Special Events/ Capodanno Fiorentino/Pisano
Special Events/ Capodanno Fiorentino/Pisano
March 25, piazza SS Annunziata, Florence; Duomo of Pisa, Pisa
The Florentine new year begins on Annunciation Day, March 25, a religious holiday observed throughout Italy, honoring the day the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was pregnant with Jesus. Historically, the calendar year did not change over until this date. On March 25, Florence's Basilica della Santissima Annunziata holds a special mass to honors the Virgin Mary, who is represented in one of the city's most venerated images. There will be a traditional procession and a market of local products in piazza SS Annunziata.
Pisa holds a very special mass inside the Duomo, to which entry is free for the occasion, and it is worth attending as there usually aren't many tourists. Precisely at noon, the sun enters a small window in the Duomo and its beam lights up a marble egg that is placed above Giovanni Pisano's beautiful sculpted pulpit. With this, the celebrations begin, including a parade with flag throwers in historical costume and various other cultural and eno-gastronomic events around town. For information, see www.pisaunicaterra.it.
Special Events/ Taste/Fuoriditaste
March 12 to 14, Stazione Leopolda; Fuoriditaste: March 11 to 14, all over Florence
Three days of exceptional flavors in the Stazione and more than 50 events around town during the four days of Fuoriditaste. See our feature on page 21 for details and visit www.tastefirenze.it and www.fuoriditaste.com for more information.
Special Events/ Middle East Now Film Festival
March 18 to 22, Cinema Odeon and Auditorium Cinema Stensen (viale Don Minzoni)
Five days of films, both fiction and documentary, and photographs that reveal the Middle East as it is today. This year's festival focuses on the Israel/Palestine conflict and its daily realities. The festival includes conferences, dialogues with directors and book signings (see www.middleastnow.it and click on the Programma Film/Eventi tab), but the main reason to hit this festival is to see. See how skateboards are keeping children in Kabul off the streets in the documentary Skatistan; see how theme parks animate the most desolate desert corners in the photo exhibition Dream City; experience the suppression of revolutionary protests in Iran, in the documentary Green Wave. This well-curated event unveils a region cloaked in stereotype-make the time to attend.
For more information and detailed schedules, see www.middleastnow.it.
Special Markets & Festivals/ Irlanda in Festa: Celtic Celebrations
March 16 to 19, Saschall
Traditional handicrafts, dances, music, foods and, of course, beer, to celebrate the traditions of Ireland in this four-day festival. Good for a jig and a swig. Tickets from 10 to 15 euro, depending on the day you attend, your age and whether or not you shop at the Coop. For more information, see www.saschall.it
Shows/Ballet - Serata Sacra: Stabat Mater, Annonciation, Selon Desir
March 24 to 27, Teatro Comunale
Grace in movement and breathtaking classical music come together in a four-night series of ballet at the Teatro Comunale. The ballets selected for this year's Serata Sacra are Stabat Mater, with music by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Annonciation with music by Vivaldi and Stephane Roy, and Selon Desir with music by Bach, all choreographed by renowned international choreographers. For more information and tickets see www.maggiofiorentino.com.
Exhibits/ Picasso, Miró, Dalí. Angry Young Men: the Birth of Modernity
Until July 17, Palazzo Strozzi
The exhibition is dedicated to the early work of Picasso, Miró and Dalí, which played a decisive role in the beginning of modern art in Spain. The exhibition concentrates on Picasso's pre-cubist period from 1900 to 1905, whilst Juan Miró's works of 1915 to 1920 are presented along with Salvador Dali's from 1920 to1925, before surrealism even existed or was defined. Each artist will be represented by 25 to 30 works that are rarely shown in mainstream catalogues and exhibitions; works from when these men really were young, angry, politically fuelled and rebellious against the suffocating guidelines that limited their art. Expect to rediscover the artists you love today as they once were.
For more information see www.palazzostrozzi.org or call 055/2469600.
March 15 to 20, Teatro Verdi
‘A world of wonder combining hilarity and poignancy with stunning spectacle and breathtaking images,' this award-winning show combines amazing talent with breathtaking special effects to create this moving yet light-hearted spectacle with ... snow. Will delight kids and parents alike. For more information, see www.slavasnowshow.it.
OutofTown/Cortona: Etruscans from the Louvre at the MAEC
Until July 3, MAEC, Cortona
Cortona hosts an extraordinary exhibition showcasing unique antiquities from the world's most renowned museum, the Louvre in Paris. Through bronze vessels, urns, sepulchral monuments, jewels and precious terracottas, the show explores the relationships amongst the major centres of inland Etruria- between the Arno and Tiber valleys-that maintained direct cultural and political contacts with the populations of the eastern part of the peninsula.
For more information, see www.cortonamaec.org or call 057/5637235.
OutofTown/Siena: The Soul and Music: The Romantics during the Risorgimento
March 12 to June 19, Complesso Museale Santa Maria della Scala, Siena
An innovative exhibition celebrating Italian unity reveals the social, artistic and intellectual climate of the neineteenth century through paintings, manuscripts and, most of all, music: nocturnes, polkas, waltzes, preludes and concertos by Liszt, Wagner, Schumann, Giuseppe Verdi and many more. The artists on display include Fussli, Ingres, Vernet, Friedrich and Constable. Audio spotlight systems engulfed visitors with the music of the epoch, bringing the printed and painted works to life in a whole new light.
For more information, see www.santamariadellascala.com or 057/7224811.