11am-8pm, November 23-25
Ippodromo del Visarno, piazzale delle Cascine 29, Florence
Ph. Fulvio Chiari
Japanese cultural association Lailac takes to the Cascine for the 20th edition of the Festival Giapponese, a local event that’s been running, in organizers’ words, since “long before sushi landed in everyone’s mouths.” With more than 40 special guests and over 50 events, the weekend will feature a wide range of arts and crafts demonstrations; martial arts shows; sake tastings; Mangiappone (“Eat Japan”) food booths with finger-licking dishes beyond just sushi and sashimi; origami and calligraphy workshops and more. Early-winter stress got you tied up in knots? Don’t miss the chance to enjoy an ancient-style shiatsu massage. Admission is 2 euro; current Lailac members enter for free. For more information, see facebook.com/lailacfirenze.
With the cheeky slogan “the new Renaissance”, Firenze Canapa (Florence Hemp) is a heady new festival happening against the backdrop of a growing “cannabusiness” trend in Italy (see our article in TF issue 246). The legal weed expo—let’s call a spade a spade—will feature talks on a range of industry themes, including medical and scientific uses of cannabis. Of interest to most attendees, however, will be the at least 50 stands where cultivators, producers and distributors of the plant offer up their goods. For more information, see www.firenzecanapa.it.
Come “get lit” at the local debut of Issue 4 of The FLR. The Florentine Literary Review, our bilingual Italian-English literary magazine featuring literature and poetry from contemporary Italian authors alongside English translations. This issue’s theme is “Paesaggio / Landscape,” and its pages beautifully illustrated in full Fauvist-like color. In attendance at the presentation-party will be members of The FLR’s editorial board; Simona Baldanzi, author; Alessandro Raveggi, editor; Fulvio Paloscia, journalist at La Repubblica; and numerous supporters of the Florentine and broader Italian literary scene. Check out www.facebook.com/TheFLR for more details.
Late fall means it’s back to the cinema hall: film festivals run in rapid succession throughout November and well into winter. Two old standbys with still-innovative approaches are Lo Schermo dell’Arte, which spotlights art-centric cinema from around the world (November 13-18), and Festival dei Popoli, an international documentary showcase (November 3-10). The former will feature an appearance by English director Peter Greenaway, who will discuss his next movie Walking to Paris, on the journey Constantin Brancusi took from Romania to France (7pm, November 14, La Compagnia). Meanwhile, music lovers can mark their calendars for the latter’s screening of Christopher Bird’s Rock the World, which revisits Queen’s 1977 US tour. See schermodellarte.org and festivaldeipopoli.org for detailed programs and cinemalacompagnia.it for even more movies and festivals.
‘Tis (almost) the season to be jolly. When the end of the month rolls around, the German-style holiday market rolls into town. Though Florence’s rendition of Weihnachtsmarkt isn’t quite the Candyland-esque experience you’d find in Cologne or closer to home in Bolzano, it’s nonetheless a charming way to get into a merry and bright kind of mood. Expect sauerkraut and mustardy sausage dogs, stroopwafels and pretzels aplenty: seasonal street foods from beyond Italian borders are always among the market highlights. Wash them down with mulled wine and pick up some early (or last-minute) gifts and knick-knacks at the whimsical wooden booths.
With its wide range of talks and tastings, let’s just say there will be plenty to chew on at the 2018 edition of Florence’s Biennale Enogastronomica (Food and Wine Biennale). Under the artistic direction of top-tier sommelier and journalist Leonardo Romanelli, the Biennale will have an unprecedented focus on accessibility. Perhaps that’s the very spirit that prompted this edition’s heavy emphasis on those low-cost classics, pizza and beer (numerous breweries will have stands and host didactic workshops, while the pizzaiuoli will have their very own “piazza” within the complex). The detailed schedule is still being updated at press time; head to biennaleenogastronomica.it for the final details.
Just after Tuscany hosts its first-ever “Take Back the Night” event against sexual assault, and just ahead of the UN-declared International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25), Teatro Puccini will host “Shame”, an eight-piece dance performance shedding light on gender-based violence and the challenges involved in coming forward about it. Choreographed by Alberto Canestro, the show is inspired by the figure of Artemisia Gentileschi, an enduring emblem of both sexual assault survival and artistic genius. Through their unfiltered, untempered movements, the dancers will take audiences on a provocative and exciting trip through the painter’s personal history. For information, see teatropuccini.it; for tickets, visit BoxOffice Toscana locations or ticketone.it.
TF reaches a milestone this month: 250 print issues since our 2005 launch. We’d never say no to a good party, but a TF soiree would be a snoozefest without you, our community of readers, friends, contributors, advertisers, supporters and critics, too—we need constructive feedback for the next 250 issues! Come celebrate at Il Borro Tuscan Bistro, which just hit the five-year mark on the foodie scene; count on complimentary bites from chef Andrea Campani and wine to warm the November night. RSVP: [email protected]