Your Thursday forecast: best events in Florence

Our top picks for June 15-21

Mary Gray
June 15, 2017 - 11:27

SPIRITED/Festa della Cultura, San Giovanni Battista
June 15-25
Various venues in Florence

Pay homage to the patron saint of Florence, John the Baptist, by participating in this annual festival. With a “trinity” of themes—music, art, spirituality—this year’s edition will include a number of concerts, including the world premiere of Frederick Frahm’s “Agnus Dei,” performed by soprano Aliz Csanyi, organist Natalia Van and the Orpheus Ensemble. The premiere will immediately follow a concert of peace-themed music with Elisa Malatesti and the Orpheus Ensemble (8.30pm, June 15, Santi Apostoli). Also on the program: worship services at Santi Apostoli (piazza del Limbo), an art workshop at The Florence Studio, a major ongoing exhibition and one-day conference at the European School of Economics (Palazzo Rosselli del Turco) and numerous other initiatives. For the full program, see the website.


MARATHON/Bach in Black
June 21, 7pm-3am
Salon di Cinquecento, Palazzo Vecchio, piazza della Signoria, Florence

Ph. by Flickr user mypoorbrain

Spend the summer solstice in one of Florence's signature spaces. The Salone dei Cinquecento will host a "Bachout" event with eight hours of uninterrupted music from Baroque master Johann Sebastian Bach. The first half will feature pieces including the "Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067 Polonais et Double, Minuet and Badinerie", performed by chamber musicians of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, conducted by Mario Ruffini. Don't miss Tuscan writer Marco Vichi's midnight cameo: the author will interview "Johann" himself to the soft hum of a cello, in a scene loosely inspired by his books. Admission will continue until the venue is filled; for further information, contact the association La Pasqua di Bach at [email protected], on their website or via Facebook.


LEGEND/Sammy Davis Jr.: I've Gotta be Me
June 20, 6pm
Sala da Ballo at Villa La Pietra (NYU Florence), via Bolognese 120, Florence

New York University Florence continues its interdisciplinary festival The Season throughout the summer. Among this week's highlights is the world premiere of a PBS biographical film from the acclaimed American Masters series, exploring the identity of one of the 20th century's most multifaceted entertainers, Sammy Davis Jr. The documentary is the first to examine the icon within the context of 20th century racial evolution and revolution. A conversation with Laurence Maslon, who wrote the film, will follow the screening. Booking is required: email [email protected]


PITTI/Secret Florence
Until June 16
Various venues in Florence

Lindsay Kemp | Ph. Richard Haughton

We're now at the peak of menswear fair Pitti Uomo and Secret Florence, a series of related artistic initiatives meant to showcase the city to its stylish visitors, has been underway for several days. Hit highlights aplenty in the closing days: the Virgilio Sieni dance company will perform at Palazzo Strozzi, creating a dialogue with artworks in the Bill Viola. Electronic Renaissance exhibition (9pm, June 16, [email protected] to book); La Compagnia will host a free screening of Julian Rosefeldt's film Manifesto (pictured), which features Oscar winner Cate Blanchett in 13 different roles (9pm, June 16, [email protected] to book); and the legendary mime-performer Lindsay Kemp will break out his moves at the Museo Novecento for an event in collaboration with IED Firenze (3pm, June 15, [email protected] to book). View the complete Secret Florence program on the Estate Fiorentina website.

REVISIT/Il Volo: Notte Magica

June 15, 9pm
Cinema Odeon, piazza Strozzi, Florence

Il Volo with Placido Domingo | Ph. Angelo Trani

Say what you will about this super-trio of "popera" tenors: they continue to sell out concerts around the world. Relive the group's 2017 tour–including the group's piazza Santa Croce concert with their mentor-of-sorts Placido Domingo–in a *magical* movie night at Cinema Odeon Firenze. The behind-the-scenes music documentary "Notte Magica" (Magical Night) will be screened on June 15 at 9pm. A repeat showing is set for June 29, and there will be additional chances to see it in July (stay tuned!)


More not to be missed...

ph. Andrea Paoletti

Palazzo Pitti is hosting the unforgettable "Ephemeral Museum of Fashion" exhibition, launched earlier this week. Read our review here.


Glenn Brown, Let me ferry you out to sea

British artist Glenn Brown, a master of borrowing images – you could call it "appropriating with permission" – has works in dialogue with the permanent collection at the Museo Bardini. 

Ph. via Valeria Santini

Florence's colorful Pride Park at the Limonaia of Villa Strozzi continues to host events all month long.


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