This month’s best events have seen press releases pouring in, a true sign that Florence is putting itself back together. Here are this month’s top picks for a joyous June.
EXHIBITION/ American Art 1961-2001: The Walker Art Center Collections, from Andy Warhol to Kara Walker
Until August 29
‘Sixteen Jackies’ by Andy Warhol
A new opening at Palazzo Strozzi is always a big affair, particularly this one as the show marks a return to the hallowed halls upstairs as opposed to showings solely in the courtyard and exterior. Equally notable is the subject matter, strengthening the bond between Americans and Florence at a time when both desire to be united. Over 80 artworks by 53 artists detail American society over four decades, delving into the political, social and cultural moments that marked those years, such as the Vietnam War and the 9/11 attack. The outstanding works come from The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and feature celebrated artists such as Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, Louise Nevelson, Roy Lichtenstein and Cindy Sherman. From Pop Art to Minimalism, various techniques and media foreground art as a powerful tool for addressing topics such as consumerism, feminism, gender identity, racial issues and the struggle for civil rights.
piazza degli Strozzi, Florence
MOVEMENT/ 32nd Florence Dance Performing Arts Festival
June 26-July 29
Future Perfect 2: la potenza in atto is the title of the 32nd edition of the festival focused on the graceful and dramatic movements of some of Florence’s best dancers. The remarkable choreography is enhanced by the centuries of cultural heritage surrounding it, with a unique circular stage set to create a spectacular viewing experience. 20 performances of dance, music, opera and theatre dazzle in this immersive project that involves star performers from Italian dance schools, such as Kinesis U25 and FloDance 2.0. Highlights include a striking performance on June 26 in honour of Leonardo-Il Visionario, choreographed by Marga Nativo with music by Stefano Burbi, while a vibrant Dante-dedicated performance on June 28 blends multimedia, dance and music in an impactful work titled Dante, Orpheus and The Khthónios Journey. Tickets are available online.
Cloister of the Santa Maria Novella complex,
STARS/ Sotto le Stelle
Until the end of September
Poggio Casciano – Le Tre Rane Ruffino,
via Poggio al Mandorlo 1, Bagno a Ripoli
SUMMER/ Estate Fiorentina
Four months of fun make up the Estate Fiorentina programme, with cultural allsorts setting us up for a memorable few months. Festivals forming part of the line-up include Florence Jazz, Secret Florence, Apriti Cinema (with popular outdoor film screenings in piazzale degli Uffizi), Cirk Fantastik, Musart and much more.
FLORA/ Firenze Flower Show
There’s gardening galore at the Giardino Corsini this month as national exhibitors bring the best of their buds and blossoms for a market show of rare and unusual plants. Dig deeper with horticultural educational workshops and demonstrations, which will allow you to get your hands dirty.
via della Scala 115, Florence
CERAMICS/ Artigianato e Palazzo
Until June 6
Fill your soul with Italian culture in the glorious Corsini gardens. Curated by Jean Blanchaert, Viola Emaldi and Anty Pansera, with the Italian City of Ceramics Association, discover Italian ceramics in a grand exhibition where enthusiasts and the simply curious can admire over 170 works by artisans from 46 towns all over Italy. Free admission, open 3-7pm Monday-Friday, and 10am-7pm Saturday and Sunday.
Limonaia of Giardino Corsini,
via della Scala 115, Florence
FASHION/ Pitti 100
June 30-July 2
Top marks for this fashion fest as it celebrates its 100th edition of the Uomo, Filati and Bimbo exhibition formats. The milestone edition places the number 100 at its centre, both to celebrate the occasion and, when inverted to become 001, to view it as a symbol of a new beginning. A digital preview of the collections is already available for exhibitors, buyers and press on the Pitti Connect platform, which is enriched with a wealth of fashion-related content. Enjoy the textiles in person from June 30-July 2 with special guest South African designer Thebe Magugu. Make sure to get out and about in the centre during these days as you’re bound to catch sight of some spectacular ensembles.
Fortezza da Basso,
viale Filippo Strozzi 1, Florence
COLOUR/ AniMA: The Magic of Animated Cinema from Snow White to Grendizer
June 17-October 17
More than 500 illustrations from the AniMA Firenze collection at the NEMO Academy will be on display at Palazzo Medici Riccardi, featuring works donated by well-known international artists such as Sandra Cleuzo (Disney, DreamWorks and Warner Bros animator). From Disney originals to Hanny & Barbera with plenty of Japanese anime in between, the works are bound to send fans into a frenzy. The magic of animated cinema brings about nostalgia and undoubtedly fires up the imagination with original drawings on show such as Mickey Mouse from the 1930s. Curated by Luca Chiarotti, Sandro Cleuzo, Federica Fabbri and Francesco Mariotti, delight in the illustrations from films cherished in childhood and beyond.
Palazzo Medici Riccardi,
via Camillo Cavour 3, Florence
CONTEMPORARY/ Simone Forti: Senza Fretta
June 19-August 29
Works completed during lockdown, using shopping bags
Senza Fretta (Without Hurry) is the first major Italian exhibition by American-Italian multidisciplinary artist Simone Forti, whose family was originally from Prato. Curated by Luca Lo Pinto and Elena Magini, the show was developed in close collaboration with the artist, focusing on works Forti has developed since the mid-1980s. Highlights include News Animation, in which the artist analyses the relationship between language, movement and physicality, starting from the news written in papers. With performances, print, video and audio, the exciting show is accompanied by a soundtrack by Forti, who reads her work titled The Bear in the Mirror, a collection of stories, prose, poems, photos, letters, notes and memories. There will be a weekly rotation of some of her historic performances, including Scramble, Song of the Vowels and Cloths and Rollers. The final room reveals previously unpublished drawings that Forti created during the first lockdown in Spring 2020.
Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci,
viale della Repubblica 277, Prato
Dine out on Prato’s skyline as rooftop tastings are added to this year’s eatPRATO festival. The focal point is the historic garden of Palazzo Banci Buonamici as foodies rejoice in the company of chefs, bakers, wine producers and pizza makers, who reveal their secrets while you take in the cultural heritage of Prato. If savouring the scents and snacks in person is not possible, live-streamed events are the next best thing as presentations by culinary experts enable you to whip up something delicious at home.
Various locations in Prato
VINO/ Cantine Aperte
Dante Alighieri meets wine in a series of tastings, concerts and readings among the vineyards of Tuscany. The Open Cellars series is a must for all those keen to taste the best of Tuscan wine, with an added literary twist this year in honour of the Supreme Poet. Taking in Bolgheri, the Maremma, Arezzo, San Gimignano, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Chianti and more, wine producers open their doors to lovers of literature and vino alike. Reservations required and full programme available here.
Various locations in Tuscany
SIP/ Podere Castellare Music Festival
Every Friday in June
Music meets mixology in the festival curated by Nicola Graziani. The main player in the cocktails will be the Tuscan gin Peter in Florence. Performances by Ada Flocco Quartet, Strettino Jazz Band, Florence Lilium Duo and the Sinedades can be enjoyed as you lounge by the pool or gaze at the sunset over the vineyards from the terrace. Located 30 minutes from Florence, an aperitivo with jazz (and not only) in the sunshine sounds just the ticket (and the tonic). For information and to book, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +39 328 5618449.
Female Arts in Florence have another craft-filled month ahead at their borgo San Frediano space. From June 3 to 22, check out the visual and sound interactive experience as well as video, dance and music performances. Natural ink making will be on June 5, ceramics on June 12 and a holistic course on being present in the here-and-now from June 3 to 10 and July 1. Samantha Keil will be the artist-in-residence on June 19, with yoga and live music on June 7 and 21. Things take a fashion focus from June 21 to 26 with a series of marketing and fashion events. For more details and to hear about the full programme, get in touch at email@example.com or see their Facebook page.
Perdigiornale and Open Doors Review go head to head in a literary battle at 5pm on June 6. Taking place at Il Conventino Caffè Letterario (via Giano della Bella 20), two recently launched Tuscan literary journals join together for a read-off in English. With free admission, RSVP is required due to limited space. See their respective Facebook pages (@perdigiornale and @opendoorsreview) for more details.
St Mark’s English Church on via Maggio 16 will hold their usual yoga sessions at 5pm on June 4, 11, 18 and 25. Summer recitals will take place at 6pm on June 10 and 24, and a joint choral concert with the Holy Cross, Bologna at 6pm on June 25. Book club will be at 8pm on June 24 and Florence Writers meet at 8pm on June 15 and 29 to discuss literature on an LGBTQ+ theme. Find the full programme at www.stmarksitaly.com.
The British Institute of Florence is continuing to hold their busy cultural programme online on Zoom. This month’s Wednesday Lectures Series (held at 6pm) features Angela Oberer on June 2, delivering a talk titled ‘Ghiberti’s homage to Brunelleschi – artistic rivalry in early 15th century Florence’. June 9 will see Mark Roberts discuss ‘George Eliot and the writing of Romola’, while on June 16 Stefano Filipponi will give a lecture titled ‘The monumental complex of Santa Croce, instructions for use – Narrating seven hundred years of history and building for the future’. Jeremy Boudreau sets off into the ‘Urban safari: Lions, Giraffes, Monkeys and a Hippo in Renaissance Florence’ on June 23, and Alan Pascuzzi rounds off this month’s programming on June 30 with ‘Artists’ Payment in the Renaissance’. Full details available at www.britishinstituteflorence.it.