The 2021 Rebirth of the ‘Estate Fiorentina’

After a pause in 2020 due to the pandemic, the 2021 Estate Fiorentina Florence Summer festival is back from June to September in a concentrated shorter version.  This year’s edition promises to be exciting, comprising 15 festivals plus individual events, for a total of 146 happenings in all five neighborhoods (quartieri) of the city. With sponsorship from Gucci and Toscana Energia making up half the budget, Estate Fiorentina will be a mega platform [...]

Florence’s 2021 Von Rezzori ‘Festival of Writers’

This year, the Festival of Writers, which features the 15th annual Von Rezzori prize for the best work of foreign fiction translated into Italian, will be held in Florence both in presence and online from June 3 – 5, 2021.   Three of the five finalists shortlisted for the Von Rezzori award are native English-speaking authors:  Robert Macfarlane (U.K.) with Underland; Colum McCann (U.S., of Irish origin), with Apeirogon and Maggie O’Farrell (northern Ireland) [...]

‘American Art 1961-2001’ at Palazzo Strozzi

May 28 – August 29:  AMERICAN ART 1961 – 2001.  Palazzo Strozzi, piazza Strozzi.  Open Monday to Friday 2 – 9 pm, Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10 am – 9 pm.   Admission: €15. Over the course of 2021, Palazzo Strozzi will host two shows, both encompassing modern and contemporary U.S. artists.  The first, “American Art from 1961-2001,” surveys the evolution of art in the United States in relation to the political and societal [...]

Two Dante Shows in Florence: Duomo & Bargello

  The celebration of Italian poet Dante Alighieri’s 700th anniversary of his death continues with an installation of painter Domenico di Michelino’s 1465 canvas showing Dante and his famous work The Divine Comedy. The exhibition, “Dante e la luce della Commedia in Santa Maria del Fiore,” is curated by Antonio Natali, former director of the Uffizi Gallery, and will be on display from May 14 until December 31, 2021.  Natali is part of [...]

Visiting Florence’s Iris Garden During Covid-19

Until Thursday, May 20:  OPENING OF THE IRIS GARDEN. Piazzale Michelangelo.  10 am – 6 pm.  Free admission.  Guided visits at 11 am and 4 pm (max. 20 people) with a €5 donation Perched on the hillside right next to Piazza di Michelangelo there is a hidden gem open to the public only a few weeks out of the year during its prime time: the Iris Garden. From the piazzale, head west to [...]

Italy’s ‘Yellow’ Zone Timetable of Reopenings

Before the pandemic, there were small moments in daily routines, from ordering a caffè macchiato at your favorite bar to lifting weights at the gym, which many long for after months of isolation. With COVID-19 cases dropping and the beginning phases of vaccinations picking up, Italy has issued a new decree which will take effect on April 26 and will be valid until July 31. Its aim is to re-introduce intrinsic elements of [...]

‘Wander & Pick’ Free Public Tulip Gardens

  The town of Scandicci, adjacent to Florence, inaugurated a tulip garden dubbed “Wander and Pick” in 2018 in the city park, Parco degli Acciaioli, for its residents and visitors to enjoy as they admire the 50+ variants of the plant scattered across a large open field. Due to red zone status, the town had to close all the municipality’s parks and gardens until it was deemed safe enough for opening again. The [...]

COVID: Florence Remains ‘Red,’ Tuscany ‘Orange’

While Tuscany has been designated a “orange” zone starting on Monday, April 12, with consequent more lenient anti-Covid regulations, both the province of Prato and the Florence metropolitan area with its 995,000 residents, will remain in the “red” zone until April 17 at 2 pm.  The two areas have a contagion rate that exceeds 250 people per 100,000 inhabitants. While the number of new cases are beginning to drop, the situation is close [...]

The Vasari Corridor’s Restoration & Reopening

Although not as well known as its more famous neighbors the Uffizi Galleries and the Pitti Palace, the Vasari Corridor over Ponte Vecchio is home to one of the world’s most celebrated collections.  After five years of being closed to the public, work on the corridor will begin after Easter, in view of a planned reopening date of  May 27, 2022. The project will involve restoration as well as the inclusion of safety [...]

2021 Easter Festivities in Florence During Covid

  Unlike 2020, when all events were canceled, Florence’s Easter traditions–with a creative twist–will take place in 2021 despite the pandemic and the restrictions imposed by the “red zone,” with limitations designed to lower the number of contagions.  The “Scoppio del Carro,” (the Explosion of the Cart), returning to Piazza Duomo on Easter morning in front of the Cathedral, can be watched only starting at 9 am via streaming or TV broadcast beginning [...]