Graduating into the Coronavirus Pandemic, Rewarded with a Laurel Crown

During the Coronavirus outbreak, there is no in person exchange of flowers, or the uncorking of a bottle of wine with relatives in celebration of college graduation. The tradition of wearing a laurel wreath worn by a student after presenting their thesis in Italy, however, remains strong. After collecting leaves from their communal garden, neighbors Alessandra and Marco created a laurel wreath and delivered the gift into a recent graduate’s window using a [...]

Florence Life Under Lockdown: Online Activities

It’s only been five weeks that one began to hear the word “Coronavirus” in Italy.  More precisely, February 21 was the date that 11 cases of COVID-19 were reported in Lodi, in the region of Lombardy.  It was the start of when life was to change drastically in the nation, and slowly, slowly, throughout the world.   It’s time to take stock and see what the future holds. The decrees mandating closures so that [...]

At-Home Activities during the Coronavirus Crisis

Nearly everyone is home to combat the spread of Coronavirus also thanks to the latest decree shutting many factories.  There are, however, plenty of cultural initiatives and activities for kids to spend the time safely at home.  The following is a guide. MOVIES A showcase for international feature length documentaries as well as short films that cover a variety of subjects (with Italian and English subtitles when needed), Florence’s annual Festival dei Popoli is [...]

Coronavirus: Music, Art & Books at Home, Part 1

Right now, Florence and Tuscany are “spellbound,” with streets and squares in a state of suspended animation; nearly everyone is home following the government decree of March 11, in which further restrictions were implemented to combat the spread of Coronavirus. The region’s cultural institutions have organized in the meantime to continue activities for the public in a safe manner, with singing from the balconies, virtual visits of the Uffizi and Pitti’s vast art [...]

Coronavirus: Florence Lockdown Details

  Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti announced further restrictions on retail establishments and public places amending his March 8 government decree which is valid through April 3; the new constraints will remain in force until March 25.  These precautionary measures are being taken to prevent the spread of Coronavirus as much as possible. There are currently 364 Coronavirus patients in Tuscany. The March 11 ordinance has shut down cafés, bars, pubs and restaurants except [...]

‘Fiori a Fiorenza’ Photo Competition

A positive initiative that is going ahead during the Coronavirus emergency in Florence is “Fiori a Fiorenza,” (Flowers in Florence), a competition that will award prizes to the best photos of potted plants and flowers blooming on city terraces. Under the auspices of Florence city parks councilperson Cecilia Del Re, photos can be sent in March and April to Società Toscana di Orticultura garden club, which, by chairing a jury of specialists and [...]

Coronavirus & Daily Life in Florence Post-Decree

A new chapter has opened regarding the Coronavirus emergency in Florence and Tuscany.  Thanks to a government decree issued on March 8, as a precautionary measure all cultural events have been postponed, museums and churches inaccessible through April 3. Concurrently, American study-abroad campuses have closed to students as have Italian institutes of learning—ranging from elementary, middle and high schools to universities in Florence, Pisa and Siena until April 3—to prevent the spread of [...]

Florence’s Festa della Donna & the Return of Stolen Red Bench

Sunday, March 8: FESTA DELLA DONNA (Women’s Day). Today, it is common for women in Italy to observe the holiday by passing time together or by sharing meals with one another.   At the Abetone ski resort, for couples who buy a ski pass on March 8, the woman will be granted free admission. However one chooses to observe La Festa della Donna, it remains undisputedly, a day of recognition for the political, economic, and social achievements [...]

Coronavirus & Culture: Florence’s New Scenario

  The curtain has risen on Act 2 of the Coronavirus emergency in Florence and Tuscany.  In regards to American study-abroad campuses, nearly all of them have closed as have Italian institutes of learning—only through March 15—ranging from primary schools to universities in Florence, Pisa and Siena, to prevent the spread of infection. Many, but not all, cultural events have been postponed. In Tuscany, the number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases has tripled in the [...]

Florence Civic Museums Free from March 6 – 8

Regarding Coronavirus, Florence mayor Dario Nardella wrote to the community (in English): “national and local governments have taken measures to prevent spread of the infection…and there are no risks to live and stay [sic] in Italy, and particularly in Florence and Tuscany.” In light of the Coronavirus situation, the city’s civic museums will grant free admission to everyone from March 6 – 8 as part of the municipality’s campaign dubbed cultura contra paura. [...]