HOPS/Brewer of the Year
TuscanyHall (ex-Teatro Tenda at the Obihall), via Fabrizio de’ Andre/lungarno Aldo Moro, Florence
The Fermento Birra network is behind Florence’s splashiest event for the craft beer-curious. Brewer of the Year (Birraio dell’Anno) is now in its 10th edition: part competition, part massive beer marketplace, the event spotlights exclusively Italian brewers and features an award ceremony (4.30pm, January 20) at which renowned taster Lorenzo “Kuaska” Dabove announces who’s nabbed the titles of Brewer of the Year and Emerging Brewer. Apart from the beers and the animated producers “on tap” to explain them, expect a range of food trucks, on-stage beer shows and guided tastings (with reservations required.) A range of ticketing-and-token options is available; all include a souvenir glass. For more information, see www.birraiodellanno.it.
Jazz up your January at this series of evening concerts-with-a-view. Caffè del Verone, the rooftop bar at the Museo degli Innocenti, will play host to concerts from several singer-songwriters and musicians from a range of genres. First in the lineup is Brazilian folk enthusiast Barbara Casini (January 11), followed by the soul-funk sounds of Yaser Ramadan accompanied by Federico Baracchino (January 18.) Italian jazz vocalist Michela Lombardi performs with pianist Piero Frassi in the final concert of the month (January 25), but the music keeps playing throughout February. For all events, a pre-show aperitivo runs from 7-8.30pm , followed by a short talk with featured artists. Concerts remain open until seats run out. Call 3500970302 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
Just as the winter sales start to slow down, into town comes Vintage Selection, tempting all secondhand savants to keep shopping. (This one isn’t complaining.) The sprawling marketplace, now in its 33rd edition, will feature an array of vendors from up and down the Boot, hawking everything from sparkly Chanel bags with nary a scuff to lumberjack flannels with luxury price tags. Running simultaneously with the knitwear trade showcase Pitti Filati, Vintage Selection will have a special corner carved out at the larger fair, inside the Padiglione Cavaniglia. At press time, edition 33’s theme is still hush-hush, but the common thread through all past editions of Vintage Selection is a reverence for nostalgia and repurposed goods. Stay tuned for the full program and exhibitor list via www.vintageselection.it.
“Here we go again!” Swedish pop group ABBA’s songs have serious staying power. On the heels of the movie Mamma Mia 2, released in September, the original stage musical (in its Italian version) is coming to Florence’s Teatro Verdi. The three-generations-strong show—its current iteration directed by Massimo Romeo Piparo—will feature a cast of more than 30 colorful characters and a live orchestra. Set on a fictional Greek island, the shiny musical’s storyline revolves around a young bride-to-be whose questions about her father’s true identity come to a boiling point against the backdrop of her wedding week. But the plot isn’t really what anyone sticks around for, it’s the pop: expect to hear plenty of ABBA’s all-time hits, from the title track to “Dancing Queen,” “Money, Money, Money”, “Take a Chance on Me” and more. For showtimes and tickets, see www.teatroverdifirenze.it.
It’s a jungle out there in the fashion world, as the season of Pitti Uomo and related revelry consistently proves. See additional evidence in the year’s first exhibition from the Uffizi Galleries group: Animalia Fashion, opening at the Museo della Moda e del Costume on Day 1 of Pitti Uomo 95. Curated by Patricia Lurati, the show celebrates nature and the animal kingdom’s smorgasbord of shapes, colors and patterns, specifically as a source of inspiration for the fashion world. Fashion-wise, the focus is exclusively on the contemporary: the accessories, garments and jewelry on display span the years 2000 to 2018. The zoological component stretches further back, featuring centuries-old drawings of animals and pages taken from medieval tome Tacuinum Sanitatis. For more information, see www.uffizi.it.
Before your schedule gets jam-packed, take January to chill out—but do it more creatively than just hibernating inside your home. The Firenze Winter Park is a seasonal fixture (it’s been running since late October, technically), but the prime time to visit is in the slower months when you and your family are likely feeling stir-crazy. Venture out for a day (or night) of ice skating: you’ll find two expansive rinks designed for skaters of all sizes and levels, and first-timers and little ones can try their hand at “Ice Stock”. (An activity somewhat similar to curling, it requires no skates.) Per tradition, the winter park will also host a lively, almost sagra-style dining area, but this year Tuscan specialties take a backseat to pizza. For hours, prices and a full list of activities, see www.firenzewinterpark.it.
After a long closure for renovations, the shape-shifting Museo Marino Marini is reopening at the onset of the new year and the height of menswear fair Pitti Uomo 95 (January 8-11.) The permanent collection of works by a Pistoia-born sculptor is the source of the museum's current-day name, but the space—the former church of San Pancrazio—is just as known for housing the Rucellai Sepulchre, a funerary monument and masterpiece by Leon Battista Alberti. For the first week back in business, admission costs to the Rucellai chapel will be reduced to 5 euro and the space will stay open with no reservations required (10am-7pm daily.) Meanwhile, the museum's contemporary side will play host to a special Pitti Uomo exhibition highlighting the works of Marino Marini in dialogue with several present-day fashion brands (Nike, Carhartt) and a series of contemporary art installations. For more information, see www.facebook.com/museomarinomarini.