Your Thursday forecast: best events in Florence

Our top picks for February 14-20

Mary Gray
February 14, 2019 - 10:31

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February 21-23

Stazione Leopolda and The Student Hotel, Florence

Illuminate your mind this month with the inaugural edition of BRIGHT Festival, a celebration of digital arts, lighting design, electronic music and all things diamond-level-shiny. An impressive bill of guests and master class teachers includes 3D animation specialist Craig Caton-Largen, who’s worked on the special effects of, oh, just a few small films like Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, Apollo 13 and Terminator 2, as well as Italian artist and video designer Stefano Fomasi (aka “Stefano Fake”), who’s behind many of the immersive exhibitions staged in Florence recently. Friday and Saturday night DJ sets are what’s spinning at the Stazione Leopolda, while talks, workshops and demo sessions dominate at The Student Hotel. For the full program, see



CONTEMPORARY/Kiki Smith: What I Saw on the Road

February 14-June 2

Andito degli Angiolini, Gallery of Modern Art, Palazzo Pitti, Florence

Winner of the 2005 Venice Biennale and a past exhibitor at the MoMA and Fundació Joan Miró, Kiki Smith has earned her feminist stripes. Up through the 1990s, the female body—its fragility as well as its force—was the dominant theme in her bold work. More recently, the Nuremberg-born artist has shifted her focus to the full interplay between humanity, nature and the cosmos, with pronounced pacifist undertones that have been called an “antidote to times of hate and brutality.” Connecting traditional techniques with advanced digital technology, both sides of Smith’s style can be seen in the dozen jacquard tapestries Palazzo Pitti will host in the Andito degli Angiolini. For more information, see



BODY/Danza in Fiera

February 21-24

Fortezza da Basso, viale Filippo Strozzi, Florence

International dance showcase DanzainFiera welcomes its “teenage” years with a host of activities and exhibitions geared at all dancers and enthusiasts, from prime ballerine to fans with two left feet. The 13th edition features much of the usual choreography—multi-genre lessons and performances, auditions for coveted companies, exhibition areas—but with a twist (or a tour jeté). This time the spotlight’s on dance as therapy and a force of strength for those facing health difficulties. Also on the program: a tribute exhibition to the iconic British dancer, mime artist and choreographer Lindsay Kemp. Famous primarily for his work with David Bowie on the Ziggy Stardust world tour, Kemp spent his final years in Livorno and frequently visited Florence. See the full program on



BASKETBALL/PosteMobile Final Eight

February 14-17

Nelson Mandela Forum, piazza Enrico Berlinguer 5, Florence

The big boys (literally) of Italy’s basketball scene converge on the Mandela Forum mid-month for the Coppa Italia, known as the “Final Eight”, held over four days. “Nothing but net?” Not so much. It’s the premier basketball tournament for the Boot, consisting in quarter-finals, semis and the decisive match on Sunday, February 17. Last year’s winners were Fiat Torino, nabbing their first cup ever after a squeaker victory over Germani Baskket Brescia (69-67). 2017 champions AIX Armani Exchange Milano challenge Segafredo Virtus Bologna in the quarters (8.45pm, February 14), while Vanoli Cremona goes to court with Openjobmetis Varese (6pm, February 14). For more information and the full schedule, see and

Black History Month Florence continues with two lectures in particular worth highlighting this week: “It has been said it was not racism: Italy after Macerata and Florence,” by Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfau of the University of Padua (February 18 at Palazzo Bargagli), and "Africa's Delivery Room: Dynamics of Race, Gender and Migration in the Italian Political Discourse," by Dr. Angelica Pesarini (February 20, 6pm at the British Institute's Harold Acton Library).


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