May’s Finale at the Maggio Musicale Festival

The second lyric offering at this year’s Maggio Musicale Festival, a rarely performed opera by Giuseppe Verdi, La Battaglia di Legnano (The Battle of Legnano), was composed in 1848 when Verdi was living in Paris. The opera, a fictional tale of love, jealousy, heroism and patriotism, is set in 1176, during the actual battle of Legnano, when the rival cities of Milan and Como banded together as the Lombard League to defeat German [...]

San Miniato & More at the Salone del Restauro

May 16 – 18.  SALONE DELL’ARTE E DEL RESTAURO.  Villa Vittoria, Palazzo dei Congressi, Piazza Adua, 1.  Hours: 9:30 am to 6 pm.  Admission: €10. The sixth annual International Fair of Art and Restoration in Florence brings together art conservation professionals, representatives from companies, museums and training institutions all dedicated to protecting and raising awareness of art treasures.  During the course of the three-day event, people in the restoration field can meet, network and [...]

Fabbrica Europa’s 2018 Multicultural Arts Festival

Friday, May 4 through Thurs. 31:  FABBRICA EUROPA PERFORMING ARTS FESTIVAL 2018. Stazione Leopolda, viale Fratelli Rosselini 5, with other varied locations in Florence. Times vary. To attend events of the festival, a Fabbri-card, valid for 5 or 10 events of your choosing, can be purchased for €35 or €50 respectively, while tickets are sold for individual events and can range from €5 – €25. To see the full schedule and purchase tickets, visit  For a video [...]

Hands-On at Florence’s International Crafts Fair

Through May 1: INTERNATIONAL ARTISAN TRADE FAIR. Fortezza da Basso. Open daily from 10 am to 10:30 pm (last day closes 8 pm) Admission: weekends €7, weekdays €4, weekday special 2 persons for €7. Free entry after 7 pm. Children under 12 free. Adjacent parking. It’s springtime in Florence and the International Artisan Fair inaugurates its 82nd edition featuring 800 exhibitors from more than 50 countries. The entrance into a 16th century citadel [...]

The Gelato Festival’s Creamy Goodness

Differing from ice cream, gelato was invented in 1559 by the architect and artist Bernardo Buontalenti, and the first taste of gelato made from milk, honey, and egg yolk was served in the Medici court here in Florence. Characteristics of gelato that set it apart from everyday American ice cream, is its incredible freshness, silkiness, density, and warmer serving temperature.  Enjoy all-inclusive event access and voting privileges from Friday to Sunday, April 20 [...]

Films, Food & Exhibitions at ‘Middle East Now’

The moving image continues to captivate and influence international audiences to this day; as a showcase for a powerful medium, there is an important event in Florence every April: The Middle East Now Festival. Cinema La Compagnia (via Cavour 50/r) hosts the screenings, with subtitles in English and Italian, from April 10 – 15. Admission is €5 for afternoon shows and €6 for evening shows, with reduced price of €4 and €5 for [...]

The New Casamonti Museum: a Mini MOMA

A new modern art museum has just been unveiled in downtown Florence. THE ROBERTO CASAMONTI COLLECTION Internationally renowned art dealer Roberto Casamonti had a number of pieces that  he never placed on the market, now on view at this new museum. While Piazza Signoria is filled with tourists and travelers, just a few blocks away, the second floor of Palazzo Bartolini Salimbeni in the quieter, riverside Piazza Santa Trinita has become the place [...]

Celebrating Easter Week in Florence

Be part of the crowd that participates in the many Easter events in the city of the Renaissance; the following is a guide. Many — from museum openings and concerts to the week’s signature special events — have the added bonus of being free of charge. MUSIC ORCHESTRA DELLA TOSCANA (Wednesday, March 28) conducted by Ryan McAdams. Music of Bach, Piazzolla, Ginastera and Stravinsky. Teatro Verdi, via Ghibellina, 99. 9 pm. The Easter week [...]

Private Landmarks Open during FAI Spring Days

At a time when days are getting longer and people are looking to go outside, the 26th annual FAI Spring Days (Giornate FAI di Primavera) allows visitors to experience historical places in Italy like never before in a single weekend (March 24 – 25). All venues are private properties and welcome guests only once a year with guided tours. FAI SPRING OPEN DAYS This year, 1,000 landmarks will be accessible on March 24-25 [...]

New Exhibitions Coming to Florence

The spring and summer hold the promise of a full spectrum of upcoming art shows, with an emphasis on contemporary and modern. The scene will change in the fall with the arrival of exhibitions and events marking the celebrations in honor of the quintessential Renaissance genius, Leonardo da Vinci. The following is a preview. PALAZZO STROZZI March 16 – July 22 Birth of a Nation World War II left Italy in poverty; the [...]