EXHIBITION/Heroes – Bowie by Sukita
Until June 28
Palazzo Medici Riccardi, via Cavour 1, Florence
Ph. Mark Higashino
80-something Japanese photographer Masayoshi Sukita is best known for his long collaboration with the one and only “White Duke,” David Bowie. Out of it came the distinctive cover portrait for Heroes, Bowie’s twelfth studio album, carrier of his chart-topping song of the same name. OEO Firenze Art and Le Nozze di Figaro have teamed up with the Città Metropolitana di Firenze and the Comune to spotlight Sukita’s most iconic photographs of his creative hero and friend Bowie. Around 90 photographs—some of them on display in Italy for the first time—will be exhibited in Palazzo Medici Riccardi, while a range of related events and concerts will run concurrently. For more information, see www.oeoart.com.
FILM/Middle East Now
Until April 7
Cinema La Compagnia, Cinema Stensen and others
“Remix” is the theme at the tenth edition of film festival Middle East Now, which will feature 44 films from Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Israel, Turkey, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. In celebration of the ten-year milestone, the festival takes a look back, starting with its spotlighted director, Asghar Farhadi, the two-time Academy Award winning Iranian superstar who featured at the first edition when he was still an unknown. Farhadi’s participation brings with it a broadly Iran-focused section, headquartered at the Cinema Stensen. For the full program, see www.middleastnow.it.
Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence
Hike up to piazzale Michelangelo, forget about the panorama, and focus on your palate: the traveling Gelato Festival is coming back to Florence’s prime overlook. A year-round, competitive, itinerant event culminating in September, the Gelato Festival crosses the planet in search of the world’s tastiest ice cream. Gelato makers gussy up their creations and put their best flavors forward; both pro juries and the public tick off their favorite tastes on a ballot, determining who advances. But let’s be honest—the competition really isn’t your top concern, is it? Enjoy sampling the sweet treats of some 16 Italian and European gelatai, against the backdrop of Poggi’s panorama, basking in the knowledge that gelato began here in the Renaissance city (see: Bernardo Buontalenti). For more information, visit www.gelatofestival.com.
CHARITY/FILE Florence Vintage Market
Serre Torrigiani, via Gusciana 21, Florence
Wardrobe could use a spring refresh? Rifle through the vintage-filled racks at Serre Torrigiani, where for the second time palliative care organization FILE will host an open-air market for a fine cause. (Last year, the market raised some 18,000 euro to support their work assisting palliative care patients and their families.) Expect a plethora of coveted designer merch and one-of-a-kind pieces, all generously donated; garments, accessories and jewelry for men, women and children will be up for sale. Beyond the bargain shopping, enjoy live music, children’s activities curated by the Labsitters group and an ample selection of street foods from Terra Rossa, the outfit usually set up in the Parco della Carraia, moonlighting at Serre Torrigiani for the occasion. For more information, see www.leniterapia.it.
April 25-May 20
Viale Michelangelo 82, Florence
Ph. Giardino Iris
Every Florentine spring brings with it a scramble to the city’s lushest green spots. Chief among these is the Iris Garden, not least for its limited-time-only quality. The irises are in bloom for only a short time, and open access (no booking needed) to the volunteer-run garden comes but once a year, beginning on Liberation Day, April 25. Enter from the eastern end of piazzale Michelangelo and explore at leisure its 2.5 hectares of grounds, which include not only a vibrant variety of irises, but gasp-worthy panoramic views, a Monet-ready pond and a series of cobbled walkways to wind through. Admission is free, but donations to the volunteer-run association are encouraged; hours are 10am-1pm and 3-7.30pm. For more information, see www.societaitalianairis.com.
HOLIDAY/An “explosive” Easter
Various venues in Florence
Unofficially ushering in high tourist season in Florence, Easter weekend in the city is jam-packed with as many activities and rituals as there are people. Beyond Sunday morning masses, the main attraction is the centuries-old rite of the Scoppio del Carro (Explosion of the Cart), which features a firework-filled cart known as the “Brindellone”, paraded through the city ceremoniously by white oxen. The cart arrives in piazza Duomo to great fanfare, and the proceedings culminate with a uniquely Florentine fireworks show, set off by a dove-shaped rocket known as the colombina, taking flight from the high altar of Santa Maria del Fiore and igniting the cart’s holdings. The Scoppio typically attracts legions of tourists and locals, so arrive before 10am on April 21 if you’d like to catch any of the action up close. Stay tuned to www.theflorentine.net for a thorough guide to all Easter-related festivities.
DANCE/Isadora Duncan and Italy
April 13-September 22
Villa Bardini and Museo Bardini, Florence
Acclaimed French-American dancer and preeminent bohémienne Isadora Duncan is the subject of Villa Bardini’s and Museo Bardini’s spring show, A passi di danza. Isadora Duncan e le arti figurative in Italia tra Ottocento e avanguardia. Paintings, documents and photographs—some of them never before displayed publicly—will be spread across two floors of Villa Bardini, while Museo Bardini will host a sculpture section for a combined total of 170 pieces. The common thread in all of the works is their reflection of Italy’s unexpected connections to Duncan, who pioneered academic theories of dance and developed her own take on the unique movement of feminine bodies and their relation to space. For more information, see www.villabardini.it or call 055 20066233.
FAMILY/Firenze dei Bambini
Various venues in Florence
What do little ones have to learn from Leonardo da Vinci? What don’t they have to learn from this titan of creativity, science and innovation is the better question. Florentine children’s festival Firenze dei Bambini joins the ranks of Leonardo da Vinci-themed events as the world marks 500 years since the multitalented master’s death. In line with past editions, the festival is open to a broad range of ages, from true tykes to tweens, and a variety of institutions will put on their kid-friendly hats for the weekend: the Biblioteca delle Oblate, Le Murate, the Istituto degli Innocenti and others will host workshops, musical events and entertainment. Organized by Mus.e Firenze, the full program is on www.firenzebambini.it.