The don’t miss list – Mar 24 to Apr 7,

Alexandra Korey, Devin Tooma
March 24, 2011

We'll keep you up-to-date on the latest and greatest in culture, music and more English-friendly entertainment here in our Top Picks!  Enjoy Florence.




Special Events/ Korea Film Fest

March 25 to April 2, Cinema Odeon


The Korea Film Fest is back in piazza Strozzi for the ninth year, featuring a range of documentaries, fictional features and shorts. Meet the directors and through these films get a peek into modern Korean culture, from North to South, as seen by the long list of acclaimed filmmakers in attendance. For more information, see



Concerts/Local Heroes: Florentine Hip-Hop

Every Thursday, Casa della Creatività


Experience local hip-hop talent in the historic center. Organized by Gold, Florence's original streetwear provider, this is a youth-centered series at Florence's newest hot spot. For more information, see



Concerts/We Will Rock You: The Musical by Queen 

March 24 to 26, Nelson Mandela Forum


It may not be Freddy Mercury, but it's about as close as you can get these days. All your favorite songs performed live by a rocking cast and band that will, yes, rock you. For more information, see or



Concerts/Jamiroquai Rock Dust Light Star

April 3, Nelson Mandela Forum


Don't miss this jazz funk genius on his Rock Dust Light Star tour, named after his most recent album, his seventh. For more information, call 055/678841 or visit



Concerts/America: 40th Anniversary 

April 7, Teatro Verdi


The famed West Coast band celebrates its 40-year career. Get a taste of the sunnier side of the States as America plays all its best-loved hits. For more information, call 055/212320 or visit



Shows/I Shall Paint a Piece: The Florentine Poetry of the Brownings

April 10, 5pm, Palazzo Davanzati


This program of dramatic readings drawn from the Florentine poetry of Florence's perhaps best-known expat Brits, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, is organized by New York University in Florence. The venue is the Palazzo Davanzati, this time the great hall on the piano nobile. The performance will feature excerpts from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poem of the Risorgimento-inspired ‘Casa Guidi Windows' and Robert Browning's dramatic monologues ‘Fra Lippo Lippi' and ‘Andrea del Sarto.'



Shows/Cercando Picasso

March 29 to April 3, Teatro della Pergola


The world renowned Martha Graham Dance Company arrives just in time to complement the exhibit at Palazzo Strozzi with an exploration of Picasso, his times and his work. There is limited dialogue in Italian, but the organizers assured us that a cursory knowledge of the language will suffice, as the real spectacle is in the innovative, experimental style of the dancers. For more information, search ‘Martha Graham' at For ticket info, see or call 055/2264347.



Festivals/Giornata FAI Primavera: 660 cultural heritage sites open

March 26 and 27, around Florence and Italy


The Italian Environment Fund (FAI) celebrates Italian unity in the 19th annual Giornata FAI Primavera event. For the occasion, many national treasures, even some that are usually closed to the public, will be open to visitors throughout Italy. ‘Never-before-seen' venues this year include Villa Rosebery, the nineteenth-century presidential residence in Naples, Palazzo Pisani in Venice, the breathtaking gardens of Villa Valguarnara in Bagheria (Palermo) and many more. More national treasures around Florence will be open to the public. For region-to-region information, see



Sport/Vivicittà: Annual Half Marathon

April 3, starting point piazza Santa Croce


A run for Italy and for the world, in the name of unity and solidarity: this special edition of the annual half marathon will occur simultaneously in 43 Italian cities, 18 others around the world, 12 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and 17 prisons and juvenile detention facilities (see sports news item in TF 138). Aside from being one of the only entirely eco-sustainable sporting events in the world (recycled paper for flyers and compostable cups, organic cotton event tees, and so forth), proceeds will go towards building a sports facility at a school in Senegal. For more information or to sign up, see



Exhibitions/Uffizi: Figures, Memory, Space: Drawings from Fra Angelico to Leonardo

This 50/50 loan exhibition presents fifteenth-century drawings from the Uffizi and the British Museum. Held in the Reali Poste of the Uffizi, it's free, which means you can stop in a few times and study this amazing direct evidence of the creativity of Renaissance artists. Drawing is the first step in the generation of all the arts, and during the Renaissance it was highly valued. Being able to see these rarely displayed works here, in the city in which they were created, is a very special treat. For more information, see



Exhibitions/Balloon Arts Convention Italy: International Sculpture Contest

March 24 to 29, Fortezza da Basso


The Balloon Arts Convention Italy (BACI), Europe's leading balloon convention, returns for the annual balloon sculpture contest. An international roster of competitors from the United States, Great Britain, Russia, Ireland, Japan (which recently confirmed its presence) and defending champion Italy will craft entire castles, dragons, castles, cartoons and more out of balloons. For more information, see


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