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December 2013 – January 2014

10.000 copies Free Press

Exclusive Valdo Spini

Exclusive Sarah C. Morrison

Exclusive Cosimo Ceccuti

The Way to The Prince

The Amerigo Association workshop

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Exclusive Roberto Giacinti

Europe and the United States

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The Tavola Doria in Florence

Charity in Florence

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By Cristina Scaletti

Tuscany Regional Councillor for Culture, Tourism and Commerce

Anonimo, Battaglia di Anghiari. Lotta per lo stendardo (“Tavola Doria”) , detail, 16th-17th century (?). Oil on table, 86×115 cm, from December 10, 2013 at the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale in Florence Continued on page 4


By Anna Balzani Editor-in-chief

he transatlantic relationships are growing public interest, politically and economically, so we tried to learn more information about the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy (AmCham), an important institution that operates with the aim to develop and promote economic and cultural relations between the United States of America and Italy, promoting and protecting the interests of its members as part of business between the two countries. The American Chamber of Commerce in Italy (AmCham) is a private non-profit organization, affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC, the Confederation of the United States, whose members include more than three million businesses. AmCham is also a founding member of the European Council of Ameri-

can Chambers of Commerce that promotes free trade between the European Union and the United States. The AmCham headquarters is located in Milan (Italy), but AmCham is also present in the major Italian cities and the United States through a network of local representatives. We met Dr. Lorenzo Parrini, Tuscany representative for the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy and we asked him a few questions. Dr. Parrini, very recently you appointed a Tuscany Local Representative of the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy. What are your thoughts on this? I am very honored with the recent appointment because I believe that an association such as the American Chamber of

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t is part of the cultural policy of the Region of Tuscany to celebrate the anniversaries of characters and situations to consolidate the activities and vocations of the territory, because they are, first of all, an opportunity to re-read of our past, proposing new cultural explorations. The Region of Tuscany has made it possible by providing financially for the activities of the Committee for the five hundredth anniversary of The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli that collects all the institutions, cultural institutes, universities, Italian and foreign, operating in the region. The Prince, written five hundred years ago in Albergaccio of Sant’Andrea in Percussina residence during Machiavelli’s forced exile from Florence, it is a well-known text, still studied today as source of modern political science, and on which, in recent months, meetings were held as well as conferences at an international level. Thanks to the work of the Committee for the celebrations, chaired by Valdo Spini and supported by the Region of Tuscany, together with the Municipality of Florence and the Municipality of San Casciano, a full calendar of events and scientific culture has been articulated over the

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December 2013 – January 2014

Continued from page 1

By Cristina Scaletti

The new free magazine of Florence N. 1, Vol. I, December 2013 – January 2014 Editor-in-chief Anna Balzani Editor Ellen Miller Graphic designer Manuela Ranfagni Social media strategist Cristiano Imperiali Advertising Federico Tozzi, Greg Wang Photographer Carlo Bressan, Andrea Ristori Translations Ellen Miller Concept &Logo Anna Balzani Cristiano Imperiali

Contributors: Ornella Casazza, Cosimo Ceccuti, Roberto Giacinti, Claudio Giudici, Kellie Malone, Nicoletta Marcelli, Zdenka Marchi, Gerri Martinuzzi, Samantha Mastaler, Ellen Miller, Sarah C. Morrison, Rachael Perez, Andrew Saba, Cristina Scaletti, Lauren Scott, Valdo Spini, Samantha Stark © 2013 Acontemporaryart Publisher Acontemporaryart C.F. 94200800483 P.IVA 06337320482 Printed in Grafiche Cappelli S.r.l Via Arno 49, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino FI Registered at the Tribunale di Firenze N. 5932 del 2013 Iscritta al registro degli operatori di comunicazione (ROC) al N. 23617 del 12/06/2013

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Florence is You! is distributed throughout Florence in all key reference points for the English speaking community including hotels and hostels, universities and language schools, libraries, museum, tourist information points, restaurants and cafes. Free magazine in official point of distribution and also published online at The Publisher is pleased to acknowledge the autorship and author’s rights of any photos whose source it has not been possible to trace. While every care has been taken to ensure accuracy, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any errors or changes in the information provided. Nessuna parte di questo periodico può essere riprodotta senza l’autorizzazione scritta dei proprietari. La direzione non si assume alcuna responsabilità per marchi, foto e slogan usati dagli inserzionisti, né per cambiamenti di date, luoghi, orari degli eventi segnalati. Per sapere dove trovare Florence is You! puoi cercare la lista completa dei punti di distribuzione su

course of the year, in Tuscany and throughout the world. The various events are intended to enhance the relevance of the exceptional Machiavellian treaty, highly stimulating on issues of contemporary politics. The celebrations will culminate on December 10, in the five hundredth anniversary of the letter of Machiavelli to Francesco Vettori, with the opening of the exhibition at the Biblioteca Nazionale of Florence on the path that led to The Prince. It is a highly anticipated event which, like the others, to use the words of our author, will remove “el cervello di muffa” (the mold from the brain). Italian text


a parte della politica culturale della Regione Toscana celebrare gli anniversari di personaggi e situazioni storiche per consolidare le attività e le vocazioni del territorio. Perché sono, prima di tutto, un’occasione di rilettura del nostro passato, proponendo nuove esplorazioni culturali e turistiche. La Regione Toscana ha reso possibile, finanziandole, le attività del Comitato per il cinquecentesimo anniversario de Il Principe che raccoglie tutte le istituzioni, gli istituti culturali, le università, italiane e straniere, che operano in regione. Il Principe, scritto cinquecento anni fa all’Albergaccio di Sant’Andrea in Percussina, residenza forzata di Machiavelli esiliato da Firenze, è un testo notissimo, studiato ancora oggi come fonte della moderna scienza politica e sul quale, in questi mesi, si sono tenuti incontri e convegni di livello internazionale. Grazie al lavoro del comitato per le celebrazioni, presieduto da Valdo Spini e sostenuto dalla Regione Toscana insieme al Comune di Firenze e al Comune di San Casciano, un intenso calendario di eventi scientifici e culturali si è snodato lungo l’arco dell’anno, in Toscana come in tutto il mondo. Le diverse manifestazioni hanno l’obiettivo di valorizzare l’eccezionale attualità del trattato machiavelliano, fortemente stimolante sui temi della politica contemporanea. Le celebrazioni avranno il loro culmine il prossimo 10 dicembre, nel cinquecentesimo anniversario della lettera di Machiavelli a Francesco Vettori, con l’apertura della mostra alla Biblioteca Nazionale di Firenze sul percorso che portò a Il Principe. Un evento attesissimo che, come gli altri, per usare le parole del nostro autore, permetterà di trarre “el cervello di muffa”.



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December 2013 – January 2014


The Amerigo Association workshop Keep it Real held in Florence on October 25, 2013

By Sarah Craddock Morrison U.S. Consul General in Florence


he experts here today will provide the exact figures, but according to a 2011 study by CENSIS (one of the most prestigious national research institutes in social sciences and economics in Italy) and the Ministry of Economic Development, the infringement of intellectual property rights costs legal Italian and foreign-owned companies in Italy alone nearly € 7 billion, a loss of 110,000 jobs subtracted from the economy, and an enormous loss of tax revenues. There is no question that we must act forcefully to curb the phenomenon and we must do so now. Despite the existence of adequate legislation, there is still much progress to be made in order to thwart this phenomenon. We are concerned that the theft of intellectual property is often considered a minor violation in Italy, and perhaps even a social safety net.

This is wrong for two significant reasons: the first is that there is proof that today counterfeiting is largely in the hands of organized crime because it provides profits equal, and perhaps superior, to those attained from activities like drug dealing – but with far less risk. Furthermore, counterfeiting produces many negative socio-economic effects, including illegal immigration, tax evasion, illegal labor, and the consequent loss of [legitimate] jobs. The violation of copyrights online deserves a specific mention, as it is a huge problem with global dimensions. We are confident that in the near future Italy’s AGCOM will adopt the regulations expected for so long by copyright holders, which are necessary to combat online piracy effectively. The second reason that it is wrong to consider intellectual property theft a minor violation has to do with the credibility of the Italian economic system. A politically and economically strong Italy is in the interest of the whole western world, and especially to the United States, because it means that Italy can continue to be an important leader in the international arena and that it can continue to contribute to our common goal of promoting prosperity around the world. It is therefore very disturbing to see that this year, according to the International Property Rights Index, Italy is 47th on the list that measures the level of protection of intellectual property in 131 countries which represent more than 98% of the world’s GDP. Currently, Italy is only the fifteenth largest trading partner of the United States, with bilateral trade amounting to about $ 55 billion in 2012, and it is bringing up the rear in the European Union with regard to the ability to attract foreign investment – a factor that has been particularly negative recently. It reduces Italy’s chances of returning to robust economic growth next year, at the predicted conclusion of this period of economic crisis. One of the reasons for

Giorgio Vasari at Galleria Palatina in Palazzo Pitti

this, although certainly not the only one, is the lack of confidence in a system that does not protect intellectual property as it should; something that is vitally crucial in the modern era. People with any kind of vision cannot fail to understand that the lack of adequate protection for intellectual property rights is a disincentive for those who would like to invest and do business in Italy. What credibility can a country have that does not protect its own intellectual property, not to mention that of others? From our point of view, the potential for growth in Italy is very high, and more effective enforcement of the laws against counterfeiting would make a powerful contribution. This problem is global and is often based on those same global technologies that facilitate legitimate trade and boost economic and social development. Therefore, while it is fair to demand that those countries which produce most of the counterfeit products being sold today assume highest responsibility, we ourselves have to take more decisive action to discourage counterfeiting in our own countries, including the consumption of these products. Getting results requires the cooperation of everyone, from local governments and trade organizations to industry and to workers; everyone must be made aware of the true social costs of this criminal activity in order to reduce the tacit consent and approval it can still rely on in public opinion. I would like to conclude by thanking the Association Amerigo for the role it plays

in promoting useful and interesting initiatives, and the Tuscany Region for its support of innovative entrepreneurship and for its hospitality today. Many thanks to my fellow citizen, lawyer Angelo Mazza, who demonstrated his great commitment to the fight against counterfeiting, and his friendship with Italy, by being here with us today. I especially wish to thank the Guardia di Finanza here in Tuscany for their exceptional work in combating this very serious crime. I hope that from the various reports to be presented here and during the final debate, new ideas will emerge on how all the stakeholders in this issue – local governments, the judiciary, and business associations – can work with the Guardia of Finance and the State Police in the prevention and reduction of this phenomenon. U.S. CONSULATE GENERAL Lungarno Vespucci 38 50123 Florence, Italy Tel. (+39) 055 266951 Fax (+39) 055 284088

26 November 2013 – 5 January 2014

The Robert

Giorgio Vasari and Gaspar Becerra, Allegory of Patience, detail. Florence, Galleria Palatina


he Galleria Palatina is organising an exhibition on one of the most significant paintings in the Medici collections, the Allegory of Patience, which belonged to cardinal Leopoldo de’ Medici and is today held in the Sala di Prometeo in Palazzo Pitti. Initially attributed to Parmigianino in the inventories of Palazzo Pitti, catalogued in the museum’s first guides under the name of Francesco Salviati, and later attributed to Girolamo Siciolante by Federico Zeri, the painting is today recognised as fruit of the collaboration between Giorgio Vasari and Spanish artist Gaspar Becerra. Shortly after 1550, Cosimo I requested Vasari to execute a painting that in a new and emblematic manner would represent the principal

virtue of his character, that is to say the art of Patience. Vasari accepted and proposed to his patron an invention inspired by ancient sculpture, enriched by a refined symbolic repertory alluding to time and to the life of man. Why did Vasari’s invention enjoy such a great success though? Why was the virtue of Patience considered so important in the art and literature of the peak of the Renaissance? Anna Bisceglia curates the exhibition and the catalogue published by Sillabe to investigate these elements along the underlying themes of patronage, literary sources, and artists’ explorations against the complex and fascinating backdrop of the Italy of royal courts.

Viale Pieraccini, 24 -50139 Firenze (Palazzina ingresso ospedale)



December 2013 – January 2014

The Way to the Prince opens December 10, 2013 at the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale in Florence

By Valdo Spini

Chairman of the Committee for the celebrations of the fifth century of the writing of The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli


he exhibition The way to The Prince opens December 10, 2013, the day considered the official birthday of The Prince, the conclusion of the drafting of which was announced by Niccolò Machiavelli to Francesco Vettori on December 10, 1513. The exhibition will be held at the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale in Florence, in collaboration with the Florentine Museums and the State Archives of Florence. The years in which Machiavelli contributed to the project in the Florentine Republic (1498-1512) were very important years for Florence. They are symbolized by what is perhaps the most famous sculpture in the city, the David, commissioned to an ardent Republican as Michelangelo Buonarroti whose statue is the symbol of the Republic’s freedom. David, who brings down the giant Goliath, represented the ability of the Republic to maintain its independence from the Empire and the papacy that threatened and then, in two subsequent rounds, 1512 and 1530 was extinguished, restoring the rule of Medici family. But if the external forces were able to break down some institutions, they could not weaken the minds of his most brilliant exponents. And so it was for Machiavelli. Ousted from his post by the Medici, subject to a notice of capture (which we have recalled, thanks to the collaboration of scholars of Villa I Tatti, Harvard University), imprisoned in the Bargello, tortured, finally freed under an amnesty and confined to St. Andrew in Percussina, he wrote a work memo, The Prince, which has had worldwide appeal and lasted through the centuries as the birth of political science and, even better, art policy. And the expression of the power of ideas of revenge counter any attempt to suffocate them or marginalize them. We divided up the tasks: in Rome there was the exhibition at the Vittoriano, The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli and his times. In Florence, another exhibition was titled

The way to The Prince. The Florence show is characterized by the exposure of literary and artistic archival materials that can explain the process that led to the drafting of Machiavelli’s Prince, and who can inspire today new discoveries, new comparisons, and new debates. The design of the Florentine exhibition is to place The Prince in the context of the biography of the author, meaning that his writing was a moment in the life of Niccolò Machiavelli and in the broader context of his works. This is to emphasize the deeper and longer-lasting effect of the work, which had far-reaching cultural and scientific implications. I would like to highlight in particular the significant presence of the wonderful Table Doria, a painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci depicting a scene of the battle of Anghiari, thought to be lost and found through the work of the Carabinieri of the Ministry of Culture. According to an agreement with the National Museum of Japan, which had purchased it in the postwar period, the work will switch between Italy and Japan, with long-term stays in each country. After the exhibition in Florence, the work will travel to Japan for a few years before it is seen here again. Another object of note is the original manuscript of a major work of Niccolò Machiavelli: The art of war. Do not miss the portraits of Machiavelli, such as the little-known work by Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio. The set of documents, books and works of art exhibited at the show have this purpose. Approach to Machiavelli, in his Prince and his other works, it means accepting a great intellectual challenge, cultural and ethical. It means trying to follow in his elaborations, full of passion and reason, the Florentine secretary. It means being open to reflection and deep discussions. Italian text

La mostra La via al Principe si apre il 10 dicembre 2013, data che è considerata il compleanno ufficiale del Principe. La conclusione della sua stesura fu infatti annunciata da Niccolò Machiavelli a Francesco Vettori il 10 dicembre del 1513. La mostra si svolgerà alla Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze in collaborazione con il Polo Museale Fiorentino e l’Archivio di Stato di Firenze. Gli anni in cui Machiavelli prestò la sua opera alla Repubblica Fiorentina (14981512) sono stati molto importanti per Firenze. Sono simboleggiati da quella che è forse la scultura più nota della città, il David commissionato a un fervente repubblicano come Michelangelo Buonarroti, proprio come emblema della libertà della Repubblica. David che abbatte il gigante Golia stava appunto a significare la capacità della Repubblica di mantenere la sua autonomia nei confronti dell’Impero e del papato che la minacciavano e che poi, in due successive tornate, 1512 e 1530, la

Niccolò Machiavelli, Loggiato degli Uffizi, Firenze spensero, ripristinando il dominio della famiglia Medici. Ma se le forze esterne poterono abbattere le istituzioni, non poterono certo fiaccare le menti dei suoi più geniali esponenti. E così è stato per Machiavelli. Estromesso dal suo incarico dai Medici, oggetto di un bando di cattura (che abbiamo rievocato, grazie alla collaborazione degli studiosi di Villa I Tatti della Harvard University, il 19 febbraio di quest’anno, proprio il giorno esatto del suo cinquecentenario), imprigionato nel Bargello, torturato, infine liberato grazie a un’amnistia e confinato a Sant’Andrea in Percussina, egli scrive Il Principe, opera che ha avuto risonanza mondiale e duratura nei secoli, come atto di nascita della scienza della politica e, ancor meglio, dell’arte della politica. È l’espressione della vendetta della forza delle idee nei confronti di ogni tentativo di soffocarle o di emarginarle. Ci siamo divisi i compiti: al Vittoriano di Roma si è svolta la mostra Il Principe di Niccolò Machiavelli e il suo tempo e a Firenze La via al Principe. La mostra fiorentina si caratterizza per l’esposizione di quelle opere artistiche, letterarie, archivistiche che possono illustrare il percorso che ha portato Machiavelli alla stesura del Principe, e che potranno suscitare oggi nuove scoperte, nuovi confronti e nuovi dibattiti. Il carattere quindi delle celebrazioni fiorentine è quello di collocare Il Principe nell’ambito della biografia dell’autore, col significato che la sua stesura ha avuto in un momento particolare della vita di Niccolò

Machiavelli e nel contesto più generale delle sue opere. Ciò allo scopo di sottolinearne gli elementi più profondi e più duraturi e meno quelli legati all’occasione e alle finalità contingenti. Un’operazione culturale e scientifica di grande portata. Mi permetto di segnalare, in particolare, la presenza significativa della mirabile Tavola Doria, un dipinto leonardesco che raffigura una scena della battaglia di Anghiari, data per perduta e ritrovata grazie all’attività del Nucleo Carabinieri del Mibac (Ministero dei Beni Artistici e Culturali). Per accordi con il Museo Nazionale del Giappone che l’aveva acquistata nel dopoguerra, l’opera si dovrà alternare fra Italia e Giappone, con scadenze pluriennali e, quindi, dopo la mostra fiorentina, lascerà l’Italia e non sarà possibile rivederla prima di qualche anno. Altro elemento da segnalare è quello della presentazione del manoscritto originale di un’opera fondamentale di Niccolò Machiavelli: Dell’arte della guerra. Non mancheranno i ritratti di Machiavelli, come quello poco noto di Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio. L’insieme dei documenti, dei libri, delle opere d’arte esposte alla mostra hanno questa finalità. Accostarsi a Machiavelli, al suo Principe, alle altre sue opere, significa accettare una grande sfida intellettuale, culturale ed etica. Significa cercare di seguire, nelle sue elaborazioni, dense di passione e di ragione, il segretario fiorentino. Significa aprirsi a riflessioni e discussioni profonde e feconde.

Palazzo dei Cerchi Via della Condotta 50/R 50122 Firenze Tel. (055) 2776472

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December 2013 – January 2014

Europe and the United States The challenges of the transatlantic market therefore without tightening fiscal discipline and successfully facing competition from emerging countries. This meeting is a process aimed at removing technical and diplomatic obstacles and smoothing differences through negotiations themselves, in the hope of meeting the common objective in 2015. Italian text

E By Cosimo Ceccuti

President of the Fondazione Spadolini


urope and the United States: The Challenges of the Transatlantic Market is the theme of the study seminar held in the library of the Fondazione Spadolini Nuova Antologia (via Pian dei Giullari 36/a, Florence) Friday November 29, from 9:30 am. Promoted by the Fondazione Spadolini, in collaboration with the Associazione Generale delle Cooperative italiane (General Association of Italian Cooperatives), the international seminar, opened by the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Marta Dassù, addressed a theme of diplomacy of two continents, through reflections of essential economists, political scientists, internationalists, journalists, and general experts of Europe and the United States. The idea is for the U.S. and the E.U. to be able to create a large area of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement in which they can freely circulate goods, services and investment. After a promising start (in 2005) the idea had run aground on the shoals of diplomacy and is hampered by the persistent distrust of certain American circles by the countries of old Europe for the outbreak of the economic crisis in the globalized world that has favored the increase of fragmentation and isolationism. Barack Obama was right, when his second term began, to give a strong boost to the creation of a single market between the “Atlantic” countries. Last July in Washington, talks intended to give substance to the project were viewed favorably by all European countries, especially Germany and Great Britain. Obama has referred to this as the priority solution for the basic problem of the West, able to reduce debt while preserving the middle class, and

uropa e Stati Uniti. Le sfide del mercato transatlantico: è il tema del seminario di studi che è terrà nei locali della biblioteca della Fondazione Spadolini Nuova Antologia (via Pian dei Giullari 36/a, Firenze) venerdì 29 novembre, dalle 9,30 a fine mattinata. Promosso dalla stessa Fondazione Spadolini, in collaborazione con l’Associazione Generale delle Cooperative italiane, il seminario internazionale, aperto dal sottosegretario agli Affari Esteri, Marta Dassù, ha affrontato un tema di viva attualità, sul quale sta lavorando la diplomazia di due continenti, attraverso riflessioni essenziali di economisti, politologi, internazionalisti, giornalisti, esperti in genere del rapporto Europa-Stati Uniti. L’idea base, che, dopo fasi alterne, è portata avanti con maggiore decisione dai due partner, USA e UE, è quella di riuscire a creare una grande area di libero scambio nordatlantica in cui possano circolare liberamente merci, servizi, investimenti. Dopo un promettente inizio (si era nel 2005) l’idea si era arenata nelle secche della diplomazia, ostacolata sia dalla diffidenza persistente di certi ambienti americani verso i paesi della vecchia Europa, sia per l’esplosione della crisi economica nel mondo globalizzato che ha favorito il moltiplicarsi di frammentazioni e barricate “isolazioniste”. È stato proprio Barack Obama, all’avvio del secondo mandato, a imprimere un deciso impulso alla creazione di un mercato unico fra i paesi “atlantici”: nel luglio scorso sono iniziati a Washington i colloqui destinati a dare concretezza al progetto, visto con favore da tutti i paesi dell’Unione Europea, in particolare Germania e Gran Bretagna. Obama lo ha indicato come soluzione prioritaria al problema di fondo dell’Occidente, capace di ridurre il debito salvaguardando la classe media, e quindi senza inasprire il rigore fiscale e fronteggiando con successo la concorrenza dei paesi emergenti. Ha preso avvio un iter tecnico e diplomatico teso a rimuovere ostacoli e a smussare divergenze, attraverso trattative vere e proprie, nell’auspicio comune di centrare l’obiettivo addirittura nel 2015. L’iniziativa della Fondazione Spadolini è un invito a parlarne.

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Angel Academy of Art in Florence

Lynne Barton, David Aspin and Michael John Angel


December 2013 – January 2014

n Wednesday, October 30th, Michael John Angel, ARC Living Master and Director of Studies at the Angel Academy of Art, gave a lecture at the historic Tornabuoni Palace in Florence. The lecture’s title was “Annigoni and the Training of the 21st-century Realist Painter.” Angel studied under Annigoni in the 1960s. Born in Milan, Pietro Annigoni (1910 – 88) moved with his family to Florence when he was a teenager and lived there for the rest of his life. He studied art at the Accademia di Belle Arti and soon became known locally, but it was only after painting his first portrait of Queen Elizabeth II of England in 1956 that he became the most famous portrait painter in Europe. Bernard Berenson (the art historian, known as the infallible Bernard Berenson) called Annigoni the greatest painter of the 20th century. The Fine Art of Representational Painting is on the rise again after a century of decline and the Angel Academy of Art in Florence, is one of its leading schools. Based on forty years of research by founder and Studio Director Michael John Angel, the school is dedicated to the training of professional realist painters. The school advocates a marriage between the conceptual – the artistic vision – and empirical observation. Its programme teaches a successful step-by-step process, from cast drawing in charcoal to still life and figure work in oil paint. Situated in Flor-

ence, Italy, the Angel Academy teaches the methods passed down through the centuries, from the Renaissance to the late nineteenth century, and espouses a variety of expression within the concepts of representational painting. Such painting has always been the mainstream of European art. When Lynne Barton and John Angel created the Angel Academy in 1997, there were about twelve throughout the world; now there are several hundred. The Angel Academy of Art is considered one of the most important schools in Europe and North America. The Academy has 65 students, all enrolled full-time in a three-year programme. This programme begins with a specially designed set of drawings (created by Charles Bargue in the nineteenth century), from which the student learns the basic techniques of drawing, and then progresses to drawing in charcoal from the plaster cast. Next come studies in oil paint, working from the plaster cast, and the student masters the essential skills necessary to create an illusion of three dimensions on a two-dimensional surface, using color. Throughout all this, the student also learns, step-by-step, how to draw the live model, first with pencil, then with charcoal. Altogether, these studies take two years. The third year is then spent painting both from the live model, which is generally recognized as being the most difficult subject

of all, and from still life. Still life is the perfect arena in which to study color, texture and the creation of a seemingly three-dimensional illusion. In his lecture, Angel stressed that the training of an artist in this newly renascent Realism is arduous. At the Angel Academy of Art, Florence, the basic programme is a three-year one, and this is followed by one of two post-graduate options, each of a two-year duration: Pictorial Composition and Portrait Painting. Even three years is an expensive undertaking and one of the main thrusts of the lecture and presentation was to garner financial support for needy students. The student work that was shown in the lecture and displayed on the easels was beautiful. The works on display were by Jered Woznicki, Megan Byrne, Nicole Lalande, Bruno Galuzzi Corsini, Brianne Kirbyson, Giulia Bucciarelli, Chapman John Hamborg, Marilyn Bailey , Lucia Foresi, Jonathan Scull, Evanny Henningsen, Katie Runyu Li and Michael John Angel. A feature of the presentation was Angel’s larger-than-life-size portrait of the British entrepreneur David Aspin, which was mentioned in a recent article on Mr Aspin in the Financial Times.


Nancy Fletcher, Bulgarian rug. Oil on canvas, 80x75 cm

The Angel Academy of Art at the historic Tornabuoni Palace in Florence

Pietro Annigoni

The presence of an artist on the 25th anniversary of his death


rom the 15th of October 2013 to the 6th of January 2014 the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, a foundation of banking origin engaged in social, cultural and scientific activities, is promoting in Florence, together the Fondazione Guelpa from Ivrea and with the participation of Rossella Segreto Annigoni, the exhibition Pietro Annigoni: the presence of an Artist, celebrating the Master on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of his death. The exhibition shows aspects of Annigoni’s life and work related to the main genres in the long career of the Master: Portraits and Self- Portraits, Landscapes and Religious themes. For the first time, among the initiatives for Annigoni, this project (planned in four sections) is set up to show unseen works from Ente CRF Collections of Art, Fondazione Guelpa and other Public and Private Collections. The first section - “Pietro Annigoni between Ivrea and Florence” - has been produced by a cultural alliance which involves Ente CRF and the Fondazione Guelpa from Ivrea (a city in north west Italy) which owns a group of Annigoni paintings never before shown in Florence. In all 22 pieces can be compared: 11 from Ente CRF and 11 from Fondazione Guelpa, which show 2 Self-Portraits of the Master, 11 Portraits of several personalities, 5 Religious works and 4 Landscapes. The second section - “Rariora Annigoniana” - shows a large number of unknown works from Ente CRF

and Public and Private Collections. A clear aim of this section is to offer to the public’s attention paintings not usually included in the current circuit of Annigoni exhibitions, in order to disclose a ‘hidden’ profile which Annigoni is able to express always on high quality levels. In other words an extensive production to explore yet. The third section - “The Family” - introduces a voyage through Annigoni’s Family: his father Riccardo, his mother Teresa, his first wife Anna, his second wife Rossella, and his children Benedetto and Ricciarda. In this section it’s possible to see portraits by the Maestro but also documents, sketches and photos from the 1930s till the end of 1980s. In the fourth section - “Morelli’s donation” - presented to the public for the first time, are about 100 Annigoni works - mainly engravings - donated to the Ente CRF by Mrs. Michela Morelli from Rome in 2009. 16 ottobre 2013 – 6 gennaio 2014 Ente CRF Spazio Mostre Via Bufalini 6, Firenze


December 2013 – January 2014

Contemporary Art

Paolo Staccioli: the appearance of reality

By Ornella Casazza

Professor Art Historian and former director of the Museo degli Argenti at Palazzo Pitti


aolo Staccioli has represented figures, in many of his paintings, that are very close to sculptures; this testifies to how his passion for sculpture has been the most authentic and seductive artistic passion throughout his life. This passion has accompanied him for a long time already, and it illuminates his many unique, prestigious and powerful works. His true obsession, throughout his by now thirty year career, is the horse, and these horses and horsemen embody the preferred theme of his works. He thus shares in the words of Salvatore Dalì, who wrote, in 1936, to his friend and patron, Edward James, “There aren’t paintings, there is only one painting that I continue to paint throughout my entire life on different canvases”. Staccioli’s graceful children ride, holding on to the necks of powerful bronze horses, green like Paolo Uccello’s horse painted in “terra vert” in the cathedral of Florence. The earth bends to his wished, and “with malleable grace, modeling a Tuscan measure on the tracks of modernity” (A. Paolucci, 2011), Staccioli gives form to his impulse for love, narrating with lightness and irony, the gestures of Eros. He is shown to us as an attractive winged child, never armed with a bow and arrows, who knows how to tame even the most exuberant horses, glowing in red glaze. Staccioli lets Eros, a happy child, play alone or with other divine children, modeled in the round, encircling the neck of a vase that becomes their toy, binging to mind, for example, the ancient vases of Canosa of Puglia. With a sense of irony, he entrusts the surfaces of his vases with a role meant to demonstrate his ability in handling contour and color, which is then left to the kiln to transform into “landscapes” of flashing and blinding light. There, vortexes of knights, created by a single color that develops a chiaroscuro, whirl freely, even though they are fixed to a structure with wheels, like the toys of our childhood, exactly like the one his father was holding in a photo from 1917, portrayed together Vaso con figure, 2010, private collection

with his mother and sisters. His poetry sets its roots primarily in the distinction between two different worlds: the familiar and the fantastic. And, after the “celestial ride” suspended in a vacuum, he finds an extraordinary opportunity to reveal the passage of time as if it were suspended in a veiled distance. He thus offers to the public new stories inspired by memories, dreams, space, desire, time, silence and waiting. He has modeled immobile warriors, with a synthetic and almost improvised modeling, sensitive to the changing effects of the light and with the action and point of view predominately frontal. They are wearing head coverings that are characterized by wide brims, which brings to mind perhaps the iconic symbol of Abruzzo: the Warrior of Capestrano, one of the most mysterious artifacts that the past has delivered to us. Then, tirelessly, he has organized installations of hundreds of red prelates and he has built towers clad in alternating strips in two colors. He has clad good-natured warriors, armed with lances and shields, with the same stripes, as if they were architectural elements of the Romanesque and Gothic basilicas in Tuscany, Liguria and Sardinia. And he then brought them into the most prestigious museums. By using his unlimited imagination, the themes, on which he has long meditated in these recent years and which have become a significant part of his repertoire, aren’t repetitive, instead they allow usto recognize Staccioli’s work. They give us the impression that he confronts the same theme of the horse, but, he continually experiments with new forms in luminous polychrome glazes. He decorates, compressing the space with small horses in very shallow relief and with warriors in refined armor, who are reduced to fragments, without arms or with their legs cut off at the knees, as if they were emerging from imaginary and ironically rusty tanks. Equally, his female figures appear to be fascinating warriors, even though they don’t have bows, arrows or quivers; their hair is tied behind their heads, they have an androgynous look, but they are charged with a mysterious appeal. They have put away their weapons, and like Diana, they protect our forests. The sphere then becomes

Paolo Staccioli, sculptor a vase “animated at the stop by maniples of characters waiting mysteriously; there we find his primordial horses, his warriors like statuesteles”, (Cristina Acidini, 2011) and his travelers with suitcases, sitting, but ready far a journey through history or in the present. They are a varied populace and we do not know where they come from. They are often in the company of harlequins, or Pulcinella, or other dreamers. They are almost enigmatic idols, immersed in a silence that is not a state of incommunicability. In fact, they don’t express any existential anxiety, and they become far

Carro con guerrieri, 2010, private collection

the artist an emblematic symbol of communication within a human nucleus, which has stopped in order to observe, to see and to be seen. In several works, as Cristina Acidini has affirmed in the occasion of the recent e:xhibition at the Home Museum in Florence, Staccioli has arrived at an innovative majesty, touching on the goals of sculpture. The refined bronze patinas allude to this. Staccioli’ s arte is mature, and thanks to the encounter between his inexhaustible inventiveness and his masterful technique, he continues to evolve with results that represent the best in Florentine and Tuscan art of today.


Weligama, Sri Lanka, 1995


December 2013 – January 2014

Steve McCurry: journey around man

he exhibition of Steve McCurry in the Complesso Museale di Santa Maria della Scala in Siena is extended to 6th January 2014. As for all the venues of Steve McCurry highly evocative exhibition that have been like a “ journey around Italy ”, even Siena has witnessed an extraordinary interest of both Italian and foreign public. To offer a wider opportunity to visit it, the exhibition has been extended until 6th January 2014. All visitors will receive a free audio guide where Steve McCurry himself tells his photos and through them his human and professional experience together with anecdotes, perspectives and exciting stories. It will still be possible to book via internet or call center. The educational service of Santa Maria della Scala organizes new and engaging educational workshops for

school groups. Steve McCurry is not only one of the greatest masters of photography of this century and a many time winner of the World Press Photo Awards, which can be considered as a sort of Nobel Prize of Photography, he is also a point of reference for a vast public, especially among young people who in his photographs recognise a way of observing our times and, in a certain sense, “recognise themselves”. The exhibition is curated by Peter Bottazzi who designed the show and by Biba Giacchetti of Sudest56 who represents McCurry and attends to all of his exhibiting activities. In the sign of a great scenographic impact, the set-up has been studied specifically for the premises of Santa Maria della Scala. Each of the rooms that host the show are differentiated by theme and develops over

the ancient “internal route” and adjoining rooms, today headquarters of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale. In a sort of “journey around man”, the exhibition opens with Discovery: a great gallery of portraits that McCurry’s lens has captured in the span of his long experience, and continues to do so with every trip he takes. Among the veils serving as the backdrops of this gallery, each visitor will be able to explore his own itinerary through a series of cross-references that join the many men and women from the furthest reaches of the Earth. Examining the traces of an even more rarefied human presence, we venture into the Vertigo of war, pain and fear, which McCurry has documented with the same emotional participation. In the following room, the visitor will instead find a world of Poetry where man redeems himself, approaches nature and the spirit, and recovers the joy of living. Surprise and Wonder characterise the fourth section where we find the most curious and unexpected images where man regains the gaze of childhood and enchantment with life. The final leg of the “journey around man” will be Memory with the projection, hosted in the Magazzini della Cordicella, of a National Geographic documentary that tells the story of the search for Sharbat Gula, the little Afghan girl, twenty years after the meeting that gave birth to one of the most famous photographic images in the world.


More than 200 photographs are in the exhibition, printed in various formats but mostly of large dimensions. Epson has realised a video in which, like a sort of backstage, it will recount the delicate task of colour printing on photographic paper. The exhibition of Steve McCurry comes to Siena after having been seen by some 400,000 visitors in four Italian cities, renewed in each set-up and in the selection of the images, and specially studied to strike up a dialogue with fascinating surroundings, like those of Santa Maria della Scala. The Siena show will also include an anthology of McCurry’s entire production, with numerous of his most famous photos taken in the course of the more than 30 years of his extraordinary career as a photographer and journalist, along with a very wide selection of his most recent works: the project entitled The Last Roll of pictures shot using the last roll of film produced by Kodak, his latest trips to Cuba, Thailand and Myanmar, with a spectacular series of images dedicated to Buddhism, the trip to Tanzania and Ethiopia, and a selection of photographs shot in the course of his numerous recent sojourns in Italy. Complesso museale Santa Maria della Scala Piazza Duomo 1, Siena Ph. +39 0577 534511

Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India, 2005

Sharbat Gula, Afghan girl from Nasir Bagh near Peshawar, Pakistan, 1984



December 2013 – January 2014

A few words with Lorenzo Parrini, Tuscany representative for the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy

By Anna Balzani

Commerce in Italy (basically the American Confindustria) can make a very important contribution towards entrepreneurship. In Tuscany we have many honest businesses with a strong bias towards exports for which the American market represents an opportunity for commercial development. Let’s not forget that the U.S. is arguably the largest market in the world with a strong flow of imports from foreign countries, and with a growing trend even in sectors in which Tuscany has significance. What initiatives is the American Chamber of Commerce promoting? What is a project that is particularly important to you? The first objective aims to promote the knowledge of the American Chamber of Commerce with Tuscan businesses, through a series of local initiatives in collaboration with Confindustria Toscana with whom we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. And in fact it is important to know our organization which can provide support services to businesses that want to grow in America and also assists with the needs of the enterprises themselves to better calibrate the support that can be provided. What objectives, strategies and outlook do you see, short-term and long-term, for Tuscany? In the short-term I would love that it would create a kind of local business community united by an interest in the development and promotion of trade and cultural relations with America, to be involved in the various initiatives that AmCham will organize at the national level, as well as favoring relational networking that would be very useful to entrepreneurs who are often alone to face certain problems. At the same time I’d try to make a contribution to make the system stimulate the cooperation between different institutions in the Region which have been working to support the internationalization of companies (from the Region of Tuscany’s association Confindustria and craft). What was your career path? What contribution do you believe that this experience can make to AmCham? I began my profession as a chartered accountant in the study of Prof. Bompani. Then I entered the consulting firm Deloitte, of which I became a member in 2007. In particular, I deal with assistance to companies in corporate finance transactions (mergers and acquisitions, valuations, financial planning, etc.). I am also Adjunct Professor of Advanced Corporate Finance at the University of Florence. I think I can make a contribution to the Tuscan companies leveraging professional experiences, including international experience gained in the context of my work, and through the international network of AmCham. What plans does AmCham have to promote relationships with the universities of Florence? It might be interesting to create a link between the American academic world and

Lorenzo Parrini the Tuscan which is characterized by large centers of excellence. A greater transatlantic link would also be able to spread overseas and result in the attraction of foreign investments in our region. Italian text


rapporti transatlantici suscitano un crescente interesse politico ed economico, per questo abbiamo cercato di conoscere meglio l’American Chamber of Commerce in Italia (AmCham), una importante istituzione che agisce con lo scopo di sviluppare e favorire le relazioni economiche e culturali tra gli Stati Uniti d’America e l’Italia, promuovendo e tutelando gli interessi dei propri associati nell’ambito dell’attività di business tra i due Paesi. L’American Chamber of Commerce in Italia (AmCham) è un’organizzazione privata senza scopo di lucro, affiliata alla Chamber of Commerce di Washington D.C., la Confindustria statunitense, alla quale aderiscono oltre tre milioni di imprese. AmCham è inoltre socio fondatore dell’European Council of American Chambers of Commerce, l’organismo che tutela il libero scambio tra Unione Europea e Stati Uniti. La sede centrale in Italia si trova a Milano, ma AmCham è presente anche nelle maggiori città italiane e statunitensi attraverso una rete di rappresentanti locali. Abbiamo incontrato il Dott. Lorenzo Parrini, rappresentante per la Toscana di American

Chamber of Commerce in Italy e gli abbiamo rivolto alcune domande. Dottor Parrini, molto recente è la sua nomina in qualità di Rappresentante Locale Toscana di American Chamber of Commerce in Italy, un suo pensiero al riguardo? Sono molto onorato della recente nomina perché credo che un’associazione come l’American Chamber of Commerce in Italy (sostanzialmente la Confindustria americana) possa dare un contributo molto importante al nostro tessuto imprenditoriale. In Toscana abbiamo molte imprese virtuose a forte vocazione esportatrice per le quali il mercato americano rappresenta un’opportunità di sviluppo commerciale interessante. Non dimentichiamoci che gli USA sono indiscutibilmente il primo mercato al mondo con un forte flusso di importazioni dai paesi esteri e con un trend crescente anche nei comparti in cui la Toscana vanta delle eccellenze significative. Come AmCham, quali iniziative state promuovendo? Un progetto che le sta particolarmente a cuore? Il primo obiettivo vuole essere quello di promuovere la conoscenza dell’AmCham presso le imprese toscane, tramite una serie di iniziative sul territorio anche in collaborazione con Confindustria Toscana con cui abbiamo firmato un protocollo di intesa. È importante infatti sia far conoscere al nostro tessuto imprenditoriale quali possono essere i servizi di supporto alle imprese che vogliono crescere in America sia

anche raccogliere le esigenze delle stesse imprese per meglio tarare il supporto che le può essere fornito. Quali obiettivi, strategie e prospettive di medie e lungo termine per la Toscana? A medio termine mi piacerebbe che si creasse una sorta di business community locale accomunata dall’interesse per lo sviluppo e la promozione di scambi commerciali e culturali con l’America, da coinvolgere nelle varie iniziative che AmCham organizzerà a livello nazionale (e, a questo punto, a livello locale), favorendo anche un networking relazionale molto utile a imprenditori che spesso sono soli ad affrontare certe problematiche. In parallelo mi piacerebbe cercare di dare un contributo per fare sistema anche stimolando la cooperazione tra vari istituzioni che in Regione da anni operano a supporto delle internazionalizzazione delle imprese (a partire dalla Regione Toscana alle associazioni confindustriali e artigianali). Vuole parlarci di sé? Quale è stato il suo percorso professionale? Quale contributo ritiene che la sua esperienza potrà apportare ad AmCham? Ho cominciato la mia professione come dottore commercialista nell’ambito dello studio del professor Bompani. Successivamente sono entrato nella società di consulenza Deloitte, di cui sono diventato socio nel 2007. In particolare, mi occupo di assistenza alle imprese in operazioni di finanza straordinaria (fusioni e acquisizioni, valutazioni, pianificazioni finanziarie, ecc.). Sono inoltre docente a contratto di Advanced Corporate Finance all’Università di Firenze. Credo di poter dare un contributo alle imprese toscane sia facendo leva sulle esperienze professionali, di respiro internazionale, maturate nell’ambito della mia attività lavorativa, sia attraverso il network internazionale di AmCham. Essendo competente anche per quel che riguarda le università americane presenti in Italia e in particolare in Toscana, quali proposte di valorizzazione ha intenzione di promuovere l’AmCham? Potrebbe essere interessante creare un legame tra il mondo accademico americano e quello toscano che è caratterizzato da grandi centri di eccellenza che un maggior legame transatlantico potrebbe riuscire a diffondere oltreoceano, anche nella logica di attrazione degli investimenti esteri nella nostra regione.


December 2013 – January 2014

Machiavelli’s Prince after 500 years


a great exhibition at the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale in Florence

By Nicoletta Marcelli

Villa I Tatti Former Fellow Fellow at the Università di Macerata


rom December 10 to February 28 the Biblioteca Nazionale will host the exhibition entitled “La via al Principe: Machiavelli da Firenze a San Casciano”. The choice of opening day is a celebration itself: on the 10th December 1513, in fact, Machiavelli, was confined to his home in Sant’Andrea in Percussina and there he wrote the famous letter to Francesco Vettori telling him he had begun to compose a book De Principatibus, later called the Prince. After 500 years, the exhibition aims to give a detailed account to the general public about a less known aspect of the Machiavelli’s biography and work, from his appointment to the Florentine Chancery as Segretario in 1498 until 1512. Archival documents as well as portraits and manuscripts will give an idea to the historical and cultural context in which Machiavelli worked and how powerful he became, since he began to be the most confident men of the Pier Soderini’s government in the years 1502-1512. Unfortunately,

Machiavelli’s brilliant carreer came to an end when the Medici re-entered the city in 1512, and eventually they removed from their posts all the Soderini’s supporters, including Machiavelli. On top of that, in February 1513 Niccolò was accused to have taken part in the conspiracy that sought to overthrow the Medici regime. Apparently Machiavelli was innocent, but in spite of that he was imprisoned and tortured in the Bargello, and only the election of cardinal Giovanni de’ Medici to the papacy as Leo X allowed Machiavelli to be released under general amnesty. Although Machiavelli composed all his most famous works before 1513 - the Prince, the Discourses on the First Decade of Livy and the History of Florence -, the previous years are crucial to understanding Machiavelli as a human being and a politician, and therefore to appreciate the reasons why he composed those works. The exhibition is articulated into 9 sections, which aim to shed light on the Florentine historical, political and artistic environment at Machiavelli’s time. The first two sections will be devoted to the Florentine institutions from Savonarolas’s Republic to the Pier Soderini’s government; together with archival sources these sections display famous works of art from the Polo Museale Fiorentino, such as the portraits of Machiavelli and Cesare Borgia by Cristofano Dell’Altissimo, Piero Soderini by Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio, Bronzino’s portrait of Leo X, and the famous Lorenzo de’ Medici duke of Urbino attributed to Raphael. A relevant part of the exhibition will be dedicated to training and studies of Machiavelli (section 3), and to explain in detail the importance of the Chancery within the political and the administrative system of the Republic. The last three sections will be focused on the end of Machiavelli’s political career and the confinement in his country estate at San Casciano; section 8 (Cose gravi e cose vane), in particular, illustrates literary works composed before 1512 by displaying numerous Machiavellian auto-

graphs and the oldest manuscripts of the Prince. All documents and manuscripts on display come from the Florentine libraries (Medicean-Laurentian, National and Riccardiana) and from the Archivio di Stato, so that the exhibition will give an idea of the absolutely outstanding archival and manuscript collections preserved in Florence. Italian text


ella prestigiosa sede della Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale dal prossimo 10 dicembre fino al 28 febbraio sarà allestita la mostra dal titolo “La via al “Principe”: Machiavelli da Firenze a San Casciano”. La scelta del giorno di inaugurazione è quanto mai appropriata: il 10 dicembre 1513, infatti, Machiavelli, confinato nella sua casa di campagna a Sant’Andrea in Percussina, scrisse la celeberrima lettera a Francesco Vettori comunicandogli di aver iniziato a comporre un’opera De principatibus, ovvero il Principe. A 500 anni da quell’avvenimento, la mostra si propone di ricostruire, e al contempo di far conoscere al grande pubblico, un aspetto meno noto della biografia di Machiavelli, cioè il periodo precedente al 1513, contestualizzandolo mediante documenti e testimonianze storico-artistiche nella Firenze dell’epoca. Dal 1498 al 1512 Machiavelli ricoprì la carica di Segretario della seconda cancelleria della Repubblica fiorentina e divenne l’uomo di fiducia di Pier Soderini che ricopriva la massima carica dello stato. La brillante carriera politica di Niccolò, che lo portò fino ad influenzare le scelte del potere a Firenze, si arrestò bruscamente al rientro dei Medici nel 1512. Dopo essere stato rimosso dall’incarico di segretario e “epurato” come molti altri protagonisti della politica nel periodo soderiniano, Machiavelli nel febbraio del 1513 fu accusato (pare ingiustamente) di aver preso parte alla congiura che mirava a rovesciare il regime mediceo appena restaurato. Machiavelli fu imprigionato al Bargello e torturato, finché l’elezione al soglio pontificio del cardinale

Giovanni de’ Medici col nome di Leone X e la conseguente amnistia generale non gli permisero di essere rilasciato. Sebbene tutte le principali opere del Machiavelli siano collocabili dopo il 1513, il periodo precedente a questa data fu altrettanto importante, se non cruciale per capire per la formazione umana e politica del Segretario e di conseguenza le motivazioni che lo condussero a comporre le sue opere maggiori quali, oltre al Principe, I Discorsi sopra la Prima deca di Tito Livio e le Istorie fiorentine. Il percorso della mostra, articolato in 9 sezioni, illustra il contesto storico-politico, ma anche culturale e artistico, in cui Machiavelli si trovò ad agire: accanto alla prima sezione dal titolo Le Istituzioni fiorentine dalla Repubblica Savonaroliana al Gonfalonierato di Pier Soderini, la seconda esporrà opere celebri, tutte provenienti dal Polo Museale fiorentino, quali i ritratti di Machiavelli e Cesare Borgia di Cristofano Dell’Altissimo, quello di Piero Soderini ad opera di Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio, papa Leone X effigiato dal Bronzino o il celeberrimo Lorenzo de’ Medici duca d’Urbino attribuito a Raffaello. Le altre sezioni della mostra saranno dedicate alla formazione e agli studi di Machiavelli (sez. 3), nonché illustreranno nel dettaglio quali erano le sue mansioni e la centralità della Cancelleria all’interno delle istituzioni politico-amministrative della Repubblica, nonché il suo rapporto con Pier Soderini (sez. 4-6). Il percorso sarà concluso dalle tre sezioni focalizzate sulla fine della carriera politica e sul confino nella tenuta di campagna presso San Casciano; una in particolare (sez. 8 Cose gravi e cose vane) illustrerà le opere letterarie composte da Niccolò prima del 1512 con l’esposizione di numerosi autografi machiavelliani e dei più antichi codici superstiti del Principe. Tutti i documenti e i manoscritti esposti provengono dalle biblioteche fiorentine (Medicea-Laurenziana, Nazionale e Riccardiana) e dall’Archivio di Stato, a testimonianza dell’enorme patrimonio documentario e librario di cui Firenze dispone.

New exhibition examines Hungarian Humanism’s ties to Florence

By Ellen Miller

Student in Florence and writer


pen through January 6 at the San Marco Museum, attached to the Church of San Marco, a unique exhibit takes a look at a less-studied area of Florence’s past. The exhibition is a follow-up to a major exhibition held in Hungary in 2008 that marked the 550th anniversary of the start of Matthias Corvinus’ reign as the king of Hungary. The exhibition shed light on the relationship between this notable king and the city of Florence. 2013 marks a year of celebration of Hungarian culture in Florence, the perfect setting for an exhibition detailing the relationship between the eastern European country and one of the centers of the Renaissance. The exhibition illustrates the roots of humanism in Hungary influenced by the country’s close ties with Italy. Florence itself played a crucial

role in developing Hungary’s artwork by sharing the Renaissance with the country. The influence that Florence had on the development of Hungary’s art scene is still visible to this day. Museums throughout Europe and across the ocean have loaned works of art for the exhibit. San Marco was chosen to host the exhibit because of its Dominican affiliation and comprehensive library. The Domenican convent’s library played a key role in developing humanism; it was the first public library of the Renaissance, built by Cosimo de’ Medici the Elder. Through works of art, the exhibition will demonstrate how humanism influenced the Hungarian court’s artistic and cultural choices. The king was responsible for bringing in art and influencing the tone of art in the country, and the exhibit sets out to understand what might have been influencing him. The libraries of Matthias Corvinus and of Lorenzo the Magnificent will be examined closely. Overall, the tastes of the king will be examined as they relate to Florentine culture at the time. Notable works on loan for the exhibition include the king’s throne tapestry from the Hungarian National Museum, a marble relief attributed to Andrea del Verrocchio from the National Gallery in Washington, and Matthias Corvinus’ Bible on loan from the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana. For those interested in learning a little more about a relatively unknown influence that Florence claimed during the Renaissance, the Museum of the church of San Marco can be visited daily from 8:15 in the morning until the afternoon. Tickets for the special exhibition are slightly more expensive than normal, but likely will not gather the same crowds as waiting in line at the Uffizi, making it the perfect stop on a busy day.

Attributed to Giovanni Dalmata (Ivan Duknović), Bas-rilief portraits of Queen Beatrice and King Mattia, 1480-1490. Budapest, Szepműveszeti Muzeum

Novum Testamentum et Liber Psalmorum, illuminated decoration by Gherardo and Monte di Giovanni, 1489-1490. Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana


December 2013 – January 2014


A few words with Professor Patrick Burke, dean of Gonzaga in Florence University By Samantha Mastaler

Student at the Gonzaga in Florence University


Professor Patrick Burke, Academic Dean of Gonzaga in Florence University and Samantha Mastaler, writer and student at the Gonzaga in Florence

his year marks the 50th anniversary for Gonzaga-in-Florence, a study abroad program created by the Jesuit institution of Gonzaga University in Spokane Washington. Gonzaga-in-Florence began in 1963 with the hopes of providing students with an opportunity for cultural immersion in Florence. 50 years later the program is still hosting around 320 students a year from Gonzaga and universities all over the United States. Patrick Burke has been Dean of Gonzaga-in- Florence for nine years and has a personal connection to the study abroad program. Not only was he a student in the program from 1964-65, but he also taught philosophy courses at the university before taking on his current role of Dean of the institution. He said the program has been successful for several reasons, the most important being the interdisciplinary aspect of the school which makes studying abroad more accessible for students. “We offer courses in engineering, education, and all of the social sciences. This helps students stay on track towards earning their degrees while they study abroad, all the time staying true to the Jesuit character of the school”. said Dean Burke. The 50th celebration consists of events that have already taken place in Spokane and events that will take place in Florence this coming spring. Back in October, Dean Burke and a few Gonzaga-in-Florence professors taught lectures in Spokane that were open to Gonzaga-in-Florence alumni. Dean Burke said every class was full and he was very happy with the turnout. This spring, 400-500 out of 7000 alumni are expected to attend the events taking place here in Florence. Events will take place from April 24-27th and will include tours of the Palazzo Vecchio, celebration of Italy’s National Liberation day, and Holy Mass at Santa Trinita, which will be celebrated by the Cardinal of Florence.

What makes all these past students come back and future students choose the program? Gonzaga-in-Florence aims to provide students with a variety of activities that help them connect to the Italian culture, making the experience as rich as possible. Students can eat dinner at houses of Italian families who offer to feed them in return for English lessons. Gonzaga-in-Florence has a student life department that includes staff members who can help students with questions about travel and living abroad. Students are required to take a language course and are taken around the city to practice their Italian. Dean Burke says these opportunities help create a deeper experience for the students through immersing themselves with the culture. Florence is a city full of culture and history and Dean Burke said if experienced fully by students, “You will spend your whole life trying to get back to Florence.”

Birba - Atelier Le Chicche di Birba - Articoli per l’infanzia Via De Serragli, 7r - Tel. 055/2399682 -


December 2013 – January 2014


Territori instabili: exhibit at Palazzo Strozzi

By Andrew Saba

Student at the Gonzaga in Florence University


erritori instabili is a contemporary art exhibit at the Centre for Contemporary Culture Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence. The exhibit features a diverse range of works such as videos, photographs, and other captivating pieces dealing with the hardships of living in third world countries. The cost for the exhibit is three euros for international students and five euros for regular admission, and this exhibit will be on display through January 19th, 2014. The times of this exhibit are Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 - 20:00, except for Thursday where it runs until 23:00. Territori Instabili challenges the viewer’s perception of what borders and boundaries really are and what territories actually mean to the individual versus the community as a whole. The exhibit begins with two videos that show how “territory” is not just a geographical area, but instead how it can refer to social restrictions and how it is a part of our psychological globe. The first film, Barbed Hula, shows the fragility of the skin layers on a human body,


ANTIQUES Piazza dei Ciompi Open every day on 8.30 am - 7.30 pm

CASCINE Cascine Park Open every Tuesday morning: 7a.m. - 2p.m. Food, clothing, antiquities, houseware, specialties CENTRAL MARKET Stalls inside the San Lorenzo Via dell’Ariento Open Monday-Saturday: 7a.m. - 2p.m. Best food market in the city

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which are used to represent the land and inhabitants of Israel. Sigalit Landau, the artist of this video, uses her own body to swing the barbed wire hula-hoop around her stomach, causing bleeding and permanent scarring as the wire tears through her skin during each rotation. This child’s game soon becomes an instrument of torture that perfectly represents her home country’s political and historical tension. The second film, DeadSee, another work by Sigalit Landau, consists of a spiral made up of 500 watermelons floating on an area of water. Landau is laying on one of the inner layers of the spiral surrounded by half cracked open watermelons. As the watermelons, held together by string, begin to unravel, her body is no longer given the same protection needed to survive. She holds on tight to a watermelon strand nearest to her and is reeled back to the shore. This metaphor represents the Dead Sea and how it is border to Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian territory. This video depicts how the people of these countries change going from border to border. Landau and the watermelons represent flesh, and the salt water that changes our bodies, as well as the watermelons, represent external forces in the territory that modify and destroy our protective barriers. The open watermelons are representing open wounds in which salt from the water, metaphorically, is being poured onto our cuts and bruises. Other noteworthy pieces include The Enclave, by Richard Mosse, featuring videos of the hardships of the Congo due to constant conflict between the central government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the local militias wanting control over North and South Kivu, and Paolo Cirio’s Loophole for All showing how people have been avoiding taxes and transferring money from third world countries to across the globe. One other artist that caught my eye was Paulo Nazareth, a Brazilian whose pictures showed his struggles from South America until his journey’s end in New York. Through the art you can see


TOURIST INFORMATION Comune di Firenze, Piazza Stazione 4 Mon - Sat: 8:30a.m. - 7p.m. Sun: 8:30a.m. - 2p.m. Tel: 055 21 22 45 / 27 28 208

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Paulo Nazareth, Untitled, 2012, from Noticias de America (News from the Americas). Photo printing on cotton paper, Courtesy Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo (Brazil) how the Paulo Nazareth questioned his sense of self, and condition of mobility, physically and symbolically. Territori Instabili really captures the lifestyles of other countries and reflects the physical, mental, psychological and personal instability that occurs within the people of these areas of the world. At the end of the exhibit, past The Cool Couple works, is a wall where you can write what borders you would tear down if you had the chance. The most interesting responses are shared on the Centre for Contemporary Culture Strozzina’s Facebook page.

Sigalit Landau, DeadSee, 2005. Video still, Courtesy the Artist.



December 2013 – January 2014

Andy Warhol

Pollock and Rothko A new exhibition in Milan

The exhibition at Palazzo Blu in Pisa

Jackson Pollock, Number 27, 1950. Oil, enameland aluminum painting on canvas

By Ellen Miller


rom October 12, 2013 to February 2, 2014 with over one hundred and fifty works from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and from many American and European collections. The exhibition will trace the creative development of the artist who, so greatly, turned upside down the twentieth-century art. Following the exhibitions dedicated to Chagall, Miró, Picasso and Kandinsky, the Fondazione Palazzo Blu continues its investigation into the great masters of the twentieth century, which has brought more than 300,000 visitors to the historic residence on the Lungarno River. Following the exhibitions dedicated to Chagall, Miró, Picasso and Kandinsky, which has brought more than 300,000 visitors in four years to Pisa, BLU | Palazzo d’arte e cultura opens its doors, from October 12, 2013 to February 2, 2014, to the art of Andy Warhol, for what promises to be a must-see event in the wealth of exhibitions coming this autumn. The Fondazione Palazzo Blu, in part-

By Ellen Miller


nership with GAmm Giunti, moves forward with its investigation into the Masters who wrote the history of twentieth-century art. The exhibition, curated by Walter Guadagnini and Claudia Beltramo Ceppi, will feature approximately 150 works providing a survey of the author’s creative journey which, so greatly, turned upside down the art of the twentieth century. Thanks to the collaboration with the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, which houses a large part of his legacy and will grant the loan of some important unreleased work in Italy, and some of the historic collections, such as those from the galleries Sonnabend, Feldman, and Goodman in New York, European museums such as the MAMAC in Nice, the Berardo Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Lisbon, the Albertina Museum of Modern Art in Wien, the MUMOK in Wien, as well as some masterpieces from Italian public and private collections, such as the Unicredit Collection and Intesa San Paolo Collection

massive exhibition of important American and international artists has come to Milan, and will display important contemporary artists the likes of Pollock and Rothko through early spring. More than an exhibition, it is an event organized by the city and taking place across multiple museums and many months. The city has partnered with the Rodin Museum and the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the National Museum of Natural History and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York to bring significant works by both Italian and international artists in order to encourage an artistic discussion. Five primary exhibitions form the backbone of the art event. 60 masterpieces from the Whitney Museum in New York will be displayed in a room in the Royal Palace in Milan. Particularly notable is the loan of “Pollock Number 27,” a work so large that it typically is not loaned out to other museums and exhibitions. Rothko, de Kooning and Kline are other notable artists on display from the collection. The Whitney works are on display through February 16, 2014. In “The Face of 900: From Matisse to Bacon,” 80 works from the Centre Pompidou in Paris are displayed through February 19, 2014. This exhibition tells the story of the change in style and character in human figure and portrait painting and represents a wealth of well-known artists, including

Henri Matisse, Francis Bacon, Max Ernst, Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso. A significant collection of 60 works by artist and sculptor Auguste Rodin marks the first time a major study of French marble has been accomplished outside the Musée Rodin in Paris and is on display in Milan through January 26, 2014. The second major display of works by American pop artists Andy Warhol is on display in Milan through March 2, 2014. Another major exhibition of Warhol’s work is on in Pisa, but this exhibition is unique because the monographic collection on display was dedicated to Peter Brant, who collected Warhol’s work. Finally, Vassily Kandinsky’s collection from the Centre Pompidou is on display through May 4, 2014, with over 100 works illustrating Kandinsky’s talent as well as his relationships with his contemporaries. Other exhibitions and events surround the major exhibitions. The city is something of a contrast to the focus on modern art; one of the most famous works of DaVinci, “The Last Supper,” is a highly notable artistic treasure in Milan. Having previously hosted artists such as photojournalist Steve McCurry and with a fashion week that rivals Paris, however, Milan is no stranger to exploring new territory. With such a notable collection of modern artists on display from collections in the US and France, Milan is definitely worth a visit.

civil rights battle at the Maxxi in Rome

reedom Fighters: The Kennedys and the Battle for Civil Rights” is a show not to be missed on display at the MAXXI National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome through November 24. Commemorating Martin Luther King Junior’s famous March on Washington in the United States where he spoke out for equality, the exhibition was organized by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights Europe (RFK Europe)in collaboration with the American embassy in Italy. The photography exhibit displays photographs that relate the story of the struggle for civil rights in the US. President Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy’s contributions to the civil rights movement are highlighted in the exhibition. The exhibition is the most recent effort by the Kennedy Center to shine international light on the issue of human rights around the world. Recently the RFK Europe’s center in Florence hosted an international human rights art exhibition with artists participating from around the globe. In both exhibitions, the goal is to spark conversation that will lead to meaningful action to bring human rights to people around the world who do not have the freedoms that most of Western Europe

and the US takes for granted. The exhibition includes photographs from the entire US history of the struggle for civil rights, beginning at the very beginning with the signing of the Declaration of Independence and continuing up to the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Martin Luther King, Jr. Robert Kennedy highly admired the Freedom Riders, who risked their lives to speak out on an issue they believed injust. The RFK Center, named in his honor and established by Robert F. Kennedy’s friends and family, seeks to realize his dream of a more just world, and utilizes the arts to spread messages about justice in new ways.“This exhibit is not simply a reminder of distant history; rather it is an extraordinary story of the self and of the moral courage necessary for the realization of justice and democracy-values we need to embrace as we face the challenges of poverty, war, injustice, disease, and the other evils from which this generation must free the next,” said RFK Center president Kerry Kennedy in a press release from the organization. With 80 photographs documenting the civil rights movement in the US, “Freedom Fighters” reminds viewers that it is possible to fight for rights, and that others have done so and succeeded.

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December 2013 – January 2014


TAKAKO IRIFUNE Jewelry designer


ewelry is bonding and identifies us. It takes thousands and thousands of years for a stone to form. Every single stone has its own story from a long time ago, even before we were born. Every stone is unique and one of a kind Every stone has a different design that brings it to life. My work begins with taking good care of stones that are delicately raised by our Great Mother Earth. My decision to be become a designer is strongly influenced by memories of my mother. Since I was a little girl, she gave me pearls and other jewelry as a gift for my birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. Therefore everytime I wear jewelry it makes me think of her smile and the words that she used to say to me. Yes, jewelry truly bonds us to one another. As I said earlier, every single stone is in need of its own different design. I often use big stones for my jewelry. One of the reasons is that I would like to make the most of its uniqueness and character. Even the rings I make have a unique design in which a part of the ring is movable because I want its owner to be able to communicate with the jewelry all the time. The jewelry that only you can share anytime, the jewelry is you. Jewelry is identity.

Birba & Le Chicche di Birba

lorence and its surrounding area have always been the heart of Fashion and Design in Italy, with most of the famous brands in Apparel and Accessories being born and raised over here. From scratch, just originating from a basic idea, colored fabric and cloths become Children’s Apparel, Layettes, Blankets or Bodysuits for Newborns and Infants. During 2003, from a long-nurtured dream Birba was born, a Children’s Apparel Store in Via dei Serragli in Florence. Here ideas become reality, and childhood becomes color and fun both for kids and grown-ups. I became a mother some year ago, and I know how Moms want to surround their kids with things that are not only beautiful to see, but are also made with passion and with an eye on some important values that improve their children lives. Here at Birba we sew and knit items that we make with our hands, in the traditional and artisanal way that we learnt from our Moms some years ago. This makes each piece unique and different from one another. Throughout the years, Birba has become an Artisanal Workshop in Florence for Kids Apparel, a unique place in town where objects originate from a meticulous research of raw materials, to finally evolve into oneof-a-kind pieces that range from Blankets to Apparel, but also Toys that are all part of “Le Chicche di Birba” Collection. There’s even more besides this, though. Today, Birba in Via dei Serragli is the meeting place for mothers and children that gather together in the upper wooden loft of the store to create their own clothes, learn how to design and sew them, or simply sit and listen to readings of beautiful tales from the past. Here moms can exchange opinions and habits, and mothers-to-be get ready for their new lives following specialists’ advices during the Childbirth Preparation Training. As a mom, I am lucky to participate to this with my daughter. And who knows how many new “Birba’s” the future will bring to us. Atelier Le Chicche di Birba Articoli per l’infanzia Via de’ Serragli 7r , tel. 055 239968


Your portrait just from a simple photo

Pop art painting courses Tel. 055 2347209 Cell. 328 4662700


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H H FLORENCE Piazza Piave, 3, FIRENZE Tel. 055243668 / Fax 0552009852 HELVETIA & BRISTOL Via dei Pescioni, 2, FIRENZE Tel. 05526651 / Fax 055288353

IL DUCA la Pergola, 34, FIRENZE Tel. 0559062167 / 3476264284 Fax 0559062168 IL GUELFO BIANCO Via Cavour, 29, FIRENZE Tel. 055288330 / 3356069259 Fax 055295203 IL PERSEO Via Cerretani, 1, FIRENZE Tel. 055212504 / Fax 055288377 ITALIANA HOTELS FLORENCE Viale Europa, 205, FIRENZE Tel. 0556571 / Fax 0557472369 IL SALVIATINO Via del Salviatino, 14, FIESOLE Tel. 0559041111 / Fax 0559041247 J AND J Via di Mezzo, 20, FIRENZE Tel. 05526312 / Fax 055240282 J.K. PLACE Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 7, FIRENZE Tel. 0552645181 / Fax 0552658387 KRAFT Via Solferino, 2, FIRENZE Tel. 055284273 / Fax 0552398267 LA CASA DI MORFEO Via Ghibellina, 51, FIRENZE Tel. 055241193 / Fax 055240999 LA RESIDENZA Via Tornabuoni, 8, FIRENZE Tel. 055218684 / Fax 055284197 LA SCALETTA Via Guicciardini, 13, FIRENZE Tel. 055283028 / Fax 055283013 LAURUS AL DUOMO Via Cerretani, 54r, FIRENZE Tel. 0552381752 / Fax 055268308 LA VENERE Via C. Cavour, 21, FIRENZE Tel. 055215087 / Fax 0552656243 LE DUE FONTANE Piazza SS. Annunziata, 14, FIRENZE Tel. 055210185 / Fax 055294461

MIRAGE Via F. Baracca, 231/18, FIRENZE Tel. 055352011 / Fax 055374096 MONNA LISA Borgo Pinti, 27, FIRENZE Tel. 0552479751 / Fax 0552479755 MONTEBELLO SPLENDID Via Garibaldi, 14, FIRENZE Tel. 05527471 / Fax 0552747700 MORANDI ALLA CROCETTA Via Laura, 50, FIRENZE Tel. 0552344747 / Fax 0552480954 MULINO DI FIRENZE Via Villamagna, 119, FIRENZE Tel. 0556530279 / Fax 0556531486 NH ANGLO AMERICAN Via G. Garibaldi, 9, FIRENZE Tel. 055282114 / Fax 055268513 NH FIRENZE Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 4a, FIRENZE Tel. 0552770 / Fax 0552657965 NH PORTA ROSSA Via Porta Rossa, 19, FIRENZE Tel. 0552710911 / Fax 0552710901 NILHOTEL Via Barsanti, 27/a-b, FIRENZE Tel. 055795540 / 3333237387 Fax 0554476093 NORD FLORENCE Via F. Baracca, 199a, FIRENZE Tel. 055431151 / Fax 055431202 NOVO HOTEL Via Tevere, 23, FIRENZE (Sesto Tel. 05553821 / Fax 05553821

PRINCIPE Lungarno A. Vespucci, 34, FIRENZE Tel. 055284848 / Fax 055283458 PRIVILEGE Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia, 26, FIRENZE Tel. 0552341221 - 0552478220 Fax 055243287

SILLA Via d Renai, 5, FIRENZE Tel. 0552342888 / 3355334235 Fax 0552341437 STARHOTELS MICHELANGELO Viale F.lli Rosselli, 2, FIRENZE Tel. 0552784 / Fax 0552382232 STARHOTELS TUSCANY Via di Novoli, 59, FIRENZE Tel. 055431441 / Fax 0554378257 STARHOTELS VESPUCCI Via San Quirico, 292 A, FIRENZE (Campi Bisenzio) Tel. 05589551/ Fax 05589551

STROZZI PALACE HOTEL Via de’ Vecchietti, 4, FIRENZE Tel. 055283898 / Fax 055268201

REGENCY Piazza M. D’Azeglio, 3, FIRENZE Tel. 055245247 / Fax 0552346735 RELAIS IL CESTELLO Piazza di Cestello, 9, FIRENZE Tel. 055280632 - 055280633 Fax 055280631 RELAIS SANTA CROCE Via Ghibellina, 87, FIRENZE Tel. 0552342230 / Fax 0552341195 RELAIS UFFIZI Via Chiasso del Buco, 16, FIRENZE Tel. 0552676239 / Fax 0552657909 RESIDENZA FIORENTINA Via dei Fossi, 12, FIRENZE Tel. 055282980 / Fax 055286882 REX Via Faenza, 6, FIRENZE Tel. 055213506 / Fax 0552382390

RIVER Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia, 18 FIRENZE Tel. 0552343529 / Fax 0552343531

PALAZZO OGNISSANTI Via M. Finiguerra,12r, FIRENZE Tel. 055213021 / Fax 0552657812

SHERATON Via G. Agnelli, 33, FIRENZE Tel. 05564901 / Fax 055680747

RAPALLO Via Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, 7 FIRENZE Tel. 055472412 / Fax 055470385

ORTO DE’ MEDICI Via San Gallo, 30, FIRENZE Tel. 055483427 / Fax 055461276

L’O HOTEL L’OROLOGIO Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 24, FIRENZE Tel. 055277380 / Fax 05527738199

SEMPIONE Via Nazionale, 15, FIRENZE Tel. 055212462 / Fax 055212463

ST. REGIS Piazza Ognissanti, 1, FIRENZE Tel. 05527161 / Fax 055217400

OLIMPIA Piazza della Repubblica, 2, FIRENZE Tel. 055219781 / Fax 0552670383

PALAZZO GUADAGNI Piazza Santo Spirito, 9, FIRENZE Tel. 0552658376 / 3293324096 Fax 0552728233

SAVOY Piazza della Repubblica, 7, FIRENZE Tel. 05527351 / Fax 0552735888

RAFFAELLO Viale Morgagni, 19, FIRENZE Tel. 0554224141 / Fax 055434374

RITZ Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia, 24 FIRENZE Tel. 0552340650 / Fax 055240863

LIBERTY Viale Michelangelo, 40, FIRENZE Tel. 0556810581 / Fax 0556812595

ROYAL Via delle Ruote, 52, FIRENZE Tel. 055483287 / Fax 055490976

RIVOLI Via della Scala, 33, FIRENZE Tel. 05527861 / Fax 055294041 ROMA Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 8, FIRENZE Tel. 055210366 / Fax 055215306

TORNABUONI BEACCI Via Tornabuoni, 3, FIRENZE Tel. 055212645 / Fax 055283594 TORRE DI BELLOSGUARDO Via Roti Michelozzi, 2, FIRENZE Tel. 0552298145 / Fax 055229008 TORRE GUELFA Borgo SS. Apostoli, 8, FIRENZE Tel. 0552396338 / Fax 0552398577 UNA HOTEL VITTORIA Via Pisana, 59, FIRENZE Tel. 05522771 / Fax 05522772 UNICORNO Via dei Fossi, 27, FIRENZE Tel. 055287313 / Fax 055268332 UNIVERSO Piazza Santa Maria Novella, 20, FIRENZE Tel. 055293890 / 3357403355 0Fax 05529389199 VICTORIA Via Nazionale, 102r, FIRENZE Tel. 055287019 / Fax 0552398806 VILLA BELVEDERE Via B. Castelli, 3, FIRENZE Tel. 055222501 / Fax 055223163 VILLA BETANIA Viale del Poggio Imperiale, 23, FIRENZE Tel. 055222243 / Fax 0552281321 VILLA CARLOTTA Via M. di Lando, 3, FIRENZE Tel. 0552336134 / Fax 0552336147 VILLA CORA Viale Machiavelli, 18/20, FIRENZE Tel. 055228790 / Fax 05522879199


December 2013 – January 2014

19 VILLA GABRIELE D’ANNUNZIO Via G. D’Annunzio,141a/b, FIRENZE Tel. 055602960 / Fax 0556193113 VILLA LA MASSA Via della Massa, 24 (Candeli), BAGNO A RIPOLI Tel. 05562611 / Fax 055633102 VILLA LA VEDETTA Viale Michelangiolo, 78, FIRENZE Tel. 055681631 / Fax 0556582544 VILLA LE RONDINI Via Bolognese Vecchia, 224, FIRENZE Tel. 055400271 / Fax 055268212 VILLA MEDICI Via il Prato, 42, FIRENZE Tel. 055277171 / Fax 0552381336 VILLA OLMI RESORT Via degli Olmi, 4-8, BAGNO A RIPOLI Tel. 055637710 / Fax 05563771600 VILLA SAN MICHELE Via Doccia, 4, FIESOLE Tel. 0555678200 / Fax 0555678250 VILLE SULL’ARNO Lungarno C. Colombo, 1/3/5, FIRENZE Tel. 055670971 / Fax 055678244 VILLA TOLOMEI Via S. Maria a Marignolle, 10/b, FIRENZE Tel. 0553920401 / Fax 068415496 WESTIN EXCELSIOR Piazza Ognissanti, 3, FIRENZE Tel. 05527151 / Fax 055210278


Giuseppe Linardi, Decodeficazione, 2011, private collection



Realizzazione eventi e mostre d’arte Realizzazione di pubblicazioni a carattere divulgativo Ufficio Stampa


Events and exhibitions Publications Press Office



December 2013 – January 2014

A showcase called... Taxi!

Odeon hosts International cinema festival

By Ellen Miller


By Claudio Giudici President of CO.TA.FI


he taxi can be considered the first showcase of a city. It is the first meeting which is done by a city, the “welcome to Florence.” The taxi starts off the production chain of the tourism industry in Florence. For this reason, the 4390 Taxi Florence has identified its mission to serve the customer in the best possible way. Recently, a survey of the Interactive Market Research has revealed how the mission should be a taxi cab to be the ideal. The 4390 Taxi Florence offers all the features that the market demands because we are the taxi ideal. Our taxi is environmentally friendly; you can buy the taxi online; you can pay by credit card or with a modern system of SMS; it has wifi and even a tablet on board. Today, we can truly speak of a Taxi 2.0. However, not just content to simply improve ourselves, if our customer has any dispute with our taxi drivers, they will ultimately find protection in the Association of Consumers Adiconsum. This is the real challenge that the 4390 issues, certain of the quality of its taxi service!

uring the last week of October the Odeon kicked off a major film event in Florence that should not be missed by any cinephile. The festival, “” encompasses ten themes that will be covered back-toback over the course of the festival. Lasting through December 15, the festival’s full schedule can be found on the Odeon theater’s website. The festival will showcase feature length films as well as shorts, documentaries and live events such as debates. 50 Days of International Cinema was formed as an umbrella organization in 2007 to unite the many different film festivals that occur during the months of November and December in Florence. Festivals include the River to River Florence Indian Film Festival, the Festival dei Popoli and the Balkan Florence Express, among others. Despite the close ties between all

Italian text

Una vetrina chiamata... Taxi! Il taxi può essere considerato la prima vetrina di una città. Esso rappresenta il primo incontro che si fa con una città, il “benvenuto a Firenze”. Il taxi si inserisce a tutti gli effetti nella catena produttiva dell’industria turistica fiorentina. E’ per questo che il 4390 Taxi Firenze ha individuato la propria mission nel servire nel miglior modo possibile il Cliente. Recentemente un’indagine dell’Interactive Market Research ci ha svelato come debba essere un taxi per essere il taxi ideale. Ebbene, il 4390 Taxi Firenze oggi offre tutte le caratteristiche che il mercato richiede perché si possa parlare di taxi ideale: è ecologico, è possibile acquistare la corsa online, è possibile pagarlo con carta di credito o con un moderno sistema di sms, ha il wifi e addirittura il tablet a bordo. Oggi, possiamo veramente parlare di un Taxi 2.0. Tuttavia, non contenti di migliorarci continuamente, oggi il nostro Cliente qualora avesse una qualsiasi controversia con i nostri tassisti, potrà trovare tutela in ultima istanza nell’Associazione dei consumatori Adiconsum. Questa è la vera sfida che il 4390, contro ogni facile luogo comune, lancia al mercato perché certo della qualità del proprio servizio taxi!

the film festivals, each maintains their own website in addition to having a presence on the 50 Days website. The united festival sets as one of its goals providing an outlet for films that are not necessarily fit for the commercial market but hold high cultural and artistic value. Each year over 50, 000 spectators attend the event. The River to River festival, one of the notable occurrences during the event, is under the patronage of the embassy of India, and celebrates films that are both from and about India. From Florence the festival will travel to Rome where it will show a few films. Begun in 2001 at Palazzo Pitti in Florence, the festival has helped to bring attention to Indian films. Many of the feature film directors will attend the festival and the special guest of

Time difference

By Lauren Scott

Student at Gonzaga in Florence University


hen I decided to study abroad in Florence, everyone told me how incredible it was going to be and what an exciting and eye-opening experience I was going to have. Every person I talked to told me that I was going to have the time of my life. While I am most definitely loving every minute I spend here in Italy, the irony of it all is that time itself is something has stuck out to me the most. The concept of time in Italy is very different from that of the United States. In America, people are usually in a rush to get somewhere or to get things done. A person is considered unproductive if they do not cross at least one thing off of their endless “to-do” list. Americans think that they know everything about time – it is fleeting, it is “of the essence.” They believe that the ticking hands on their wrist will point them in the right direction: happiness. However, Italians seem to know exactly where to find it. In America, time flies by before you can even reach out your hand to touch it. Italians, however, are always able to grasp it. They know how to take their time. In big cities in the United States, sidewalks are crowded with people

hustling from Point A to Point B, talking or texting on their phones, and shoving past. In Florence, I’ve noticed that the pace is slower – and it’s rarely a result of someone staring at their smartphone. There is so much to look at, from the colorful markets, to the extravagant architecture of buildings such as the Duomo. Italians, particularly Florentines, are aware of the beautiful place they live in and they take the time to enjoy it. Dozens of shops in Florence close in the middle of the afternoon so the owners can go home and enjoy a midday meal with their families. This is certainly not the case in America, where most stores are open late and some never close. While Italians spend hours conversing with their loved ones over multiple-course, homecooked meals, Americans rarely sit down at the table together. Living in Italy has taught me to slow down and enjoy my surroundings. Studying abroad is a once-in-alifetime opportunity that is already going by faster than I know it. While I’m here, I am just going to do as the Florentines do: savor my time the way I should savor my wine.

the festival will be noted Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan. Shining light on a different type of film, for over fifty years the Festival dei Popoli has showcased social documentary cinema. This year the festival will present 24 documentary films that will contend for several notable prizes, including Best Feature-Length Documentary Award (€ 8000), Best Mid-Length Documentary (€ 4000), Best Short-Length Documentary Award (€ 2500), “Gian Paolo Paoli” Award to the Best Ethno-Anthropological Film and the Audience Award. Each festival runs for a set length of days during the 50 days and the different festivals run back-to-back, rather than concurrently. While the Odeon Cinema is the primary location of the festival, many other venues will be used over the course of the festival as well. With an aim to spread the word about international cinema, the festival will welcome both Italian and foreign patrons during its run. A full list of the films scheduled for screening as well as other events can be found at the “50 Giorni di Cimena” website. Whether a committed cinephile or a casual moviegoer, with its wide variety of choices the festival is sure to please.

Artisan Ceramics Ceramica Fiorentina Via del Melarancio, 15 50123 Firenze 055 239 6979


Santa Croce’s Italian Hall Of Fame

in his work. Since he wasn’t part of the Church, he had to be buried outside the church walls, forever contemplating his facade. Giorgio Vasari whitewashed all of the gothic frescoes from the church walls in order to fulfill his vision of a minimalistic nave. However, visitors can be grateful that some attempts have been made to redeem the original art that used to cover the entirety of the church aisles, including works by Donatello (Annunciation c. 1434). This Renaissance master also created the Crucifixion that Brunelleschi thought made Christ resemble a peasant, which urged Brunelleschi to create his own Crucifixion in an attempt to outdo Donatello’s work. Along the floor of the church, visitors can take an eerie walk over the tombs of many influential families and individuals of Western history. Visitors only need to look up to see the entombed likenesses of Italian greats set in stone monuments above By Kellie Malone Student at the Gonzaga in Florence University them. In addition to the many works inside the church, there are also many chapels amous Florentines seem to have found commissioned by wealthy Italian famia common resting place in Santa Croce. lies lining the walls of the church. Giotto, This Franciscan church dates back to the teacher of many masters including da 1294 and remains in the center of the city, Vinci, contributed much of his later years housing an Italian “Hall of Fame,” which to decorating the walls of Santa Croce. He includes the tombs and cenotaphs of re- completed such works as the Bardi Chapel nowned people such as Galileo Galilei (by and the Peruzzi Chapel, both of which reGiulio Foggini, 1737), Dante Alighieri main largely intact today. While the Bardi (cenotaph, tomb in Ravenna), Michelan- Chapel depicts scenes from the life of St. gelo (by Giorgio Vasari 1564), Leonardo Francis from his conversion until his death, Bruni (Bernardo Rossellino 1445), and the Peruzzi Chapel shows frescoes of the Machiavelli, among many other masters. lives of St. John the Baptist and St. John the The Franciscan value of finding salvation Evangelist. The latter, however, was paintthrough the poor reflects in the architec- ed a secco, and unfortunately for visitors, ture of this church, such as the wooden it is very faded and difficult to see. Giotto’s roof which represents some of the simplic- pupils contributed much of their own work ity for which their order strives. While the as well, including Taddeo Gaddi’s Broncelli inside is Gothic in style, the outer facade Chapel from 1332-38. They also may have is actually Neo-Gothic, created in 1863 by done work in Giotto’s name, although it is the Jewish architect Niccolo Matas. Ma- sometimes difficult to confirm these spectas also included a Jewish Star of David ulations. Regardless, it is fascinating to see around the Jesuit insignia IHS on the top the evolution of Western art as master and of the church, blending the two religions student contributed to the painting and


December 2013 – January 2014

adorning of the same church. Perhaps the most intriguing work in Santa Croce is Cimabue’s Crucifixion in the refectory. Cimabue taught Giotto, but this master teacher still painted in the Byzantine style that predates the Mannerist and Renaissance masters that would soon abandon his ways for these more realistic style. Cimabue’s Crucifixion was very badly damaged in the flood of 1966. Diesel saturated this floodwater, which stripped the paint to an almost irredeemable point. However, many people have worked to restore and preserve this important work of art history on the cusp of Renaissance realism. Giorgio Vasari, Michelangelo’s tomb, 1570

The Santa Croce façade




December 2013 – January 2014


Giorgio Vasari e l’Allegoria della Pazienza Giorgio Vasari and the Allegory of Patience dal 26 novembre 2012 al 05 gennaio 2014 from November 26 2012 to January 5 2014 Palazzo Pitti, Galleria Palatina Pitti Palace, Palatine Gallery Info:+39 055 2388616

Dalle mani di Roberto Capucci: tessuti da plasmare From Roberto Capucci’s hands: fabrics to be moulded dal 19 febbraio 2013 al 31 dicembre 2013 from February 19 2013 to December 31 2013 Villa Bardini Info:+39 055 2638599+39 055 20066206

Arte della Magna Grecia. La Collezione Colombo nel Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Firenze Art of Magna Graecia. The Colombo Collection of the National Archaeological Museum of Florence dal 09 aprile 2013 al 03 dicembre 2013 from April 9 2013 to December 3 2013 Museo Archeologico Nazionale National Archaeological Museum Info:+39 055 2357720+39 055 2357717

Dal Giglio al David. Arte civica a Firenze fra Medioevo e Rinascimento From the ‘Giglio’ to David. Civic Art in Florence from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance dal 14 maggio 2013 al 06 gennaio 2014 from May 14 2013 to January 6 2014 Galleria dell’Accademia Accademia Gallery Info:+39 055 290832

Horne & Friends. Firenze un sogno da salvare Horne & Friends. Florence a dream to be saved dal 27 maggio 2013 al 07 dicembre 2013 from May 27 2013 to December 7 2013 Museo Horne Horne Museum Info:+39 055 244661

Il Calzolaio prodigioso. Fiabe e leggende su scarpe e calzolai The Amazing shoemaker. Fairy tales about shoes and shoemakers dal 19 giugno 2013 al 31 marzo 2014 from June 19 2013 to March 31 2014 Museo Ferragamo, Palazzo Spini Feroni Ferragamo Museum, Palazzo Spini Feroni Info:+39 055 3360456+39 055 3562417

Il Gran Principe. Ferdinando de’ Medici (1663-1713) collezionista e mecenate The Great Prince. Ferdinando de ‘Medici (1663-1713) art collector and patron of the arts dal 25 giugno 2013 al 06 gennaio 2014 from June 25 2013 to January 6 2014 Galleria degli Uffizi Uffizi Gallery Info:+39 055 294883

Passaggio in India: suoni, colori, atmosfere d’Oriente Passage to India: sounds, colours and atmospheres of the East dal 04 luglio 2013 al 10 gennaio 2014 from July 4 2013 to January 10 2014 Museo di Storia Naturale Sezione di Antropologia e Etnologia

Natural History Museum - Anthropology and Ethnology Section Info:+39 055 2756444

Info:+39 055 5384001- Prenotazioni visite guidate:

Il Rinascimento da Firenze a Parigi. Andata e Ritorno. I tesori del Museo Jacquemart - André tornano a casa The Renaissance from Florence to Paris and back - Treasures of the Jacquemart Museum return home

Cortona. L’alba dei principi etruschi Cortona. The dawn of the Etruscan Princes

dal 06 settembre 2013 al 31 dicembre 2013 from September 6 2013 to December 31 2013 Villa Bardini Villa Bardini, Costa San Giorgio 2 Info:+39 055 20066206+39 055 2388616

Izis. Il Poeta della Fotografia Izis. The Poet of Photography dal 07 settembre 2013 al 06 gennaio 2014 from September 7 2013 to January 6 2014 MNAF - Museo Nazionale Alinari della Fotografia MNAF - Alinari National Museum of Photography Info:+39 055 216310

Capolavori dal Museo d’Orsay. Impressionisti a Palazzo Pitti Masterpieces from the Museum d’Orsay Impressionists at the Pitti Palace dal 23 settembre 2013 al 05 gennaio 2014 from September 23 2013 to January 5 2014 Palazzo Pitti, Galleria d’Arte Moderna Pitti Palace, Gallery of Modern Art Info:+39 055 294883

L’ Avanguardia Russa, la Siberia l’Oriente The Russian Avant-Garde, Siberia and the East

dal 27 settembre 2013 al 19 gennaio 2014 from September 27 2013 to January 19 2014 Palazzo Strozzi Info:+39 055 2645155

Mattia Corvino e Firenze. Arte e umanesimo alla corte del re di Ungheria Mattia Corvino and Florence. Art and Humanism at the court of the king of Hungary dal 10 ottobre 2013 al 06 gennaio 2014 from October 10 2013 to January 6 2014 Museo di San Marco, Biblioteca San Marco Museum, Library Info:+39 055 2388608+39 055 294883

Boccaccio autore e copista Boccaccio author and copyist

dal 11 ottobre 2013 al 11 gennaio 2014 from October 11 2013 to January 11 2014 Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana Laurentian Library Info:+39 055 210760

Territori instabili. Confini e identità nell’arte contemporanea Unstable Territory. Borders and identity in contemporary art dal 11 ottobre 2013 al 19 gennaio 2014 from October 11 2013 to January 19 2014 Strozzina presso Palazzo Strozzi Strozzina at Palazzo Strozzi Info:+39 055 2645155

Pietro Annigoni: presenza di un Artista, in occasione del 25° anniversario della scomparsa Pietro Annigoni: presence of an Artist, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his death dal 15 ottobre 2013 al 06 gennaio 2014 from October 15 2013 to January 6 2014 Spazio Mostre - Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze Exhibition Hall - Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze

dal 15 ottobre 2013 al 31 luglio 2014 from October 15 2013 to July 31 2014 Museo Archeologico National Archaeological Museum Info:+39 055 2357720+39 055 2357717 index.php?it/301/cortona-lalba-dei-principi-etruschi

Pier Niccolò Berardi. Architetto e Pittore Pier Niccolò Berardi. Architect and Painter dal 18 ottobre 2013 al 01 dicembre 2013 from October 18 2013 to December 1 2013 Palazzo Medici Riccardi Medici Riccardi Palace Info:+39 055 2760340infomostraberardi@

Bronzino, De Chirico e altri restauri per Casa Siviero Bronzino, De Chirico and other restorations at Siviero’s house dal 19 ottobre 2013 al 06 gennaio 2014 from October 19 2013 to January 6 2014 Museo Casa Siviero Info:+39 055 2345219+39 055 4382652

Donato Di Zio. Atmosfere Dantesche Donato Di Zio. Dante atmospheres dal 24 ottobre 2013 al 10 gennaio 2014 from October 24 2013 to January 10 2014 Biblioteca Riccardiana, Palazzo Medici Riccardi Riccardiana Library, Medici Riccardi Palace Info:+39 055 212586

Della magia e dello stupore. Antonio Possenti nella Collezione della Banca di Cambiano Magic and Wonder. Antonio Possenti from the collection of the Bank of Cambiano dal 26 ottobre 2013 al 15 dicembre 2013 from October 26 2013 to December 15 2013 Palazzo Pitti, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Andito degli Angiolini Pitti Palace, Gallery of Modern Art, Andito degli Angiolini Info:+39 055 2388616

The New Florence Biennale ‘Ethics DNA of Art’ Biennale Internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea The New Florence Biennale 2013 ‘Ethics DNA of Art’ International Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Art

dal 30 novembre 2013 al 08 dicembre 2013 from November 30 2013 to December 8 2013 Fortezza da Basso Info:+39 055 3249173

Melotti guarda Melotti Melotti looks at Melotti dal 02 dicembre 2013 al 04 gennaio 2014 from December 2 2013 to January 4 2014 Museo Marino Marini Marino Marini Museum Info:+39 055 219432

Cappelli, tra arte e stravaganza Hats, between art and extravagance dal 03 dicembre 2013 al 18 maggio 2014 from December 3 2013 to May 18 2014 Palazzo Pitti, Galleria del Costume Pitti Palace, The Costume Gallery Info:+39 055 294883+39 055 2388801

La via al Principe : Machiavelli da Firenze a San Casciano The way to the Prince: Machiavelli from Florence to San Casciano dal 10 dicembre 2013 al 28 febbraio 2014 from December 10 2013 to February 28 2014 Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze Florence National Library Info:+39 055 24919201+39 055 24919257

Una novella patria dello spirito. Firenze e gli artisti delle Venezie nel primo Novecento A new homeland of the spirit. Florence and the Venetian artists of the early twentieth century

dal 13 dicembre 2013 al 09 febbraio 2014 from December 13 2013 to February 9 2014 Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi Department of Prints and Drawings of Uffizi Info:+39 055 2388624+39 055 2388 671

‘I mai visti’ Dietrofront. Il lato nascosto delle collezioni ‘Never seen before’. Turnabout. The hidden side of the collections

Visite guidate alla Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Guided visits to the National Central Library of Florence

dal 17 dicembre 2013 al 02 febbraio 2014 from December 17 2013 to February 2 2014 Galleria degli Uffizi - Sala delle Reali Poste Uffizi Gallery - Sala delle Reali Poste Info:+39 055 285610+39 055 2646456

3, 7, 14 dicembre 2013 December 3, 7, 14 Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Info:+39 3492256996

Bill Viola. Self portrait-Submerged Bill Viola. Self portrait-Submerged

Saluti dal Perù. Ritratti e immagini di Silvia Amodio Greetings from Perù. Portraits and Images by Silvia Amodio

dal 17 dicembre 2013 al 22 dicembre 2013 from December 17 2013 to December 22 2013 Galleria degli Uffizi, San Piero Scheraggio Info:+39 055 285610+39 055 2646456

dal 19 novembre 2013 al 7 gennaio 2014 from November 19 2013 to January 7 2014 Museo di Storia Naturale - Sezione di Antropologia e Etnologia Natural History Museum - Anthropology and Ethnology Section Info:+39 055 2756444

Braccia Hands dal 29 novembre 2013 al 04 gennaio 2014 from November 29 2013 to January 4 2014 Museo Marino Marini Marino Marini Museum Info:+39 055 219432






Uffizi Gallery Loggiato degli Uffizi, 6 Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 8:15a.m. - 6:50p.m. Tickets: Full Price: 6.50 euro Reduced: 3.25 euro uffizi Accademia Gallery Via Ricasoli, 58-60 Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 8:15a.m. - 6:50p.m. Tickets: Full Price: 6.50 euro Reduced: 3.25 euro accademia

Bargello National Museum Via del Proconsolo, 4 Hours: Daily: 8:15a.m. - 1:50p.m. Tickets: Full Price: 4.00 Reduced: 2.00 bargello Museum of Medici Chapels Piazza di Madonna degli Aldobrandini, 6 Hours: Daily: 8:15a.m. 6:50p.m. Tickets: Full Price: 6 euro Reduced: 3 euro cappellemedicee

The Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens, Piazza Pitti 1 Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 8:15a.m. - 6:50p.m. Tickets: Full Price: 8.50 euro Reduced: 4.25 euro artemoderna

Palazzo Vecchio Piazza della Signoria Hours: Oct.-Mar. 9a.m.-7p.m. Thu 9a.m.-2p.m. Dec. 7,8,9 and Dec. 21 to 30 Thu. 9a.m.-2p.m. Closed: Dec. 26 Tickets: Full Price: 6.50 euro palazzovecchio Opificio delle Pietre Dure Via degli Alfani 78 Hours: 8:15a.m.-2p.m. Closed: Sun.&Holidays Tickets: Full Price: 4 euro Museo dell’Opera del Duomo Piazza del Duomo Hours: Mon-Sat 9a.m.-7:30p.m. Tickets: Full Price: 6 euro Museo di Casa Buonarroti Via Ghibellina 70 Hours: 10a.m.-5p.m. Closed: Tue Tickets Full Price: 6.50 euro

Palazzo Davanzati Via Porta Rossa 13 Hours: 8:13a.m.-1:50p.m. Floors 2 & 3 on booking 055 23 88 610 2 euro Closed: 1st, 3rd, 5th Mon. and 2nd, 4th Sun. of the month Tickets Full Price: 3 euro davanzati Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi Piazza Strozzi Hours: 9.00 a.m. 8.00 p.m. Tuersday 9.00 .am. 11.00 p.m.

Harold Acton Library of the British Institute Lungarno Guicciardini 9. 50123 Firenze Tel: 055 2677 8270 Monday to Friday: 10.00 to 18.30 Laurentian Library Piazza di San Lorenzo 9 Tel: 055 21 07 60 Mon - Sat: 9:30a.m. - 1:30p.m. Closed on the first Saturday of the month Marucelliana Library Via Cavour 43-45 Tel: 055 27 22 200 Mon - Fri: 8:30a.m. - 7p.m. Sat: 8:30a.m. - 1:45p.m.

National Central Library Piazza Cavalleggeri 1/a Switch-board phone: 055 24 91 91 Tel: 055 24 91 91 Mon - Fri: 9a.m. - 7p.m. Sat: 9a.m. - 1p.m. Oblate Library Via dell’ Oriuolo 26 Tel: 055 26 16 512 Mon: 2p.m. - 7p.m. Wed - Sat: 9a.m. - 12p.m.

Riccardiana Library Palazzo Medici Riccardi Via Ginori 10 Tel: 055 21 25 86/ 29 33 85 Mon, Thu: 8a.m. - 5:30p.m. Tue, Fri: 8a.m. - 2p.m.



Ninth Biennale provides platform for contemporary art By Ellen Miller The New Florence Biennale returns to the city this December to once again take the contemporary art scene by storm. A self-financed and therefore completely independent platform for art, the event opens November 30 when artists worldwide arrive in Florence to exhibit their artwork. Held at the Fortezzo da Basso, the show is patronized by the President of the Republic and Ministry of Cultural Heritage of Italy as well as by provincial and local officials. In addition to holding a massive exhibition, each session the Biennale awards the “Lorenzo il Magnifico” Lifetime Achievement Award to individuals in art, design and culture. The Biennale was founded in 1997, during a time of discovery and uncertainty in the contemporary art community. A committee of Italian artists and curators suggested the idea of a Biennale. The first show was a huge risk because there had never been such a large exhibition with direct collaboration between artists and exhibitions. The Biennale was a success, and it continues to grow each year and is an important player in the contemporary arts scene. This year’s theme for the Biennale is “Ethics: DNA of Art” and will focus on innovativeness. The theme will propose discussion

on the relationship between art and ethics and the role of art in the present world. Hundreds of artists from over 70 countries will exhibit their work during the Biennale. Around 3,000 works will be on view throughout the exhibition, in all types of mediums. The exhibit will include paintings, sculptures, prints and installations, and other art forms. The Fortezza da Basso is the ideal exhibition space, as it provides not only spacious walls but also additional areas ideal for holding supplemental events. The Biennale is also very focused on advancing the interests of new generations of artists. Artists under the age of 30 will be given special attention during the exhibition. Opportunities to grow as an artist and a critical thinker will be available through didactic programs, creative workshops and seminars. Additionally, young artists will have the opportunity to meet with well known guest artists. Art lovers will be able to visit the exhibition from November 30 to December 8, from 10 AM until 8 PM. On opening day, November 30, there will be an opening ceremony held at 11 AM and a book presentation of “La Musica Ignorata” by author Franco Mussida at 5:30 PM. More events will be announced on the Florence Biennale website as the event gets closer.

Spadolini Library Via Pian dei Giullari, 139, 055 233 6071 Vieusseux Library Piazza e Palazzo Strozzi (piano terreno), Tel. 055 288342 int. 1 Fax 055 2396743

Call Okay Casa!

A “service to the city” for domestic sudden failures Un numero di telefono per le riparazioni domestiche By Gerry Martinuzzi


“service to the city” for domestic sudden failure, for now only limited to the Municipality of Florence. is the number that you can call to use the new service for urgent repairs in the areas of electrical, plumbing and building works. The Florence Chamber of Commerce, to ensure transparency and fairness in relations between enterprises and their customers , organized a 24-hour on-call service in Florence for the provision of services for urgent repair. So you can easily avoid unpleasant surprises and invoices salted that some unscrupulous operator, taking advantage of the emergency in which the customer is, often holds in these cases. The service Okay Casa is regulated by a switchboard with automatic call with which is managed the turn of availability of each company. The maximum hourly rates are determined by reference to the Price list of the building and plant works edited by the Florence Chamber of Commerce. It is not due the right to called. The interventions are carried out by operators with a badge . Italian text


December 2013 – January 2014


n “servizio alla città” per i guasti domestici improvvisi, per ora limitato al territorio del Comune di Firenze. è il numero da chiamare per utilizzare il nuovo servizio di riparazioni urgenti nei settori impianti elettrici, idraulici e opere edili. La Camera di Commercio di Firenze, per garantire trasparenza e correttezza nei rapporti tra le imprese dei settori edile e impiantistico e i loro clienti, ha organizzato un servizio di reperibilità 24 ore su 24 nel comune di Firenze per l’erogazione di ser-

vizi di riparazione urgente. Così si possono agevolmente evitare sgradite sorprese e fatture salate, che qualche operatore spregiudicato, approfittando dell’emergenza in cui si trova il cliente, spesso riserva in questi casi. Il servizio è regolato da un centralino di chiamata automatica col quale è gestito il turno di reperibilità di ciascuna impresa, in base alla competenza settoriale e in riferimento alla dislocazione della sede operativa (di regola, la più vicina al chiamante). Le tariffe orarie massime sono stabilite facendo riferimento al Prezzario delle opere edili ed impiantistiche curato dalla Camera di Commercio. Non è dovuto il diritto di chiamata. Gli interventi sono effettuati da operatori muniti di tesserino di riconoscimento. Per informazioni sul servizio: tel. 055 2981212 oppure 055 2750392 Camera di Commercio di Firenze Centralino 055 29810 Fax 055 2981157 E-mail Posta elettronica certificata:

Gerry Martinuzzi Manager of the service area promotion at the Chamber of Commerce in Florence



December 2013 – January 2014

ODEON FIRENZE Piazza Strozzi, Firenze Tel: 055 214 068 Office: 055 295 051

Lecture Wednesday, November 27, 2013. 18.00 Lecture: Margherita Calderoni Giovanni Boccaccio after 700 years

Sampi, Tianna Sansbury, Kenneth Branagh, David Gulpilil

Wednesday, December 11, 2013. 18.00 Lecture: Kamin Mohammadi ‘Abe-roo’ and ‘Bella figura’: some points of contact between Iranian and Italian culture

Wednesday, December 18, 2013. 20.00 Film: Mary and Max (Adam Elliott, AUS, 2009) with Toni Collette, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Eric Bana (voices)

Wednesday, December 04, 2013. 18.00 Lecture: Lucy Riall The ghost of Italy Past: history and the making of modern Italy

Wednesday, December 18, 2013. 18.00 Christmas event Festive readings, with carols by the St Mark’s Concert Choir directed by Giovanna Riboli


Wednesday, November 27, 2013. 20.00 Film: Lantana (Ray Lawrence, AUS, 2001) with Anthony LaPaglia, Geoffrey Rush, Barbara Hershey Wednesday, December 04, 2013. 20.00 Film: Rabbit-Proof Fence (Philip Noyce, AUS, 2002) with Everlyn


Via Maso Finiguerra (Borgo Ognissanti) Tel. 055 238 1881

Wednesday, December 11, 2013. 20.00 Film: Wolf Creek (Greg Mclean, AUS, 2005) with Nathan Phillips, Cassandra Magrath, Kestie Morassi

Afternoon tea is served every Thursday from 16.30 until 18.00 at the British Institute library and features the delicious blends of our local tea house, Tealicious. Open to all. Minimum suggested donation €1.50, which goes towards supporting the library.

Arts, crafts, books, gifts and food. Start the festive season by coming to the annual Harold Acton Library Christmas Fair. Afternoon tea will be served by Tealicious. All proceeds will support the Library. Christmas Fair: Friday, December 13, 2013, 15.00 - 18.00

December 13: Premio N.i.c.e. Città di Firenze On December 13, Odeon Firenze is the home of the new edition of Premio N.I.C.E. Città di Firenze, at the presence of the director and cast of the Italian film most voted among those presented during the American tournée of the florentine festival in New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia. Info:

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug The second episode of The Hobbit, which preceded the stories of The Ring Trilogy.

January 19: Philippe Daverio’s speech

Cell. 320 7944772 - 393 5246160 - 328 2861999

On January 19, 2014 Philippe Daverio, art critic and journalist will speak about the Futurist period. A conversation with the expert, lover, art anthropologist, with the exposure of the original Lacerba Magazine (on the centenary of its foundation) in “The Futurist arsonist period in Florence”.

Frozen A cartoon musical, by Walt Disney, inspired by the famous fairy tale of Snow Queen.


December 2013 – January 2014


I ragazzi di Sipario: to thinking outside the box

By Rachael Perez

Student at the school for foreigns Istituto Europeo in Florence


s a social work intern at the Istituto Europeo, I am conducting research on various social organizations here in Florence. My goal is to understand three key things about them: who they are, what they do, and the impact they are making on the community. I have just recently undertaken this task, beginning with I Ragazzi di Sipario. It was nearly 12 years ago when Stefania Piccini and her husband were faced with an unexpected challenge. Their son Cosimo, who was born with a mental disability, had recently graduated from high school when they quickly realized that his capacity for social interaction was in jeopardy. There were simply no community resources to help him maintain the same level of socialization that he had received, while enrolled in the public school system; that is until a father-son pastime sparked an idea. It was Mr. Piccini’s outings with Cosimo to play golf, where the couple began to see not only their son’s ability, but also his dedication to playing the sport. Soon after, they began to organize small groups of mentally disabled youth to bring to the golf course. It was through these recreational outings, that the youth were able to socialize and stay connected. It was also a way, as Stefania mentions, to help then learn the proper socialization skills and manners for this public setting. From there they began to branch off into the theatrical and culinary arts, leading to an association that today is comprised of three separate organizations, all of which encourage 100% hands-on participation from the youth. Ristorante I Ragazzi di Sipario is a restaurant, started 6 years ago and located on Via de’ Serragli, which teaches these teens the

culinary and service skills needed to work in a restaurant. All the participants are trained and employed at the restaurant by the Piccini’s, with the help of other volunteers. There is always at least one volunteer on staff, who manages the restaurant and serves as a guide to the youth, so to keep things running smoothly. The second organization, Sipario TV is a web-based TV station, broadcast online via the association’s website. This is where youth learn the same journalism and broadcasting skills used by established news programs. Participants conduct independent research on contemporary social issues and news stories, and then report their findings and opinions. While the station offers roughly five different formats of shows, they have two staple presentations, both of which are guided by Giancarlo, a volunteer. The Fact is a commentary piece that consists of participants expressing their views on a chosen news article of the day. The second, Café Dispiano, is an interview program where a variety of different individuals serve as guests and are interviewed on their work in the community. Finally there is the laboratory, Made in Sipario. Opened 2 years ago, this is where program participants come together to create an array of home décor products and paper items. Depending on the season, the products can vary; a decision making process that is always a group effort. An art instructor and friend of the Piccini’s volunteers her time to teach them a papier-mache like process, and then guides the youth as they construct. All the products are handmade or hand decorated, and sold in a shop located next door. Each place their own separate entity, but all share the same vision and mission; to give mentally disabled youth, who have graduated from high school, the opportunity to experience a normal life. There are not many options for them after leaving

Segway has been in Florence since 2010 with four different locations. Two shops are located in the Center, one in via Guelfa and one near Piazza Pitti; two are located at the Cascine Park. In the shops you can rent bicycles and, at the Cascine, fun quadricycles are suitable for families. Every year the number of vehicles in circulation in Florence has increased. Segway have become very popular among tourists and tour guides who organize the same small tour on them. Segway is fun and environmentally friendly and can circulate the large Florentine pedestrian zone at a speed of 10km / h. Segway is “green”, all-electric, and works with a battery that allows you to travel up to 140km and has a duration of 7 hours. Each Segway also has a handy front storage pocket for your personal items. The shops are open 7 days a week from 10 am to 8.30 pm in summer and from 11 am to 7.00 pm in winter time. 75 euro for two hour tour with a professional guide.

the public education system, a time in life where their peers are only just beginning. These organizations allow these youth to learn skill sets and have jobs…to give them a sense of purpose in their lives and go home at the end of a long day like everyone else; feeling proud of themselves. It seems that the Piccini’s dream is now being challenged, epitomized by Stefania’s answer for what her association’s future plans are…“to survive”, she says. But why is this organization’s road becoming so rocky? Primarily, there is a lack of funds. I Ragazzi di Sipario is funded through private resources consisting of: their own financial investment, any private donations made, and the profits that are generated at the restaurant and the laboratory. The Piccini’s do apply to private grants via the EEC when they are available, but may not always receive the funding. The Italian government does not provide any financial support to their cause. Another hindering factor is a deficiency in social support from the community. Citing similar reasons for why this is, Stefania and other lead volunteers explain that many public, or political figures, often cannot see the personal benefit if they invest their time and associate their name to these organizations. This is extremely evident at Sipario TV, as Giancarlo explains that while typically there is not a problem recruiting local guests for their interview segment; when reaching out to individuals who hold such social or political prominence, there has been some hesitation. Often the TV station is viewed as a form of charity by local businesses, resulting in a short-term or even one time collaboration…what the station really wants though, is to be taken seriously as a business. With regard to the restaurant, location may be its Achilles heel, as it is not centrally located or even visible from a main street. The Piccini’s are honest and

forthcoming when parents of mentally disabled youth express interest in having their child become part of the association; taking care to explain how they, themselves, are not professional counselors, nor providing professional services. However, the reality is that the establishment of their organization is professional in nature and professional entities, especially social programs, require competitive action in order to survive. This is where specialization, a practice rapidly growing in the States, can make all the difference. For example, in the U.S. the field of social work has evolved from being a profession of solely direct service to those in need, to encompassing three different levels of care; micro, mezzo, and macro. It is simply not enough to want to care for underrepresented individuals and dedicate personal time to spend with them every day. This is only the jumping off point. In order to create a better life for those who may not be able to do so on their own, sustainability is the key: developing a system of support that will not only ensure access to care, but will also be in place well into the future, re-evaluating their association and beginning to reach out to other local social organizations which are more professionally established and proposing them a partnership.

Segway è a Firenze dal 2010 con quattro diverse locations. Due negozi sono situati nel Centro, una in via Guelfa e uno in Piazza Pitti; due si trovano al Parco delle Cascine. Nei negozi è possibile noleggiare biciclette e, alle Cascine, divertenti quadricicli adatti per le famiglie. Ogni anno aumenta il numero di veicoli in circolazione a Firenze. Segway è diventato molto popolari tra i turisti e le guide turistiche organizzano lo stesso piccolo tour su di loro. Segway è divertente e rispettoso dell’ambiente e può circolare nella grande zona pedonale fiorentina a una velocità di 10 chilometri all’ora. Segway è “verde”, completamente elettrico, funziona con una batteria che permette di viaggiare fino a 140 km e ha una durata di 7 ore. Ogni Segway ha anche una pratica tasca portaoggetti anteriore per i vostri effetti personali. I negozi sono aperti 7 giorni alla settimana dalle 10.00 alle 20,30 in estate e dalle 11.00 alle 19.00 nel periodo invernale. 75 euro per un tour con guida professionale.


Italian Literature

December 2013 – January 2014

Zdenka Marchi

Professor of Italian language and culture at the school for foreigns Istituto Europeo in Florence


alking about Dante’s family in the previous issue of Florence is You! (October 13), we said that it was very important at the time and sided with the Guelphs. That influenced the life of the poet and the result of all his work. In fact even the custom to preset marriages of children by their parents, greatly influenced the life of Dante. At just 12 years was promised to Gemma Donati, daughter of another prominent member of Florence, Matteo Donati. His real love, however, was Beatrice. Dante saw her when he was 12 years old and then only a few times in his life, but that inspired his whole poetry. I would like to focus on these two social aspects so important that it has conditioned deeply the life of the poet. The political factor with constant wars between Guelphs and Ghibellines and love for Beatrice, who always remained the symbol of his inner peace. War and Love, two elements contrasting yet so close to the life of the great poet! Just to give a complete view of the historical events that marked Dante’s life, I would like to point out the Battle of Campaldino in 1289, to which Dante himself, like all of the Guelphs and Ghibellines, took part. They won and ruled over the city, but immediately after its winner, they split into two factions: the White Guelphs and the Black Guelphs. Although initially the split was related only to the two most important families of Florence (the Blacks, led by the family of the Dante’s wife (the Donati family) and the Whites, of which Dante was a member, then the difference was related to the ideological thought. The Blacks supported the papacy and wished that it had even more power in public affairs. The Whites, however, demanded that the Pope was less influential in politics. Yet, despite this distancing of Dante from the papacy, we can absolutely say that his greatest poem – The Divine Comedy – is a Christian poem. In fact, although in the description of Hell Dante uses mythological characters (such as Charon, who carries souls on the other side of the river), in his poem, Hell, is not only “the afterlife”, but it is the place where the guilty souls are pun-

Dante: war and love ished according to their sin. The ultimate goal is always and for everyone to reach God. Regarding this aspect Dante will present immediately in the second Canto who can help him in this endeavor. There are three women: the most important is Beatrice, whose name means “she who blesses”, then the one that leads to God. For this reason is so obvious the importance of the personal experience of the poet. At that time it was an important literary theme of “courtly love”, the love that is able to refine and ennoble man. The salient features of this literary love typical of Dante are: – The cult of woman as a sublime and unattainable. – That love unfulfilled (there is a relationship of equality, then the man asks for nothing in return for his services.) – That love which refines the soul, ennobles and purifies it. So love becomes an exercise in inner improvement. On the basis of all these elements we can understand how Beatrice represent exactly the prototype of “Courtly love” to Dante, because he is the one who brought him to God and purification. So that, it will see him through the analysis of the Divine Comedy, Beatrice, is given this important task to act as agents of God and to go with Dante all the way on the journey to Heaven. I should mention that knowing these two elements, “War”, and the following “self-defense” and “Amor courteous” – with the feeling of inaccessibility that follows – it is easier to understand the closed and romantic nature of the Florentines even today. Italian text


arlando della famiglia di Dante nel numero precedente di Florence is You! (ottobre 2013), abbiamo detto che era molto importante all’epoca e parteggiava per i Guelfi. Questo influenzò l’intera vita del poeta e di conseguenza l’intera sua opera. In realtà, anche l’usanza di prestabilire i matrimoni dei figli da parte dei genitori influenzò molto la vita di Dante. A soli 12 anni fu promesso a Gemma Donati, figlia di un altro importante esponente fiorentino, Matteo Donati. Il suo vero amore però fu Beatrice, una bambina che Dante vide a soli 12 anni e poi solo poche volte nella sua vita, ma che ispirò tutta la sua poetica. Vorrei quindi porre l’attenzione su questi due importanti aspetti sociali che condizionarono così profondamente la vita del poeta. Il fattore politico con le guerre continue tra Guelfi e Ghibellini e l’amore per Beatrice che rimase per sempre il simbolo della sua pace interiore. Amore e morte, due elementi così contrastanti eppure così vicini nella vita del Sommo Poeta! Giusto per dare una visione completa degli eventi storici che segnarono Dante, vorrei partire dalla Battaglia di Campaldino del 1289, alla quale Dante stesso, come tutti i Guelfi e i Ghibellini dell’epoca, prese parte.Vinsero i Guelfi che dominarono sulla città, ma subito dopo proprio i vincitori, si divisero in due fazioni a loro volta, Guelfi Bianchi e Guelfi Neri. Sebbene inizialmente la divisione fosse collegata solo alle due famiglie più importanti di Firenze, in seguito le differenze divennero ideologiche: i Neri, ca-

Henry Holiday, Dante Alighieri meeting Beatrice Portinari along the river Arno, detail. Oil on canvas, 1883 peggiati proprio dalla famiglia della moglie di Dante (la famiglia Donati ) e i Bianchi, di cui Dante faceva parte. I Neri appoggiavano il papato e desideravano che questo avesse più potere anche negli affari pubblici. I Bianchi, invece, chiedevano che il Papa fosse meno influente nelle questioni politiche. Eppure, nonostante questa presa di distanza di Dante dal papato, possiamo assolutamente affermare che il suo più grande poema – La Divina Commedia - sia un poema cristiano. Infatti, sebbene nella descrizione dell’Inferno Dante usi personaggi mitologici (come ad esempio Caronte che trasporta le anime sul lato opposto del fiume), nel suo poema, l’Inferno, non è solo “l’aldilà”, ma è il luogo dove le anime colpevoli vengono punite a seconda del loro peccato. Il fine ultimo è sempre e per tutti raggiungere Dio. Per quanto riguarda questo aspetto, Dante ci presenterà subito nel secondo Canto chi può aiutarlo in questa impresa. Sono tre donne: la più importante è Beatrice, il cui nome significa “colei che beatifica”, quindi colei che porta a Dio. È evidente quindi l’importanza della esperienza personale del poeta. A quel tempo un importante tema letterario era l’Amor cortese, cioè l’amore capace di nobilitare e affinare l’uomo. Gli elementi caratterizzanti di questo amore letterario tipico dell’epoca di Dante sono: Il culto della donna come essere sublime e irraggiungibile; l’inferiorità dell’uomo rispetto alla donna; l’amore inappagato (non c’è un rapporto di parità, quindi l’uomo non chiede niente in cambio dei suoi servigi.); l’amore che ingentilisce l’animo, lo nobilita e lo purifica. Quindi amore diventa un esercizio di perfezionamento interiore. Sulla base di tutti questi elementi possiamo capire come Beatrice rappresentasse esattamente il prototipo di “amor cortese” per Dante, perché è colei che lo porterà alla purificazione e a Dio. Dunque, e lo vedremo attraverso l’analisi della Divina Commedia, a Beatrice, è dato questo importante compito di fungere da tramite di Dio e di accompagnare Dante per tutto il cammino durante il viaggio in Paradiso. Vorrei concludere che conoscen-

do questi due elementi “guerra”, e quindi “autodifesa” e “Amor cortese” – con il sentimento di irraggiungibilità che ne consegue – è più facile capire il carattere chiuso e romantico anche dei Fiorentini di oggi.

Italian Language Lesson 2

When we use the preposition A & IN. A Indirect object Es. To say something to someone. Oggetto indiretto Es. Dire qualcosa a qualcuno. Place: with names of cities Es. a Firenze, a New York, a Roma. Luogo: con nomi di città Time: Ci vediamo alle tre (we will see at 3 o’clock). Vado a dormire a mezzanotte (I go to sleep at midnight).

IN Place: with names of Countries Es. in Italia, in America, in Germania; with names of big islands Es. in Sardegna, in Corsica, in Sicilia. Luogo: con nomi di paese Es. in Italia, in America, in Germania; con nomi di grandi isole Es. in Sardegna, in Corsica, in Sicilia. With words which ends with -IA e -TECA; Es. Libreria, Pasticceria, Macelleria, Biblioteca, Discoteca, Enoteca. Con parole che finiscono in -IA e -TECA; Es. Libreria, Pasticceria, Macelleria, Biblioteca, Discoteca, Enoteca. If you specify the place/location, you have to use a + articolo. Se si specifica il luogo o il nome si usa articolo. Es. Vado alla pasticceria qui all’angolo. Es. Vado alla biblioteca delle Oblate. Time: Sono nato nel 1976 I was born in 1976. Nel = in+il Transportation: vado in macchina, in treno, in aereo (I travel by car, by train, by plane) Some words withouth rule: A: a letto, a cena, a colazione, a teatro, a cinema, al supermercato, al ristorante. In: in centro, in città, in piazza, in ufficio, in chiesa, in giardino.

Via del Campanile, 2, 50122 Firenze 055 216158


December 2013 – January 2014



December 2013 – January 2014


The beautiful game to life as the act of inhaling and exhaling. It behaves much like a lover: kind at times, surprising you with moments of pure joy and ecstasy, utterly cruel and full of heartbreak at others, leaving you wondering why you remain loyal at the end of the day. When playing football, as in love, anything is possible. Football is a religion comprised of twelve men on a field, one ball, and millions of fans. Stadiums are hallowed ground that thousands of people from all races, religions, and backgrounds travel to so that they can worship at the altar of the most beautiful sport for ninety minutes. The game is built out of honor, perseverance, and loyalty. It gives life and

saves lives. Football can see men made into gods and preserved in the annals of history as legends worthy of Achilles and Hercules. To be a fan of football, to spend three nights a week watching a club as they go to war against others in their league, is to be a fan of all of this. Football is life and to be a fan of the beautiful game is to be a fan of all that is pure and inherently good in this world. In the United States, soccer is not as popular as other sports that have been deemed more “American”, such as basketball and baseball. However, since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, soccer has steadily been gaining more followers and media

Courtesy of Carlo Bressan photographer, Fiorentina Soccer Team

By Samantha Stark

Student at Gonzaga in Florence University


ince its modern inception in 1863, The Beautiful Game has gained attention and followers until it has been recognized in the twenty-first century as a truly universal game. Today, over 208 countries have national soccer – as we Americans call it – teams and over ninety percent of countries around the world have club teams and leagues. Americans call it soccer, Europeans call it football, Italians call it calcio; wherever you travel, people watch it, play it, live it, and breathe it. Philosophers from across the globe have interpreted the game as inherently beautiful in its universality, hailing it as a perfect example of the blending of philosophy, emotion, logic, and the indomitable will of humanity. What does it mean to be a fan of football? What draws people in and keeps them captivated far longer than the ninety minutes of each match? What does it feel like to be an American fan, isolated in her dedication but finally surrounded by kindred spirits here in Italy? Football is an addiction, a passionate love affair, as necessary

attention. It is most watched by the twenty-somethings and college students across the country. When our national team competes, the matches are broadcast on a major network and more than half our citizens tune in to see our boys defend the red, white, and blue they wear proudly on their kits. However, being a woman who is wholly in love with the sport and avidly watches European club teams, it is still difficult to reside in America and follow football. American media has a very USA-centric attitude when it comes to the matches that are broadcast, often only showing one European club match on the weekends. In order to watch my clubs each week, I have to be awake often at four-thirty or six in the morning, depending on what time zone the team is in that week, and fervently hope that I can find a website with a livestream of the match. It is almost impossible to find a bar or pub with the matches, unless its during international week and even then they will usually only have the USA match. Spending this fall and winter in Europe has been an amazing experience thus far. I have traveled throughout the European Union, studied Roman and Florentine art and history, made memories that I will keep for a lifetime, and found a home at last for my football fanaticism. My favorite thing to do on the weekends is to go to the Irish pub near my apartment, order a pint of Guinness, and cheer loudly with other fans as we watch Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Fiorentina and other club teams battle for the coveted weekly three points. This semester has been an incredible experience and one that I will never forget. My time in Europe will be marked by my memories of watching matches with kindred spirits, feeling the roar of a crowd around me and finding a home where I least expected to find one. Courtesy of Carlo Bressan photographer, Fiorentina Soccer Team


December 2013 – January 2014


Tuscany, land of small towns, small roads... and small theaters

By Cristiano Imperiali


he art in Tuscany is different from art in Rome, the former is pretty simple and almost “reserved” as its narrow streets, as the latter is awesome and grandiose: anytning in Rome expresses an “universal” message. Even Michelangelo Buonarroti style changed coming to Rome for his major work in the Sistine Chapel; a legend tell that when he was going to leave Florence, he said to the Dome of Florence from Filippo Brunelleschi: « Io farò la sorella, più grande già; ma non più bella » (“I’m going to make your sister, that will be bigger, but not more beautiful”). This “intimate” taste in Tuscan art is exemplified the two smaller theaters in the world: they are large less than 70 square meters with a full stage, seats for the audience and even the arcade! Teatrino di Vetriano (Lucca) The “Teatrino” (i.e. little theater) of Vetriano in Pescaglia is near Lucca and was founded in 1889 by engineer Virgilio Biagioni: until the sixties it was active with drama and musical shows, having only 95 seats. The theater activity bring the area to be a cultural and musical center. From the sixties onwards serious maintenance problems reduced the activity until it stops at all; then the Biagioni family donate the theater to the FAI (Italian Environmental Fund), which was involved in the restoration that was completed in 2002. In 2003, the smallest theater in the world restarted its theatrical season! For information and reservations: The Concordia Theatre is located in Monte Castello di Vibius in the province of Perugia and is distinguished from the previous “Teatrino” because Concordia was designed from the beginning to be a miniature version of the “teatro all’italiana” (Italian-style theater): as a matter of fact it meets all the architectural canons (such as the presence of the bell-shaped plan and implementation entirely in wood). It was inaugurated in 1808 and its name refers to the cause of

the French Revolution, and and was closed in 1951 on becoming staticly unsecure. Even that “small” masterpiece of architecture, art and culture succumbed to the new forms of popular entertainment. In 1983 it was expropriated by the Italian State and fully restored with funding from the European Community, the activity stage restarted in 1993. A curiosity: it’s twinned with the Teatro Farnese of Parma, one of the largest in the world having 3000 seats and entirely made of wood, too. For information and “phisycal” visits, go here: Italian text


arte toscana è differente da quella di Roma, la prima è graziosa, sobria e quasi “riservata” come le sue strette strade, quanto la seconda è imponente e magniloquente: tutto nella capitale esprime un messaggio “universale” che fu prima imperiale e poi spirituale. Anche Michelangelo Buonarroti cambia passando da Firenze a Roma per realizzare la sua opera maggiore nella Cappella Sistina; si racconta che salutò così la cupola di Firenze di Filippo Brunelleschi: « Io farò la sorella, più grande già; ma non più bella ». Questa bellezza più “intima” dell’arte toscana si esemplifica nel fatto che sulla sua terra sono presenti due dei più piccoli teatri al mondo, che in soli 70 metri quadrati hanno un palco, i posti per il pubblico e perfino il loggiato! Il Teatrino di Vetriano, a Pescaglia in provincia di Lucca, fu fondato nel 1889 dall’ingegner Virgilio Biagioni e fino agli anni sessanta del XX° secolo mantenne un’intensa attività di prosa, filodrammatica e filarmonica con i suoi 95 posti a sedere, rendendo il paese un punto di riferimento culturale e musicale per tutta la zona. Dagli anni sessanta in poi gravi problemi di manutenzione e statici ne ri-

Teatrino di Vetriano (Lucca) dussero l’attività fino ad interromperla, ma gli eredi Biagioni con spirito lungimirante si separarono dal loro piccolo teatro per donarlo al FAI, Fondo Ambiente Italiano, che si è occupato del restauro conclusosi nel 2002. Nel 2003, il più piccolo teatro del mondo ha il suo cartellone e la sua stagione teatrale! Il Teatro della Concordia si trova a Monte Castello di Vibio in provincia di Perugia e si distingue dal “Teatrino” lucchese per essere nato e progettato fin dall’inizio come versione in miniatura dei “teatri all’italiana”, di cui rispetta tutti i canoni architettonici (come la presenza della pianta a campana e la realizzazione interamente in

legno). Fu inaugurato nel 1808 richiamando nel nome gli ideali della Rivoluzione Francese (siamo nel periodo dell’occupazione napoleonica) ma anche questo “piccolo” capolavoro architettonico, artistico e culturale dovette scontrarsi con le nuove forme di intrattenimento, e venne chiuso nel 1951 per inagibilità. Nel 1983 venne espropriato dallo Stato Italiano, che lo restaurò con finanziamenti provenienti dalla Comunità Europea, restituendolo all’attività scenica nel 1993. Curiosità: è gemellato con il Teatro Farnese di Parma, uno dei più grandi al mondo con 3000 posti a sedere e anch’esso interamente realizzato in legno.

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December 2013 – January 2014

Notable Italian holidays during the season

An American holiday in Italy

By Ellen Miller


Courtesy of Andrea Ristori, photographer

By Ellen Miller


he holidays are at last upon us in Florence, and if we are lucky, the weather will cooperate and it will start feeling a little less like summer and more like fall dropping into winter soon. For many Americans living in Italy, Thanksgiving still stands in the way of moving on to a full-scale Christmas celebration, but beginning at the end of November, conveniently corresponding with the passing of the American holiday, holiday events begin occurring in the city. While Italy is largely Catholic and many specific events revolve around Christmas, there are also Jewish celebrations for Hanukkah in the city as well as more secular holiday traditions. Religious festivals will continue throughout the month and culminate with the Epiphany on January 6. Most Italians will take time off work from Christmas through this celebration, and work and schools will resume afterwords. Florence Christmas festivities mainly begin towards the end of November, and there is no shortage of ways to celebrate the season. From November 15 in nearby Montecatini Terme, children will be able to visit “La Casa di Babbo Natale,” or in American terms, “Santa Claus’s house.” The magical place is a life-size replica of where Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, as he is known in Italy, lives. Closer to home, the Santa Croce German Christmas market opens at the end of the month and remains in the piazza through mid-December. Consisting of many white tents, the festival brings the spirit of true German Christmas markets to the square, offering traditional German food and drink along with unique German crafts that make perfect gifts. From early to mid-December, Hanukkah is celebrated in the Ghetto of Florence, where the Jews Courtesy of Andrea Ristori, photographer

were first segregated. Cosimo I decreed that the Jews were to live in the north side of the Piazza della Reppublican in 1570 in exchange for the title of Grand Duke of Tuscany from Pope Pius V. At the Florentine synagogue, located north of Santa Croce, the traditional menorah will be lit to mark the days of Hanukkah. Kosher food is also available for purchase, and the community center next door organizes other events for the Jewish community. For those just looking for a little holiday spirit, Florence will abound with the feelings of the season from the moment the first string of lights is strung. Lo Schiaccianoci, or in English, The Nutcracker, is a wonderful holiday themed ballet and will be performed at the Teatre Comunale and more venues may be announced as the holiday season draws near. Additionally, annually an ice skating rink opens outdoors near the Piazza della Libertà, where families, couples and friends can take advantage of the cooler temperatures to skate outside. And afterwords, the holidays would not be the same without a steaming cup of Italian hot chocolate, thick and creamy. Rivoire is particularly noted for their cocoa, but almost every cafe will be offering the warm beverage. Another notable stop, Vestri, will add gelato to your cup of hot chocolate for a unique treat. Regardless of how you choose to celebrate the season, get out there! Florence has so much to offer in the winter and as the temperatures drop, so do the number of tourists. Whether it’s finally seeing that museum that the line to get in has been intimidating you out of, or exploring the city through the Christmas lights, Florence during the holiday season is a must-see.

he Christmas season notably revolves around the specific Christian holiday of Christmas, but in Italy there are several other notable festivals and events during the holidays season aside from the day that is central in the minds of Americans. In Italy, however, one might be surprised to discover that Christmas is not even the central event, as unlike in other countries, children in Italy hang their stockings on the eve of Epiphany, in January, which marks the end of the Christmas season. The Festa di San Nicola kicks off the holiday season on December 6 and honors the Christian saint Nicholas, who is the patron saint of shepherds. Celebrated in different areas around Italy, San Nicola celebrates Saint Nicholas, whose parents died when he was young but left him a fortune behind. Nicholas used that money to help those in need. He is remembered in particular for a story of him giving a poor father with three daughters bags of gold for their dowrys so that they could be married. The festival is celebrated differently according to the town that has chosen to embrace it; for example, Narni, in Umbria, celebrates the day by hosting a medieval-themed street market and street performers. In other towns a big pot of beans is cooked and then eaten ceremonially. The Celebration of the Immaculate Conception occurs on December 8 and is an important holiday for Catholics.

A public holiday, it commemorates the fact that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a virgin when she became pregnant and gave birth to him. Many Italians mark the occasion by attending church. In Rome, there is a notable celebration led by the pope, who lays a wreath at the statue of the Madonna at Piazza Mignanelli. In Florence, the Fierucolina dell’Immacolata, an art and food fair, is typically held in Piazza Santissima Annunziata. La Festa di Santa Lucia is celebrated in many Italian towns on December 13, and commemorates the saint Lucy, who is commonly shown with her eyes gouged out. A massive celebration in Sicily involves a parade which carries the saint in a golden coffin to the Church of Santa Lucia; she is returned on December 20 to her crypt, and the festival ends with fireworks. Christmas Day is celebrated with friends and family and possibly the attending of a religious service, particularly for Italy’s many Catholics. The day after Christmas is St. Stephen’s Day, which is a continuation of Christmas for most of Italy. Secular ideas of Christmas have spread to Italy, so it is not unreasonable to think that an Italian child might await the arrival of Santa Claus, traditionally Italian children hung their stockings on January 6, the Epiphany. The Epiphany marks the arrival of the three kings to worship baby Jesus, and on this day Befana, a witch riding a broom, delivers presents to all the good children of Italy. Epiphany also marks the end of the holidays season, after which work and school both resume normal schedules. Courtesy of Andrea Ristori, photographer

Ushering in the new year

By Ellen Miller


t is almost impossible to believe that the year of 2013 is winding down, but before you know it New Year’s Eve will be right around the corner. New Year’s Eve (and the subsequent day) are a time of celebrating the last year and ringing in the new one-- regardless of whether you are sad to see the year go or looking forward to the promise of beginning again. There is no shortage of festivities in Florence, and most spend the evening celebrating with friends and family. One unique idea for celebrating the end of the year is to head out to the countryside and rent a house with your friends. Tuscany has no shortage of beautiful landscapes, and staying in the country allows everyone to party until whatever hour they should choose without having to worry about getting home safely. Vacation rentals in Italy are common, and with a good sized group the price is not prohibitive. For those staying inside the city, there will be no short-

age of fireworks at midnight to mark the changing of the year. While the city of Florence does not set off an official fireworks display, as expats might expect, there are many different displays set off by the local hotels as well as the local people, making it almost more exciting because by standing in the center or near the river you can catch more than one display of fireworks. In addition, many of the squares of Florence will host free live music throughout the evening. Champagne, or the Italian equivalent, Prosecco, will flow freely and many restaurants will host dinners for those looking to avoid cooking for the evening or who want to arrange events with friends. For luck for the upcoming year, one should eat lentils, which symbolize money and good fortune. Grab a glass of prosecco and make a toast with friends for the new year, and consider what new year’s resolution you will be making for 2014!



he Compagnia di Babbo Natale, founded by Roberto Giacinti in 2007, and made up of about seventy Friends, continues its initiative to bring Christmas gifts to those who find themselves in difficulty, uniting solidarity and fun. To raise funds, the Santas follow a virtuous journey participating in “a race of solidarity and penny-pinching,” converting into cash small/large sacrifices from their daily lives, sacrifices made with their hearts, in order to give to those whose lives, unfortunately, are made up of sacrifices. This year the Compagnia wishes to continue the program started in 2012 with the City of Florence, and with the help of Councillor Stefania Saccardi, donating the funds raised by the Santas and its growing number of supporters to those families in need identified by the Social Services of the


By Roberto Giacinti

December 2013 – January 2014

City of Florence. Part of the funds will go toward financing meals for the poor during the week of Christmas in collaboration with Starhotels S.p.a. and Montedomini, a local entity specifically adept in overseeing logistics and distribution. It’s a way to directly reach the needy but also to provide an example to the citizens of Florence with programs the city of Florence started up in 2011 such as the “Fiorino solidale della citta’ di Firenze.” It is a recognition which brings great visibility, and furthermore an honour created in 2011 to award private entities, companies, associations, or single citizens, who, after defining a project with the City’s Administration, wish to contribute to the development and social support of the community of Florence. Italian text


a Compagnia di Babbo Natale, fondata da Roberto Giacinti nel 2007, formata da circa settanta Amici, continua l’iniziativa rivolta a portare i doni di Natale a chi si trova in stato di sofferenza, unendo solidarietà e gioco. Per la raccolta dei fondi. i Babbi seguono un percorso virtuoso partecipando ad una “gara della solidarietà e del risparmio” ovveo alla monetizzazione di piccole/grandi rinunce del loro vivere quotidiano, rinunce fatte con il cuore, per poter dare aiuto a chi di sacrifici, purtroppo, vive. Quest’anno la Compagnia vuole proseguire il programma avviato nel 2012, con il Comune di Firenze, con l’aiuto dell’Assessore Stefania Saccardi, destinando il denaro raccolto dai Babbi e dai sostenitori, sempre più numerosi ed importanti, alle Famiglie bisognose che saranno individuate dai Ser-

vizi Sociali del Comune di Firenze. Parte dei fondi sarà destinato anche al finanziamento dei pasti per gli indigenti, durante la settimana di Natale in collaborazione con Starhotels S.p.a. e Montedomini, una struttura fiorentina dedicata a questo compito. E’ un modo per raggiungere direttamente i bisognosi e poter costituire, anche, un esempio per la cittadinanza su programmi che il Comune attiva dal 2011 con l’assegnazione del “Fiorino solidale della città di Firenze”, un riconoscimento di grande visibilità, una onorificenza istituita nel 2011 per premiare i soggetti privati, le aziende, le associazioni, od i singoli cittadini, che, sulla base dei progetti definiti con l’Amministrazione comunale, vogliono contribuire allo sviluppo ed al sostegno sociale della comunità di Firenze.

The Compagnia di Babbo Natale


o promote fundraising, the Compagnia annually publishes an edition of a book, not for public sale. This year’s edition is a fairy tale: “La Compagnia Animata – A Thousand Santas”, which tells the tale of how on the night before Christmas all of the Santa figurines come to life_figurines which are a part of numerous collection formed over the years by Roberto Giacinti, who declares he stopped counting them after they reached over 500! Grayson Splane has translated the text for the Anglo-Florentine community, always sensitive to community service activities in Florence, and Roberto Malfatti, contributing to the singularity of the edition and to its accessibility to children, has illustrated it with great skill. A tribute to the imagination which aims to also steal adults away from their day to day duties and send them into a dimension where just a white beard and a red suit is enough to travel, lightly, in the Christmas sky.

The Compagnia will unite in December “in flesh and bone”, in various initiatives which will be publicized on its website: Roberto Giacinti – Donazioni con bonifico versando sul conto bancario aperto alla Banca Federigo del Vecchio: IBAN IT 92 I032 5302 8060 0000 0092 393 Agenzia Piazza Ottaviani – Firenze


er promuovere la sottoscrizione dei fondi, annualmente la Compagnia edita un volume, fuori commercio. Si tratta di una fiaba: “La Compagnia Animata – A Thousand Santas”, che racconta come, nella notte di Natale, si animarono i Babbi della collezione di statuine raccolte, negli anni, da Roberto Giacinti che dichiara di aver smesso di contarle una volta superato il numero 500! Grayson Splane ha tradotto il testo per il mondo anglo-fiorentino, da sempre sensibile alle attività solidali, e Roberto Malfatti, contribuendo all’unicità della produzione ed alla fruibilità per i bambini, lo ha illustrato con maestria. Un tributo alla fantasia che vuole anche strappare gli adulti dalla quotidianità per proiettarli nella dimensione dove basta una barba bianca e un vestito tutto rosso per viaggiare, leggeri, nel cielo di Natale. La Compagnia si materializzerà a dicembre “in carne ed ossa”, in varie iniziative che saranno rese note sul sito: Roberto Giacinti

Donazioni con bonifico versando sul conto bancario aperto alla Banca Federigo del Vecchio: IBAN IT 92 I032 5302 8060 0000 0092 393 Agenzia Piazza Ottaviani - Firenze

Text extracted from the fairy tale “La Compagnia Animata – A Thousand Santas”, “But Vittoria wanted to go out in the garden to see if it was still snowing! All was white outside. Upon the snow, in front of the front door rested a huge sack full of presents. “Nonno, Nonno, Santa Claus came!” “Ma Vittoria volle uscire in giardino per vedere se nevicava ancora! Fuori era ormai tutto bianco. Sulla neve, davanti alla porta di casa giaceva un grosso sacco di juta da cui uscivano decine di pacchetti. “Nonno, Nonno è passato Babbo Natale!”


December 2013 – January 2014


Florence is You! - December 2013 / January 2014  
Florence is You! - December 2013 / January 2014  

It' not a place, it's a feeling... Contributors in this issue: Anna Balzani (Editor-in-chief), Ornella Casazza (Professor Art Historian and...