Best events in Florence, November 10–16

Our top picks for the week

Mary Gray
November 10, 2016 - 11:05

SPACE/From Galileo to Mars: Renaissance of the Artsciences

November 12, from 9am
Cinema Odeon & SACI – Palazzo dei Cartelloni, Florence


Professor Dava Newman, MIT: Inventor, Science and Engineering. Guillermo Trotti, A.I.A., Trotti and Associates,
Inc. (Cambridge, MA): Design Dainese (Vicenza, Italy): Fabrication. Dougas Sonders: Photography

Prepare for liftoff! Deputy Administrator of NASA Dava Newman and astronauts Nicole Stott and Paolo Nespoli are among the guests at this world-class science and arts symposium, organized by SACI. The first portion of the day will focus on presentations by renowned scientists, artists and designers. Using NASA’s mission to Mars as a conversational “launchpad”, the conference will shed light on the potential for multidisciplinary approaches to space exploration—special guest Guillermo Trotti, an architect and designer who’s worked with NASA, will bear witness to this collaborative spirit. From 3.30pm, guests can view artist Lia Halloran’s “Your Body is a Space that Sees”, a series dedicated to women in astronomy, along with work by SACI students. Admission is free; see SACI's website for the full program. 

FOOD/Florence Food + Wine Biennial
November 10–28
Various venues in Florence


Get ready to embrace your inner gourmand! Florence’s Food + Wine Biennial returns with a packed program of conferences, cooking and cocktail shows, industry events and off-circuit fun open to the public. The official Biennial marketplace will take place in piazza della Repubblica (November 10–13, 10am–9pm). Non-professional ribollita lovers are invited to present their best recipes in the “Palio della ribolitta”, held at the Mercato Centrale (November 12, 11am–2pm; email [email protected] to sign up). A street food showcase will be set up in piazza Bartali (viale Giannotti 81–85, November 11–13) and participating restaurants around town will put creative twists on the “Menù del Giorno” concept. View the full program here

WINE/Chianti Classico Celebration at MCF
November 11, from 5pm
Mercato Centrale, piazza del Mercato Centrale, Florence



300 years ago in 1716, Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III de' Medici officially delineated the boundaries of the Chianti Classico region. Anniversary celebrations have been organized all year by the Consorzio Chianti Classico. Join in the fun at the Mercato Centrale: on Friday, beginning at 5pm, the first floor will feature tastings at various booths (8 euro for 3 samples; 15 for unlimited). The venue's Enoteca del Chianti Classico will offer a mini-course on "wine in 30 minutes," held in Italian (join in at 6pm or 10pm for a wine focus, or take part at 9pm or 11pm to learn more about food-wine pairing). Presentations on traditional recipes from the Chianti area will also take place at 7pm and 8pm around the enoteca. 


LEGACY/The Medici Dynasty Show: Students' Night
November 16, 7pm
Il Fuligno, via Faenza 48, Florence


With the recent Rai1 launch of Medici: Masters of Florence, buzz about the Renaissance city’s “royal family” has been in the air. While the TV series starts from the time of Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici, founder of the family bank, local English theatre production The Medici Dynasty Show zeroes in on a conversation between the final two heirs. In addition to the regularly scheduled productions, two special events are on tap: this week, students can snag discounted tickets (18 euro) for the November 16 show and will have the chance to meet and greet the actors after the curtain call. To get the discount, mention that you read about it on The Florentine. (Looking ahead, the team will also celebrate the 300th performance on November 30 with a cocktail party open to the audience after the show). For more information, see the website.


SUSPENSEFUL/The Girl on the Train
Shows November 10–16
Odeon Cinehall, piazza Strozzi, Florence


If you loved Paula Hawkins' bestselling page-turner of the same name – which stayed in the top spot on the The New York Times Fiction Bestsellers for 13 consecutive weeks – you won't want to miss the stirring, suspenseful story brought to life on the big screen. Tate Taylor's movie stars Emily Blunt as a recent divorcee' who becomes enamored with the picture-perfect existence of a couple she spots on her daily commute. Things quickly take a turn when she witnesses something unthinkable and gets wrapped up in a missing person case. The Chicago Sun-Times called this psychological thriller "shiny trash" – but perfectly befitting of a blockbuster, we'd say. See it from November 10 to 16 at the Odeon.


RAINBOW/Florence Queer Festival
Until November 15
La Compagnia, via Cavour 5, and various venues in Florence


The Florence Queer Festival returns to town this week to celebrate love and identity in all their many shades. The festival showcases a variety of recent films with LGBTQ themes, including the closer Hunky Dory (pictured), a film by Michael Curtis Johnson telling the tale of a glam-rock devotee and drag queen who gets a jarring surprise when his ex drops off their 11-year-old son and then disappears. Participants can save their festival tickets for upcoming events, including the Dragpennyopera at Teatro Metastasio in Prato (November 17–20) and a campy take on Dante themes in Alessandro Fullin's Divina at Teatro Puccini in Florence (December 1). For the full program, see the website.


PARTY/Bollywood Night 
November 11, from 8pm
Tasso Hostel, via Villani 15, Florence



Ahead of the River to River Florence Indian Film Festival (coming up December 3–8), take part in a night full of Bollywood flavor. During the evening, partygoers will have the chance to sample Indian cuisine prepared by Basheer Kitty Mansoor of "India at your home," dance to blockbuster hits from Bollywood movie soundtracks spun by DJ Pink Panther, and watch a dance performance by Clarissa Reale. Guests are encouraged to dress with an India-inspired theme! Entry cost is 15 euro and will go toward festival funding, which brings 20 films and numerous special guests to town this year. For more information, see the official Facebook event.


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