The don’t miss list June 21 to 30,

Alexandra Korey, Devin Tooma
June 16, 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.


TF Events/KnitLounge2

June 23, 7 to 10pm, Le Murate SUC, 1st floor


The Florentine and BettaKnit present a reprise of the highly successful event last April, when more than 30 people showed up to knit in good company in the former prison of Le Murate. If you missed the last one, sign up to reserve the easy-to-make Lulu necklace from BettaKnit (the kit costs 10 euros) or book a space to bring your own project. Space is limited; RSVP required at or 055/2306616.


mixer/ToscanaIN & SUF Aperitivo

June 29, 7pm, Le Murate restaurant, piazza Madonna della Neve


This event invites study-abroad students and young Italians to meet (you must be under 30 to participate). ToscanaIN business networking association and Syracuse University Florence sponsor this causal aperitivo where the conversation will be about food, fashion and social habits. Italians are asked to wear something green, Americans or others something red, in order to play a fun mixing game! 5 euro gets you food and drink; RSVP required at


folklore/San Giovanni Battista+Calcio Storico

June 24, Florence


Every June 24, Florence celebrates its patron saint with fochi (fireworks) launched from piazzale Michelangelo. The fireworks start once it's dark enough to enjoy them, but make sure to claim your spot along the Arno early! With markets, concerts and cultural parades throughout the day in the historic centre, you can make a day out of it. See for more info. One way to celebrate the holiday is by attending Calcio Storico, the historic Florentine sport for the strong-stomached: it's a bloody battle between neighbourhoods that's a combo of rugby, wrestling and soccer. Worth seeing at least once, especially since it was cancelled in past years. This year, matches are scheduled on June 18 (Bianchi vs Rossi), 19 (Azzurri vs Verdi) and 24 (finals) For tickets and information, see


open house/NYU ‘The Season'

June 16 to 28, New York University's Villa la Pietra and other locations


NYU annually organizes a series of talks, concerts and events around Florence and in the celebrated gardens of its breathtaking campus. Now in its seventh year, ‘The Season' brings together distinguished actors, musicians, writers, and artists to present professional performances ranging from classical concerts to readings of new works. It kicks off with a writer's talk by Zadie Smith on June 16 at Le Murate, while the highlight of the programme is Shakespeare's As You Like It in the gardens on June 19. See the full schedule online at Reservations are required via email to


white night/Nottarno

June 25, Florence Oltrarno


One of our favorites: in the Oltrarno, shops, restaurants and bars will be open and celebrating well past midnight. Every piazza in the district will hold concerts and live performances, so take your pick from the San Frediano, Santo Spirito, San Niccolò and piazza Pitti areas for what's sure to be a spectacle. There is far too much to list here, from street art demos to late night dinners, jazz quintets and Latino music to rock concerts and DJ sets. The website (, click on the Nottarno banner on the lower left) will soon update its awesome, page-flipping interactive catalogue with an hour-by-hour, piazza-by-piazza and street-by-street schedule, so stay tuned. See you there!



Vasari, the Uffizi & the Duke

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


Some say that when Cosimo I de' Medici met Vasari, Florence was truly born: Vasari managed to meld this city's art with its patrons, its power with its people and urban fabric, through meticulous architectural design. The exhibit traces what Florence looked like before the Uffizi was built, the precedents from which it drew, how power was spread about the city before its conception and the various stages of design and construction of what today is perhaps the best-known masterpiece of sixteenth-century architecture. For more information, visit or call 055/23885.


contemporary art/EX3

Until September 11, Ex3 Center of Contemporary Art


A dual exhibition starring Marzia Migliora and Salla Tykka. Migliora's exhibition, RADA, was inspired by the maritime flag that means ‘stop carrying out your intentions and watch for my signals.' Her mixed-media installation of light, images and objects uses this naval concept as an invitation to the public to do the same. Tykka's exhibition, White Depths, blends film and photography to reflect upon beauty, and how the West, in its dominance of culture and nature, has determined how we define it. For more information, visit


wine+music/Festival Melodia del Vino

From June 28 to July 8, Florence and Tuscany


The Florentine is a media partner for this event of sextets: six days, six classical music concerts at six historic villas, featuring wine tastings. The event opens in Florence on June 28 at Teatro Verdi with a concert by Premio Chopin 2010 winner, concert pianist Yulianna Adeeva. The other settings include stunning estates in the countrysides of Grosseto, Val di Pesa, Lucca and Siena. For tickets and information, see


sports/Men's Water Polo World League: Final 8

June 21 to 26, Paolo Costoli Pool, Florence


Watch world-class men wrestle in the pool for an Olympics berth. The eight international countries participating, including Italy, are competing in two groups: Serbia (the defending champions), the United States, Italy and China; Canada, Australia, Croatia and Montenegro. The tournament winner will qualify for the 2012 summer Olympics in London. For more information (in Italian), see; for tickets (in Italian), see (look for the Men's Water Polo banner on the homepage). Each ticket is valid for an entire day of competition, which includes four games: at 4pm, 5:30pm, 7pm and 8:30pm.


exhibit/Amarti Ora e Sempre: Eleonora Duse

Until June 28, SACI Gallery, Palazzo Jules Maidoff, via Sant'Egidio 14


In honour of Italy's big 150th anniversary, the exhibition examines the life of Eleonora Duse, the early twentieth-century actress of the Belle Epoque, known as Italy's unofficial ambassador for her beauty, talent and success in revealing the country's culture and the language of Dante to the world (see Italian Sketch in TF 139). Photos, drawings, letters and videos recount her life, her long and turbulent love affair with politician and poet Gabriele D'Annunzio and her tour of the United States. For more information, see



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