More of the same is what we can expect from Florence in 2020.
From a plastic-free drive to allegiance among the city’s contemporary art venues and Guns N’ Roses in June as well as breaking ground on the Bagno a Ripoli tramline and Fiorentina’s football training ground, Florence is looking to the future, while focusing on the problems of the present with a multi-million euro package to clean up Santa Maria Novella station.
In the spirit of ideas worth sharing, TEDx comes to Florence on April 18 for a day of talks and workshops. In the usual TED Talks vein, the aim is to bring brilliant minds together for a series of presentations focused on the theme of reassurance. Organized by Stefania Betti and Anna Goddi, learning, wonder and inspiration are at the centre of the experience, in order to spark deep conversations that are capable of restoring hope and positivity to an increasingly divided society.
Tram to Bagno a Ripoli
Work on Florence’s third tramline between piazza della Libertà and Bagno a Ripoli is scheduled to begin in October. Covering 7.2 kilometres with 17 stops, the route includes the construction of a bridge between Bellariva and Gavinana, a tram depot and three car parks at the end of the line. Following criticism about the use of pylons around Santa Maria Novella station (trials are underway to see if the power lines could be removed), plans envisage battery-powered trams. The project has been given a provisional completion date of October 2023.
Cleaning up the station
Four million euro have been allocated to combat the drugs problem around Santa Maria Novella train station. The clean up will include the introduction of six additional police patrols on the ground and councillors to provide professional advice to those with drug addictions. Latest generation lighting and 150 CCTV cameras will be installed around the station in the first few months of the years. Furthermore, drugs education will be expanded in the city’s secondary schools.
August 4 marks 200 years since the birth of Pellegrino Artusi. Author of the book Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well, Artusi is regarded as the forefather of modern Italian cooking and celebrations will doubtless be organized in Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna. Food writer Leonardo Romanelli is planning a sort of “pilgrimage” between Artusi’s birthplace of Forlimpopoli, in the Forlì-Cesena province, and the Porte Sante cemetery, his final resting place, skirting piazza Massimo D’Azeglio, where Artusi lived in Florence. Expect plenty of bites along the way.
Allegiance among museums
The City of Florence’s cultural powers-that-be are striving for greater allegiance between Museo Novecento and Forte Belvedere as contemporary arts venues. Sergio Risaliti, artistic director of Museo Novecento, stated that his dream would be for Florence to establish a multicentre network of contemporary culture in which “collections, exhibitions, training, research and creation co-exist”. The first step in this direction will be Fabio Mauri’s Wailing Wall exhibited in the Palazzo Vecchio’s Sala dei Gigli for International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.
Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno will be exhibiting at Palazzo Strozzi from February 22 to July 19. His oeuvre can be viewed as ongoing research informed by art, architecture, biology, astrophysics and engineering. His floating sculptures, community projects and interactive installations explore sustainable ways of inhabiting and sensing the environment. This radical site-specific installation, Saraceno’s largest project in Italy to date, is expected to transform the various corners of the Renaissance building into a unified space. The Uffizi will be hosting the first monographic exhibition on 19th-century painter Giuseppe Bezzuoli (April 2 to July 31), while Palazzo Pitti will welcome Giovanna Garzoni’s English lapdogs and Chinese porcelain (March 6 – June 7) as well as ancient illuminated manuscripts and pages cut out of their original volumes from Italy’s numerous religious institutions, stolen and subsequently recovered by the Heritage Protection Unit (March 21 – June 23).
By adopting the agreement signed by 50 European cities in Oslo on October 24, 2019, Florence is reducing plastic pollution and the unnecessary use of disposable plastics. Green managers will be appointed in all municipal offices, brochures will be distributed to encourage citizens to reduce their use of plastic and an educational campaign is being introduced in schools. More public water fountains will be installed and serving tap water will be encouraged in restaurants. Waste collection days in parks and gardens are being organized with schools and local associations, while residents who reduce their waste disposal will receive discounts on the Tari tax.
Striking a chord
Musicals continue galore in 2020: Abba Dream pays tribute to the Swedish foursome at TuscanyHall on February 20; Grease brings the cult film to Teatro Verdi (February 29 – March 1), followed by Ghost: The Musical on the same stage (May 7-10). Classical connoisseurs will enjoy the eclectic 2020 line-up at Florence’s opera house, including Riccardo Muti’s conducting of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Wagner, Hindemith and Prokofiev) on January 20, La traviata in February and March, and what promises to be a rather unusual tribute to Maria Callas by Marina Abramović in early June. Firenze Rocks returns to the Visarno Arena in the Cascine park from June 10 to 13. Italian singer-songwriter Vasco Rossi sets the stage with his Non-Stop Live Festival on June 10, while Californian rock bands Green Day and Weezer pull in the crowds on June 11 and Guns N’ Roses take over on June 12. Red Hot Chili Peppers is a big draw as the LA band performs everyone’s favourite hits on June 13.
ONES TO WATCH
-He died young, at 37, but he made an incredible impression. Expect myriad events to mark the quincentennial of Raphael’s death, including a major exhibition in Rome.
-Ground has been broken along viale Belfiore for The Student Hotel’s second premises in Florence. Will it take the scheduled two years?
-Happy #domeday! 2020 marks 600 years since construction began on Brunelleschi’s dome. A commission is welcoming ideas on how to celebrate: email@example.com.