World-class magicians, wine producers and guitarists from Wilco and Queen are all coming to Florence this February. Grab your calendar and start planning for a full month!
CHOCOLATE/Fiera del Cioccolato
Piazza Santa Maria Novella, Florence
Chocoholics can look forward to ten days of tasting fun in piazza Santa Maria Novella. Bars, fountains, beverages, cakes, cookies: whatever you’re looking for, exhibitors from all across Italy will have it in abundance. Roam around and sample the sweet treats, or embrace your inner Willy Wonka, taking part in workshops and lessons on a range of sugary subjects. When you’ve had your fill of chocolate, head to piazza Strozzi to indulge in specialty teas and coffees: the first-ever Tè, Tisane e Caffè festival will run concurrently with the chocolate fair. For more information, visit the festival website.
February 14, 4–10pm
Ex Manifattura Tabacchi, via Cascine 35, Florence
Whether or not you have a Valentine, fill your February 14 with wining and dining! On the heels of Buy Wine at the Fortezza da Basso (February 12–13, open to trade professionals only), the Chianti Lovers Anteprima 2016 comes to Florence, bringing over 100 wine producers to town. Now in its fifth edition, the tasting event is a must for any fans of fine Tuscan wine, from casual sippers to budding sommeliers. Tickets are 15 euro. For more information, visit the Consorzio Vino Chianti‘s website.
DANCE/Danza in Fiera
Fortezza da Basso, viale Filippo Strozzi, Florence
Dance away the winter blues at the Fortezza da Basso during DanzainFiera,four days of world-class performances, free lessons and even auditions for professional ballets. The event is a chance for serious dancers and teachers to look at emerging trends in the field, but you don’t have to be a prima ballerina to participate. Sweat it out in the special ‘Dance Fitness’ space; watch the little ones let loose in children’s breakdance classes; or enjoy shows from established and emerging dance companies in the Contemporary On Stage series. View the full program here.
AWA/Women Artists and Wikipedia
March 2, 6–8pm
Syracuse University, Villa Rossa, Piazza Savonarola 15
Ready, set, write! Don’t miss the third annual Women Artists and Wikipedia editing marathon, in which art lovers and writers are invited to come together to contribute to the advancement of women artists by becoming volunteer editors of the world’s most frequently referenced on-line encyclopedia. For guidelines and to adopt an artist, please write to email@example.com.
MUSIC/Nels Cline & Julian Lage
February 27, 9.15pm
Sala Vanni, piazza del Carmine 14, Florence
Nels Cline is no household name, but the Wilco member is one of today’s most acclaimed guitarists, known for his uncanny improvisational abilities and his ability to move seamlessly between musical genres. Rolling Stone recognized his skills by naming him among the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. Cline will be joined by Julian Lage, a young jazz guitarist who collaborated with Cline on the 2014 album Room, a fusion of folk, blues and jazz. Tickets start at 10 euro and are available via Musicus Concentus.
Throughout February and early March
Various venues in Tuscany
Break out the beads and masks: it’s Carnevale season once again! Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to venture to Venice for the full experience. In Florence, a Carnevale concert from the Conservatorio Cherubini will be held at Teatro Verdi (February 10), while Borgo San Lorenzo will host its traditional Carnevale mugellano in and around piazza Dante through February 7. The main events, of course, are in Viareggio, where subversive, satirical parades and blowout masquerade parties will take over town every Sunday in February, with a grand finale scheduled for Saturday, March 5. Watch The Florentine for updates on the best Carnevale events closer to home, or view the full program for Viareggio here.
QUEEN/Brian May and Kerry Ellis
February 24, 9pm
Teatro Obihall, lungarno Aldo Moro, Florence
This unconventional duo will put on a performance for the books. Brian May is best known as the lead guitarist of Queen, the ‘70s giants for whom he penned mega-hits ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘Fat-Bottomed Girls.’ Kerry Ellis is primarily a theatre star. Active on London’s West End and Broadway scene, she first met May while performing in a Queen-inspired musical. The pair recorded tracks together for Ellis’ debut album and recently released the ballad ‘One Voice.’ Hear their cool, cross-generational harmonies here in Florence: tickets are available on the Obihall website.
TED/Ted Dream Conference
February 16, 8pm
Odeon Cinehall, piazza Strozzi, Florence
TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment, Design) first took the world by storm in 2006, when the Silicon Valley-born conferences were first offered for free viewing online. The focus of these varied 18-minute lectures has broadened over time, with hot-button cultural and academic topics now at the forefront. For the first time ever, TED is hosting a Dream conference in Vancouver, and its opening night will be broadcast live (in English) in cinemas across the world. The conference promises to ‘stare hard at humanity’s toughest challenges, [listening] to our greatest thinkers, artists and storytellers.’ Take part in the global event at the historic Odeon cinema.
February 26–28Teatro Puccini, via delle Cascine 41, Florence
Abracadabra! The savviest, sneakiest magicians on the Italian scene will take to the stage for three days at Teatro Puccini, delighting even the skeptics among us. Forget card tricks and disappearing coins: the five performers will show off their most mind-blowing moves, from ‘sand art’ by Fatmir Mura to mind-reading by mentalist Aldo Aldini. Master of ceremonies is Florentine magician par excellence Mattia Boschi, who is also the artistic director for the show. For more information and tickets, visit Teatro Verdi’s website.