Best events in Florence, May 5–11, 2016

Our top picks

Mary Gray
May 5, 2016 - 9:49

May 5–June 18
Stazione Leopolda and various venues in Florence and Tuscany


This annual performing arts showcase always promises an interdisciplinary and contemporary mix. A sampling of the May program includes a concert by Christophe Chassol, a pianist and composer who’s worked with French group Phoenix (May 7, 10.30pm); Dan+Z, a live dance and jazz show from a multicultural mix of performers (May 11, 9pm); and Beytna (Our Home), which brings together four choreographers from different continents in a performance inspired by the daily rituals of hearth and home (May 13 & 14, 9pm). View the full calendar here



Editorial correction, May 10: this exhibition will open May 19 and run through September 11.

BIZARRE/Jesters, peasants and players at the Medici court
May 10–September 4
Andito degli Angiolini, Palazzo Pitti, piazza Pitti, Florence

Anton Domenico Gabbiani, Portrait of 4 Medici Court Servants

Roughly 30 works will be dusted off and taken out of storage for this fascinating glimpse into comical, curious characters that figured heavily into 17th and 18th century court paintings. The focus moves away from the tradition’s staid scenes and figures, instead highlighting those marginalized, bizarre and occasionally monstrous jesters, oddballs and gamblers that make appearances throughout much of the Medici art collections. For additional information, call 055.2388616.


SIP/Festa del Vino
May 7–8
Eataly, via de Martelli 22r, Florence

A range of wineries from around Tuscany will gather at Eataly for two days of tastings and storytelling. Delight your tastebuds with Nobile di Montepulciano from Il Serraglio, light chardonnay from Il Borro or vin santo from Malenchini. Feeling flushed? You can refuel with crostini, cannoli, sandwiches, focaccia and Tuscan cold cuts, which will all be up for grabs during the degustazioni. One token costs 2 euro and entitles you to one tasting; a package deal of 6 can be purchased for 10 euro. For information, including all participating wineries, see the Facebook event.


OPERA/The Hunchback of Notre Dame
May 11–16
Mandela Forum, piazza Enrico Berlinguer, Florence


Victor Hugo’s famous novel comes to life in this modern folk opera, with tormented bell-ringer Quasimodo (Giò Di Tonno) and kindhearted Roma girl Esmeralda (Lola Ponce). As you’re swept up in the compelling story, expect to be dazzled by an impressive thirty-strong troupe of dancers and acrobats. There are 8 shows total, including Saturday and Sunday matinees at 4pm. The version being performed is Pasquale Panella’s Italian adaptation of the original show. For ticketing information, call 055.210804 or visit the Mandela Forum website.


FAMILY/EU Historical Archives: Open Day
May 7, 10am–5.30pm
Villa Salviati, via Bolognese 156, Florence

Villa Salviati Villa Salviati

Explore the gardens and grottoes of the enchanting Villa Salviati during a free Open Day, part of the State of the Union conference at the European University Institute. The Scuola Circo En Piste will host children's circus workshops and will give a 3.30pm performance featuring their daring acrobats and jugglers. The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino will liven up the morning with an 11am concert, while the ReMuTo orchestra will close the festivities with a performance at 4.30pm. Artists Fritzi Metzger and Filippo Dobrilla will have sculptures on display throughout the day. For additional information, see the EUI's State of the Union website; to book guided visits, write to [email protected]

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