EPIPHANY/Cavalcata dei Magi
From 2pm, January 6
Piazza Pitti to piazza Duomo, FlorencePh. Marco Mori, New Press Photo
Florence's festive season is winding down, and the ceremonial closing act comes on January 6, the Feast Day of the Epiphany. A lavish procession, the Cavalcata dei Magi re-enacts the story of the Three Wise Men's star-led journey to the newborn Jesus, in which they brought him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Costuming is elaborate, with the three kings' threads designed after those in Benozzo Gozzoli's Procession of the Magi fresco in Palazzo Medici Riccardi. Joining the Magi are several of Florence's feast-day fixtures: you'll spot the city's historic court and the Bandierai degli Uffizi, among other groups. The event kicks off at around 2pm outside Palazzo Pitti, with the procession then winding its way through the city center, ending up in piazza del Duomo around 3pm. (If you'd prefer to park yourself in front of Santa Maria del Fiore for the whole thing, festivities are set to run from 2.30pm onward). For more on the history of this ritual, see this archived article from TF columnist Deirdre Pirro.
After a long closure for renovations, the shape-shifting Museo Marino Marini in piazza San Pancrazio is reopening at the onset of the new year and the height of Pitti Uomo (see below). 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 funerary monument, a masterpiece by Leon Battista Alberti. For the reopening week, admission costs to the Rucellai chapel will be reduced to 5 euro and the space will remain 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. More information here.
The fashion set lands in Florence this week for another round of Pitti Immagine Uomo: a 95th one, to be exact. The theme for the forthcoming edition of the prestigious menswear trade fair is The Pitti Box, inspired by the common aspiration of all of the shows to be "extraordinary tin-containers of ideas and innovations." Expect this theme to be embraced with gusto: the Fortezza fashion village will be peppered with boxes both literal and metaphorical. Shows are closed to the general public, or are by invitation only, but there's plenty of entertaining people-watching to be had and off-circuit parties to be ̶c̶r̶a̶s̶h̶e̶d̶ attended, as well as related events like a special sportswear exhibition by Diadora at the Stazione Leopolda (11am-7pm, January 9 and 10) and the "Slam Jam" show at the Museo Marino Marini (public opening January 9-14). See the full calendar of events here.
British Ambassador to Italy Jill Morris CMG will host an open meeting for British nationals in Florence on citizens' rights (6-7.30pm, January 9, St. Mark's English Church, via Maggio 16). Reservations are required by January 7; email UKNationals.inItaly@fco.gov.uk.