Top 10 Events – from Nov 21 to Dec 12

Rose Mackworth-Young
November 21, 2013




Our events listing keeps you up-to-date on the latest and greatest in culture, music and other English-friendly entertainment. This is a selection of the best events in Florence and Tuscany.

INDIA/River to River

November 22–28

Most events at the Odeon Cinema, piazza Strozzi, Florence


The best of Indian cinema is coming to Florence, along with well-known Indian television and film actress Shabana Azmi, who will present screenings of three of her films, Fire, Ankur (The Seedling) and City of Joy (featuring a young Patrick Swayze). Other titles to watch out for include the world première of Finding Carlton: Uncovering the story of Jazz in India and Lessons in Forgetting, a film on violence and prejudice against women, which will be screened on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, November 25. Find out more at


KIDS/The Russian Ice Stars

November 22–24

Mandela Forum, viale Paoli 3, Florence


This renowned ice-skating troupe brings two classic tales, Beauty and the Beast and Peter Pan, to the rink. With great music and breathtaking moves, the shows promise grace, beauty, drama and enjoyment for all the family. Children under four years enter free; see for more.



FUND-RAISER/Birthday Blues Benefit

November 23, 7:30pm

Tasso Hostel, via Villani 15, Florence


Help raise money for those devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines by attending an aperitivo of Philippine food accompanied by live music from the Filippo Barontini Blues Band. See or call 055/0602087 for more.


SNOW/Toscana Winter Park

November 28–March 2, 2014

Obihall, lungarno Aldo Moro, Florence


Go skiing, ice skating and tobogganing on the banks of the Arno. After heading down the 80-metre piste or trying your luck on the ice rink, indulge in some après-ski at the bars, enjoy a hearty meal at the restaurant or join in the many children’s activities. The park will remain open over the Christmas period (and on Christmas Day from 2:30pm); see for details. 



November 30, 9pm

Teatro Verdi, via Ghibellina 99, Florence


This Chinese contemporary-classical composer is most famous for writing the scores for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero, but he is taking a different direction during his Italian tour. In a concert entitled Water, Paper, Earth, Dun will direct musicians who use the natural sounds of organic materials to make music ranging from the tranquil and ethereal to the raucous and chaotic. Expect to see bottles, reeds, sheets of paper, basins of water, stones and more used to create a musical performance. Visit for information on the concert.


DOCUMENTARY/Festival dei Popoli

November 30–December 7

Most events at the Odeon Cinema, piazza Strozzi, Florence


Take your pick from 100 documentary films from around the world. Opening the festival is We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks (November 30), which details the creation of Julian Assange’s controversial website. Other highlights include a screening of the beautiful black-and-white French film Études sur Paris (December 3) and Elvis Costello: Mystery Dance (December 4). Visit for more.



TF TOURS/So you think you know Florence?

November 30, December 7 and 14

Various places in Florence


Join us in celebrating literature, art and cultural heritage with TF editor Alexandra Lawrence on three consecutive Saturdays. On November 30, celebrate Italy’s most glorious novelliere, Giovanni Boccaccio, on the seventh centenary of his birth through a discussion of The Decameron and a visit to the church of Santa Maria Novella. On December 7, discover one of Florence’s hidden gems, the Horne Museum, and on December 14 take a guided tour of the exhibition The Renaissance from Florence to Paris and back at Villa Bardini. Reservations are required: e-mail [email protected] Visit for more.



CONTEMPORARY/Florence Biennale

November 30–December 8

Fortezza da Basso and other sites in Florence


The historic city turns its gaze to contemporary art for nine event-packed days when 450 artists from 50 countries convene in Florence to show their art and take part in exhibitions covering a wide range of media, as well as performances, educational programmes, workshops, seminars and meetings. This year’s theme is Ethics: DNA of Art, and the festival promises a reflection on the relationship between art and ethics and the role of the arts today. Visit for more.




December 8, 10am–5pm

Le Pagliere, viale Machiavelli 24, Florence


Pick up some great Christmas gifts, tuck into a barbeque organised by G.E. volunteers and take part in a raffle and silent auction with a host of fantastic prizes on offer-all while helping the local community. Proceeds from the day will go to charities in the province of Florence, including Angeli per un Giorno, which helps underprivileged children, and Associazione Insieme, for those with drug or alcohol dependencies. See



December 5, 9pm

Obihall Theatre, via F. De Andrè/lungarno A. Moro, Florence


The Afro-soul singer from France has hit the charts with her single You Will Never Know and in this concert will perform tracks from her albvum The Shape of a Broken Heart, which explores her African roots and the new identity she has carved for herself as an independent woman and free spirit. Find more info at and go to to buy tickets.

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