Best events in Florence, October 27–November 2

Our top picks for the week

Mary Gray
October 27, 2016 - 13:47

LITERARY/TheFLR launch party
October 28, 7pm
La Cité, borgo San Frediano 20r, Florence

An illustration by Viola Bartali from issue 1 An illustration by Viola Bartali from issue 1

It’s here at last! The Florentine is proud to present its hot-off-the-press publishing project, TheFLR. Italy’s only bilingual literary review featuring six original short stories penned by contemporary Italian authors, lovingly translated into English and illustrated by emerging artist Viola Bartoli. TheFLR editor Alessandro Raveggi will talk us through how his brainchild came into the world. Join us for this celebration of today’s Italian literature and purchase your copy! With a 10 euro purchase of the beautiful debut issue, you'll get a complimentary glass of wine or beer, plus snacks. For full information, see the Facebook page TheFLR.


CINEMA/France Odeon
October 28–November 1
La Compagnia cinema, via Cavour 50r, Florence

Still from the film Médecin De Campagne Still from the film Médecin de Campagne

50 Giorni di Cinema, Florence's annual series of international film festivals, has a new home this year: the reopened La Compagnia cinema. As per tradition, French films kick off the cinematic marathon with France Odeon, showcasing top-performing and critically acclaimed movies recently released in France or Francophone countries. (All are shown with subtitles in English and Italian). New this year is a short film competition showcasing a group of young talents (all happen to be women at this edition, and the winning short, selected by a jury made up of actress Margherita Buy, producer Angelo Curti and critic Fabio Ferzetti, will be recognized at a ceremony on November 1 at 7.30pm). An audience favorite at the festival is sure to be Thomas Lilti's Médecin De Campagne, the story of a beloved and seemingly irreplaceable small-town doctor who suddenly falls ill (showing October 29 at 7pm). For the full program, see the website.

CINEMA/I, Daniel Blake
October 27–31
Odeon Cinehall, piazza Strozzi, Florence

I, Daniel Blake I, Daniel Blake

Continuing the films-with-France-connections trend is the Halloween headliner at the Odeon: Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake, winner of the Palme d'Or, the highest award given at the Cannes Film Festival.  The movie explores themes of bureaucratic cruelty and the plight of everyday working people through the story of Daniel Blake, a 60something Newcastle carpenter struggling to keep his welfare benefits. The critical darling will be screened nightly from October 27–31, but the final night offers a special twist: Italian philosopher Diego Fusaro will introduce the film to the audience via Skype (9pm). For all of the showtimes, see the Odeon website.


CRAFT/Florence Creativity
October 27–30
Fortezza da Basso, viale Filippo Strozzi, Florence


DIY if you dare! Just in time for pre-Halloween crafting, Florence Creativity decks the halls at the Fortezza da Basso, with stands selling supplies for both dabblers and professionals. Dozens of exhibitors from around Italy will bring new goods for your craft room, from sewing threads and textiles to scrapbooking and decoupage kits. After browsing the booths, watch an artist demonstration, take part in a wide variety of workshops or learn how to build bijoux with the best of ‘em. For the full program, see the website

FRIGHT/Halloween Festivities
October 31 
Various venues in Florence


Break out your broomsticks. Halloween is just around the corner! This year's family-friendly October 31 lineup includes a spooky costume party and parade, capped off with a happy hour for parents (4–6.30pm, Fosso Bandito) and a celebration in via Romana offering a group trick-or-treat through participating shops (5–7.30pm; see the Facebook event for details). Grown-up ghouls and goblins can take part in the Halloween in Florence fest, featuring top DJs at the Obihall (from 9.30pm); a chic cocktail party and 15 euro buffet at Palazzo Strozzi's courtyard cafe (from 8pm; call 055.288236 to book) or a fright night-themed Lattex+ party at Scandicci's Palazzetto dello Sport (from 10pm).

STAGE/Cirque du Soleil
Until October 30
Nelson Mandela Forum, piazza Enrico Berlinguer, Florence


Global phenomenon Cirque du Soleil, the world’s largest theatrical production company, lands in Florence for five nights of Varekai, a show now on its first Italian tour. The team includes an international cast of 50 performers and musicians hailing from 19 different countries. Set on a volcano peak in a hidden, magical forest “where all things are possible,” Varekai tells the tale of one man encountering mystical creatures and exploring beyond the confines of reality. Known for its elaborate, finely costumed, character-driven productions, Cirque du Soleil is sure to be a sellout. Watch the Varekai trailer and book your tickets on the Mandela Forum website.



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