May 14, 10am
Starting line: lungarno Zecca Vecchia, Florence
Deejay Ten is designed to put your standard workout playlists to shame. More of a casual runners’ party than a serious competition, the footrace has 5K and 10K options that both take place to the beats of big hits. Dance your way through downtown: both routes move through some of the Tuscan capital’s most scenic landmarks, including piazza della Repubblica, Porta Romana and Ponte Vecchio, with finish lines in the Santa Croce area (5K) and in piazza della Signoria (10K). A festive runners’ village will be set up in piazza Santa Croce throughout the weekend. For more information and to register, see the website.
Break out your native country's (or your favorite country's) flag and make your way to Glue to cheer on contestants in the Eurovision Song Contest, the longest-running among international televised song competitions. This year the guilty pleasure will be broadcast live from Kiev (Ukraine); come enjoy it with good company and over an unlimited buffet! Admission with drink and buffet (from 7 to 9pm) is 12 euro; admission to the show only (9pm) is 5 euro. Stick around to jam out and celebrate the winning country afterwards. For further information, see the Facebook event, hosted by enthusiastic Eurovision fan Leonardo Bressan.
Escape the chaos of the city: wind your way over to Florence’s two hectare Iris Garden, one of the city’s most tranquil green spaces, all volunteer-run and open only for a brief period each May when the flowers are in bloom. Want more than a wander? The garden volunteers have also organized a series of “Pomeriggi letterari” (Literary Afternoons) in collaboration with the Natural History Museum of the University of Florence; the next dates are May 25 and June 1 at 4.30pm both days. For more information, call 055483112 or see the website.
Take part in a whole-town toast to the artistic achievements of students at the international Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici. Art is in the Square is an annual May showcase of student artwork, as well as a celebration of cultural diversity and Florentine heritage. The day begins with a pop-up art and design exhibition in piazza San Lorenzo, followed by a 5pm dance performance in the hidden Church of San Jacopo in Campo Corbolini. Rain locations are the nearby via dell’Alloro 13 and 14.
Fresh off of a performance at the Venice Biennale, Nigerian sculptor and performance artist Jelili Atiku will arrive in Florence to perform in public spaces with Prince Adetomiwa Gbadebo, the 2015 Artist in Residence of Florence Gospel Choir; opera singer Angela Williams; architect and art director Eusebio De Cristofaro; and Maestro Nehemiah H. Brown with members of the Florence Gospel Choir. The "How Not to Dance Tchaikovsky Symphony" is a processional performance moving from piazza della Signoria to via de' Benci, relying heavily on historical elements. Through symbolic bodily and musical gestures, the group will comment on the consequences of Fascist and neo-Nazi tendencies and policies present in contemporary society. For additional information, see the official description on EventBrite.