Best events in Florence October 2019

Our top picks for the month of October

Jane Farrell
September 30, 2019 - 15:59

MUSIC/ Lucca Jazz Donna

Until October 26

All-Female Jazz Festival


Lucca has always had a rich tradition and great love for jazz with the Circolo Lucca Jazz club, the Quartetto di Lucca and having even played host to some of the biggest names in jazz like Lars Resberg, Jacques Pelzer and Chet Baker. Female jazz musicians, however, are the focus of Lucca Jazz Donna, stemming from an idea by Giampiero Giusti and Antonello Vannucchi. Expect masterclasses, performances, exhibitions, film and, of course, lots of jam sessions, all with a feminine flair. Free admission to all events. See for info.


Various locations, Lucca




DESIGN/ Florence Biennale - International Exhibition of Contemporary Art and Design

October 18-27

Theme this year is "Ars et Ingenium: Similarity and invention - Celebrating Leonardo da Vinci"


720 exhibitors from 73 countries from all five continents will be present at the 12th edition of the event. A multitude of artistic forms make up the packed programme with ceramics, digital art, calligraphy, photography, sculpture, jewellery, game design and more. The theme this year is “Ars et Ingenium: Similarity and invention - Celebrating Leonardo da Vinci”, in honour of the 500th anniversary of the master of the Renaissance’s demise. SACI will host a number of events as part of the proceedings with acclaimed speakers from MIT and NASA, and a full day of studies on Leonardo da Vinci takes place on October 25, much to the excitement of academics, enthusiasts and the curious. Full programme available at


Padiglione Spadolini, Fortezza da Basso, viale Strozzi 1, Florence




ACTIVISM/ Take back the night

October 17

Walk will end with a candle-lit vigil


“Shatter the Silence. Stop the Violence. Be a voice for those who don’t have one.” This is the powerful message behind Take Back The Night, the volunteer-led foundation that began in America and has now spread across the globe. The community event aims to bring visibility to the problem of sexual violence and to encourage people to actively participate in combatting sexual abuse. The evening’s events (7-10pm) include presentations at the OUA, a walk through the streets of Arezzo from piazza San Francesco to piazza di Sant’Agostino and a candlelit vigil. Associations present include Pronto Donna, Chimera Arcobaleno Arcigay and Oxfam. Read more about the Take Back the Night organization at and the event at


University of Oklahoma, via di San Domenico, Arezzo




CULTURE/ Florence Queer Festival

October 15-20

17th edition takes place from October 15-20


The 17th edition of the Florence Queer Festival is back and bigger than ever. Organized by the IREOS association of Florence, the programme is divided into Queer Books, Queer Focus, and Queer Exhibitions. Particularly noteworthy events include the documentary The Spark by Benoît Marocco which highlights the struggles for equality, as well as the Over the Rainbow 1969-1989 exhibition which reflects on LGBT+ clubbing and culture, from Stonewall in New York to Florence. Actress, model, painter, activist and co-founder of MIT (Movimento Italiano Transessuali) Gianna Parenti * Eva Von Pigalle features in an exhibition curated by Sandra Nastri titled Un corpo che cambia and a 3-minute video competition will also take place for young videomakers. More info at


Cinema La Compagnia, via Camillo Cavour 50/R, + other locations in Florence




FILM/ Downton Abbey

October 31

Film version of popular British series


The premiere of the highly anticipated film version of the popular British series will be an extravagant affair hosted by the Odeon, in partnership with The British Institute of Florence and The Florentine. Set in the early 20th century, the Crawley family, their servants and the splendid Downton Abbey in the idyllic Yorkshire countryside are mutual protagonists, all thrown into disarray by the imminent arrival of King George V to the residence. Directed by Michael Engler and with renowned screenwriter Julian Fellowes, the majority of actors from the original cast of the series resume their roles in this film, with the beloved Hugh Bonneville, Dame Maggie Smith and Michelle Dockery once again delighting us on the screen. A 1920s dress code with prizes for the best-dressed adds to the sense of occasion for what is sure to be a memorable evening. Starts at 9pm; see for full details.


Cinema Odeon Firenze, piazza degli Strozzi, Florence




TECHNOLOGY/ Internet Festival

October 10-13


The ninth edition of the Internet Festival returns to Pisa with international speakers, interactive exhibitions and a jam-packed schedule of events sure to spark debate about the evolving relationship between the internet and society. The tagline of this year’s festival is #regoledelgioco (#therulesofthegame), designed to examine as well as celebrate the idea of internet freedom, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the first cycle of computer science studies in Italy, which took place in Pisa. Make sure not to miss the Italian street artist NO CURVES known for Tape Art, who will take over the Citadel Galileiana. Be awed by Legambiente’s bubble, which recreates the effect of global warming; The Sound of Crowd, a multimedia and digital installation that transforms the faces of people into visual art and sound; and the Digital Aperitif, wine-listening sessions, which bring one of Italy’s favourite exports into the digital world. See for the full programme. 


Various Locations, Pisa




ART/ Vedovamazzei - Black & Lights

Until October 27

Artistic duo Simeone Crispino and Stella Scala


In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Base presents an exhibition by contemporary artistic duo Vedovamazzei, made up of Simeone Crispino and Stella Scala. Base Projetti per l’arte is an idea by artists for other artists. It’s a unique space for practicing and creating art begun in 1998 and curated by a collective of artists who live and work in Tuscany. Florence is brought into the future with contemporary outlooks and ideologies celebrating the suspension of judgement. The exhibition entitled Black & Lights was designed specifically for Base and centres around the theme of paradox. Three works make up the exhibition, all made with different techniques, but united in their use of familiar objects from daily life, but not as we’re used to seeing them. The familiar made unfamiliar awaits. See more at


Base Progetti per l'arte, via san Niccolo 18r, Florence

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