May 5-October 13
Boboli Gardens, piazza Pitti, Florence
The Boboli Gardens’ quasi-rebranding as a summertime contemporary art park continues with a solo exhibition by the Britain-born, Germany-based artist and sculptor Tony Cragg. As the founder of nature-and-sculpture nursery Waldfrieden Sculpture Park in Wuppertal and a prominent member of the plastic arts genre, Cragg is a fitting figure for Boboli; his work is known for its Minimalist inspiration, Futurism-like dynamism and experimental elements. Expect to see a dialogue between art and public space (and a perplexing centerpiece that resembles a giant assemblage of discarded pepperonis). The exhibition is curated by Uffizi Galleries Director Eike Schmidt and Jon Wood and admission is included in the entry ticket to the Boboli Gardens. For more information, see www.uffizi.it.
Who could say no to an Italy-wide wine weekend? Cantine Aperte is a beloved springtime sipping ritual organized by the Movimento Turismo del Vino, running since 1993 and seeing wineries and bars up and down the boot open their doors for guided visits, tastings and toasts. Dozens of Tuscan participants, all members of the MTV, are on the program: you’ll be spoilt for choice even if you plan to stick within the Florence province (Ruffino’s Tenuta Poggio Casciano, Castello di Vicchiomaggio, Antinori Chianti Classico and Castello di Querceto are among the players). Art and gastronomy also tend to be part of the tradition, with some wineries hosting mini-exhibitions and musical performances for the occasion, and area restaurants joining in on the fun. For details about the Tuscan edition, see www.mtvtoscana.com.
Now in its 14th edition, Festival del Viaggio is a travel-centric celebration highlighting the joys and trials of time on the road (or at sea, or in the sky...you get the idea). This year's program features a variety of lectures, themed walks and "urban hikes". A particular highlight for contemporary history buffs: Florence's German Institute (borgo Ognissanti 9) will host Alessandro Agostinelli and Francesca Zilio's talk Berlino: Tutti giù dal muro: La caduta del muro e 30 anni di libertà di viaggio in DDR. Also on the program is the festival's traditional barefoot walk through the Cascine, hosted by the Viaggi Società Italiana dei Viaggiatori. (Reservations are obligatory via [email protected]). For the full program, head here.
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.
A world-class, contemporary anthropology festival, Dialoghi sull'Uomo (Dialogues on Man) is now in its 10th edition. This year's theme is "The work of living together," featuring a wide range of discussions, performances, exhibitions and workshops related to ideas of integration, shared stories and languages, and breaking down barriers between (and within) cultures. Alongside the talks and initiatives at the heart of the program, a related photo exhibition will run: Paolo Pellegrin - Borders of Humanity, which features 60 photographs (some of them never before displayed) taken over 30 years in Algeria, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq and the United States, with the aim of showcasing how life is still divided along racial lines within the United States (May 24-June 30, Palazzo Comunale, Pistoia). For the full program, see www.dialoghisulluomo.it.