Your Thursday forecast: best events in Florence

Our top picks for March 8-14, 2018

Mary Gray
March 8, 2018 - 8:00


March 10-12 (Fuori di Taste, March 7-12)

Stazione Leopolda, viale Fratelli Rosselli 5, Florence

Gear up, gourmands: mega-food fair Taste returns to Florence for its 13th edition, “wilder” than ever with the new theme “Foraging”. The idea of contemporary hunting for ingredients and the use of wild plants in the kitchen will color everything from the layout to talk and workshop topics. Circa 400 exhibitors from all over the Boot will bring their best products to town, and a host of off-circuit events (Fuori di Taste) will run during, and in the days leading up to, the main event. Sample to your heart’s (and stomach’s) content as you wind your way through the main venue, then stock up on favorite products in the Taste Shop next door. For the full lineup, see the Pitti Immagine website, and head here for TF's top Fuori di Taste picks.


ORATORY/World Speech Day

March 15

Various venues in Florence

Photo via WorldSpeechDay website

Training for a TED Talk? Contemplating a political career? Perhaps you’re already a regular Cicero, but most of us could stand to sharpen our public speaking skills. With the tagline “Thoughts for a better world,” World Speech Day is a global celebration of the power of words. The event will take place in various institutional venues: Palazzo Vecchio, where students from Florentine schools will take the stage (9am-12noon); the Regione Toscana auditorium, where professionals in urban planning, architecture and engineering will share their points of view (1-4pm); and the Fondazione Zeffirelli, where figures from the food and wine worlds will offer a taste of their thoughts (5-8pm). Most speeches will be in Italian, but expect English input from the organization’s global president and guest of honor, Simon Gibson. More information here.



SWEET/Florence Chocolate Festival

Until March 11

Piazza Santissima Annunziata, Florence

Formerly known as the Fiera del Cioccolato, this chocolate extravaganza gets an upgrade this year, along with a new name, “Firenze e Cioccolato”. From choco-sicles to brownies, bars to spreads and back again, chocolate in all its forms will be up for sale (and some discreet sampling) in myriad forms and flavors. Besides browsing the booths, visitors can take part in master classes with chocolate chefs and connoisseurs (they’re a thing) and watch cooking shows (including an exciting new entry this year, “Etniciok,” which will explore how chefs from Florence’s ethnic eateries use chocolate in their native cuisines). For the full program, see the website.


ACADEMY/Oscar Week

Until March 12

Cinema Odeon, piazza Strozzi, Florence

On the heels of a heavy season in Hollywood, which culminated with the Academy Awards ceremony on March 4 (and aired at an inconvenient hour for Florence's film buffs), Cinema Odeon is hosting its customary “Oscar Week” with limited screenings of all the previous year’s most decorated movies. In the lineup are The Shape of Water (Best Picture and Best Director), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Best Actress) and Darkest Hour (Best Actor). A surefire highlight will be the International Women's Day screening (March 8) of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which features a powerhouse performance from Frances McDormand and carries a decisively feminist message. Check the Odeon website for details and showtimes.


ITALY/Dawn of a Nation

March 16-July 22

Palazzo Strozzi, piazza Strozzi, Florence

Journey through the artistic twists and turns of the 20th century in Italy at Palazzo Strozzi’s forthcoming exhibition, which culls together 80 works from such renowned artists as Renato Guttuso, Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Enrico Castellani, Mario Merz, Mario Schifano, and Piero Manzoni. Dawn of a Nation explores the vibrant culture and spurts of creativity in Italy over twenty years, starting in the immediate aftermath of World War II and continuing through the protests of the 1960s and the pivotal shifts of 1968. The artistic narrative begins with the sharp divisions between Realism and Abstraction, next touching on the Informal and Pop periods and moving onward through Arte Povera and Conceptual Art. For additional information, see Palazzo Strozzi's website.


In case you're just skimming and missed it in the links above...

...our full guide to the Taste-related events around town is here!

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