Best events in Florence in late January 2017

Our top picks

Mary Gray
January 11, 2017 - 12:10

TOPICAL/We Love Arabs
January 19-21, 9pm
Teatro Rifredi, via Vittorio Emanuele II 303, Florence


This provocative, satirical and laugh-packing dance performance has earned high praise from the likes of Le Monde and The Jerusalem Post. Created by choreographer Hillel Kogan of the Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, We Love Arabs takes a delicate topic—the Arab-Israeli conflict—and turns it into urgently timely (and relentlessly funny) stage fodder. The piece begins with a choreographer and a dancer awkwardly discussing the meaning of their collaborative relationship, before later launching into a frenzied liberation dance around, as fate would have it, a plate of hummus. Performed in English with Italian supertitles. For more information, visit Teatro Rifredi's website.


WHEELS/International Skate Awards
January 21-22
Nelson Mandela Forum, piazza Enrico Berlinguer, Florence

World-class champions of the skating rink will return to the Mandela Forum this year for the seventh edition of the International Skate Awards: the acrobatic stars land in Florence, their only Italian destination, after stops in Bogotà, Shanghai and Buenos Aires. Saturday’s show (beginning at 9pm) will be a fast-paced spectacle bringing together established athletes, emerging young stars and new recruits. The following day will feature a multidisciplinary musical, Latinoamericana (4pm), with more than 40 top skaters taking to the rink and showing off aerial dance and rhythmic gymnastics moves, in addition to their traditional skating savvy. For more information call 335/8244308 or visit the Mandela Forum website.


HERITAGE/La Tutela Tricolore

Until February 14, 2017
Aula Magliabechiana at the Uffizi Gallery, Florence

The Comando Carabinieri per la Tutela del Patrimonio Comunale, sometimes affectionately referred to as the “Arts army”, is the branch of Italian military police safeguarding Italy’s cultural heritage from crimes and counterfeit. The Tri-Color Defense: Gatekeepers of Cultural Identity spotlights a variety of artworks from different periods that have benefitted from the task force’s work. Works on display are all partially or fully recovered subjects of terrorist attacks, war crimes, thefts or illicit deals, or have been otherwise targeted or compromised. One section also explores the pioneering work of Rodolfo Siviero, whose recovery efforts during the Nazi plunder preceded the formation of this police branch. The show is free to visit and takes place in the Uffizi’s new temporary exhibition space.



DRINK/Birraio dell’Anno
January 20-22
Obihall, lungarno Aldo Moro 3, Florence

Ph. via Fermento Birra

Beer aficionados will want to mark their calendars for three days of fermented fun at the Obihall. Organized by the network Fermento Birra, which recognizes Italy’s top craft brewer each year, this festival will bring together 25 Italian breweries serving up 100 craft beers on tap—all competing for the coveted title of Birraio dell’Anno, to be awarded on Sunday, January 22 at 5.30pm. Guided tastings and free talks are open to the public, and Cucine di Strada trucks and booths will keep the street food supply in check (look for Sicilian arancine and other specialties from local eatery Arà, as well as Tuscan treats from Il Magazzino). Passes are available for one day or all three. For more details, see the official Facebook event.  



January 21-22
Teatro Verdi, via Ghibellina 99, Florence

Ph. via Cirque Eloize

Presented by the Canadian company Cirque Éloize in collaboration with Show Bees, Cirkopolis blends the borders between reality and imagination with its elaborate sets, eye-catching costumes and prodigious performers, who hail from all over the world. Imagined as ‘an intersection between individuality and community, between limits and possibilities,’ it’s all set to an otherworldly score by sound artist Stéfan Boucher, known for ‘juggling’ an inventive range of objects (think typewriters) in his musical productions. For ticket information and show times, see Teatro Verdi's website.



STYLE/Vintage Selection
January 25-29, 10am-9pm
Stazione Leopolda, viale Fratelli Rosselli 5, Florence

Post-Pitti, the local fashion beat will continue to pick up with one of the liveliest major markets of the year, Vintage Selection. In line with the Pitti Dance Off theme coloring the trade shows, the 29th edition of this spacious vintage market’s theme will be "Let’s Dance", with plenty of 1980s music to keep everyone in the mood for movement. Flaunting vintage and secondhand vendors from all over Italy, this is the perfect stop for scoring a statement necklace, fur coat, forgotten art book or worn-in denim. Nightly aperitivi, DJ sets and related events make it not just a shopping trip, but a full-blown fashion outing. Entry is 5 euro with a special discount offered on Stazione Leopolda's website.


FOLKLORE/La Fiorita di San Zanobi
January 26, 9am
Piazza del Duomo, Florence

Ph. Dave & Margie Hill via Flickr

You’ve perhaps been too busy marveling at the baptistery to ever notice that strange column positioned in piazza San Giovanni. It marks the site where a miracle associated with Florence’s first bishop, Saint Zenobius (San Zanobi), took place in 429. San Zanobi’s healing hands were said to have brought five people back to life. After he died, the bishop was buried in San Lorenzo, but his remains were later moved to the new bishop’s seat at Santa Reparata. Legend has it that as his coffin passed through piazza San Giovanni, it touched a dried-up tree that suddenly sprang back to life—and it’s this moment that the column commemorates. Watch costumed court members lay flowers and greens at the base of this monument—it’s got all the pageantry you’d expect of a Florentine folklore procession, without the hordes associated with larger events in the square.


MUSIC/Angels and Demons
January 19, 5pm

Museo Casa Martelli, via Ferdinando Zannetti 8, Florence

Good and evil, yin and yang, sweet and sinister: it’s all about contrasts at this free concert performed by members of the Luigi Cherubini conservatory. "Angels and Demons"—not of the Dan Brown variety—are the inspiration behind this musical afternoon, which takes place as a precursor to Faust, Charles Gounud’s magnificent cabaret, at the Opera di Firenze (shows on select days from January 20-February 3). In the intimate, exquisitely decorated setting of Casa Martelli, performers will pay tribute to a plethora of figures—both angelic and demonic, heroic and villainous—who have inspired composers through the ages. For further information, see Opera di Firenze's website.



more articles