There’s nothing quite as sensual as that early summer heat caressing our bare legs. Until we suddenly turn an unattractive shade of lobster, that is. Ambling over Ponte alla Carraia at sunset feels like a promise of a braver new world and settling into piazza Santo Spirito for a spritz adds nuances to the glowing drink. Taking in the ultimate vista up at piazzale Michelangelo (or at bar and restaurant The Lodge Club, as seen on this month’s cover by Alessandro Moggi) is a life-changing half-hour: for the rest of your existence, you’ll be chasing Florence, striving to recapture the magic.
Yes, our Florentine summer is well and truly here as life gets fuller (our pages brim with news about concerts, festivals and more: see the best events round-up by Jane Farrell). Our community is particularly busy with plenty to take in at St. Mark’s, The British Institute, Mascarade Opera Studio, New York University, and so forth.
We’ve joined forces with our pals over at Ruffino Wines for four stellar conversations every Wednesday this June at 6.30pm in the hills of Florence, on the Poggio Casciano estate. First up, on June 8, is Debi Mazar and her husband, Gabriele Concos. Debi’s just returned from a promo tour of her new Netflix series, Pentaverate, directed by and starring Mike Myers, while Gabriele, AKA The Tuscan Gun, continues to farm his family’s estate in Fiesole. On June 15, John Hooper, the Italy and Vatican correspondent for The Economist as well as the author of the popular read, The Italians, will chat about his life in Italy and his specialist subject: transnational organized crime. Meanwhile, on June 22, best-selling author Frances Mayes talks about her forthcoming book, A Place in the World: Finding the Meaning of Home as well as recent publication, Always Italy, and the book that continues to bring millions to Tuscany: Under the Tuscan Sun. Former prime minister of Canada, Kim Campbell, will bring the conversation series to a close on June 29, as the politician speaks about life after the premiership, moving to Tuscany and her advocacy for women’s rights. All the events are free, although – if you’re anything like me – you’ll no doubt be fancying a glass of local wine and a bite to eat at the Bottega or on-site restaurant!
June is Pride Month and we are indeed proud to support Toscana Pride, which will take place in Livorno on Saturday, June 18. Vincenzo D’Angelo returns to our pages for interviews with Mauro Scoppeliti, president of LGBT+ group Arcigay Firenze Altre Sponde, and Ava Hangar, the resident diva of The Shade, Arcigay Firenze’s popular monthly queer-inclusive party. We also speak with Geneviève LeJeune, who recently held the Italian launch of her successful and very international Skirt Club here in Florence, a members-only club for bi-curious, bisexual and heteroflexible women.
Florence continues its collision course with next-generation art. The mesmerizing site-specific installation by Turkish artist Refik Anadol in the stately courtyard at Palazzo Strozzi cannot help to draw even the most resistant to the world of digital art. But there’s more than the Let’s Get Digital show at the Strozzina (page 5). In this issue, we visit Rifugio Digitale (page 19), a World War II air raid shelter in the San Niccolò neighbourhood that’s now been repurposed as an exhibition space for the promotion of digital art, and speak with Anna Paclet of Italian Wine Crypto Bank (page 18) about the use of NFTs to market fine wines from the bel Paese.
Dive into this month’s edition of The Florentine for our hot tips for the summer: riverside bars, trendy hangouts and family-friendly farms near the city centre as well as a feature on where to eat around San Gimignano and drink Vernaccia, while savouring the soul-stirring art of Antony Gormley at the turreted town’s Galleria Continua. And yes, we look into the changes proposed at Florence’s beloved Cinema Odeon as the third-generation management embarks on a renewed vision of the cultural centre.