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.
SAINTLY/Festa della Cultura, San Giovanni Battista
Various venues in Florence
Music, art and spirituality come together in this annual festival, a community-oriented celebration of Florence’s patron saint. The program at this year’s edition includes two exhibitions at the European School of Economics in Palazzo Rosselli del Turco; community benefit concerts by Gianluca Lastraioli (lute), Lucia Sciannimanico (mezzo-soprano), Natascha Majek (piano), the Harding University Singers and the Orpheus Ensemble; Mass in English and Italian at Santi Apostoli; guided visits to various churches and museums; a screening of David Battistella’s film Light and Spirit; and art workshops organized by The Florence Studio and Tom J. Byrne. View the full calendar here.
June 13–October 2
Stefano Bardini Museum, via dei Renai 37, Florence
John Currin is contemporary American painting’s reigning “bad boy,” known for his satirical and sexualized artwork, blending classical techniques with his self-described “trashy” sensibilities. In his comically crude paintings, viewers find the fleshiness of Rubens, the frivolity of Fragonard and the pop references of Warhol. Currin’s show is the first in the new “Contrappunti” exhibition series, aiming to make the public more aware of the Stefano Bardini Museum’s antique treasures through unexpected and provocative juxtapositions. For additional information, call 055/2342427.
MOVEMENT/Twyla Tharp Dance
June 21, 8.45pm
Teatro Verdi, via Ghibellina 97, Florence
The inaugural event of this year’s Florence Dance Festival is a spectacular show arranged and presented by renowned New York choreographer Twyla Tharp. With both a Tony and an Emmy under her belt, Tharp’s numbers and versatility are impressive: she’s choreographed six Hollywood movies, four full-length ballets, four Broadway shows, 129 dances and countless other productions. The Teatro Verdi performance will comprise three works: Country Dances (1976), Brahms Paganini (1980) and the world premiere of Tharp’s choreography set to Beethoven’s Opus 130. For ticketing information, call 055/212320 or visit Teatro Verdi’s website.
RAINBOW/Toscana Pride Park
Limonaia of Villa Strozzi, via Pisana 77, Florence
Following the Italian Senate’s recent approval of legislation recognizing same-sex civil unions, celebrations at the first-ever Toscana Pride Park are particularly timely. Villa Strozzi’s Limonaia will host a colorful series of LGBT-themed events, from film and documentary screenings to parties, concerts and book presentations. Highlights include the opening party (10pm, June 11); a conference on same-sex parenting organized by Rete Genitori Rainbow (9pm, June 12); a cheeky performance by Milan-based group Nina’s Drag Queens (9pm, June 15); and an outdoor brunch to cap off the festivities on June 19. View the full program here.
June 5–August 23
Villa La Pietra and various venues in Florence
Every summer, New York University’s Villa La Pietra hosts The Season, a varied, interdisciplinary series of live readings, concerts and theatrical performances, all offering free entry and taking place in the villa’s most jaw-dropping settings. Renowned and emerging artists, intellectuals, poets and musicians participate, often engaging in open dialogue with the audience after their performances. Events are followed by outdoor receptions overlooking the lush villa and Florentine skyline. Reservations are required for all events to email@example.com. The full program is online here.
FASHION/Karl Lagerfeld at Palazzo Pitti
June 14–October 23
Palazzo Pitti, piazza Pitti, Florence
During the 90th edition of menswear showcase Pitti Uomo (June 14–17), Palazzo Pitti will open Karl Lagerfeld–Visions of Fashion, a photography exhibition dedicated to the 82-year-old creative director and head designer for Chanel, Fendi and his own fashion label. Two hundred photographs—many from shoots published in such style bibles as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and V—will be spread throughout Palazzo Pitti, beginning in the Scalone del Moro and continuing through the Palatine Gallery, the Sala Bianca and two rooms of the Appartamenti degli Arazzi. Image types include platinum prints, Polaroid transfers, daguerreotypes and digital prints. For additional information, see Pitti Immagine’s website.
June 19, 8pm
Cascine Park, Florence
Teenyboppers and party people will take over the Cascine when the MTV Awards ceremony returns to town. The fun kicks off with an 8pm MTV Awards Social Party, open to all, with the main show following at 9pm. Alessandra Amoroso, Emis Killa, Benji & Fede, The Kolors and Lorenzo Fragola of “#FuoriCeilSole” fame are just a few of the young stars who will take to the stage. Late into the night, there’ll be plenty of off-camera action and dancing during the Aftershow Party, featuring performances by Il Pagante and Merk & Kremont. More information is available here.
June 11, 12 & 24
Piazza Santa Croce, Florence
Brace yourselves: calcio storico is back! The quintessential Florentine sport, originating in the 16th century, hosts its traditional Santa Croce takeover mid-month–with plenty of pomp and circumstance pre- and post-football. Matches kick off with the Verdi battling the Bianchi on June 11, followed by the Rossi roughhousing against the Azzurri on June 12. Per tradition, the grand finale will take place on June 24, the Feast Day of John the Baptist (San Giovanni Battista), Florence’s patron saint. For all matches, a procession will leave piazza Santa Maria Novella at 3.30pm, winding its way to the pitch in Santa Croce, where flag-throwing troupe Bandierai degli Uffizi will perform at 5pm. All matches will then kick off around 5.30pm. More information here.
JOURNEY/Festival del Viaggio
Spazio Alfieri and various venues in Florence
Explore the world right here in the Renaissance city! With editions in Palermo and Florence, this festival features travel-themed film screenings, exhibitions, lectures and events. Given that 2016 is the Jubilee Year of Mercy, with pilgrimage a frequent topic of discussion, one of this year’s main themes is traveling on foot. An urban stroll through Florence’s street art scene will be one of this edition’s main events (6.30pm, June 10; reservations required to firstname.lastname@example.org), along with a barefoot trek through the Cascine (10.30am, June 12, reservations required to email@example.com). Other highlights include a Siberia-themed exhibition by Russian photographer Oleg Kugaev (opening 6pm, June 8, Spazio Alfieri) and Rocco Rorandelli’s migration-focused photography (opening 7pm, June 10, Fondazione Studio Marangoni). View the full program here.
BLAST/The Color Run
Starting point: Visarno Arena, Cascine Park, Florence (3.30–5.30pm)
Grab some teammates and get ready to take part in what’s been branded the “happiest 5k on the planet!” Wear white: all along the Color Run’s course, sideline cheerleaders will douse runners and walkers with colorful powders. Your goal is to make the most kaleidoscopic finish! Register online here, and act quickly–spots always go fast! View more details on the website.
June 29–July 1
Fortezza da Basso, viale Filippo Strozzi 1, Florence
Post-Pitti Uomo, you may be inspired to give your own street style a boost. That’s where this seasonal market comes in: top vintage vendors from around Italy come to town to showcase and sell the best of their collections. Normally held at the Stazione Leopolda, the June edition will be moved to the Fortezza da Basso. Program details are still being defined, but expect more than just deals on duds: the mega-marketplace generally features DJ sets, aperitivi and events. Watch the website for updates.
Want even more top picks for the month? Check out our Estate Fiorentina special for information on outdoor films, mega concerts and more!