Picture this. You’re standing at a window, gazing at an absurdly gorgeous Florentine sunset on the river, glass of fine Tuscan wine in hand. The last echoes of an exquisite piano recital fade into the deep memory of this glorious old library as you share the experience with an interesting person you met last week at a lecture about just how the huge frescoes at Santa Maria Novella were actually done. Or maybe it’s an old friend who wanders over, a frequent visitor you haven’t seen in a while. It’s a good moment. You’re inside Florence, your home from home, and it’s yours to enjoy.
In 1917, leading lights of the English Colony at Florence (think Room with a View) and their Florentine friends decided to set up a library for the study and enjoyment of their two cultures and languages. 105 years later, The British Institute of Florence is an essential part of the fabric of the city. A proudly independent Anglo-Florentine non-profit (not a whiff of government funding!), it has become Florence’s international cultural and community centre, where everything happens in English and everyone is welcome.
Duncan Geddes, who lives between London and Florence, has seen the Institute through many seasons: “The good thing is that it has changed. Recently it has evolved into an interesting English-speaking centre, rather than the rather exclusive traditional British institution it used to be. Now it is much more lively and friendly. There is more variety in what’s on offer, and much more life and youthfulness about the place. In recent months, I’ve met many interesting new people there.”
Learn Italian, dive into the history, art and life of Florence, enjoy beautiful concerts and literary events. It’s your inside track on Florence. Come on by The British Institute of Florence!