A Digital Display of Dante Drawings at the Uffizi

2021 marks the 700th anniversary of the death of Florentine poet, Dante Aligheri. While the first celebratory event took place in October with Massimo Sestini’s photo exhibition, the Uffizi is leading Florence into a year of over 50 scheduled events with a virtual show of drawings of Dante’s Divine Comedy by Italian Mannerist artist, Federico Zuccari. “A riveder le stelle” (To See the Stars Again) will be the first time all 88 Zuccari’s [...]

Home for the Holidays with ‘Jazz4Christmas’

Tuscans, again in lockdown, think longingly of holiday traditions with streets filled with shoppers, meeting friends for an aperitivo in the evening or finding that perfect gift along with gluhwein and a bratwurst at the Heidelburger Christmas market in Piazza Santa Croce.  New Year’s Eve normally brings gala dinners and live music in the piazzas until dawn.  With the online Jazz4Christmas series, what could be cozier than to settle into your favorite chair [...]

Christmas Desserts for the Holidays in Florence

Even better than the gifts we receive ourselves are the treats we can share with others. From Christmas cookie exchanges, to yule logs, gingerbread houses, and the traditional Italian panettone and pandoro, the winter holiday season brings an abundance of sugary delights to make everyone happy. JACKIE POLLIS Known for her DIY cookie kits in fun themed shapes, Florence resident Jackie Pollis is offering Christmas and Hanukkah-themed sugar cookie decorating kits complete with [...]

Wild Buns Pop-Up Bakery Pauses

Florence’s wildly popular Wild Buns Pop-Up Bakery is taking a winter break, from November 19, 2020 to early February 2021.  The Estonian-born owner Robert Marrandi is going home for the holidays and will be back next year.  After the mandatory two weeks of self-quarantine, Robert (or Roberto as he is known in Italy) will be back preparing and baking every single one of his Scandinavian buns, served straight out of the oven at [...]

Michelangelo Pietà Restoration Now Open to the Public

Work has resumed on the restoration of a piece of art, an immense sculpture by Michelangelo in Florence’s Opera del Duomo Cathedral Museum, which began in November 2020 and was interrupted by the COVID-19 lockdown and health emergency.  The project is being financed by Friends of Florence. Work is being conducted behind glass panels so that visitors to the museum will be able to see all the stages of the restoration as they [...]

Florence Street Artists Cast Journalist as Superwoman

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan, China, journalists have been dutifully reporting on the emergency from all locations. Rai foreign correspondent Giovanna Botteri has been reporting from Beijing, giving live TV updates on the evolution of the virus. Viewers, however, have become more focused on her plain black v-neck and lack of statement make up than on her journalism. After Botteri was critiqued for always wearing the same shirt and [...]

Friends of Florence Videos & New Restorations

As Italy emerges from the nationwide lockdown ordered by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte just over three months ago on March 9 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the quarantine measures are being slowly lifted as the nation attempts to ease aspects of normality back into daily life. One such example is the gradual reopening of cultural institutions, such as museums and libraries; in Florence, state-run institutions are already open – such as [...]

Streaming of Past Maggio Musicale Performances, Part 1

Although live professional concerts have stopped, the music will go on.  Florence’s Teatro del Maggio, not wanting to deprive listeners of entertainment, offers classical music thanks to past Maggio Musicale performances to all from their archives via Facebook (@maggiomusicale). March 24 (8 pm):  The series opens with a performance of The Coronation of Poppea, an opera by Claudio Monteverdi, first performed on November 27, 1966 when the Teatro Comunale re-opened after the November [...]

Balestra Fashion Exhibition at the Zeffirelli Foundation

  The Zeffirelli Foundation (piazza San Firenze 5) is currently hosting an exciting exhibition by famed Italian fashion designer Renato Balestra as a tribute to the fact that he debuted his first collection in the Sala Bianca of the Pitti Palace. The Balestra show, called “Celebluation” in tribute to the stylist’s immediately recognizable use of signature blue in women’s evening wear, displays 300 sketches and garments through February 2 (open Tuesday to Sunday, [...]

The ORT Christmas Eve Concert’s Romantic Flair

The traditional Christmas concert of the Orchestra della Toscana (ORT) will be conducted by Paolo Bortolanameolli on December 24 at Teatro Verdi (5 pm).  The program features Romantic works by Tchaikovsky and  Dvořák.  The Chilean-Italian musician has recently been nominated Associate Conductor to Gustavo Dudarmel at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, after studies at Yale and Peabody.  He was also the Guest Conductor in Residence at the Orchestra of the Americas, an academy for [...]