The don’t miss list May 23 to June 2,

Alexandra Korey, Devin Tooma
May 19, 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.


La Fiorita

Commemoration of Savonarola's death

May 23, piazza della Signoria and parade in historic center, 10am to noon


The annual commemoration of Fra' Girolamo Savonarola's death with La Fiorita, a floral ceremony, will begin with mass at 10am in the priori chapel of Palazzo Vecchio and continue with a traditional costume parade that will loop the historic center and return to piazza della Signoria at 11am. After a brief speech on this Florentine tradition, flowers will be left on Savonarola's tomb, and the parade will proceed to the Arno, where flowers will be symbolically thrown into the river.


Florence Gelato Festival

May 25 to 29, Florence city center


The title says it all: five days, infinite flavors, all your favorite Florentine gelaterie, as well as special guests from all over Italy, selling the frosty delight in Florence's historic center. This year, stop by the ‘Sammontana village' (perfect for families, featuring kids' workshops) in piazza della Repubblica, vote on your favorite flavor for each producer with the chance to win a special prize with your vote, taste a gelato-based drink at the cocktail bar and much more! Explore the history of gelato before you go: Emiko Davies' gives readers the real 'scoop' on page 21. For more information, see


Onore alla Fiorentina: Tribute to Florentine Steak

May 22, 12:30pm, Piazza della Repubblica


In honor of Florence's favorite secondo, the City of Florence and Florence's master butchers offer a free Bistecca alla fiorentina tasting in piazza della Repubblica-and with all the pomp and flourishes of an official holiday. After the parade, religious offering and flag-throwing in the name of beef, taste a cut offered by a master macellaio in Florence's historic center. For more information, see


Water, Stone and Fire: Bartolomeo Ammannati

Until September 18, National Museum of the Bargello


An exhibit dedicated to the sculptor behind the Neptune fountain in piazza della Signoria (see feature on page 14 for details), Bartolomeo Ammannati, marks 500 years since his birth. The Bargello is home to a vast collection of his smaller sculptural works, all of which will be on display. Ammannati is famous for having sculpted three of Florence's most famous fountains, and the exhibition title is dedicated to these: the water within them, the stone for the statues and the fire to work their bronze. One of them, which comprises six larger-than-life statues, will be reconstructed in the courtyard of the Bargello. It was intended for the Salone dei Cinquecento, once adorned the Boboli gardens, and was since dismantled, stored in the Bargello, and reassembled for this impressive exhibit. For more information, call 055/294883, or visit


Treasures of the Kremlin

May 27 to Sept 11, Museo degli Argenti, Palazzo Pitti


In honor of the Russia-Italy cultural exchange this year, some 150 artworks from the collection of the Armoury of the Kremlin, which from the twelfth to eighteenth centuries served as the Russian czars' larger-than-life treasure chest, will be showcased at Palazzo Pitti. The riches on display range from elaborate jewelry to coats of arms and ornate clothing, some dating to the fifteenth century, when artistic workshops were set up in the Kremlin, featuring the filigree at which Russian's were decidedly best. Concurrently, in Moscow, treasures of the Medici family will be on display at the Kremlin Museum. For more information, call 055/294883, or visit


Tea with the Roses

May 21 and 22, 10am to sunset, Candida Bing Garden, via Montepaldi 1, San Casciano Val di Pesa


The perfect way to celebrate the arrival of spring in the perfect location. The gardens feature 500 varieties of roses, which are shown this time each year during the peak of their blooming. Aside from being able to visit the gardens andfriendly exhibitors, you'll be able to buy furniture and other items on display at reduced prices. For more information, call 360/888253 or visit


Terra Futura

May 20 to 22, Fortezza da Basso 


A vast, exciting, international and informative expo aimed at guaranteeing the future of our planet. Lectures, interactive booths, exhibits, concerts, workshops and more, featuring the most cutting-edge in eco-sustainability in every sector: from food and organic farming to low-impact travel agencies, from architecture to fashion, and transportation to publishing. The fair also features excellent workshops for children in the Terra dei Piccoli area. For more information, see



May 27 to 29, Parco Mediceo di Pratolino, via Fiorentina 282


Leave the bustling city center to enjoy rural life in Tuscany, and while you're at it, feast on local products from the countryside near Florence: grilled meats, fresh produce and much more. Ruralia gives you the perfect opportunity to soak up the warm spring sun and taste the best in ‘0km' foods. Take time to appreciate the countryside and its agriculture, environment and even livestock. Ruralia begins at around 11am, and special events continue until sunset. For more information, see


Jane Fortune To Florence Con Amore 2nd edition

May 25 at 7pm, Ideal, via il Prato 4b


The Florentine Press presents the second edition of Jane Fortune's book To Florence con Amore. First published in 2009, Fortune, The Florentine's culture editor, suggested 77 ways to love the city. The expanded 2011 edition now includes 90 unsung treasures and fascinating art and cultural gems, as well as great food and drink to help you best explore the city. The new chapters suggest thirteen ways to spend an afternoon that you won't want to miss! Come meet the author and have an aperitivo in the beautiful historic and restored space of Ideal. For information, email or call 055/2306616.


Cantine Aperte

May 29  in Tuscany


Whether you are a wine connoisseur or novice, Cantine Aperte is the perfect chance to venture out into the countryside and visit one or a few of the 98 wineries and cellars that will open their doors to the public for tastings, cooking lessons, lectures, tours and much more. So that you can take in a view with your vino, we recommend choosing a historic winery such as Castello di Verrazzano in Greve (, Castello di Brolio in Gaiole ( or Dievole in Radda (, just to name a few. But if you can't leave town, Florence offers plenty of cellars to choose from. For a full list and information, see



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