A beloved British Institute tradition, Shakespeare Week is a celebration of the definitive English dramatist. The new edition’s theme is Measure for Measure, one of the Bard of Avon’s most complex comedies, particularly fit for discussion in the current climate, given its exploration of morality, sexuality and power dynamics. A public reading of Measure for Measure is an early highlight (April 17, 3-6pm); the following day, Eric Nicholson will give a lecture defending Shakespeare’s script, often described as a “problem play”, by suggesting that many male critics have missed its points about the hypocrisies of patriarchal government (April 18, 6pm). For pint-sized playwrights-in-the-making, a Shakespeare-themed Storytime session inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream will take place in the Children’s Library (April 19, 5pm). See the full program on the website.
Add some vintage whimsy to your wardrobe while giving back to a worthy cause. Palliative care organization FILE is hosting an open-air vintage market with high-quality donated garments, accessories and jewelry for women, men and children. Leaf through the high-street pickings in the lush setting of Serre Torrigiani, a hidden oasis only open to the public on special occasions, just a few minutes’ walk from Porta Romana. Apart from scavenging for high-fashion scores, sip on fresh fruit juices and refuel with street bites or even a full brunch (April 15 only). Workshops for families will run on both days and an illustration exhibition, Si Può, exploring the emotions of children who’ve suffered a familial loss, will showcase one element of FILE’s mission. For more information, see the FILE website.
Palazzo Strozzi is bringing new meaning to that tongue-in-cheek term “Renaissance playground.” The courtyard is preparing to host two towering slides taken straight from our childhood fantasies. But The Florence Experiment, title of the exhibition, is far from child’s play: it’s an innovative research project carried out by German artist Carsten Höller and plant neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso. Visitors will have the chance to slide down the structure from a height of 20 metres; their emotional reactions will be recorded and compared with those of plants to examine the empathetic possibilities between humans and plant organisms. The project won’t be confined to the courtyard: the undercroft will host a cinema component, still related to Stefano Mancuso’s studies on plant intelligence. For more information, see Palazzo Strozzi's website.
Calling Middle East Now a “film event” sells it short: this interdisciplinary festival shows movies, yes, but also features in-depth presentations on cultural identities, culinary traditions, political issues, language and much more. “Hashtag #Middleast” is the theme of the ninth edition, aiming to focus audience attention on the contemporary realities of the region. Approximately 40 films are on the program, with many of them making their Italian premiere. Special attention will be given to Director in Focus and guest of honor Annemarie Jacir of Palestine. Other highlights at this edition: introductory Arabic lessons with YouTube star Maha Yakoub (April 14 & 15) and a photo exhibition, The People’s Salon, spotlighting hairdressers in Beirut, Gaza and Ramallah (April 12-May 31, Studio Marangoni). See the full program here.
Get your creative juices flowing at the next installment of The Florentine Wine Club. We're teaming up with artist and painting instructor Maham of Big Red Cuppa for an evening of creating our very own grape-made masterpieces. In a one-hour, low-key lesson, Maham will show ten participants how to maximize wine's potential as a painting medium. Stick around for a tapas dinner with samples from the wine producer Casadei (a wine painting "performance" will also take place). All-inclusive cost of the workshop and dinner is 30 euro (alternatively, pay 10 euro for just the workshop or 25 for just dinner). Booking required: email email@example.com
Get a closer look at the not-so-sleepy-after-all Le Cure neighborhood at the first-ever Porte Aperte event; read more here.
Scurry out to these spring-y spots and activities when the sun comes out again.
Don't miss the discounts and nibbles at the first pop-up shop put on by Scandinavian-designed, Florence-based brand AVAVAV, taking place place at Numeroventi (via Pandolfini 20) this Sunday. More here.
Seasoned cyclists and recent training wheel grads alike should pedal out to the Cascine Park for the Florence Bike Festival, which runs from April 13 to 15 and this year has a new focus on e-bikes. More info (in Italian) on the website.