Best events in Florence in March 2017

Our top picks

Mary Gray
March 1, 2017 - 18:29

FOOD/Taste 12
March 11-13 (Fuori di Taste: March 8-13)
Stazione Leopolda + various venues in Florence

March means the return of the Renaissance city’s premier food and lifestyle salon—Taste, put on by Pitti Immagine. Now in its twelfth edition, this year Taste is getting a healthy, vitamin-packed twist: #GetFit is the theme, with exhibitors from near and far numbering close to 400. Coffee is also creating a buzz: through a special collaboration with Tuscan brand La Marzocco, Taste will host a range of “on-the-ground” events, from book presentations and contests to talks and exhibitions. As always, beyond the jam-packed fair at the Stazione Leopolda, there’s a full calendar of Fuori di Taste events—itinerant gourmet events in pop-up venues around town. Visit Pitti Immagine's website for the full calendar and watch The Florentine for our highlights in the coming days.


LITERARY/An Evening with Sarah Dunant
March 23, 6.30pm
British Institute, Harold Acton Library, lungarno Guicciardini 9, Florence

Sarah Dunant’s vivid historical novels have delighted Italophiles and art history lovers since her bestseller The Birth of Venus first hit shelves. The acclaimed author will be in Florence to celebrate the Italian launch of her newest page-turner, In the Name of the Family, which weaves together the stories of Machiavelli and Italo-Spanish noble family the Borgias. In an event hosted by the British Institute in partnership with The Florentine, readers, Renaissance buffs and local residents will enjoy an entertaining and educational ride through history. Open to library members; one-day memberships are available for 6 euro. For more information, follow The Florentine's Facebook page and the British Institute's website for updates.


SOUL/Macy Gray
March 14, 9pm
Obihall, via Fabrizio de’ Andre/lungarno Aldo Moro, Florence

Ph. by Larry Philpot via Wikipedia

She’s best known for her 1999 megahit “I Try,” the Grammy-winning lead single from the album On How Life Is, but don’t dismiss Macy Gray as a one-hit wonder. This soulful songstress, with her recognizably raspy voice, is a powerful performer who’s been compared to the likes of Billie Holiday. Her March concert, promoting her 2016 release Stripped, is sure to bring down the house at the Obihall—this tour marks her first jaunt in Italy in six years, and she’s only making four stops. Tickets start at 28.75 euro and are available on For additional information, see the Obihall's website.

ART/A northern wind

Throughout March
Various venues in Florence

Work by Markku Piri

A new wind is blowing in from the north this season: three major exhibitions are making a splash. Markku Piri: Glass and Paintings will bring Finnish flair to Palazzo Medici Riccardi to celebrate 100 years of Finland’s independence. Running from March 23 to June 4, the show has the support of Rome’s Finnish Embassy, Florence’s Finnish Consulate and the Città Metropolitana di Firenze. Closer to home, contemporary artist Ramón van der Ven is currently showcasing 28 impressionistic-style paintings carried out during a stay at the Dutch Institute for Art History in Florence (viale Torricelli 5; runs until May 19). Finally, the Museo Novecento will take us to Estonia with Northern Visions: Estonian Paintings from Enn Kunila’s Collection, 1910-1940 (March 4-May 21). Curator Eero Epner will offer free guided visits in English on the opening day; send an email to [email protected] to book.

SPOTLIGHT/Plautilla Nelli

March 8-June 4
Galleria delle Statue e delle Pitture degli Uffizi, Florence

As our cover story in this print edition indicates, Plautilla Nelli is a rarely-uttered name that’s about to become a lot more mainstream in Florence and far beyond. This self-taught suore was the first known woman artist of Renaissance Florence—her career ought to be an art history book basic, but very little has been brought to light. Until now: the trailblazer’s devotional images will be the focus of Art and Devotion in the Convent on the Wings of Savonarola, opening, appropriately, on International Women’s Day, and featuring works restored by the Advancing Women Artists Foundation. The show kicks off a new series of exhibitions highlighting work by women artists, and is curated by a foremost scholar on Nelli, Fausta Navarro.


VIDEO/Bill Viola: Electronic Renaissance
March 10-July 23
Palazzo Strozzi, piazza Strozzi, Florence

At the most buzzed-about show of the season, classical and contemporary interact in a way that only a place like Palazzo Strozzi could pull off. Electronic Renaissance showcases the varied video artwork of the genre’s leading man, Bill Viola. Expect a comprehensive overview of the artist’s prolific career, beginning with his early experimental work in the 1970s and reaching up to his 21st-century installations. Viola’s art relies heavily on space, music and sound effects, but at its core it’s about people, chipping away at humanity’s big questions. Some of his work will also be on display in the Baptistery and Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, with a combined ticket offered for all sections of the show. For more information, see Palazzo Strozzi's website.

EAST/Florence Korea Film Festival

March 23-31
La Compagnia, via Cavour 50r, Florence

Director Park Chan-Wook

Spring in Florence brings an influx of Eastern-tinged film festivals through the Primavera del Cinema Orientale series. A highlight in the lineup is the Florence Korea Film Festival, which showcases a variety of movies from South Korea, all subtitled in Italian and English. 46 films are on the program this year, with a special K-Woman section aimed at exploring the roles of women in Korean cinema. Brace yourself for the Horror Night, one of the festival’s most popular traditions, perfect for those who like to leave the big screen a little short of breath. Director and cult favorite Park Chan-wook will be one of several guests of honor. The program is still being defined; see the website for up-to-date details on showtimes and events.

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