Your Thursday forecast: best events in Florence

Our top picks for April 26-May 2

Mary Gray
April 26, 2018 - 9:00


Ongoing; current exhibition until July 12

Museo Novecento, piazza Santa Maria Novella 10, Florence

Outside that Santa Maria Novella stronghold, the former Leopoldine complex-turned-20th-century-museum, you may have noticed a colorful new installation of block letters announcing matter-of-factly what awaits you inside: "M U S E O." But the reiteration isn't just a reminder of where you are. It's a mark of the full metamorphosis of the Museo Novecento currently underway, guided by seasoned art world personality Sergio Risaliti, the museum's new director, whose appointment was announced in January. Numerous plans are in the works for the reorganization of the permanent collections and progressive exhibition programming in soon-to-be-opened spaces. Get an early taste of the space's new artistic direction with the current exhibition "Il disegno dello scultore", which launched April 21 and will remain until July 12. Conceived by Risaliti and curated by Eva Francioli, Francesca Neri and Stefania Rispoli of MUS.E Firenze, the show is the first in a series that will focus on drawing as a creative fundamental, "the mother of all arts." For more information, see the Museo Novecento website



SIP/Florence Cocktail Week

April 30-May 6

Various venues in Florence

Cin cin to the return of Florence Cocktail Week, a celebration of craft cocktail culture and a city-wide stage for the town's top bartenders, now in its third year. The 2018 edition brings a special focus on drinking responsibly and well (which won't be hard with the 20-odd participating bars and each venue's four #FCW-specific cocktails). For more details see our full article; for a detailed program and updates see the website.


ART/OpenArt Code

Until May 8

Salone di Donatello, Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence

For a few weeks this spring, San Lorenzo is no longer "just" a time capsule of Medici history and Michelangelo artwork. The hidden Salone di Donatello is hosting an eclectic, free-entry exhibition spotlighting a collective of contemporary artists whose works were brought together by Florence-based Vito Abba.  Not united by a single theme, but chosen by Abba simply based on quality and originality, the OpenArtCode exhibition works have authors from Italy, Japan, Belgium, the United States, France and many others, and span a variety of media, from photography and painting to repurposed doors with fresh coats of paint and overlayered conceptual photography. Entrance to the exhibition is free; for additional information see Studio Abba's website.


SPRING/Flower and Plant Showcase

Until May 1
Giardino dell’Orticultura, via Bolognese 17, Florence

Deck out your terrace or spruce up your kitchen windowsill with help from this favorite Florentine festival, a flower and plant expo put on by the nonprofit organization Società Toscana di Orticultura. Dozens of exhibitors line the lush Giardino dell’Orticultura, offering up prime finds to take home to ring in your personal primavera. Entry is free; sensory overload and satisfaction guaranteed. For more information, call 05520066237.


CRAFTS/International Handicrafts Fair

Until May 1

Fortezza da Basso, viale Filippo Strozzi, Florence

A long-running showcase of artisan traditions from Florence, greater Italy and around the world, the Mostra Internazionale dell'Artigianato (International Handicrafts Trade Fair) is now in its 82nd edition and this year's spotlight will shine particularly bright on guest of honor Vietnam. The Spadolini Pavilion will host a mini "Vietnamese village" with a range of regional crafts as well as entertainment and traditional products to try. B2B opportunities abound, but the fair is not just for trade professionals: collectibles, clothing, home furnishings, jewelry, wine and food from over 50 countries will be up for sale. Visit daily from 10am to 10.30pm with free admission after 7pm; get more information here.



This spring stretch is Florence's Iris Garden's finest hour. Access it from viale Michelangiolo 82; more info here.

Florence's gospel maestro Nehemiah Brown will lead a Duke Ellington-inspired "Gospel of Jazz" concert-church service, "Sunday's Comin'", on April 29. More info here.

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