My forearms are sticking to the desk as I type this month’s letter. It’s an irksome feeling that’s offset by last night’s joy of dancing wildly at a wedding and an afternoon dip in a kind friend’s swimming pool. Summer in Florence is an intoxicating mix of sweat, fun and gelato. While many of us escape to our countries of origin for as long as we can, there’s something undeniably alluring about these sun-streaked months in Tuscany. Just think back to movies such as Stealing Beauty and Under the Tuscan Sun before fast forwarding to recent Netflix films Toscana and Love & Gelato. Stereotypes aside—and there are far too many to mention in these productions (Netflix, we’re here if you fancy delving deeper into our city and region!)—summer in Florence never stops working its inexplicable magic. Yes, the wall of heat and buzz of mosquitoes may be draining during the day, but the night brings boundless pleasures, from movie nights by the Uffizi to exhibitions at just-reopened Forte di Belvedere, refreshing beers beside the Arno and brilliantly oddball cultural moments such as a wheat threshing festival in the hills (find out more about that gem on page 16).
Issue 291 – Love, Spritz + Gelato
BUY THIS ISSUE – The Florentine July/August 2022
Summer’s here, the mercury’s rising and the riverside looks alluring for the occasional breeze, several drinks and simply unwinding.
Cover illustration by Jacopo Degl’innocenti aka JAPA www.japa-art.com
Consider this Summer Issue of The Florentine as a survival guide to see you through until September. (Don’t worry: we’re not disappearing anywhere for the foreseeable: we’ll continue to bring you news and events details online and in our recently restyled weekly newsletter.) Get this issue for useful reminders on how to save water and strategies to beat the heat, as well as Holly Pitches’ and Leo Cardini’s tongue-in-cheek take on mosquito management.
Linda Falcone takes a look at the Fotografe! show at Forte di Belvedere and Villa Bardini (page 7) as well as taking us through her recent Oltrarno Gaze project and book, Florence in the Making. Artisans and Artists in the Oltrarno and Beyond, which is now available publisher-direct (20 euro) from The Florentine Press and at the Paperback Exchange (via delle Oche 4R). See page 20 to learn more. There’s more from our publishing company this month as we launch a students’ guide to living in the city. Written by Marco Bracci and Marco De La Pierre, Study Abroad in Florence (25 euro) offers useful tips, practical information and even quotes from former alumni, so that prospective students have everything they need to enjoy the experience of a lifetime.
Gelato gets a double-page spread as Vetulio Bondi, master gelatiere and president of the Association of Florentine Gelato Makers, tells us how to recognize the artisanal icy delight (pages 18-19) and our readers share their favourite gelaterie around town following a recent reel on our ever-popular Instagram profile. Beyond gelato, Martina Bartolozzi takes us on a tour of the city’s best off-the-beaten-path Florentine outdoor venues that locals love to enjoy all summer long (page 12), while Harry Cochrane relates his late-night explorations of Florence, from the Pescaia di Santa Rosa to the Metallica mosh pit of Firenze Rocks (page 11).
Deirdre Pirro has her customary ‘Final Say’ with a tribute to one of Florence’s finest female minds. On June 12, Italy celebrated the centenary of the birth of Margherita Hack, the illustrious astrophysicist and the first woman to become the director of an astronomy observatory in Italy. In these times when women’s rights are under threat, we can take solace, strength and inspiration from our predecessors who found a way to make history, even when faced with the toughest circumstances.
Before we break for the summer, we look forward to seeing you on the Fourth of July as we celebrate American Independence Day with a BBQ at Ruffino’s glorious Poggio Casciano wine estate, just 25 minutes from Florence. See you there!