Microsoft founder Bill Gates is the not-too-shabby name behind the Uffizi’s next blockbuster exhibition, The Codex Leicester. Water, Nature’s Microscope, a highly anticipated show curated by Paolo Galluzzi, director of the Museo Galileo. Since 1994, Gates has owned the Codex, one of the most thorough testaments to Leonardo Da Vinci’s inquisitive mind and wide-ranging interests and abilities. A manuscript comprising notes and drawings of Leonardo’s scientific experiments, the Codex Leicester bears witness to his investigations of geological, mechanical and astronomical phenomena, but primarily to his fascination with water, particularly its movement and capacity for destruction. The exhibition takes place as part of myriad celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci; other drawings and works on loan from a range of institutions will also be on display. For more information, see www.uffizi.it.
Just in time for Halloween, literary hubs and haunted houses the world over are preparing to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s early sci-fi masterpiece Frankenstein in initiatives coordinated by the Keats-Shelley Association of America. The British Institute of Florence is a partner of this international “FrankenReads” event and will host several Halloween-week happenings highlighting Shelley’s novel’s enduring legacy. Kicking off FrankenReads in Florence is a Shelley-inspired “Storytime” in the children’s section of the library (October 25, 5pm); an adapted version will be read aloud, with a mask-making workshop to follow. Halloween afternoon (October 31, 4pm) brings a public reading of the original novel, followed by an 8pm screening of the 1931 film Frankenstein, a horror classic (open to library members only; 24-hour memberships are available). For more information, see www.frankenreads.org and www.britishinstitute.it.
Wine enthusiasts (and wannabes), prepare your palates for the return of FISAR’s (Italian Federation of Sommeliers and Restaurants) large-scale festival highlighting labels from around Italy and beyond. Make your way through the tasting stands to sample the vintages of various producers; in between sips, sneak off to a conference, themed workshop or masterclass. Program highlights are (literally) all over the map this year—get your tastebuds acquainted with Nihonshu (Japanese sake) in a masterclass with Firenze Sake (1.30-3pm, October 28) or explore the finest champagnes in an educational event held with Fier Ce Fît, focusing primarily on the crucial year of 2008 (11am-12.30pm, October 28). The third day of the festivities is open to industry professionals only; FISAR members have an admission discount throughout the event. For the full program, see www.vinoe.it.
Bleed Viola this Halloween (just watch out for any costumed vampires that might be lurking in Franchi stadium). On "fright night" in Florence, the unstoppable Fiorentina Women's FC will face off against Chelsea FC Women (Fulham, England) in a Champions League match with a Halloween twist. Spectators are invited to wear their spookiest costumes and to help the Fiorentina women in their ongoing quest to beat the all-time match attendance record of 14,000. No tricks, just the "treat" of watching some of Italy's most talented athletes: get tickets on-site at the stadium.
Parents and their pint-sized ghouls, ghosts, witches, goblins (and, realistically, football players and princesses) are invited to celebrate Halloween at the Children's Lending Library's annual party, a favorite for families. Linger in the witch's lair, take part in a themed lottery and costume parade, get crafty in a (supervised) DIY section and head home with a bag of trick-or-treat goodies in hand. Library members enter for 4 euro per child; non-members will be admitted at 7 euro per child (children under two are free of charge).
Volunteers ask that adults limit their attendance where possible due to fire regulations in the undercroft.