The United Nations declared November 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. To mark the occasion, from November 25–27, Palazzo Vecchio's Sala dei Gigli will exhibit Artemisia Gentileschi's "Judith Slaying Holofernes," normally on display at the Uffizi, in dialogue with Donatello's sculpture depicting the same subject. (Regular Palazzo Vecchio entrance fee and opening hours, 9am–7pm, will apply). It's difficult to process the brutality of Gentileschi's version without considering the sexual violence she experienced at the hands of painter Agostino Tassi, who was also her instructor. The painting, and the determination shown by Judith, are being displayed as potent symbols of Artemisia's resilience, as well as a denouncement of gender-based violence.
J.K. Rowling (and Eddie Redmayne) devotees have just three chances left to catch Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in original language in Florence. The film is a fantastical spinoff of the Harry Potter book and film series, chronicling the adventures of Newt Scamander (Redmayne), an insider in New York's secret world of witches and wizards, seven decades prior to Potter reading his book in school. On the film's magical critters, Manohla Dargis of The New York Times writes, "As promised, the title critters in “Fantastic Beasts” are whimsically entertaining...With the strange caws and showy displays, these beasties provide a lot of the movie’s easygoing pleasures. The adults are rather less engaging." See it on Saturday and Sunday; verify showtimes on the Odeon website.
Despite figuring prominently into Florence’s late Gothic period—and leaving behind a legacy that would influence the early Renaissance—Giovanni dal Ponte is an artist who hasn’t been spotlighted in depth. The current show at the Accademia is the first major monographic exhibition on dal Ponte, whose nickname was first coined in Vasari’s Lives of the Artists. The exhibition features a recently restored Coronation of the Virgin with Four Saints, and around 50 other works, many of which are on loan from institutions including London’s National Gallery and Madrid’s Museo Nacional del Prado.
Festival dei Popoli is a dynamic showcase of international and Italian documentary films. Not to be missed at the 57th edition is Oliver Babinet's Swagger (2016, France, pictured above). Showing on November 27 at 8.30pm (La Compagnia, via Cavour 50r), a part-documentary, part-fiction work tracing the daily lives of 11 adolescents growing up in one of Paris' bleak banlieu. Babinet has captured the teens' everyday struggles and dreams and put them in musical form, bringing forth a hopeful message that challenges common ways of thinking about marginalized communities in European capitals. Haider Rashid's No Borders, a short film tackling themes of migration, and the first Italian work filmed in "virtual reality," will screen at 9pm on November 25, followed shortly after by Claudio Casazza's Un Altro Me, a documentary tackling themes related to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (both events at La Compagnia). For the full program, see the website.
Indulge in wurstel and salty pretzels, then wash it down and warm yourself up with a piping hot cup of mulled wine. It's that time of year again: the traditional Weichnatsmarkt returns to piazza Santa Croce, bringing some Christmas cheer to one of Florence's most famous squares. Tip: if you're on the hunt for artfully handmade, unique gift items, this probably shouldn't be your number one shopping destination – but in terms of holiday season socializing, nothing beats a warm beverage and festive lights against the backdrop of a basilica.
In the mood for some market-sifting...without the crowds of the Santa Croce market? The Gran Bazaar: Urban Market is an itinerant, rootsy alternative to those world-weary souls among us who're no longer easily charmed by the "authentic German" Weichnatsmarkt. Pop by this pop-up event to dig through the eclectic wares of around 20 vendors, offering vintage, handmade and design items. Music will add some ambience and street food stands will also be set up. Entry is free. For more information see the Facebook page.
With the recent Rai1 launch of Medici: Masters of Florence, buzz about the Renaissance city’s “royal family” has been in the air. While the TV series starts from the time of Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici, founder of the family bank, local English theatre production The Medici Dynasty Show zeroes in on a conversation between the final two heirs. In addition to the regularly scheduled productions, a special event is on tap for this week: the team will be celebrating the 300th performance on November 30 with a cocktail party open to the audience after the show. For more information, see the website.