2019 Valentine Day Festivities in Florence
Climb the tower of Palazzo Vecchio to enjoy an elegant toast and the incredible nighttime panorama of Florence with your special someone this Valentine’s Day.
Another way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is to visit “Firenze e Cioccolato” in piazza Santa Croce (through February 17; hours 10 am – 8 pm; free admission), where skilled chocolatiers from all over Italy come together for this indulgent experience.
CHOCOLATE FAIR PASSION
Here, one will find chocolate as a warm delicacy in a cup, swirled into a mouthwatering gelato or, of course, in its traditional solid form. For the adventurous, chocolatiers including Don Puglisi will offer this tasty treat featuring a selection over 16 complementary flavors like red pepper, bergamot and beer. After exploring the other booths, one cannot miss the chocolate fountain displayed by Fiorerosso.
Don’t be discouraged if chocolate doesn’t entice you. Guests are welcome to check out the numerous pastries, candied fruits and macarons to be found throughout the stands that are made with other sweet ingredients. Feel free to stop by for a breakfast of waffles, crepes or pancakes throughout the 10 days. Lastly, don’t forget to take home a jar or two of Stringhetto’s delicious spreads. Whether it be chocolate and pear or apple and cinnamon, it is sure to be a tasty treat for days to come.
The chocolate is clearly diverse, but the artisans even more so. Casa Don Puglisi represents a sweet laboratory of Modica chocolate, a term referring to the unique grinding of fair trade bitter cocoa paste and cane sugar which creates this trademark product which bears the Sicilian town of the same name.
Another ingenious contributor, DonaMalina, is based in Florence itself. The name of the shop reflects the chocolatiers’ inspiration, a woman who introduced Hernan Cortez, the conqueror, to cocoa and thus prompted it to spread throughout Europe. This shop offers the highest quality chocolate garnished with dried fruit and nuts, decorated for Easter or perfected as a detailed praline. DonaMalina’s gelato and creative ice-chocolate are two additions which makes their offerings one of a kind.
A VALENTINE KISS
Sergio Risalti will give a talk on the portrayal of kisses and hugs in famous artwork and popular culture down the ages–from Bronzino, Canova and Rodin to Gone with the Wind and Titanic with accompanying visuals at the Novecento Museum of 20th Century Art at 5 pm.
VALENTINE CLASSICAL CONCERT
Classical music will set the romantic mood this Valentine’s Day in Florence courtesy of the Orchestra della Toscana (ORT). Advertised as “two young talents, Strasser and Lisiecki who share the stage with the musicians of ORT for the first time,” the orchestra will present an all-Beethoven production for a special date night this year.
ORT will play a total of three pieces by Beethoven in their home theatre, Teatro Verdi. Coriolan Overture, op.62 starts off the night as a symphonic summary of the tragedy Coriolanus by Shakespeare. While a sad start to the program, the mood of the pieces grows happier and more festive throughout the evening. The second piece, Piano Concerto no.3 in C Minor. op.37, serves as an intermediary between the Overture and Symphony, a joint piano and orchestral work with a tempo that, movement by movement, enlivens the music. The last and final piece Symphony n.7, op.92 ends the night on a lively and rhythmic note.
The ensemble will give a repeat performance on February 15 at Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Empoli, finishing at Pistoia at the Teatro Manzoni on February 16.
Eduardo Strausser of Brazil was the principal conductor of Theatro Municipal de São Paolo from 2014 to 2016. Since then, he has directed orchestras at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice, Padua’s Teatro Verdi, and Rovigo’s Teatro Sociale and collaborated with such artists as Isabelle Faust, Richard Galliano, Barnabas Kelemen, Sergei Krylov, and many others.
Jan Lisiecki is a 23-year-old Canadian regarded as one of the best pianists of our time. Having finished his undergraduate studies at Glenn Gould School of Music in Toronto, Lisiecki made his debut in 2016 under illustrious conductors such as Sir Antonio Pappano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Daniel Harding, and Claudio Abbado. He was the youngest winner of the Gramophone Young Artist Award in 2013 and also won the Leonard Bernstein Award from Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival the same year.
This latest ORT production debuts in Florence on Thursday, February 14 at 9 pm in Teatro Verdi. Tickets cost €16 for seats in Sector 1 and €13 in Sector 2 at the Teatro Verdi Ticket Office. (katy sparks)
A VALENTINE’S TOAST IN A MEDIEVAL TOWER
Organized by the Florence’s city museum system and MUS.E Association, with the help of Bistrot 74, it will surely be a night to remember.
An ascent up a spiral staircase offers a bird-eye view from a vantage point that has been watching over the city for centuries. The interior of the ‘’Old Palace’’ is decorated with frescoes and gold leaf, and radiates the enduring influence of the Medici family, while the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio, part of the original building constructed in the 13th and 14th centuries, conserves evidence of Florence’s defensive past.
Rising 95 meters high, the former military tower provided an incredible vantage point above potential enemies. Today, there are even sections of plexiglas floor juxtaposed with the original pavement, but the 223 stone steps to the top remain. After the climb, enjoy a toast to your other half or friend with a view of the illuminated cityscape from this ancient lookout.
The tower will be accessible from 6:30 – 8:30 pm on February 14. An aperitivo will be provided, and in case of rain, the buffet of appetizers and beverages will be served under the covered walkway. Admission is €17.50.
To reserve your spot or for more information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 055-2768224, 055-2768558. (anna rosin)