All we really want this Christmas is the beginning of the end of the pandemic and a return to—or rather of—Florence. We miss our imperfect city’s pep, the myriad museums and avid art worshipping, the clattering of pans in kitchens and chatter over vino rosso. Life in the Tuscan capital is not the same, with businesses shuttered, livelihoods in tatters and piazzas bare. But Christmas is here and lights still daintily span the narrow streets and adorn landmarks as the F-Light Festival presses on regardless. This issue of The Florentine is out on December 3.
This December issue stars Vincenzo Maccarrone’s (@mac_one1975 on Instagram) poignant “see/can’t see” cover photography, reminiscent of Danish–Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson’s installations. In Vincenzo’s captivating view of the Ponte Vecchio, our senses are heightened and we become aware of a landmark just beyond our reach, as Florence has been for so many in 2020.
What’s in the December issue of The Florentine:
AWA / Invitation to an end
Director of Advancing Women Artists, Linda Falcone, announces the closure next June of the much-loved cultural non-profit, whose work in Florence has restored and exhibited 70 artworks by women since its inception. Learn what AWA has planned over the next six months.
INTERVIEW / Ragini Gupta, US Consul General in Florence
We meet Ragini Gupta, the new US Consul General in Florence, who has previously served in Jordan, Mexico and India.
THEATRE / Our great Tchaikovsky
Hershey Felder retraces Tchaikovsky’s life in Florence ahead of his performance of the Russian composer on December 20.
VIEWS / Postcards from Florence past
Philippa Bogle describes a serendipitous conversation over past postcards and photography in a tabacchiera near Ponte alla Carraia.
DRINKS / 5 Florentine cocktails to make at home
While we’re at home this winter, Phoebe Hunt rightly says no reason not to indulge in something more exciting than a glass of wine to spice up the long nights. For inspiration, five much-loved bars in Florence have shared the recipes for their most iconic cocktails.
+ Shaken not stirred to your door: find out how to have Florence’s cocktails delivered to your door.
CINEMA / 20 years of the River to River Florence Indian Film Festival
Founder of the River to River Florence Indian Film Festival, Selvaggia Velo, reflects on 20 years of the popular showcase in a flow of culture, ideas and film between the Ganges and the Arno.
LANGUAGE / Joined at the hip
Helen Farrell considers the dusting down of archaic Italian words to find the right words to communicate this year’s unprecedented situations.
CHARITY / Ways to help this Christmas
Whether it’s a donation to an association, giving to a food bank or volunteering our time in a meaningful way, make this Christmas a happier one for those in need.
BOOKS / Julia O’Faolain: The Irish Signorina
Jane Farrell describes a chance encounter with a Tuscany-based novel in an Irish bookstore, while Harry Cochrane translates a verse by Guido Cavalcanti.
TRADITIONS / The Christmas Wreath
Deirdre Pirro offers a potted history of the festival garland, deriving from the Old English word writhan, meaning “to twist”.
BEST EVENTS / What’s on this December in Florence
We’ve detailed this month’s top picks as we went to press. More are likely to emerge as Tuscany reopens to a certain extent in early December. (There’s no events listing due to the current closure of our cultural institutions.)
Stay updated by signing up for our free newsletter: www.theflorentine.net/newsletter.
Where to get a free copy of The Florentine December issue
While we hope that you subscribe to our magazine to support our independent journalism during these challenging times, as from Thursday, December 3, click here to find out where you can collect a free copy of the December issue of The Florentine in Florence.