VINTAGE/ Wine Previews
Cheers to wine season! Connoisseurs and the curious come to the Consorzio Vino Chianti’s splashy showcase, Chianti Lovers (www.consorziovinochianti.it) on February 16 when the Fortezza da Basso becomes a temple for wine lovers as the new Chianti D.O.C.G. 2018 and Riserva 2017 are presented for tasting. This is one wine-filled month: the Chianti Classico Collection also holds its preview event at Stazione Leopolda (www.chianticlassico.com). Over 200 producers present over 740 wines to sample (we do not recommend trying to taste them all!). Chianti Classico Collection is open to the public February 18 from 2 to 8pm. Read more about the Tuscan wine preview week on page 26.
Fortezza da Basso and Stazione Leopolda
A firm fixture in February, this invitation to have nuanced discussions about Afro-Descendent cultures and people is now in its 5th edition. The theme this year, Obbligato, is a play on the jazz term where the countermelody is as important as the central melody line. With 50 events varying from art, dance and theatre to workshops, talks and storytelling for children, this edition launches several new features like ‘On Being Present’, a virtual interface on the Uffizi Galleries website, examining Black African presence in the collections. With the intention of recovering Black History across Italy, this is an important and highly anticipated series of events. See www.blackhistorymonthflorence.com and page 4 for more details.
If you’re ready to be dislocated and to have your human-centric view of the world challenged then head straight for the Aria exhibition by Tomàs Saraceno at Palazzo Strozzi. Get ready to see insects, dust particles and plants in a whole new light in this immersive art project. Challenging our very sense of place in this world, the works shift the idea of us humans at the centre of the world, to the sense of ourselves as part of the universe. The Argentinian artist blends art, architecture and science in a dramatic and engaging display as we forge new connections with the world we live in. See www.palazzostrozzi.org.
piazza degli Strozzi, Florence
Marvel at the majestic movement and sprightly skills of the very best dancers at the largest international dance event. A jaw-dropping 400 events takes place over the course of 4 days as dancers from all over the world compete for prestigious prizes. The 15th edition is attended by professionals and those wishing to take part in classes with the opportunity of winning a scholarship to an academy of dance. Not foot-fancy? Come along to simply to look on in amazement at dramatic displays and thrilling performances. Varying from street dancing to hip-hop and funk, you won’t be able to stand still as the magnetic movement surrounds you. Four days entry to the dance-filled affair costs 45 euro, with a day pass priced at 18 euro, reduced 12 euro. The packed programme is online at www.danzainfiera.it.
Fortezza da Basso,
Viale Filippo Strozzi, 1, Florence
Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory has nothing on a chocolate-filled piazza Santa Croce! Four days of chocolatey goodness come to Florence as cocoa in all its forms gets its own festival. Answer all those lingering questions about the history of the delectable bean or simply fill up on all the deliciousness at the tastiest event of the month. The 16th edition of the artisan chocolate fair launches a new name, ‘Firenze e Cioccolato’, linking the city we all love with the food we all love. Workshops, tastings and renowned chefs take part; we can't wait! Check out all the goodness at www.fieradelcioccolato.it.
Piazza Santa Croce, Florence
Parades, merriment, and the costume creations of your wildest dreams, the traditional festival of merrymaking and mocking authority casts aside all seriousness and allows us to take to the streets and play. Head to Venice or Viareggio for longer line-ups but don’t feel the need to head too far either as Florence presents its own fun-filled options. The family-friendly festivities include a popular children’s carnival in piazza Ognissanti on February 22 from 2-6pm with circus shows, workshops, games, puppets and face-painting. Celebrate Carnevale at Europe’s longest skating rink. 3.30pm on February 2, Florence Ice Village hosts face-painting, juggling and games. Older fans of the festivities should check out the carnival party at the Flog Auditorium with a Quentin Tarentino theme or see the Carnival ball at the Viper theatre, inspired by the 50s and 60s. A glamourous affair takes place at the charity dinner and ball at Palazzo Vecchio on February 21. Savour the Carnevale traditional sweet treats of cenci and frittelle as the sugary goodness adds to the sense of celebration.
Various venues in Florence