Part sacred arts festival, part community celebration, the Festa della Cultura San Giovanni Battista pays homage to Florence’s patron saint John the Baptist, culminating with his feast day on June 24. Per tradition, the Church of Santi Apostoli is the festival’s spiritual center, but many events will be dispersed throughout downtown. A program highlight is the art exhibition Peace, Light and Hope, in which Florence-based artists explore themes related to John the Baptist and Florentine inspiration; in a noteworthy development for 2018, the show will be held in the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno (June 18-22, Salone al primo piano). A guided tour offering the chance to meet participating artists and explore the Accademia’s refined setting at Palazzo dei Beccai will take place on June 21 (10am-12 noon). The same prestigious venue will also host a multimedia concert on the history of the birth of opera in Florence (June 18, 9-10pm, Sala delle Adunanze). For the full program, see the website.
Get your Vinyasa flow going and celebrate wellness in all its forms in a fabulous outdoor setting. Oxfam Italia will host the sixth edition of Oriental Garden, a fundraising event supporting the organization’s fights for justice and equality while showcasing shiatsu, reiki, massage and various forms of treatments and exercises borrowed from the Eastern world. With an entrance fee of 10 euro, visitors will have the chance to sample Shakti dance or try out acroyoga, a discipline fusing acrobatic gymnastics, yoga and Thailandese massage. Pilates, gong baths and plenty of other healing exercises are on the program; just take your own mat and you’ll be good to go. While most group activities are open and run throughout the day, reservations are recommended for individual-focused items, such as naturopathic medicine treatments. For more information, see Oxfam Italia's website.