Our events listing keeps you up-to-date on the latest and greatest in culture, music and other English-friendly entertainment; this is a selection of the best of them.
Tuscany is alive with the sound of music this summer. With an overwhelming choice of festivals and concerts, there is something to suit everyone's taste, from pop and rock to jazz, classical and opera. Don't miss these festivals in July: Pistoia Blues (http://pistoiablues.com) and the Arezzo Wave Love Festival, which has newly returned to Tuscany (www.italiawave.com). For details, see Summer music festivals in Florence 2012 in TF 164.
PRINTS/ Australian indigenous
Until July 27, SACI Gallery, via Sant'Antonino 1, Florence
Rainforest meets coral sea is the refreshing theme of the new exhibit at the SACI Gallery, showcasing a selection of fine original art prints by Queensland Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. The artists express their diverse range of cultural influences through the common medium of printmaking. Details are available at www.saci-florence.org
WINE/ Goblets under the stars
August 10, various locations across Italy
What could be more romantic than watching shooting stars with a glass of Chianti in hand? Every year in August, San Lorenzo's tears (Perseids meteor shower) light up the sky. The annual Calici Sotto Le Stelle celebrates this event with wine tastings, music and other entertainment in piazzas and wineries across Italy. The programme for Tuscany will be available soon at www.movimentoturismovino.it
SUMMER/ Estate Fiorentina
Until September 20, various locations around Florence
It's fun and festivities all summer long with Florence's Estate Fiorentina. Young, old, residents, tourists, and families alike will find events to delight. The schedule offers something every night: concerts, dance and theatre shows, open-air film screenings, art exhibitions and much more, many of which are free or low-cost. Events are held in four locations around town: the Limonaia at Villa Strozzi, Las Palmas in piazza Ghiberti, Off Bar at the Lago dei Cigni park and Il Giardino del Buon Vino at San Niccolo. Be sure to catch contemporary dance by The Genesis Tribute at Villa Strozzi; the Festival au Desert at the Amphitheatre of the Cascine, featuring dance, music and food from Africa; the performance by Damian Rice at the New Opera House; and a sand-castle building competition at Florence's ‘beach' for kids on ferragosto. See the full programme at www.firenzestate.it
SPORTS/ Fiesole Bike
Until September 29, various routes in Fiesole
Grab your bike and see Fiesole from a different point of view. From children to hardy bikers seeking a challenge, Fiesole is a miniature paradise when explored on two wheels, and the free tours with Fiesole Bike go through villa gardens, olive groves and green landscapes. Bikes can be rented on request, and reservation is required. See www.fiesoleforyou.it for days, times and meeting points.
Until September 4, Lu.C.C.A. Centre of Contemporary Art, via della Fratta 36, Lucca
Legendary American photographer David LaChapelle is known for combining hyper-realistic aesthetic with social messages. His striking images have been on the cover of Vogue, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone, and he has photographed celebrities from Madonna and Eminem to David Beckham and Muhammad Ali. Over 50 memorable shots will be on display. See www.luccamuseum.com for more information.
SEASIDE/ Botero on show
Until September 2, around the historical center of Pietrasanta
To celebrate his eightieth birthday, the Colombian sculptor Fernando Botero has decided to enliven the seaside town of Pietrasanta with a major exhibition of his art. Over 100 works will be displayed throughout the historic centre, making it a free and playful addition to a summer trip to the beach. Read an interview with Botero in TF 62. Source: www.turismo.intoscana.it
Until July 15, Certaldo Alto (historical center)
Experience the exciting and strange, colourful and loud, frivolous and mysterious at the 25th edition of this international street theatre festival. This year Mercantia celebrates not only four, but five elements of the earth: air, earth, water, fire and the collective game! For details, see www.mercantiacertaldo.it
A summer in Tuscany would not be complete without a visit to at least one of these numerous gastronomic events. The seasonal local food celebrated at these sagre may not always be to everyone's liking, but with so many to choose from there is something even for those with more timid taste buds.
Here are some of the best:
Sagra della Trippa (tripe): July 12, 13, 14 and 15, Buti (PI), tel. 347/8242670
Sagra del Pesce (fish) and Sagra del Papero (duck):
July 13, 14 and 15 in Cerreto Guidi (FI),
Sagra della Zuppa (soup): July 12, 13, 14 and 15 in
Sagra del Tortello alla Pelaghese (pasta from the area): July 16 and 17, Pelago, www.comune.pelago.fi.it
Sagra del Contadino (traditional peasant food): July 23
Empoli (FI), www.comune.empoli.fi.it
Sagra del Fungo Porcino (porcini mushrooms):July 23-24 and
29-31, Scarperia (FI),
Sagra della Bistecca (steak): August 14 and 15, Cortona
Sagra della Lepre (hare): August 25 and 26, Vicopisano (PI), circolo Arci L'Ortaccio, Tel. 050/799165