Ph. via AeP
Artigianato e Palazzo is one of the “musts” of Florentine May. Roughly 100 Italian and international artisans and designers will be spread throughout the orangerie, the greenery-lined pathways, and the “Nuns’ Garden” of the spectacular Giardino Corsini, a private garden open only on rare occasions. Live demonstrations play a big part in the program, and this year brings a hodgepodge of out-of-the-box handiwork worth watching (a typewriter restorer and a feather ornament-maker will join the more traditional lineup of ceramicists, mosaic artists and others). But the biggest development for 2018 is the involvement of historic porcelain manufactory Richard Ginori: its artisans will recreate steps in the creative process against the backdrop of the 17th-century Limonaia Piccola, and funds raised from entry donations will go toward the reopening of the Doccia Museum. For more information, see the website.
The always-active American International League of Florence onlus (AILO) ushers in spring with its colorful annual May Fayre event, a celebration of the beginning of the bella stagione and all things blossom-y and bright. In the thoroughly Tuscan setting of Villa Casavecchia, the group will host a free-entry day outdoors with family-friendly games and activities; face painting and pony rides for children; a charity marketplace with clothes, accessories, and handmade jewelry; street food stands galore and a springtime lottery. For those without a car, San Casciano in Val di Pesa can be reached by ACV bus. For more information, see the Facebook event.
Fresh on the heels of the third edition of a certain cocktail-centered celebration comes the first Pisco Week, a city-wide spotlighting of the Peruvian spirit. Florence's big-name bars, bistros and cafes (Locale Firenze, Atrium Bar at the Four Seasons, Sesto, Bitter Bar, Santa Rosa and Caffe Gilli, just to name a few), will take their mixing skills to the max during these ten days of distilled deliciousness. Not familiar with Pisco? This iconic Peruvian spirit, of which there are eight recognized varieties, is produced exclusively in designated areas of Peru, DOC-style. Cocktails to try will include twists on the classic Pisco Sour (pictured) and adventurous spice and flavor combinations (think ginger and almonds). For information on participating venues, see the Facebook event and follow the Ufficio Commerciale del Peru in Italia.
Ph. via Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
The avant-garde sonic artists of Tempo Reale, who typically host an experimental (and experiential) sound-focused festival in September, have teamed up with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino once again for an especially electric May. "Maggio Elettrico" sees Tempo Reale supply strange or out-of-the-ordinary sound devices and techniques to established or emerging musicians, who then perform for the public in a casual and intimate setting like the one pictured above. Getting the "record spinning," so to speak, is a Friday night performance by young composer Alexander Chernyshkov (8pm, May 18, Sala Orchestra, Teatro del Maggio; more information here). The following week brings session nine of the Klang experimental music series at the Limonaia of Villa Strozzi, a fixture in the Tempo Reale lineup (7pm, May 25). For more information, see the Tempo Reale website.