Florence’s 2021 International Holocaust Memorial Day

Nearly 80 years ago almost 300 Italian Jews were expelled from Florence and brought to concentration camps during the Holocaust. The city annually acknowledges the event with various initiatives. Officially inaugurated in 2019, the Italian Auschwitz Memorial will welcome visitors again this January 25 to 29, as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day falls on January 27. The day of remembrance is hallmarked all over the world, reflecting on when the last survivors were [...]

The January 15 COVID-19 Decree: Florence & Tuscany Remain a ‘Yellow Zone’ for Now

Italian Prime Minister Conte’s latest decree signed on January 15 is effective immediately and lasts until March 5, 2021. Most rules remain the same. The country’s regional color system is still in place, with a recent incorporation of a slightly stricter yellow zone – zona rinforzata – and a white zone. Tuscany is classified as this reinforced yellow zone at least until January 30. A self-certification form is not necessary to move around [...]

‘We Rise by Lifting Others:’ Marinella Senatore’s Installation in the Strozzi Courtyard

The second set of COVID-19 contagion restrictions in Italy, as decreed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, has put strains on feeling close to each other, especially when citizens must follow social distancing regulations to keep each other safe.  Conversations around creating a sense of community in everyday life during a pandemic have inspired multidisciplinary artist Marinella Senatore to create a large, outdoor installation by the doors of Palazzo Strozzi.  Until February 7, 2021, [...]

A Tour of Florence’s Christmas Trees & Light Shows

Light shows are illuminating the buildings, streets & squares of Florence along with sparkling Christmas trees through the first week of January.  The Florence Light Festival (F-Light)  is using video-mapping, projections, light shows, and art installations to create these special effects for the holidays.  See a breathtaking video tour.

ORT’s 2020 Christmas Concert: An Accent on the Feminine

  The Orchestra della Toscana has been active during recent months of restrictions by doing regular concerts in streaming from their home stage at Teatro Verdi, free to their audience via the ORT’s Facebook and YouTube channels. On December 24, Christmas Eve day at 5 pm, the musicians will perform a program with an accent on the feminine. Leading the orchestra will be Beatrice Venezi, born in Lucca in 1990, and appointed as [...]

F-Light Celebrates Christmas, Honors COVID Workers, and Pays Homage to Dante

Dalla selva oscura alla luce (“From the dark forest to the light”), writes the Italian poet Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy. This famous line takes on new meaning during a year full of difficulties and is inspiration for this year’s annual Florence Light Festival (F-Light). The 2020 edition, titled “Sight, from the dark forest to the light,” pays homage to Dante, who turns 700 this year, as his words are a metaphor [...]

A Evening of Free Classical Romantic Music by Orchestra della Toscana

An international language—music—is represented by a free Orchestra della Toscana concert on December 4 at 9 pm.  The evening will be streamed lived from Florence’s Teatro Verdi with only the musicians on stage who will be playing without an audience. Valentina Peleggi will lead the orchestra and soloist Anna Tifu (violin) in a program featuring nineteenth century music.  A graduate of the Fiesole Music School, Peleggi was the first Italian woman to be [...]

The Orchestra della Toscana in a Streamed Performance of Vivaldi & Mahler

Friday, November 27:  an Orchestra della Toscana concert conducted by Fabio Luisi will be streamed from Florence’s Teatro Verdi.  9 pm.  Lasting an hour-and-a-half without intermission, the event is free and can be accessed through the Orchestra della Toscana You Tube channel and Facebook page. The program, which lasts an hour and a half without intermission, comprises Antonio Vivaldi’s Symphony in B minor “To the Holy Sepulchre” and Mahler’s  Symphony No. 4, presented in its [...]

Florence’s Cascine Park: Zoom Lecture in English

Wednesday, November 25:  Jeremy Boudreau, art history professor of the British Institute of Florence, will lead a virtual visit to Le Cascine, the park on the banks of the Arno, accompanied by an online talk.  6 pm. Starting with the development of the area for dairy farming at the time of Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici, from the 18th century onwards Le Cascine developed into Florence’s principal recreation area.  This green area is [...]

Florence’s Takeaway Thanksgiving 2020: A Guide

  Over recent years, Thanksgiving, which this year falls on November 26, has become a popular American tradition that even Italians and other foreigners like to partake in. Despite a worsening COVID situation, many around Florence have not let that stop them from getting into the holiday spirit.  Since the city and the Tuscan region have slipped into the red zone, the prospect of celebrating becomes a creative task, with safety the priority. [...]