Summer is finally here and we’ve never been in more need of sun and fun. While it might be tempting to loll about with buckets of ice and savour the sweet salvation of the air con, there are far too many cool happenings to miss out on.
PHOTOGRAPHY/ Italiae: From Alinari to the Masters of Contemporary Photography + Pienovuoto by Massimo Vitali
Until October 10
The dramatic Forte di Belvedere is a historic site for some of the city’s most interesting exhibitions ever. Under the umbrella title of Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: Italy’s Self-Portrait in the Mirror, two large photographic exhibitions are set up on the three floors of the Buontalenti building. Italiae: From Alinari to the Masters of Contemporary Photography, curated by Rita Scartoni and Luca Criscenti, dives into the archives of the best photography with Italy as its focus, while Pienovuoto, curated by Sergio Risaliti, is dedicated to Como-born Massimo Vitali’s contemporary masterpieces. The project by Museo Novecento will be on display from June 25 until October 10, with free entrance. Guided tours and workshops for young photographers can be booked by calling 055 2768224 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Forte di Belvedere,
via di San Leonardo 1, Florence
MUSIC/ Incontri in Terra di Siena
The 33rd edition of the chamber music festival opens at the Teatro Verdi in Florence with a concert featuring the Orchestra della Toscana, conductor Andrew Litton and a line-up of stellar soloists. Audiences will be treated to Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor with soloist Francesca Dego, with renowned trumpet player Sergei Nakariakov playing his father’s transcription of Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations on the flugelhorn. Alessio Bax is the artistic director for the fifth time and plays Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Following the performance in Florence, events return to the place of the festival’s origins at La Foce in the mesmerizing Val d’Orcia setting.
via Ghibellina 99, Florence
and La Foce, Val d’Orcia
DANTE/ Giuseppe Penone’s Alberi In-Versi
July 6 – October 3
Born in Garessio and living in Turin, Giuseppe Penone’s sculptural tree in piazza della Signoria has heightened curiosity ahead of the contemporary exhibition to be installed in the Uffizi Gallery this July. Set up in the Detti and Camino rooms, drawings, photographs, sculptures and installations form the series that’s scheduled as part of the Dante 700 celebrations. Allusions to the Divine Comedy are peppered throughout the works, as anticipated by the 22-metre tree in front of Palazzo Vecchio that has raised many an eyebrow.
piazzale degli Uffizi 6, Florence
NOSTALGIA/ Vintage + Art Market
12 noon-9pm, July 18
Rifle through the Pimp My Vintage rails to seek out some unique and sustainable garments. One-off items and innovative creations inject some cool into your summer wardrobe, with street art, artists’ stalls and vinyls mean you’ll bring home much more than style. See the Facebook event page @PimpMyVintage for info. Free admission.
The Student Hotel,
viale Spartaco Lavagnini 70-72, Florence
KINDNESS/ Festival dell’Italia Gentile
June 30 to July 4
The Tuscan capital will host the first edition of the four-day festivities celebrating kindness. The events mark the signing of the “Manifesto delle Città Gentili”, a project by the national Italia Gentile movement and the non-profit My Life Design. The days signify the start of serious efforts to bring about a kinder society and a deepening of values such as optimism, gratitude, joy and forgiveness across diverse fields. The idea was formed during the first lockdown, inspired by the book Biology of Kindness, co-written by Daniel Lumera and Immaculata De Vivo (both will be present during the festival). MUS.E, the City of Florence and TuttoèVita ONLUS Association are involved in the events that will take place across the Palazzo Vecchio, Museo Novecento and Santa Maria Novella complex.
CULTURE/ Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger, the Cult of Memory
June 15 – August 30
Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger (Florence 1568 – 1647) The Cult of Memory is curated by Alessandro Cecchi, Elena Lombardi and Riccardo Spinelli, and explores the cultural legacy of Leonardo di Buonarrota, Michelangelo’s great-nephew. Born in 1568, four years after the death of his renowned relative, Michelangelo the Younger became a notable figure in his own right in the 17th century, becoming a favourite of the Grand Duchess Cristina di Lorena and a personal friend of the Grand Duke, Cosimo II de’ Medici. The exhibition explores Michelangelo the Younger’s work as a curator, man of letters, poet and his various other endeavours, which led to this collection of first editions, preparatory drawings and paintings. Tickets cost 5-8 euro.
Museo della Casa Buonarroti,
via Ghibellina 70, Florence
EXHIBITION/ Arturo Martini and Florence
July 15-November 14
Curated by Lucia Mannini with Eva Francioli and Stefania Rispoli, the rooms on the second floor of the museum fill with a solo cycle dedicated to the major 20th-century artist. A participant in many noted exhibitions and prized among private collectors, the show looks at the links between the artist and Tuscany, with intriguing works such as a bronze Ulysses from 1935 and the exceptional Woman Swimming Underwater made from Carrara marble on display.
piazza di Santa Maria Novella 10, Florence
GREEN/ Temporary Botany, The Art of Invisible Gardens + outdoor cinema
June 18 – September 19
Launching Manifattura Tabacchi’s latest installation is a three-day programme from June 18 to 20, prompting reflections on humankind’s links with nature through a series of talks, workshops, film screenings, and a flower and plant market. A giant installation aimed at encouraging flora and wild fauna fills the loggia that separates piazza dell’Orologio from Giardino della Ciminiera. Curated by architect Antonio Perazzi, it acts as an experiential laboratory and is home to 1,555 plants and more than 50 botanical species, installed until September 18. Make sure to check out the open-air cinema in piazza dell’Orologio until August 31, set to screen an eclectic mix of genres curated by Fondazione Stensen.
via delle Cascine 33/35, Florence
CLASSICAL/ Reggia in Musica
Until the end of July
The Sala Bianca of Palazzo Pitti fills with soaring strings as musicians from the Cherubini Conservatory of Florence feature in six evenings through to the end of July. The performances take place at 3.30pm on June 26, July 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, with music by the likes of Chopin, Bach and Beethoven bound to delight audiences in the awe-inspiring setting. Tickets cost 16 euro.
piazza de’ Pitti 1, Florence