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 for December—and beyond.
Odeon Cinema, piazza Strozzi
Once the 50 Days of Cinema film festival (theflr.net/50giorni) comes to an end on December 14, the Odeon’s original language programme resumes. Jimmy’s Hall (December 18 to 26) tells the true story of Irish political activist Jimmy Gralton, who was deported to the United States in 1933. Let your imagination run wild with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (December 22 and 23). St. Vincent hits the screens (December 27 to 31) with a star-studded cast that includes Bill Murray. See www.odeonfirenze.com for show times and programme updates.
GRAPHIC/Shades of colour
Until March 8, 2015
Modern Art Gallery, Pitti Palace, Florence
The 100 or so portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, dream images and more on display at the Modern Art Gallery for the current exhibition, ‘Il colore dell’ombra,’ disproving the concept that black-and-white images lack ‘colour’ , instead revealing many nuances of light and dark. See www.polomuseale.firenze.it for more information.
Le Pagliere (former Scuderie Reale), viale Machiavelli 24, Florence + piazza Santa Croce
The American International League of Florence hosts its annual Christmas Bazaar from 10am to 5pm on December 8. The charitable event has a distinctly American feel to it, with brownies, hamburgers, jams and pickles among the goodies available. In addition to the many stalls, there will be a raffle with prizes announced at 2.30pm. Visit www.ailoflorence.org for more information. For more festive fun, head to the annual German Weihnachtsmarkt in piazza Santa Croce, where, until December 21, aromas of mulled wine, grilled German sausages, pretzels and displays of goods draw crowds.
MUSIC/Carols and opera
St Mark’s English Church, via Maggio 16, Florence + Teatro Verdi, via Ghibellina 99, Florence
The holidays are a time for music. St Mark’s Church invites the public to enjoy carolling around the Oltrarno and a dessert of mince pies and mulled wine (December 14; meet at the church at 6pm); and opera, with performances of La Bohème, Madame Butterfly, La Traviata, The Marriage of Figaro and Carmen (December 25 to 31, 8.30pm) and a special performance of The Merry Widow (December 31, includes a holiday buffet); see http://stmarksitaly.com. On New Year’s Day, Teatro Verdi hosts a concert of Viennese waltzes and polkas (5pm); see www.teatroverdionline.it for more information.
Fortezza da Basso, Florence
Florence’s Fortezza da Basso hosts an intriguing combination of fairs: one celebrating cats, the other cameras. The international cat show features breeds from Persian to Bengal as well as feline-related products. Photographers will be intrigued by the section of the fair dedicated to vintage cameras as well as the vintage and modern camera swap, a new feature this year. Visit www.firenzefiera.it for details.
December 8, 2014, and January 2, 2015
Teatro Verdi, via Ghibellina 99, Florence
What could be more magical than a winter evening at the ballet? With primi ballerini from the Staatsballett in Berlin, the Classique Moscow Ballet performs Swan Lake at Teatro Verdi on December 8 (4.45pm and 8.45pm). On January 2, the Royal Moscow Ballet performs The Nutcracker (8.45pm). For tickets and more information, see www.teatroverdionline.it.
DISCOVER/OCAD Open Studio
December 12, 7–10pm
Via Bonifacio Lupi 14, Florence
The Florence off-campus studies program of the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U) provides a rich and challenging cultural experience for both students and faculty. While in Florence, art and design students develop a self-directed body of work in a communal studio setting and also study art history. On December 12, OCAD U Florence invites the public to enjoy the students’ work and its new studio space. Free entry and aperitivo. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
December 6/13/20, 9.45pm
Circolo Vie Nuove, viale Donato Giannotti 13, Florence
Pinocchio Live Jazz is back for its 21st season, with three ‘jazztastic’ concerts in December, featuring the jazz quartet poLO (December 6); pianist Stefano Maurizi with a jazz tribute to Swedish pianist Esbjorn Svensson (December 13); and Mirko Guerrini & Friends, one of Tuscany’s most beloved saxophonists (December 20). All concerts begin at 9.45pm. See www.pinocchiojazz.it for more information.
Various spaces on via Maggio, Florence
When galleries and spaces along Florence’s via Maggio open their doors as part of ‘Contemporaneamente: Arte, design, artigianato’ in via Maggio, the focus will be on art, design and contemporary culture. With lectures, exhibitions, conferences, concerts and aperitivos, there will be something for everyone interested in craftsmanship and design. Opens December 4 at 6pm. Visit http://viamaggio.blogspot.it for the full programme of activities.
DANCE/Twist & Shout!
December 20, 9pm
Viper Theatre, via Pistoiese, Florence
Not strictly a festive affair, but the best 50s and 60s party will definitely put you in the party mood! Twist and shout to the irresistible beats of rock ‘n’ roll, doo-wop and blues with some internationally renowned special guest musicians. If you’re finding it difficult to tease your hair into a super 60s style, there will be help on hand from Ketty-Vintage Style-Cinieri, who can pin it up in true vintage fashion. See www.viperclub.eu for more details.