Movies in English, A Crafts Market & A Free Classical Concerts to Enjoy January 2 – 6

The refectory of Santa Croce is hosting two free chamber concerts

The first week of the new year brings two free concerts in the refectory of Santa Croce, an outdoors handicraft fair as well as top hit movies from the U.S. currently screening in downtown Florence.

Piazza Santa Maria Novella is hosting the arts and crafts market (“ChrismARS”) daily January 4 – 6 from 10 am to 8 pm.  Perfect to browse in view of the “Befana” gift giving day on January 6, aka Epiphany.

CLASSICAL MUSIC

After concluding 2021 with an extensive holiday performance, the Orchestra della Toscana (ORT) will offer chamber music in their “Contatti” program throughout Florence to kick the year off all the way to February. This is part of an effort to bring the ORT events to smaller venues and to bring more attention to the ensembles formed by musicians from within the orchestra across the whole city.

The first two concerts will take place in the Sala del Cenacolo (former monastic dining room) in the basilica of Santa Croce on January 2 and 6 in collaboration with the Opera di Santa Croce.  A string quartet on January 2 will play the music of Italian, Spanish and Latin American composers such as Boccherini, Turina, Gardel and Piazzolla. A string trio on the 6th will interpret compositions by Giuseppe Cambini and Ludwig van Beethoven. Each concert will start at 5 pm.  Admission is free and a seat must be reserved by visiting www.eventbrite.it.

MOVIES IN ENGLISH

The Odeon Cinema offers two high action, science fiction films for the first half of January.  Spider-Man:  No Way Home, an American super-hero film from Marvel Comics, includes a super cast in an engaging story.  The fourth in the series, Matrix Resurrections, stars Keanu Reeves as he faces a decision and a challenge.  Both films will be screened in English with Italian subtitles.  The Spazio Alfieri Cinema (via dell’Ulivo 8) will be screening the new version of West Side Story.

January 2 (3 & 9:15 pm), January 4 (5:30 pm), January 5 and 7, (9 pm), January 6, (6 pm), January 8 and 9 (3 & 6 pm at the Odeon, piazza Strozzi:

SPIDER-MAN:  NO WAY HOME 

In the ninth Spiderman movie, Tom Holland plays 17-year-old Peter Parker.  After his identity as Spiderman in the previous Spiderman film Far From Home, he beseeches Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to make it a secret again by casting a spell.  Action packed and filled with humor, emotion and some surprises, Spiderman fans from previous movies won’t be disappointed as the film revisits the characters and tales of 20 years of earlier films.  The cast includes Zendaya playing Peter’s girlfriend JM, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Foxx, Jon Favreau as well as Willem Dafoe reprising his scary monster role and Alfred Molina as the villain Doc Ock.  Spider-Man: No Way Home grossed over $1.1 billion (€970 million), surpassing the previous highest grossing film of 2021. 

January 4, 8 and 9, (9 pm), January 5 and 7, (5:30 pm) and January 6 (3 and 9 pm) at the Odeon:

MATRIX RESURRECTIONS

This psycho fantasy thriller, a much-awaited sequel after the Matrix Revolutions of 2003, features Keanu Reeves in the former role of Neo, now known as Thomas Anderson, a video game developer who has amnesia.  The complicated plot continues the saga of Neo, Trinity (Carrie Anne Moss) and other characters from the three previous Matrix movies.  His therapist (Neil Patrick Harris) offers him a choice of a red pill or a blue pill which will determine his future.  Fans of the obvious chemistry between Neo and Trinity will be pleased to see the love story continue.  The film was directed by Lana Wachovski and the cast also includes Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Morpheous Agent Smith and Jessica Henwick as Bugs.  (rita kungel)

January 4 (9:30 pm) at the Spazio Alfieri, via dell’Ulivo 8:

WEST SIDE STORY

The new adaptation of a musical classic, West Side Story by Steven Spielberg, is premiering in English with Italian subtitles. The story is based on William Shakespeare’s classic story of Romeo and Juliet, which is reimagined as the tale of Maria, a Puerto Rican girl who falls in love with an American named Tony in the Upper West Side District of New York. A rivalry between two rival gangs, known as the Sharks and the Jets, threatens to tear the love of the two main characters apart through violence and discrimination.

The film stars Ansel Elgort, from The Fault in Our Stars fame, and Rachel Zegler in her big screen debut. Accompanying them in support roles is Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, along with Rita Moreno, who is notable for winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the first feature-length adaptation of West Side Story in 1961.