October 21-23 sees days dedicated to women with the L’Eredità delle Donne programme packed with international speakers. The theme for the fifth edition is ‘Queens and Peace’, focusing on the relationship between women, wars and power, reflecting on UN resolution 1325 that recognizes the fundamental role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts.
Under the artistic direction of the Italian television host and writer Serena Dandini, more than 50 guests from around the world will participate across the dozens of events for the festival that was created in honour of the Electress Palatine, Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici. The last descendant of the Medici family became the mother of Italian culture when she created the family pact in 1737 that bound the great artistic collection that belonged to the Medici and Lorraine families to the Tuscan state.
Iran, war and female leadership are at the centre of many events, with ongoing war and protests in Iran central themes of the festival. Speakers (either virtually or in-person) include the former director of UN Women and first female vice president of South Africa, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, with current events in Iran discussed by activist Shaparak Shajarizadeh, who was arrested while demonstrating against the obligation to wear hijab and is currently in Canada.
The programme also features the first woman executive editor of the New York Times, Jill Abramson, the royal biographer of Elizabeth II, Matthew Dennison, the former deputy prosecutor, Ilda Boccassini, and the first woman ambassador of Italy to the United States of America, Mariangela Zappia. With political leaders, scientists, magistrates, writers and more, the festival highlights extraordinary women in many spheres.
Manifattura Tabacchi (via delle Cascine 35) will be the main location for events, with live-streaming available on the website and Facebook page. In addition to the main line-up, there will be a wide range of related events in various venues. 180 events take place from Palazzo Vecchio to Calenzano, with workshops, concerts, trekking, guided tours, exhibitions, readings and conferences held all over.