The don’t miss list June 1 to 21,

Alexandra Korey, Devin Tooma
June 1, 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.


The Florentine Events/Culture Clash

June 9, Le Murate, 7 to 9pm


Join The Florentine for a lively discussion about the topics that unite and divide the Anglo and Italian residents of this city. Are Florentines as ‘closed' as they are reputed to be? Does this affect expat life as well as attitudes towards immigration? Why are Japanese restaurants trendy, but new kebab stands banned in Lucca? How do our diverging attitudes towards work, family and government affect the way we experience life in Italy? What solutions can we offer to find a common ground in order to learn from each other and better the city? TF managing editor Brenda Dionisi moderates a discussion between Edoardo Lusena, journalist at the Corriere Fiorentino, and Deirdre Pirro, international lawyer and columnist at The Florentine. Free aperitivo to follow. Location: Room with columns on first floor of the SUC at Le Murate. The courtyard is off via delle Vecchie Carceri. For more information, write to [email protected] or call 055/2306616.


Art/Notte del contemporaneo

June 11, Palazzo Vecchio and other locations


From 2pm to 2am, Palazzo Vecchio opens its doors to contemporary art.  This is the last day to see Damian Hirst's controversial piece, For the Love of God, which is on display (free admission). From 5pm onwards, the Salone dei Cinquecento will host talks by artists, gallery owners and others from the world of culture. The evening's Lectio Magistralis will be at 7pm by critic Francesco Bonami. Beyond the walls of Palazzo Vecchio are special evening openings at contemporary museums and galleries, including EX3 and Strozzina. For further information, see


Future/Frontiers of Interaction

June 20 and 21, Otel, viale Generale Dalla Chiesa 9


Italy's best ‘geek' event has chosen Florence for this year's edition: two full days of cutting-edge technology and how it applies to real, modern life. Have you ever found yourself pondering such questions as what is the potential of humanoid robots, why Mac computers are so appealing, or what one might do with all that free data from Flickr? If so, this conference is for you. On the first day, hands-on workshops allow you to work side by side with industry leaders to develop your skills in social media, advertising, e-health and more. The second day offers a truly exciting line-up of international speakers chosen for their innovative projects and excellent communication skills. Music, food and networking complete the circle. For more information and the complete program, see, and see our feature in TF 143 for an interview with the event's founders. The Florentine, as media partner, offers readers a 15 percent discount; email [email protected] for your discount code.


Music and Art/Live! Art meets rock

Until August 7, Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art, Prato


The ultra-cool Luici Pecci Center for Contemporary Art paired up with none other than Fender and MTV to create this exciting exhibition, which tells the story of how contemporary art and rock music worked together to shape the cultural universe in the past 40 years. Paintings, sculptures, installations, video clips, LPs (and their covers), photos and films will demonstrate that these two modern art forms have been inseparable since their birth. The list of featured artists is mind-blowing: From David Bowie to Bob Marley, the Sex Pistols to Pink Floyd, David La Chapelle to Jean-Michel Basquieat, Robert Mapplethorpe and so many more. For more information, see


You can also take the kids! Pecci Play Art & Drink will allow parents to sip a cocktail at an open bar while their kids ages 6 to 12 play in a space reserved entirely for them; there, the kids can, among other activities, learn to use their voices, colors and movement to describe the works in sections of the exhibition. Children's events are free (every Monday from 5:30 to 7pm, from June 13 to July 25), and registration is recommended, either by phone at 0574/531820 or by writing [email protected] 


Photography/Harri Peccinotti

June 14 to July 4, Tethys Gallery, via Maggio 58r


Since the 1960s, Harri Peccinotti, an eclectic artist with erotic tendencies who set trends, is best known for his shots of the female figure. One of the first Italian photographers to use black female models, in 1968, his notoriety soared when he published a photograph of a woman's nipple, a famed calendar shot on the island of Djerba. Today, he's better known for his brightly colored photos of female oral fixations. For more information, see


Sculpture/Lorenzo Bartolini, Scultore del Bello Naturale

Until November 6, Galleria dell'Accademia


The first exhibition dedicated entirely to the work of Lorenzo Bartolini, one of the most influential figures in nineteenth-century sculpture in Italy, Europe and the United States. Many of his most important commissions will be on display, such as his busts of the Demidoff princes, Liszt, and Byron. The 70-plus works showcased demonstrate what Bartolini was best known for: capturing the natural grace and beauty. For more information, see


Out of town/Luminara and Palio di San Ranieri

June 16 at twilight, Pisa


At twilight on every June 16, the citizens of Pisa light nearly 70,000 candles in honor of San Ranieri, Pisa's patron saint, transforming the city into a sea of twinkling lights for a tradition now called the Luminara di San Ranieri. Homes, palaces, churches and towers on the banks of the Arno and its bridges are outlined with candles that reflect on the surface of the water below. Candles are also floated down the river, and the iconic Leaning Tower is lit with pans of flaming oil. At 11pm, fireworks illuminate the sky, topping off celebrations on the eve of San Ranieri. A wonderful way to spend a hot evening! For more information, see (search ‘Luminara 2011') and TF124.  


If you can stay another day, don't miss the Palio di San Ranieri on June 17, between 6 and 8pm, in which four teams representing Pisa's historic neighborhoods duke it out in a boat race on the Arno. That evening is also the start of extended summer hours for the Leaning Tower and the Monumental Cemetery in piazza dei Miracoli: from June 17 to September 4, 8pm to 11pm (last tour departs at 10:30pm; guided tours are offered on Saturday evenings; free entry to the cemetery with Tower entry ticket purchase.) 



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