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 [...]

King’s Singers & Lorenza Borrani Christmas Concerts

Christmas concerts featuring the popular King’s Singers and Lorenza Borrani and her string quartet will headline at Teatro della Pergola during the weekend of December 14-15. Ushering in the holiday season in Florence is the highly anticipated performance by the King’s Singers on Saturday, December 14 at 4 pm. As an a cappella group that has earned international acclaim, the King’s Singers are back in Florence for an afternoon of guaranteed amusement.  In [...]

Pergola Concerts: Giovanni Sollima, Beatrice Rana & Co.

The Amici della Musica will host three great performers: the Beatrice Rana, the Takács Quartet, Giovanni Sollima and Avi Avital from Saturday, Nov. 9 in a series of concerts from Saturday, Nov. 9 until Monday, Nov. 11 at the Teatro della Pergola. The weekend full of classical music will start on Saturday at 4 pm with the performance by the well-known musician Beatrice Rana. She is considered among the best pianists under 30 [...]

Friends of Florence Finance Horne Restoration

Bartolomeo della Gatta’s painting, San Rocco, 1485, recently received a makeover, and it’s been long overdue. The board the work is painted on is long and narrow, and pointed at the top, reminiscent of High Gothic artworks. It portrays Saint Roch, the patron saint of pilgrims, gazing skyward with an absent expression. In accordance with Renaissance style, his realistic depiction fills the frame as the predominant figure. A miniature angel flits overhead in [...]

Restoration of Botticelli Painting Reveals Secrets

Famous Florentine painters from the Renaissance era — they’re just like us! Even Sandro Botticelli, one of the most highly respected and admired painters of the Italian Renaissance, and mastermind behind the iconic Nascita di Venere (Birth of Venus), suffered from an affliction well known to many of us non-artistic, non-genius, regular people: second thoughts. Madonna con Bambino e Santi (1470) is a depiction of the Madonna, seated in the center of the [...]