 25.00. For info and reservations: tel. 055 294883. www.unannoadarte.it.
ORIGINAL LANGUAGE FILMS
Odeon Theatre, Piazza Strozzi 2. Phone: 055 214 068. www.cinehall.it
Friday 10 - THE AMERICAN (with Italian subtitles) by Anton Corbijn with George Clooney, Violante Placido. 6.00- 8.20- 10.30 p.m. Saturday 11- THE AMERICAN (with Italian subtitles) by Anton Corbijn with George Clooney, Violante Placido. 4.00 - 6.00- 8.20- 10.30 p.m.
Sunday 12 - THE AMERICAN (with Italian subtitles) by Anton Corbijn with George Clooney, Violante Placido. 4.00 - 6.00- 8.20- 10.30 p.m.
Monday 13 - THE AMERICAN (with Italian subtitles) by Anton Corbijn with George Clooney, Violante Placido. 6.00- 8.20- 10.30 p.m.
Tuesday 14 - THE AMERICAN (with Italian subtitles) by Anton Corbijn with George Clooney, Violante Placido. 6.00- 8.20- 10.30 p.m.
Wednesday 15 - THE AMERICAN (with Italian subtitles) by Anton Corbijn with George Clooney, Violante Placido. 4.00 - 6.00- 8.20- 10.30 p.m.
Thursday16 - LETTERS TO JULIET by Gary Winick with Amanda Seyfried, Gael García Bernal. 4.00 - 6.00- 8.20- 10.30 p.m.
The American stars George Clooney as an assassin, Jack. After a job in Sweden ends poorly, Jack retreats to the Italian countryside. He relishes being away from death for a spell as he holes up in a small medieval town. Savoring the peaceful quietude he finds in the mountains of Abruzzo, Jack accepts the friendship of local priest and pursues a torrid liaison with Clara (Violante Placido).
In Letters to Juliet, a young American woman travels to the city of Verona, home of the star-crossed lover Juliet Capulet of Romeo and Juliet fame, where she joins a group of volunteers who respond to letters to Juliet seeking advice about love. After answering one letter dated 1951, she inspires its author to travel to Italy in search of her long-lost love and sets off a chain of events that will bring a love into both their lives.
LECTURES IN ENGLISH
The British Institute Weekly Cultural Programme. Every Wednesday (usually) at 6:00 pm, the Sala Ferragamo in the Institute’s Harold Acton Library hosts a free lecture, concert or other event, followed by an informal drinks reception. British Institute Library, Lungarno Guicciardini 9. The Sept. 2010 programme begins on Sept. 22. Please check the British Institute site for details to be announced. http://www.britishinstitute.it/en/index.asp.
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. Viper Theatre, Via Lombardia 1.055/318056, www.viperclub.eu. Auditorium FLOG, Via M. Mercati, 24/b, 055/210804, www.flog.it Sala Vanni, Piazza del Carmine 14. Teatro Everest, Via Volterrana 4/b, tel. 055. 23 21 754. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.teatroeverest.it. 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 delle Vecchie Carceri, 1 (near S. Ambrogio ), open M-F 9:30 to 7:00 pm, and Sat. 9:30 to 2:00 pm.. ARGONAUTA VIAGGI, Lungarno Torrigiani 33/B, Tel.055/2342777. Many tickets can be pre-purchased via www.ticketone.it, www.boxol.it.
STATE CONSERVATORY “LUIGI CHERUBINI”, Fabio Rosai, piano. Celebrating 200 years since the birth of Chopin. Certaldo, Palazzo Pretorio - Piazzetta del Vicariato (Certaldo Alto) 9:00 pm. Free entry.
FIESOLE SCHOOL OF MUSIC. Giovanni Nesi, piano. Celebrating 200 years since the birth of Chopin. Reggello, Pieve di Cascia. 9:00 pm. Free entry.
MONICA BACELLI (soprano) – Sacred arias of the Florentine Baroque. Baptistry of San Giovanni, Piazza Duomo. 9:15 pm. Free entry.
OTTONI ALL’OPERA – A wind ensemble playing adaptations of opera arias. Piazza del Mercato Centrale. 9:15 pm. Free entry.
FIORELLA MANNOIA – Live, for the Emergency Festival. Nelson Mandela Forum. 9:00 pm.
FIESOLE SCHOOL OF MUSIC. Enzo Oliva, piano. Celebrating 200 years since the birth of Chopin. Rufina, Villa di Poggio Reale. 9:00 pm. Free entry.
PATTI SMITH and CASA DEL VENTO – Seeds in the Wind tour. Nelson Mandela Forum. 9:00 pm.
VASCO ROSSI – The King of Stadiums. Nelson Mandela Forum. 9:00 pm.
VASCO ROSSI – The King of Stadiums. Nelson Mandela Forum. 9:00 pm.
FIESOLE SCHOOL OF MUSIC. Edoardo Turbil, piano. Celebrating 200 years since the birth of Chopin. Pelago, Chiesa di S. Clemente. 9:00 pm. Free entry.
VASCO ROSSI – The King of Stadiums. Nelson Mandela Forum. 9:00 pm.
FIESOLE SCHOOL OF MUSIC. Ivana Bordonaro, piano. Celebrating 200 years since the birth of Chopin. Godenzo, Abbazia. 4:00 pm. Free entry.
GIOVANNI SOLLIMA (cello), FLORENCE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA - conducted by Giuseppe Lanzetta. Music by Haydn, Mozart. Chiesa di Orsanmichele. 9:00 pm.
GIOVANNI SOLLIMA (cello), FLORENCE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA - conducted by Giuseppe Lanzetta. Music by Haydn, Mozart. Chiesa di Orsanmichele. 9:00 pm.
ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS MAGGIO MUSICALE FIORENTINO, WAYNE MARSHALL conductor. Teatro Comunale. 8:30 pm.
ORCHESTRA DELLA TOSCANA, Daniele Giorgi conducting. Tudor Caldare and Enzo Oliva (piano). Celebrating 200 years since the birth of Chopin . Barberino di Mugello, via della Repubblica n. 3. 9:00 pm.
GIGI D'ALESSIO - Questo sono Io World Tour 2010. Nelson Mandela Forum. 9:00 pm
GALATEA QUARTET – Music by Mozart, Haydn, Mendelssohn. Teatro della Pergola -Amici della Musica. 9:00 pm.
|120th ANNUAL GIOSTRA DEL SARACINO (Joust of the Saracen)
On Sun. 5, 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. www.lagiostradelsaracino.it
RENAISSANCE DAYS IN SCAPERIA
On Sat. 4 and Sun. 5 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.
EUROPEAN JEWISH HERITAGE DAY IN SIENA
At 10:00 am on Sun. 5 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.
MERCATINO DEL APRILANTE – “Artisan wares market”
On Sun. 5 (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.
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. Wednesday 8, Scarperia (Mugello), from 8:00 pm to nearly midnight. Info: 055 8468165
CHIANTI CLASSICO WINE FAIR
From Thurs. 9 to Sun. 12 Greve-in-Chianti, heart of in the renowned Chianti Classico wine region, hosts a fabulous wine fair. From 5:00 pm on Thursday and from 11:00 am until 9:00 pm the other days, enjoy music, wine tasting and Tuscan specialties in the main square of town. Free admission. www.comune.greve-in-chianti.fi.it
VINO AL VINO (local producer’s wine fair)
Thursday 16 to Sun. 19 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 with commentary by the wine producers themselves. Look for: 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 Thursday from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, then Friday, Saturday and Sunday from11:00 am to 8:00 pm.
GRAPE HARVEST FESTIVAL OF IMPRUNETA
On the afternoon of Sun. 26, 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 fresh grapes and papier-mâché, accompanied by swirling, whirling choreographed crowds of local participants in a heartfelt competition for first prize. The show, beginning at 3:00 pm, 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.
IL PAGLIAIO - Organic products market
Sun 26, the lovely main piazza of Greve-in-Chianti will fill with vendors of all things organic. From 10:00 am to 7:00 pm you can fill browse the booths selling vegetables, honey, bread, cheese, fabrics, wine, baskets and more. Info: 055 8545271. www.comune.greve-in-chianti.fi.it
EXHIBITS AROUND TUSCANY
SILVANO CAMPEGGI: Toward Campaldino, from Pian di Ripoli to the Battle
From Sept. 10 to Oct. 17, the Oratory of Santa Caterina in Bagno a Ripoli once again hosts Silvano “Nano” Campeggi; one of Tuscany’s best known artists, who has painted over 50 works depicting the epic battle that took place at Campaldino on June 11, 1289. On that day twenty-three thousand soldiers took to the field, and soon 2000 lay dead, the price of victory for the Florentine Guelphs against the Aretine Ghibelines. Campeggi, long-time resident of Bagno a Ripoli, took inspiration from the hills surrounding his home base.
Bagno a Ripoli/Ponte a Ema, Oratorio di Santa Caterina, Via del Carota. Hours: Fri. and Sat from 3:30 to 6:30, Sunday from 10 to 12:30 and 3:30 to 6:30 pm. www.oratoriodisantacaterina.it.
SLOW: LIFE IN A TUSCAN TOWN
From 11 to 30 Sept., the new exposition space on Piazza Mino, directly underneath Fiesole’s city hall, hosts a magical and utterly unique portrayal of rural Italian life. This photo exhibit by American artist Douglas Gayeton is a tribute to the region's kaleidoscope of charming local characters whose livelihoods and culture center around the everyday pleasures of growing, preparing, and eating food. The imaginative and interactive portraits are layered with Gayeton's handwritten notes, anecdotes, recipes, quotes, and historical facts that cleverly bring context and color to the subject of each sepia-toned image, and draw us deeper into this romantic, rewarding, and progressively rare way of life.
You will fall in love with the intimate images of an entire Tuscan zone, where lives are bound to the rhythms of nature and exemplify the principles dedicated to preserving local food traditions and honoring local farmers and producers. Sala Costantini, Via Portigiani 9, Fiesole. Hours: from 10:00 pm to 7:00 pm daily. Tel. 055 5961293
GALILEO CHINI AND TUSCANY
Until December 5 Viareggio is hosting a show celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Liberty (Art Nouveau) movement in Italy. One of the main figures of the period was Galileo Chini (born Florence 1873 – 1956). Painter, ceramicist and graphic designer, he combined art and artisanship, renewing a Tuscan tradition of the artisan workshop for the 20th century. Paintings, ceramics, drawings and furnishings all have a place in the show. His luminescent Tuscan landscapes, that reflect serene moments spent in Versilia, reflect against the darker works done during WW2. Chini is equally well known for his ceramic production and the exhibit is rich with vases, plates, tiles and more. He worked principally out of two spaces; L’Arte della Ceramica, founded in Florence in 1896 and the Fornaci San Lorenzo, founded in 1906 in Borgo San Lorenzo, where he created the incredible decorative tiles that we see throughout Tuscany today on a fantastic, few, Liberty-style homes and buildings.
Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Lorenzo Viani, Palazzo delle Muse, Piazza Mazzini 22, Viareggio. Hours: July and August – Tues. to Sun. from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Tel. 0584966343. email@example.com. www.gamc.it
GENIUS & PASSION, THE RESTORATION OF LIPPI'S FRESCOES IN PRATO.
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. The restoration began in the upper reaches of the chapel ceiling. Four monumental images of the evangelists are incised within the arches of the groin vault. Below them flow the scenes from the lives of two saints: Stephen, Prato’s patron saint on the left, and John the Baptist, protector of nearby Florence on the right. From his birth in the top register to his death on the lower register, each saints’ life is a theatrical spectacle played out with vivid imagery.
Fra Filippo Lippi was quite an intriguing character; his behavior wasn’t exactly exemplary of the Carmelite order, (Fra indicates his religious title). The Carmelites ordained him and trained him as an artist, and by the time he reached Prato in 1452 he was among the most highly regarded and frequently commissioned painters of the early Renaissance. His trysts with various women had already gained him a somewhat sensational reputation, but it is the long-running romance with nun Lucrezia Buti, 25 years his junior, that has been most noted by history. Lucrezia modeled for many of the Lippi’s Madonnas, and is said to have been the inspiration for the enchanting Salomë, who dances through the final scene of John the Baptist’s fresco cycle, The Feast of Herod. The three-part banquet scene contains larger-than-life figures that feast and make merry around the dancing girl, whom many compare to the female figures in the later works of Lippi’s young apprentice Botticelli.
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
|All the best,|
Pitcher and Flaccomio