Best events in Florence in April 2016
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Best events in Florence in April 2016

Fri 01 Apr 2016 12:55 PM

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 this month—and beyond.


CULTURE/Middle East Now
April 5–10
Odeon Cinema and various venues, Florence


Middle East Now showcases the best in cinema from Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and beyond. Numerous cultural and culinary events round out the program, including “Love-ism,” a contemporary dance performance staged by Israeli choreographer Mor Shani, inspired by Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving (April 8, 6pm, Le Murate). Two free photography exhibitions will open on April 9 at Aria Art Gallery: Natalie Naccache’s “Our Limbo” and Omar Imam’s “Live, Love, Refugee,” which both shed light on the experiences of Syrian refugees.   Amblè will host “My Lebanon,” a project by young artist and designer Nour Flayhan. Though the film festival ends on April 10, the exhibitions stay open until April 27. View the full program here



LITERARY/Shakespeare Week
April 18–23
Harold Acton Library at the British Institute and various venues


Shakespeare Week is the British Institute’s annual celebration of the premier English playwright. Studio Art Centers International kicks off the festivities with “Shakespeare and Italy,” an exhibition of student work inspired by the relationship between the Bard and the Boot (opens April 18, 6pm). Another highlight will be a public reading of Much Ado About Nothing in the Harold Acton Library (April 19, 3pm), with a screening of the 1993 film adaptation to follow at 8pm. Lectures, conferences and films continue throughout the week, and are open to library members (a special Shakespeare Week membership can be purchased for 15 euro). View the full program on the British Institute’s website


April 16, 9.30pm
Viper, via Pistoiese (corner of via Lombardia), Florence


Italian pop icon Levante rose to superstardom with her infectious hit “Alfonso,” a generational anthem that’s both catchy and uncomfortably close to home. Her sound is a fun fusion of Italian folk and American-style indie-rock, with her tunes infiltrating international airwaves. Currently at work on her next album, Levante will bring her bubbly brand of pop poetry to Viper mid-month: tickets start at 15 euro. Tickets are available via Le Nozze di Figaro.


CHINA/Liu Xiaodong: Migrations
April 22–June 19
CCC Strozzina, piazza Strozzi, Florence


Contemporary Chinese artist Liu Xiaodong mixes his personal painterly style with a reporter-like approach to the world around him. His paintings typically capture everyday moments in places strained by social tensions and conflict. “Migrations” will feature a large selection of work completed during his recent stay in Tuscany, highlighting his particular interest in the Chinese communities of Prato, Florence and the Sienese countryside. The exhibition will be open Friday–Wednesday from noon–8pm. Thursday hours are extended until 11pm, with free admission offered from 6pm.


PAIR/Pizza Night at SimBIOsi
April 28, 6pm
SimBIOsi, via de’ Ginori 56r, Florence


Many Italians insist that pizza pairs only with beer, but our wine writer Emily O’Hare begs to differ—and aren’t rules made to be broken? Join The Florentine Wine Club for an evening kindly hosted by organic pizzeria SimBIOsi with wine producer Fattoria San Michele a Torri. Participants will learn strategic, tasty ways to pair pizza with Tuscan wines. There’ll be gourmet pizza tailor-made for the occasion, taglieri of scrumptious salami and cheeses and selected wines to taste. Reserve the special tasting menu now by emailing TF’s Giacomo at


CYCLE/Florence Bike Festival
April 15–17
Cascine Park, Florence


Whether you’re a seasoned biker or barely rid of your training wheels, the Florence Bike Festival has something to offer you. Some 3,500 cyclists will compete in a long-distance road race on Sunday, April 17: the Granfondo Firenze De Rosa, winding through the most scenic parts of the city. Out at the Cascine, an expo area will highlight hot cycling trends and destinations around the world. Finally, the Sunrisebike Ride will be a family-friendly highlight and a chance to experience the city as it wakes up (6.30am, April 16). For more information, see the website.


CONFERENCE/Monographic Exhibitions and the History of Art
April 7–8
Chiesa di San Jacopo in Campo Corbolini, via Faenza 43, and Sala Comparetti, piazza Brunelleschi, Florence

Church of San Jacopo in Campo Corbolini

Church of San Jacopo in Campo Corbolini

From chronicling the development of artistic prodigies to thinly concealing political agendas, the motivations behind monographic exhibitions or retrospectives are many. To examine these exhibitions’ continued importance to the art world, and how their role has shifted over time, the Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici and the University of Florence are hosting an international symposium with talks in English and Italian. A special bonus will be an Ensemble Harmonicus Concentus concert (April 7, 8.30pm) in the Church of San Jacopo in Campo Corbolini. All events are free. View the program here


EAT/Gelato Festival
April 21–25
Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence


We’ll all scream for ice cream when Italy’s tastiest traveling festival returns to Florence. Gelatai from all over Italy compete for coveted awards, including one that’s voted on by the public (sign up to become a judge on the website). Grab your Gelato Card to get generous helpings of the treat, and indulge as you take in a Tuscan sunset. Throughout the festival, you can also enjoy workshops, events with starred chefs and gelato-making demonstrations. Stop by daily from noon–10pm.



PARTY/Notte Bianca: TheFLR Night
April 30, 9pm
ZAP, piazza di Santa Maria Maggiore 1, Florence

ZAP courtyard

ZAP courtyard


Revelers take to the streets every year on April 30 during Notte Bianca, the city’s annual all-night, pre-Labor Day party. Restaurants, museums, bars and shops across Florence will stay open well into the early hours to welcome the start of the sunny season. Add a dash of culture to your celebrating with TheFLR Night: The Florentine Literary Review–first night of a zero issue. It’s a chance to learn about a forthcoming cultural project from The Florentine and Alessandro Raveggi: a beautifully illustrated, bilingual literary review spotlighting Italian authors translated into English. More information will follow soon on The Florentine, and look out for more Notte Bianca events to be announced.


DRINK/Florence Cocktail Week
April 11–17
Various venues in Florence



Put down the Spritz and sample something new! The city’s chicest cocktail spots (Rivalta, The Fusion Bar, Atrium at the Four Seasons and La Ménagére, to name a few) will get extra-creative during the first Florence Cocktail Week, which takes inspiration from similar events in Singapore, London and Paris. Bartenders will craft original drinks and cocktail lists for the occasion, competing in a final face-off at the Mercato Centrale (April 17, 5pm). Another highlight will be a free masterclass on the legendary Negroni, given by Luca Picchi, author of Negroni Cocktail, una leggenda italiana (April 15 at Desinare; write to to book your spot).  Watch the website and Facebook page for event updates. 



ART/Jan Fabre
April 15–October 2
Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio and Forte di Belvedere, Florence


Fresh on the heels of Jeff Koons fever, Belgian artist Jan Fabre’s contemporary pieces will stir up conversation as they’re installed in piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio on April 15. Spiritual Guards will feature bronze sculptures, wax works, self-portraits, Fabre’s signature beetle shell compositions and films of his theatrical performances. Two monumental works, Searching for Utopia and The man who measures the clouds (American version, 18 years older), will dialogue with the statues of piazza della Signoria for the duration of high tourist season. (Note: the Forte di Belvedere portion of the show opens on May 14).

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