CONCERT/The enchanted piazza
8.30pm, June 28
Piazza Santa Croce, Florence
Spend an evening in the glorious setting of piazza Santa Croce. As part of initiatives celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Fondazione CR Firenze, 500 musicians will take to the stage to perform together: the Opera di Firenze choir, the orchestras and choirs of the Conservatorio Cherubini and the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole. In keeping with the grandeur of the setting, the “Temple of Italian Glories”, the repertoire for the evening will be a range of the masters, spanning Schubert to Beethoven to Tchaikovsky to Verdi. Entry is free but space is limited and reservations required. Email email@example.com to secure your seat.
TRICKS/Effimero e Meraviglia
10pm, June 12
Piazza Pitti, Florence
Tastemakers and buyers, fashion giants and victims are the talk of the town each June with the VIP menswear fair Pitti Uomo, now in its 92nd edition. In preparation for the twice-annual invasion of pretty people and paparazzi (June 13-16), the Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana will sponsor an elaborate outdoor acrobatic show in piazza Pitti, titled “Meraviglia Water and Flames.” Sit and be spellbound by the elaborate twists and turns of the Sonics acrobat group, an Italian team of gymnasts, acrobats and artisans who have performed all over the world, from Miami to Mumbai. For a full list of Pitti Uomo events—including some open to the public—head here.
DIALOGUE/Glenn Brown. Piaceri Sconosciuti
June 10-October 23
Museo Stefano Bardini, via dei Renai 37, Florence
British artist Glenn Brown is a borrower and inventor—perhaps an “appropriator with permission”—a painter known for unearthing old images and breathing new life into them, from recognizable artworks to rarely-seen characters and landscapes. At once embracing certain painterly conventions and eschewing others, Brown uses images from artistic periods including the Renaissance, Impressionism and Surrealism to compose his works. Fresh off an exhibition at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam, Brown’s work arrives in Florence for a dialogue with the Museo Bardini’s permanent collection. For additional information, call 055 2342427.
June 2-October 1
Forte Belvedere and various venues, Florence
After successful summer shows by international giants Jan Fabre and Antony Gormley, Forte Belvedere will use this season’s show, “Ytalia: Energy Thought Beauty. Everything is Connected“ to spotlight 20th century and contemporary Italian artists. But the exhibition will extend far beyond the fortress walls, touching down in eight other prestigious venues—Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery, the Palatine and Modern Art Galleries at Palazzo Pitti, the Boboli Gardens, Santa Croce, the Marino Marini Museum and Museo Novecento. Artists in the lineup include Giovanni Anselmo, Jannis Kounellis and Luciano Fabro, among others. By purchasing an initial 2 euro ticket to the exhibition, residents can have access to Forte Belvedere for free for the duration of “Ytalia”. For non-residents, admission cost is 3 euro. For additional information, see the exhibition website.
MOVEMENT/Florence Dance Festival
June 27-July 25
Bargello Museum and various venues, Florence
The Bargello’s courtyard will be brought to life once again by the Florence Dance Festival, now in its eighth edition. This year’s theme, “Bargello in Danza,” looks to the magnificent museum as muse. Performances will vary in genre, from saucy tango and flamenco to ultra-conceptual choreography.The related Creative Artist Series will include “MoDem a domicilio,” an international dance workshop and performance with Roberto Zappalà, and an exhibition dedicated to the sculptor Ghiorgo Zafiropulo. Tip: if you think you’ll be attending more than one show, pick up the FlorenceDanceCard at the Bargello and get three performances for the price of two. For the full program, see the website.
June 10, 11 + 24
Piazza Santa Croce, Florence
Not for the faint of heart, this history-driven tradition is part ceremony, part sport, part brawl, and 100 percent Florentine. Originating in the 16th century, calcio storico is a brutal form of rugby-football, and fans have fierce loyalty to their neighborhood teams. This year’s matches begin with the Reds of Santa Maria Novella facing off against the Greens of San Giovanni, followed by the Whites of Santo Spirito against the Blues of Santa Croce. Per Renaissance city ritual, the final is set for June 24, the feast day of Saint John the Baptist (San Giovani Battista). Ahead of the matches, an afternoon parade leaves piazza Santa Maria Novella and weaves through downtown to arrive at the pitch in piazza Santa Croce. For ticket information, head here.
TRAVEL/Festival del Viaggio
Various venues in Florence
Wayfarers of the world, unite: Florence’s annual celebration-conference focused on the value of the voyage is back. Festival del Viaggio features poetry readings, book presentations, documentary screenings, debates and more. Kick off your shoes and stroll through the Cascine Park with the barefoot adventurers of the Società Italiana dei Viaggiatori (11.30am, June 11; email firstname.lastname@example.org to book), or head to Le Murate for a peek into how Florence’s free presses illustrate the city to Italian and international tourists (7.30pm, June 7; The Florentine will be present, but the primary language will be Italian). For the full program, see the website.
Fortezza da Basso (Medici pavilion), Florence
Stock up on statement pieces at this megamarket, a public shopping expo of vintage threads and accessories with the profumo of Pitti still wafting through the air. Exhibitors from around Italy will set up shop in the Fortezza da Basso for the 30th edition—theme unannounced at press time—and if it follows past protocol, there’ll be plenty of books, prints and performances to round out the fashionable fun. It’s like raiding the closet of a grandparent with very good taste. Admission is 5 euro; hours are 9am to 7pm on Wednesday and Thursday and 9am to 4pm on Friday. For program updates, visit the website.
SPIRITED/Festa della Cultura, San Giovanni Battista
Various venues in Florence
Pay homage to the patron saint of Florence, John the Baptist, by participating in this annual festival. With a “trinity” of themes—music, art, spirituality—this year’s edition will include a number of concerts, including the world premiere of Frederick Frahm’s “Agnus Dei,” performed by soprano Aliz Csanyi, organist Natalia Van and the Orpheus Ensemble. The premiere will immediately follow a concert of peace-themed music with Elisa Malatesti and the Orpheus Ensemble (8.30pm, June 15, Santi Apostoli). Also on the program: worship services at Santi Apostoli, an art workshop at The Florence Studio, an exhibition and conference at the European School of Economics and numerous other initiatives. For the full program, see the website.
INTERDISCIPLINARY/The Season at NYU
Until August 4
Villa La Pietra, via Bolognese 120, Florence
‘Tis The Season once again—not for Natale, but for NYU Florence’s exceptional summer festival, which offers a full program of outdoor theatre, conversations, concerts and art exhibitions, among other events. A hip take on Homer by theatrical group Continuum Company is among the June highlights: see “The Odyssey—Everyone’s Seeking Something” on June 12 at 9pm. Also taking place is The Writers’ Season, a series of dialogues with poets and fiction writers curated by Alessandro Raveggi, author, lecturer and editor of TheFLR. The Florentine Literary Review. Events are all free but require a reservation: email email@example.com or call 055.5007210. For the full program, head here.
Mega-concerts are on during June at the Visarno Arena (Cascine Park) – see our Estate Fiorentina special and get ready to rock out. Meanwhile, over at the Limonaia of Villa Strozzi, a month-long LGBTQI Pride park is being prepped: see our interview with the organizer here.