Personalized Perfumes at San Simone

The fragrance of an essential oil is about more than just its scent.  It is chemistry, and Dr. Fernanda Russo, creator of an independent perfume line, has the nose for the business. At her renowned San Simone Pharmacy, originally opened at the beginning of the 1700s, Russo uses over 500 types of plants for herbal teas, fragrances and other preparations in her own line of all-natural products as not only medicines and health-promoting agents, but also self-enhancing fragrances. [...]

Fiesole’s ‘Festa della Music’ Music Marathon

Hundreds of young musicians from the Fiesole Music School, both young and young at heart will perform in Fiesole’s Villa la Torraccia park (via delle Fontanelle 24) for this year’s “Festa della Musica.” Throughout the festive day of June 24, ensembles and soloists, in addition to the Florence Vocal Ensemble, led by Ennio Cari and the newly-founded multi-cultural chorus, “Libere Voci dal Mondo, will flood the Villa and the San Domenico Church open spaces [...]

The San Niccolò Tower Reopens

  The San Niccolò tower, the city’s only medieval gate to retain its original height, reopened for the season on June 24.  Tours of this ancient landmark with a unique view of Florence (€4) will be offered every half hour from 5 to 8 pm in English, Italian, French and Spanish through August 31, and 4 to 7 pm between September 1 – 30. Just below Piazzale Michelangelo in the Oltrarno quarter of [...]

Florence’s June English Language Movie Program

Moviegoers can expect to be entertained with fantasy, strong female characters, action, romance and horror in Florence this month. The Odeon Theatre in Piazza Strozzi is screening the highly praised Wonder Woman, based on a comic book character, portrays the dual identities of Amazon Princess Diana and Diana Prince in two hours and twenty minutes of thrilling entertainment. Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy explores the dark side of an ancient Egyptian princess deprived of [...]

Sci-Fi, High Tech & Romantic Comedy at the Odeon

A science fiction action film, a high tech thriller and classic Woody Allen romantic comedy all come to the Odeon during the next three weeks. Beginning with Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, continuing with The Circle and the restored version of highly acclaimed 1979 film Manhattan, cinema attendees can find a wide variety of entertainment. All films in English with Italian subtitles.  Tickets are €8, those with reductions applicable €6. Tuesday, May [...]

Balabrunch: Food & Literature at the Synagogue

The Synagogue of Florence hosts a series of author talks and brunches called the Balabrunch ending in mid-June. Balabrunch is a continuation of the synagogue’s summer festival, Balagan Cafe, and strives to create an empathetic relationship with the public through the exchange of ideas. The Synagogue of Florence will host a Pulitzer Award winner Michael Chabon and his wife and novelist Ayelet Waldman on Sunday, April 9 starting at 11:15 am.  Chabon’s prize [...]

Health & Herbs, January 2017

A deep breath while on the premises of Via Ghibellina 199 invites soft fragrances of citrus and jasmine floating from the San Simone herbalist shop. Dozens of yards before reaching its storefront, one can smell its ever-present, ever-fresh potpourri. San Simone’s owner, Dr. Fernanda Russo, maintains the 300 year-old tradition of the space by selling natural oils, herbs, teas, and incenses to heal, defend, and enhance one’s health and lifestyle. Most products are [...]

Health & Herbs, September

Summer is winding down, and now it’s back to school and work. Can you maintain that gorgeous summer tan while sitting behind a desk? Local pharmacist Dr. Fernanda Russo says you can. She advocates taking a Beta-Carotene compress once a day and exfoliating several times a week to make your glow last. After months in the sun, it is sometimes hard to re-enter the world of studies and work, so tiredness and sluggishness [...]

A Summer Salad Spot in Florence

Florence, the city of art and museums, offers no shortage in the way of food for the soul. But church exploring and gallery hopping should never be tackled on an empty stomach. Yet in the land of pizza and pasta, lighter, healthier options, particularly sought-after in the hot summer months, are often hard to come by. When searching for a fresh and cheap salad in Florence, look no further than Enoteca Natalino (Borgo degli [...]

Health & Herbs, July

The river is sparkling, the air is warm, and you’d be outside…if you weren’t so exhausted from the constant sun exposure! According to Dr. Fernando Russo, asthenia (an umbrella term for laziness, dizziness, fatigue) can be treated with a simple herbal tea. Served a half hour before meals, artemisia teas will leave you feeling re-energized. Add 1 tbsp. per cup of hot water and leave five minutes to infuse. For itchy mosquito bites [...]