Your Thursday forecast: best events in Florence

Our top picks for July 5-11, 2018

Mary Gray
July 5, 2018 - 10:54

2018 IBCPC Participatory Dragon Boat Festival – July 6-8

Info here.


DEBUT/African Diaspora Cinema Festival

July 5-8

Villa Romana, via Senese 68, Florence

With its new status as a full cultural association, Black History Month Florence extends its scope beyond its February initiatives, beginning by co-promoting the inaugural edition of the African Diaspora Cinema Festival at Villa Romana. Featured films in this new festival are from Cameroon, Senegal, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, and numerous other African countries, or are from filmmakers of African origin residing internationally—in Brazil, Canada, France, and the United States, to name a few. The focus for 2018 is on stories related to human trafficking; beyond shedding light on this issue, the event aims to spread awareness of the social and economic power and potential of African-produced cinema. Fiction films, documentaries, and shorts will all be screened, and the program also includes a Nollywood Master Class (a reference to the Nigerian film industry) and round table discussions. Schengen, a related three-part exhibition curated by BHMF, will open at Villa Romana in the days following the festival. The show touches on timely themes of transnational identity, cultural and political borders, and the fluidity and tragedy inherent to the blue water of the Mediterranean today. See and Facebook page BHMF for more information.



NOVELLA/Florence Dance Festival

July 3-August 2

Chiostro Grande of Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Now in its 29th edition, Florence Dance Festival packs its bags for a move to Santa Maria Novella after an eight-year run in the Bargello courtyard. The theme is “Novella Classica”, drawing inspiration from mythology, superheroes and the setting itself (read more about the concept and festival history here). Program highlights are a splashy inaugural show from Nederlands Dans Theater (July 5); a gala evening with the Bill T. Jones company (July 9); a Michael Clark Company show followed by “Swingin’ Hips” themed disco with the Nico Gori Swing 10tet (July 27) and a New Generation night (July 21) spotlighting some emerging Tuscan talents. View the full program at and read our interview with co-founder Keith Ferrone here.


FILM/Apriti Cinema!

June 25-August 11, 9.30pm nightly

Piazzale degli Uffizi, Florence

By day during the height of summer heat, the swarms of people in piazzale degli Uffizi can be a deterrent. But by night, the Giorgio Vasari-designed square has always had a vastly different feel—a magic even more pronounced now that the venue is serving as an open-air movie theatre for the second consecutive year. Apriti Cinema! features a packed program of nightly films, a mixed bag of selections from Florentine festivals (Middle East Now, Festival dei Popoli, Lo Schermo dell'Arte, Florence Queer Festival, among others). The numbers and dates have more than doubled since last year's inaugural edition (with 48 films scheduled, compared to last year's 23) and all movies will still be shown in original language with Italian subtitles. Entrance is free while the limited seats last—but the view is grand even from the gallery steps. Full program here.


JAPAN/Festa Tanabata

July 7 & 8, 5pm

Villa Vogel, via delle Torri 23 - viale Canova, Florence

Make a wish! Lailac, Florence’s Japanese cultural association, hosts traditional Tanabata celebrations in Villa Vogel. Tanabata, also referred to as the "Star Festival," pays tribute to star-crossed lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi. Wishes are written out in poetic form and then hung on bamboo as an homage to the torn-apart pair. Beyond a taste of the traditional rituals, the Florence festival will feature dancing, Japanese street foods, tea, sakè, martial arts and more. Festivities begin at 5pm both days. See the Facebook event for more details.



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