2019: A Year for Catherine & Cosimo de’Medici

Almost as an unintended spin-off of the TV drama series “Medici”—or perhaps a continuation of the saga—this year Florence commemorate two remarkable Florentines on the 500th anniversary of their births.  During the celebrations, 22 institutions in more than 50 events will tell the stories of the two personages who both attained royal status.  Born only a few weeks apart in 1519, Cosimo I de’ Medici and Catherine (Caterina) de’ Medici influenced the Renaissance [...]

Celebrating Easter in Florence 2019

Easter Sunday, April 21:  SCOPPIO DEL CARRO, THE EXPLOSION OF THE CART. Porta a Prato and Piazza del Duomo. 8:15 – 11:30 am.  Free admission. Be sure to arrive early to find a place (standing room only) in piazza del Duomo to witness Florence’s time-honored Easter tradition, Lo Scoppio del Carro. As a participant of an 11th century Crusade, Florentine Pazzino di Pazzi was the first soldier to scale the walls of Jerusalem and was [...]

Florence’s 2019 Easter Week Events for All Ages

VILLA LA PIETRA An Easter Egg Hunt entitled “Friends of Florence” will be taking place on the breathtaking grounds of Villa La Pietra on the NYU campus. Feel free to arrive at 4 pm on April 16 to take part in the simple Easter tradition. Don’t be late for the egg hunt will start at exactly 4:30 pm.  One is asked to bring a bag or a basket for collecting eggs.  While older [...]

B.I.’s Shakespeare Week & New Director

April 9 – 12:  SHAKESPEARE WEEK.  British Institute Library, Lungarno Guicciardini 9.  A daily library membership is necessary to participate (€6) for all events except the public reading of Julius Caesar and the IASEMS Graduate Conference at the British Institute of Florence. “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears,” is a line written by William Shakespeare which doubles as a perfect invitation to the week celebrating the Bard himself. This year’s festivities will [...]

The Fresh Perspectives of ‘Middle East Now’

April 2 – 7, 2019: MIDDLE EAST NOW FESTIVAL. Cinema La Compagnia, Stensen Cinema, Teatro Cantiere Florida, Studio Marangoni Foundation and other public spaces. A vibrant collection of art, cinema, music, food, theatre and talks merge together in the festival’s representation of Middle Eastern culture, one designed to stride beyond stereotypes and prejudices. The theme of the 10th annual festival is “Middle East Now: REMIX,” which centers on presenting a new, real viewpoint [...]

Florence Free Museums: The Final 2019 Schedule

Of interest to visitors and residents alike, Florence’s Bargello museum complex has just announced its free openings in 2019, two and a half months into the year and the last of the local state-run museums to do so.  The group consists of the Bargello, the Medici Chapels, the Orsanmichele, the Palazzo Davanzati Renaissance Home Museum, and the Martelli Historical House.  The Bargello is also currently hosting part of the Strozzi Foundation’s “Verrocchio, Master [...]

Discovering 2019 FAI Days

This week’s theme in Florence is discovery. The annual FAI Spring Days (Giornate FAI di Primavera) allows visitors to experience hidden landmarks in Italy like never before in a single weekend, March 23 – 24. Nearly all are private properties and offer entrance to the public only once a year. FAI’s Spring Days (Giornate di Primavera) are blooming in time for the spring equinox on Saturday, March 23 and Sunday 24. For this [...]

‘Drawing and Memory’ Art Show at NIKI

Until April 19: LIVING FORMS: DRAWING AND MEMORY. Dutch University Institute for Art History (NIKI), viale Torricelli 5, Florence. Open Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5:30 pm.  Buses 11, 12 or 13.  Free admission.  Effervescence, movement, and evolution are some of the words which come to mind when viewing Living Forms, a collection currently showing at the NIKI. Created by Signe Kongsgaard Mogensen, the exhibition silently reveals truths about time, language, and memory. [...]

The Mystery of Free 2019 Florence Museum Openings

Free Museum Sunday is coming to an end in Florence; it is being replaced with what may be the most convoluted visiting schedule in recent history instead. Due to several new decrees by the Ministry of Arts and Culture, the tradition of free first Sundays at museums (Domenica al Museo, Sunday at the Museum), established by the Renzi government in 2014, will be replaced with admission-free dates chosen jointly by museums and the [...]

Leonardo da Vinci Anniversary Events in Florence

Although 500 years ago Leonardo da Vinci died in Chateau Clos Luce in Amboise, France where King Francis I offered him a country manor and the title of “Painter, Architect and Engineer to the King,” 2019 celebrates the Tuscan roots of Renaissance genius with a multitude of events.   Thanks to his unsurpassed use of chiaroscuro (light and shadow) and his uncanny ability to portray the soul of his sitter on canvas, Da Vinci (1452 – [...]