Author: Mary Gray

Mary is Events & Associate Editor at The Florentine. She co-authored the 2017 edition of guidebook Time Out Florence and was recently named a Premio Famiglia Fiducia Fellow at Middlebury College's School in Italy, where she is a 2019 M.A. candidate in Italian Studies. Follow her (and her more photogenic Maltese-terrier mix Miro) on Instagram @VeryMaryGray.
February 18, 2020

Quakers in Florence

It’s a sunny-but-chilly winter morning in Florence and a small group of Quakers—formally known as the Religious Society of Friends—is warming up inside Sylvia Hetzel’s apartment. The fledgling family, founded in January 2019, meets in homes on a rotating basis; Hetzel just happens to be hosting today. Still, in the Florence Friends “hierarchy”, the group […]
January 29, 2020

Rental diaries, vol.27

I don’t tend to think of Phil Dunphy and Clark Griswold, the dopey dads of Modern Family and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, respectively, as characters with whom I have much in common. But I’ve recently begun to reconsider, based on the running gags in each character’s comedy, both involving staircases.   Across his show’s 11 […]
January 3, 2020

Rental Diaries vol.26

In the past week, I’ve had a particularly dense concentration of deadlines and a growing list of ungratifying errands to be run. In the past week, I also reactivated my Netflix subscription, because the need to binge-watch Friends chronologically suddenly became urgent. I can’t imagine why.   Don’t worry. Despite the rent-centric title of this […]
November 5, 2019

Rental diaries, vol. 25

By the time this column is printed, this is likely to be old news, but file the intel away for future reference. It seems that the Bellini Gallery—that antiques-filled, Arno-facing jewel of a building—is currently on a Marie Kondo kick. I say this based on the boxes of dusty coffee table books now sitting curbside […]
October 23, 2019

Facing Fallaci

She was a talker, wasn’t she? Flannery O’Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"
October 14, 2019

Rental diaries, vol. 24

At the start of our senior year of high school, my friend Anna and I discovered we’d neglected to earn the gym credits required to graduate. In a kind of accelerated recovery process, we were forced to enroll in Weightlifting with half of the Golden Wave, Tupelo High’s middling football team. Our class met daily […]
June 16, 2019

Rental diaries, vol. 23

I had dinner last night with an old friend and onetime Florence housemate, someone who inspires envy quite easily: ritzy job in Rome, gorgeous wardrobe, adoring fidanzato. Even though we lived together briefly, she’s still the kind of person I imagine sleeps on a cloud, remembers to toss lavender sachets in the laundry, and keeps […]
May 29, 2019

Arrivederci from Mary Gray

I hope in my work for The Florentine you’ve seen yourselves and your concerns reflected, because...
May 28, 2019

Best events in Florence in June 2019

ROCK/Imagine Dragons June 2 Various venues in Florence         Following the November release of their fourth studio album Origins, American band Imagine Dragons are coming to Florence for the only European date on their tour, taking the stage at the colossal Visarno Arena, the Renaissance city’s rock hub par excellence. Music streaming […]
May 23, 2019

Your Thursday forecast: best events in Florence

CONTEMPORARY/Tony Cragg May 5-October 13 Boboli Gardens, piazza Pitti, Florence The Boboli Gardens’ quasi-rebranding as a summertime contemporary art park continues with a solo exhibition by the Britain-born, Germany-based artist and sculptor Tony Cragg. As the founder of nature-and-sculpture nursery Waldfrieden Sculpture Park in Wuppertal and a prominent member of the plastic arts genre, Cragg […]