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Anno 5 numero 112 - Firenze

Thursday 19 November 2009

The FLorentine Press Books

order on-line

pg. 6 National news

pg. 14 Italian Sketches

pg. 19 Be Green in Flo

ITALY’S cross to bear

Amedeo Modigliani

The good and the bad

Government to appeal ban on school crucifixes

The ‘cursed’ painter by Deirdre Pirro

SPECIAL three-week issue. See you again on DECEMBER 10!

by Melissa Morozzo

CELESTIAL GRANDEUR Restorations completed on Sale dei Pianeti


Ficonnected Free WiFi in full force

he newly restored frescos of ba-roque master Pietro da Cortona that adorn the Sala di Marte in Palazzo Pitti were recently unveiled. The work on the frescos is part of the project to restore the original splendor of Palazzo Pitti’s Sale dei Pianeti, or ‘Rooms of the planets.’ see pg. 3



etizens can now Tweet from the steps of Santa Croce or upload photos to Facebook in Piazza Signoria just minutes after taking them. The Firenze Wi-Fi initiative, which began on November 11, provides free, one-hour Internet access in 12 city squares and parks. Through the new program, Piazza della Signoria, Piazzale Michelangelo, Piazza Santo Spirito, Parco San Donato, Piazza Ghiberti, Piazza Santa Croce, Piazzale delle Cascine, Piazza SS. Annunziata, Piazza Bambini di Beslan, Parterre, Via Canova, and Piazza Alberti all have wi-fi acess. see pg. 3

Uffizi treasures that you can touch


ver 100 artworks on display in the Uffizi and Vasari Corridor are now available in digital format. Using specially designed software, the works are lifesized and can be viewed— and touched—on a 42” HD touch screen. On the touch screen, users can select, view, compare and zoom in to see the smallest details of each of the works photographed.

see pg. 3

Make your life lighter.

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Pick-up points 150 points of distribution in town - 10,000 copies bi-weekly Bars, cafes and restaurants. 4 Leoni Restaurant, Accademia Restaurant, Café Deluxeé, Caffé Pitti Restaurant, Casa della Creatività, Cuculia concept bar, Finnegan Irish Pub, House of Sizzle Restaurant, La Rotonda Restaurant, Mama’s Bakery, The Oil Shoppe, Old Stove Pub - Duomo - Porcellino - Signoria, Olio & Convivium, Opera et Gusto Restaurant, Palle d’Oro Trattoria, Piansa Café, Procacci, Red Garter Pub, Ruth’s Kosher Vegetarian Food, Sei Divino! Winebar, Sosta del Convivium, Teatro del Sale, The Lion’s Fountain Irish Pub, The Via dell’Acqua Diner, Tijuana Mexican Restaurant, Vestri Chocolate. Bookstores & libraries. BM Bookshop, British Library, Edison Bookstore, Feltrinelli International, I’ Libraio Bookshop, Libreria del Porcellino, Mandragora Book & Art Sores, Paperback Exchange. Hotels. B&B Il Salotto di Firenze, Classic Hotel, Four S easons Hotel, Gallery Art Hotel, Golden Tower Hotel,

Grand Hotel, Hotel Alba, Hotel Aprile, Hotel Continentale, Hotel David, Hotel Kraft, JK Place Hotel, Hotel Lungarno, Hotel Orto De’ Medici, Plaza Hotel Lucchesi, Residence Hilda, Lungarno Suites, Riva Lofts, Savoy Hotel, Serristori Palace, Palazzo Antellesi Apartments, Palazzo Tornabuoni Residence Club, Plus Hostel Florence, Relais Piazza Signoria, The Westin Excelsior Hotel, Youth Firenze 2000.

Shops, salons and health clubs. Beaded Lily Handmade Jewelry, (Ethic) Fashion store, Casini Leather shop, Container concept store, Contrasto-Aveda salon, Ginger Lily Gift shop, Klab Conti Wellness Gym, Leonardo Shoes, Lory Copy Store, Santa Croce Wine & Co. wineshop, SKIN Aesthetic Medical Clinic, Wellness Center Pitti Palace - Hair & Beauty. Travel & tourist. APT Florence Airport Arrivals Desk, APT Headquarters, APT Tourist Information, APT Tourist Information Fiesole, Florence For Fun Tours, Tourist Information Borgo S. Croce, Tourist Information Rail Station Square.

is made possible thanks to support from the

Universities, Institutes and Language schools. ABC School, Accademia del Giglio, Accademia is madeAIFS possible thanks to support from Study, the American Language Center, Angel Art School, API Academic Italiana, American Institute for Foreign Program Int., CSU California St. University, CAPA Study Center, CEA Florence, CET Academic Programs, CLIDA Dante Alighieri Language Center, Eurocentres Florence, Europass Language School, European University, Farfield University, Florence University of the Arts, FSU Florida St. University, GIA Gemological Institute of America, Gonzaga University, Harding University, JMU James Madison University, Kent State University, Koiné, Istituto Europeo, Leonardo da Vinci, LDM Lorenzo de’ Medici, New York University - Villa La Pietra - Villa Ulivi - Villa Natalia, Palazzo Spinelli Art Restoration, Perseo Jewelry School, FIT - Polimoda, Richmond University, SACI Studio Art Centers Int., Sarah Lawrence College, SQUOLA Center for Contemporary Italian Studies, SRISA Santa Reparata Int. School of Art, Stanford University, Syracuse University, The British Institute of Florence, The Florence Academy of Art, The Institute at Palazzo Rucellai, The International School, University of Michigan. Others. British Consulate, Il Varco dei Biffi, GE Nuovo Pignone, Guess, Menarini, Odeon Theatre Cinehall, Regione Toscana Giunta Regionale, St. James Church, St. Marks English Church, The Florentine, Unicef, US Consulate General.



Art& Libri - Via dei Fossi, 32r BM Bookshop - Borgo Ognissanti , 4r Cuculia - Via dei Serragli, 3r Edison - Piazza della Repubblica , 27r Ethic - Borgo Albizi, 37r Feltrinelli International - Via Cavour , 12 Giunti al Punto - Florence Airport - Via del Termine , 11 Giunti al Punto - Via Guicciardini , 51 I’ Libraio - Via Romana , 7r Libreria del Porcellino - Piazza del Mercato Nuovo 6r Mandragora Book and Art Stores - Piazza Duomo , 9 Martelli - Via Martelli , 22r Paperback Exchange - Via delle Oche , 4r Uffizi Art Bookshop - Piazzale degli Uffizi


Cuculia concept bar

Via dei Serragli, 3r Tel. 055 2776205 letters to the editor Although we cannot guarantee publication, the editors of The Florentine happily accept letters. We reserve the right to edit. Send emails, with your name as you wish it to be printed, to Dear Melissa, I just read your article on tap water (TF 111). I have been searching for a green way to not drink bottled water, but there is one problem: The pipes inside my house and leading to the house are lead based. Though water from the plant is good to drink when it is in the house pipes, it is not safe especially for children and infants. The water must be run for at least three minutes in the morning to flush out the lead that has accumulated. Also, when you have lead pipes you should use cold water for drinking and cooking. Each time you use the water, you must wait until the water is cold before drinking or cooking with it. Lead is a mineral that is bad for your health and extremely bad for infant’s and children’s health. Though I do promote a green environment—and the article is very good at doing that—there should be a note about the danger of lead pipes which a lot of houses in Florence have. I would hate to have people start to use the tap water without taking precautions for possible lead. Kim, Florence Hello Kim, Thanks for your email—it’s always nice to get a response/comments/criticism concerning my articles! The problem of lead pipes is a very interesting one. There is also the problem of the water storage tanks that many condominiums have to pump water to the upper floors. Although I didn’t talk about lead, I mentioned at the end of the article that if your building doesn’t regularly clean the tank then there’s a risk that the clean water that arrives at your house will become non-potable due to bacteria build-up in the system. I’m lucky enough to live on the ground floor and get my water directly from the main supply, but I think this may be a big problem for many people—not to mention if you also have lead-based pipes. I’d be interested to find out how many buildings have lead pipes, isn’t it illegal? I wonder if the water company is even allowed to pipe water to your house in lead tubes. Can you ask for them to be replaced? It’s all very interesting and I’m keen to find out more about the law concerning lead pipes (if there is one...). I felt that it was important to address the problem of bottled water in the BeGreen column, especially because it’s such a tricky subject. I’d like to find out some more and give an update, as you suggest, in a future issue. The information you sent is very useful. In the meantime, thank you very much for your email—I truly do appreciate all comments! Best regards, Melissa Morozzo

Send us your thoughts, critiques and advice! We want to hear from you!

TF Real Social Network Get in the spirit with a FREE holiday aperitivo

Dec 10 Thursday from 6.30 to 8.30pm Cuculia is a concept bar uniting culture and cuisine, located on the recently renovated portion of via dei Serragli in the Oltrarno. The simple and welcoming atmosphere provides the background for books (novels, art, comic books, environmental guides and children’s books) and Mediterranean dishes. Opened by a group of young people with experience in event planning, book-selling and art who believe in the interaction between literature and other forms of expression like food, art and design. The name Cuculia refers to the ancient name for this part of via dei Serragli—an area filled with gardens and monasteries where Florentines stopped to listen to the sound of the cuculi (cuckoos). In 1650, Carlo Dati, one of the founders of the prestigious Accademia del Cimento, turned the street into a gathering place for illustrious scholars and scientists. Cuculia is a place where patrons can study, read, taste, learn, reflect and discuss. Don’t miss the Saturday and Sunday brunch from noon to 3pm and the special room that can be rented out for parties. It is a new place to quietly read The Florentine and pick up the latest from The Florentine Press while sipping your cappuccino.

If you’d like to be a distributor of The Florentine write to

TF Real Social Network will be hosting a free aperitivo for expats, students, Florentines and anyone who loves meeting open-minded, friendly people. A delicious aperitivo will include sweet and savory finger foods and a glass of spumante to toast. at Mama’s Bakery Via della Chiesa 34r Oltrarno, Florence

Mama’s Bakery and The Florentine present

the Grand Opening of Mama’s new loggia. Come get your free copy of The Florentine, the last issue of 2009, and toast the holiday season with us.

TF Real Social Network INFO



News & Views

Thursday 19 November 2009

Florence NEWS


quindicinale/every other week redazione via dei Banchi 4 - 50123 Firenze ph. 055 2306616 - fax 055 9060996 executive director Marco Badiani managing editor Alexandra Lawrence news editor Brenda Dionisi cultural editor Jane Fortune events Marco Badiani copy editor Ellen Wert this issue’s contributors Sam Griswold, James Douglas, Deirdre Pirro, Melinda Gallo, Linda Falcone, Enrica Guidato, Melissa Morozzo, Noelia de la Cruz, Rachel Priestley, Francesco Stefanelli pubblicità/sales Giacomo Badiani classified & subscription Giovanni Giusti accounting/payments/invoices Deborah Bettazzi graphic design Leo Cardini - layout Cathy Gale web Antonio Lo Iacono - direttore responsabile Silvia Bini editore B’Gruppo s.r.l. via Valentini 10 - 59100 Prato iscritta al registro degli operatori di comunicazione (ROC) al n. 14773 del 17/11/2006 - Reg. Trib. di Prato n.4 del 12/09/06

printer Nova Arti Grafiche srl, Signa (FI)

The Florentine is printed on certified ‘well-managed forest’ eco-paper with vegetable-based biodegradable ink and varnish.

Distribution CMO Group Allegato Prezzi: € 0 Gratuito nei punti di distribuzione ufficiali/free copy in official points of distribution (see complete list on website); Spedizione Italia/home delivery Italy: 3 months (6 issues) € 15 6 months (12 issues) € 21 1 Year (24 issues) € 36 International home delivery: Rest of Europe (24 issues) € 81 North America (24 issues) € 87 Australia (24 issues) € 96 Methods of payment: Paypal (credit card) by email to Cash c/o our office Bank transfer to B’Gruppo srl, IBAN IT67 E030 3221 5000 1000 0005 642 Postal payment with bollettino on c/c 78620416 to B’Gruppo srl Chiuso in stampa Lunedì 16/11/2009

continued from pg.1

The next phase of the project, scheduled for 2010, will activate free wireless Internet access in Piazza Duomo, along the entire Tramvia Line 1, from Scandicci to the city centre, and Santa Maria Novella train station. To get connected, users take their laptops or smartphones to the wi-fi areas and choose the strongest ‘Firenze WiFi’ connection. They must register via the browser webpage, giving their name, surname and mobile number. Once registered, users call 055/4650034 and will to receive a password via text message. Wi-fi access is allowed for one hour or 300 megabites, whichever comes first. Four months from now, users should be able to continue the connection past one hour for a small fee, with the cost charged to their cell phones. The city also wants bars and restaurants in the city provide free wi-fi, in addition to other services. To keep the outdoor terraces that over 500 eateries have in the city centre, city council says, bar and restaurant owners have to give something back to clients, whether it be free wi-fi, high chairs for babies or baby-changing spaces.

CLOSER TO PARADISE Torrino della Specola re-opens


lesser-known piece of Florence opens its doors once again after a 150-year closure. The ancient observatory in Florence’s Natural History Museum La Specola, called the Torrino, located on via Romana, was first opened in 1807. Local astronomers later abandoned the Torrino when they moved to the then new Arcetri observatory (see feature article in TF 111). The recently restored Torrino is being re-opened it to the public in conjunction with the Firenze Scienza retrospective, which highlights Florence’s long-standing and important astronomical and scientific tradition. Firenze Scienza features four exhibits, held in three museums in the city centre until May 2010, that showcase Florence’s most important scientific collections. The Specola’s Tribuna di Galileo has also been recently opened to the public on occasion of Firenze Scienza. For more information, see

Art goes digital

Table of CONTENTS Florence News


National News


Sport News

7 8 9 - 13

Movie Reviews Events

What’s happening in Florence


Italian Sketches Amedeo Modigliani


TF Events Revealing Invisible Women


Book Review

Celebrating Florence’s stylish side

Expats in Florence


Zachary Androus


Il Fatto Bello A duel


Style & the City The perfect look


Be Green in Flo The good and the bad


The Arts Discovering Santa Reparata


Food & Wine Olio nuovo continued from pg.1

The firm that headed the project, Centrica, worked in conjunction with the universities of Florence and Siena for four years to take all of the photos. What seems quite easy, was, in fact, a very complicated task, said Marco Capellini, engineer at Centrica. ‘The images are in 100 megapixels. To give a better idea, the full HD screen on televisions has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels; our touch screens have a resolution of 10,000 x 8,000.’ Even when zoomed in by 200 percent the image remains crystal clear. The project is called Uffizi in a Touch, and the software and images will be put on the market by December for restoration schools, universities and specialized tourist programs.

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22-23 letters to the editor

Send us your letters to the editor for the next issue of TF! We want to hear from you! Send us your thoughts, critiques and advice!


News & Views

Thursday 19 November 2009


News in BRIEF

continued from pg.1

New dictionary gathers over 1,500 local expressions BISCHERO lthough linguist Stefano Rossi Galli splits his time between Florence and Madrid, he has never forgotten his Tuscan and Florentine roots. Galli’s recently published Dictionary of the Florentine vernacular and Tuscan Dialect, from yesterday to today (Romano Editore, 12 euros) gathers over 1,500 local expressions, words, idioms, proverbs in addition to historical information on the figures who helped shape the Tuscan and Florentine tongues. Along with practical examples and everyday use of the region’s most widely used expressions, Galli also explores the history of how these words and expressions were born and have evolved, ranging from popular tales to etymologic scholarship.


City urges locals to open their homes to needy kids


lorence city officials report that about 117 minors in the city need homes. Officials at Palazzo Vecchio are concerned about these children and are urging local families to open up their homes. The city spends almost 3 million euro a year on food and accommodations for minors who need homes. The majority of these children are male, ranging in age from 6 to 13. The city is offering free daycare and soccer lessons to local families who open up their homes to these children, to help cover the costs of foster support. Those interested in providing a temporary home to these kids can contact the Centro Affidi, located on via Palazzuolo 12, at 055/2616433 or 055/2616437.

Celestial grandeur On occasion of the unveiling, officials announced that the room with Cortona’s massive ceiling fresco, the Sale di Marte, will be open to the public during the winter holidays. The frescos in the five-room Sale dei Pianeti have been under restoration since 1997. The wall and ceiling paintings in the Sala di Giove and Saturno were the first to be restored, followed by the Sale di Venere, Apollo, and now Marte, which has been completed. Two more rooms still need to be restored, said superintendent of the Polo museale fiorentino Cristina Acidini, who added ‘we’ll start to work on them once we secure the necessary funding because the interventions are not urgent.’

Ploughing in PRATO

Jobless offered new work as farmers


he municipality of Prato is offering six ‘victims of the crisis,’ recently laid-off workers, the opportunity to participate in free agricultural training. At the end of the six-month training period, the participants will be given a plot of land that is theirs to cultivate for the next three years. The screening process, which ended on November 15, gave privilege to workers over 50, as people in this age group tend to have more difficulty finding another job. The participants will also receive a monthly stipend of 600 euro during training. The plot that participants receive on completion of training is city-owned land. They will be obliged to cultivate native vegetables, part of which they will keep for their own consumption, 20 percent of which will be donated to the

Why OPERA et Gusto Is the restaurant a theatre? Or is the theatre a restaurant? The evening’s entertainment starts at 8pm and ends around 10:45pm when the venue transforms into an open bar with live music until 2am. OPERA et Gusto Via della Scala 17r - Firenze Tel. 055 288 190 Reservations: 335 102 0600 The art of cooking meets the art of the stage, to result in a very special night out. Tasty, refined dishes are prepared by an experienced chef and dinner is accompanied by music, dance and theatre in a delightful, cosy atmosphere. This is the menu offered to customers by Opera et Gusto which aims to be the first “multifunctional”venue in Florence – open to public – where you can dine and enjoy a performance at the same time. After the aperitif, the lights dim and the curtain comes down around the dining

area with the tables arranged at the foot of the stage. A red velvet curtain surrounds the whole venue, from the ceiling down to the floor, creating a flowing effect that breaks with the contrasting black walls and the chic minimalist decor of the bar and payment area. The customers are greeted by a large glass door almost 4 metres high, through which an old Florentine palazzo can be seen. This opens onto an area painted with gold enamel, which recalls the stuccos and decorations typical of Italian theatres.



local charity organization Caritas and the local canteen that provides meals to the poor. The rest will be sold in Prato markets and greengrocers. If the pilot is successful, the next group will be increased to 10 farmers-in-training. ‘[T]he objective now is providing new jobs,’ said Ambra Giorgi, vice president of the Prato province.


Photographer who immortalized Florence dies


entor of the acclaimed Maria Pia Fanfani, Evelyn Hofer, passed away at 87 in Mexico City on November 2. The celebrated German photographer was best known for her black-and-white photos depicting the people and places of New York, Florence, London, Dublin, and Madrid. Her photos were often published alongside the texts of highly acclaimed travel writers, including Mary McCarthy’s 1959 travel book The Stones of Florence. Hofer was a fond admirer of the Duomo di Santa Maria del Fiore, the Baptistery and Giotto’s bell tower.

Cast your ballot The regional primaries for the centreleft coalition have been scheduled for December 13, from 8 am to 8pm. The candidates will be running in the regional elections March 28–29, 2010. All legal residents of Florence and Tuscany are eligible to vote in these primaries, regardless of nationality or citizenship. The parties participating are the Partito Democratico, Italia dei Valori, La Sinistra, I Socialisti and I Verdi. The candidates will be named on November 22. For more information, see Human rights Some 70 people gathered in Florence in mid-November to attend the first assembly of the Florence division of the International League of Human Rights, founded in Paris in 1922. The Florence division is charged with investigating issues and developing initiatives on human rights, and is an ‘autonomous, secular, independent body that will work to affirm democratic freedoms.’ Polimoda speaks English Florence’s acclaimed fashion institute, Polimoda, is offering an array of post-graduate level courses in English for world’s future fashion managers. Starting in January 2010, courses in luxury management, fashion merchandising management, fashion buying, visual merchandising and retail management, advanced fashion design, advanced fashion footwear design are just some available to those aspiring to work alongside Alberta Ferretti or Tom Ford. Masters courses run for nine months, followed by a threemonth internship at one of over 2,000 firms in the fashion business. Duomo: the aftermath Private vehicles and scooters are still entering Piazza Duomo’s designated pedestrian-only zone. Although the new traffic patterns were to begin October 25, on the evenings of November 2 and 3, local police caught and fined drivers of some 30 cars traveling in the zone, the majority of whom claimed not to know about the new rules. Meanwhile, officials have announced that the Baptistery has ceased to suffer from the vibrating effects of passing traffic. Calenzano: toyland A century’s worth of toys belonging to public and private collections throughout Italy will be showcased in Calenzano from December 8 to January 9, 2010 at the Centro Espositivo ST.ART, on via Garibaldi. Called Toyland, the exhibit will display over 50,000 toys from 1860 to 1960, including a miniature model of Fort Alamo from 1836 and a miniature village of the Wild West. A special section is dedicated to toy soldiers and the illustrations of Laura Molinari, an artist at Walt Disney. For more information, email


News & Views

Thursday 19 November 2009

Florence NEWS

The Monster on FoxCrime

WINE+FASHION Local quality takes centre stage


rom Coral Gables, Florida to Manaus, Brazil and back to Florence: samples of the city’s finest quality food and fashion products will soon be on tour. As part of a long-standing effort to promote Florentine food, wine, art and fashion, the ninth annual Wine and Fashion Florence tour makes its debut in the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables on November 19 to 21, and then travels to Manaus, Brazil, from November 24 to 28. The event returns to Florence, from December 8 to 15. This edition will feature art exhibits, wine and food tastings, film screenings, business-to-business meetings and meetings with local buyers as 30 Tuscan firms showcase their products to the North and South American markets. This year’s tour will include a new project, the Wine and Fashion Florence Café, a wine bar, restaurant, showroom and fashion store where Florentine art, cuisine, wine, textiles will be a permanently showcased. For more information, see


Study reveals women’s experience at work


onducted by the Tuscan Region, an extensive study of women and the labor market has new data on the role and importance of local female entrepreneurs. Called Donne innovatrici: impresa, lavoro e famiglià, the study surveyed 3,000 female entrepreneurs in Tuscany and another 3,000 women between the ages of 25 to 44. Statistics reveal that 40.8 percent of businesses in the region have female owners (or bosses, when considering the social service sector). Of the female-run businesses, 45.6 percent are pre-existing, family-owned firms. However the data reveal a strong trend in the number of women opening new businesses, especially in the technology and creative sectors. The study confirms that being a female manager is still not an easy task. Nearly half (49.2 percent) said they were alone in managing the daily activities of their children; 31 percent said there was a need for more daycare centers and other services for new mothers; 39.2 percent felt they were seen as less trustworthy by suppliers and clients; and 20 percent reported that it was more difficult to obtain loans or other financing from banks.


n a first, FoxCrime is releasing one of its most anticipated television miniseries for free on the Internet. The six-episode series on the ‘Monster of Florence’ murders that took place in the Florence countryside from 1968 to 1985, which FoxCrime is placing


on YouTube, chronicles the 20-year investigation and the plight of a father seeking to uncover the truth about his daughter ‘s murder and the identity of the Monster of Florence. The series began airing on November 12 on Sky channel 114 at 9pm.

Sneeze-free FLORENCE? Proposal would create gardens with reduced pollen levels


ollution, allergy and pollen levels are often a potent combination in urban areas. This is why the city of Florence is proposing allergy-free green areas. The proposed new public areas would feature low- or non-pollenproducing trees and plants. If the plan is approved, the city would also work to gradually eliminate its most high-level pollen-producing plants. The motion, which the city council will address over the next few months, was presented by centre-left councilor Enrico Bertini, who also wants to place informational placards at the entrance of city gardens to inform visitors of the plant species present and their pollen levels.

Interactive Ferragamo N

ative Florentine fashion house Ferragamo recently launched an innovative new website, complete with an online store. The luxury brand’s website,, offers users a unique interactive experience, say company officials. The new site, which conveys the brand’s style through graphics and layout, includes an area for the fashion house’s museum and a digital archive. Visitors to the site can

search for films in which Ferragamo shoes or products have appeared, design their own shoes, or participate in Ferragamo-sponsored projects such as the annual contest for young and emerging shoe designers. The online store, currently available in Italy and the UK, will be extended to the U.S. and other European markets over the next few months.

COMMUNITY NEWS AILO CHRISTMAS BAZAAR AND LOTTERY The American International League ONLUS (AILO), with the collaboration of GE volunteers, is holding its annual Christmas Bazaar on December 8 from 10am to 6:30pm at Le Pagliere (ex-Scuderie Reali) on Viale Machiavelli 24, Florence. The event raises funds to finance specific projects of non-profit organizations in and around Florence. AILO will make a public distribution of the funds raised in spring 2010, based on a vote by AILO members. AILO will also be raising funds through a lottery. The prizes include a round-trip airline ticket to a destination (TBA), offered by Vanessa Viaggi; dinners for two at various restaurants; prestigious gifts from Angela Caputi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Casa dei Tessuti, Florian Café, Tessuti Valli; cases of wine, and many more.

via della Chiesa 34/r ph 055 219214


O OLIO NUOV 2009 Free Tastingurs ho during shop



For more information, see



News & Views

Thursday 19 November 2009

National NEWS

ITALY’S cross to bear

Government to appeal ban on school crucifixes


MILAN MOURNS ‘POETESS OF NAVIGLI’ Literary world bids farewell to Alda Merini


taly recently lost one of its greatest twentieth-century poets, Alda Merini, who passed away in her native Milan on November 1. Thousands attended her state funeral in Milan’s Duomo on November 4. ‘Alda Merini charted a course through the history and culture of our city, providing important reflections for the rest of the country,’ said mayor of Milan, Letizia Moratti. Considered one of Italy’s greatest poets by many of her contemporaries, including Nobel prize winners Salvatore Quasimodo and Eugenio Montale, Merini, who wrote in an eclectic style, explored themes of love, eroticism, religion, marginalization, solitude and mental illness, from which she suffered for years. Among her collections of poetry translated into English are A Rage of Love (1996), Unpaid Ballads (2001) and The Holy Land (2002). The 78-year-old poet lived in Milan’s Navigli neighborhood, and her home will be marked with a memorial plaque.


Rome opens temporary home for recently separated


ife is not easy for single fathers, and a new project in Rome gives recently separated dads a place to stay until they get back on their feet. Newly single dads are at a high risk of poverty, says Rome superintendent of social services Sveva Belviso. ‘Separations among couples with children not only cause emotional trauma but also financial trauma because it translates in an immediate increase in child support payments,’ she adds. For just 200 euro a month, 20 newly separated fathers will be given an apartment in a renovated complex. They can stay there up to 12 months until they find a permanent home. The apartments are loaded with amenities: kitchens, bedrooms, TV and a green recreational space where kids can play.

recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) banning crucifixes in Italian classrooms has sparked fierce criticism across the country. The Vatican immediately slammed the ruling, arguing it was ‘wrong and myopic’ to exclude the symbol from education. The majority government said it would appeal the ‘unacceptable’ decision, though if turned down, the verdict would become effective in three months. Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said the sentence was ‘disrespectful’ and could not be enforced in Italian schools: ‘The decision is absolutely disrespectful of a Catholic country like ours…Our country can only be described as Christian. Even an atheist has to agree with this,’ he told reporters. The postwar constitution ordered a separation of church and state, and Catholicism has not been Italy’s official state religion since 1984. Although crucifixes are not mandatory, it is customary to find them in public buildings across the country. However, the presence of crosses in schools across Italy is disparate, and not all Italian schools adorn them on their walls. The new ruling by the Strasbourgbased court upholds a legal suit filed by a Finnish immigrant and mother with Italian citizenship who acted against the presence of crosses in her children’s state school in Padua. The court found that crucifixes in Italian classrooms were a violation of parents’ rights to educate their children according to their principles and

also violated children’s freedom of religion. The court also ordered the Italian government to pay the woman 5,000 euro in ’moral damages.’ Some 90 percent of Italians are self-declared Catholics, and politicians and believers across Italy are defending the presence of the longstanding Christian and cultural symbol in classrooms. The municipality of Grosseto has moved to impose a 500-euro fine on those who remove crosses in local schools. An entrepreneur from Varese spent 1,200 euro on a six- by three-meter cross and erected it in front of his company in Gavirate to demonstrate his ‘indignation’ over the EU ruling. The mayor of Vicenza also says he will oppose the removal of the crucifix from schools and public places in the city, while members of the Northern League party in the province of Venice have advanced a motion to counter the ruling and keep crucifixes in local public places, including schools.

What do you think about the ECtHR ruling? Do you consider the crucifix a symbol of Italy’s heritage and national identity or a sign of religious affiliation? Let us know by writing to

Migrants and social medias

The Vatican moves into the modern era


ith four days dedicated to immigrants and social medias, the Vatican is announcing a move into the modern era. Exploring the Internet as a tool to spread the Christian message was the focus of a conference involving bishops from across Europe, held at the Vatican from November 9 to 12. Organized by the Vatican’s ‘communications ministry, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, representatives from a wide range of Internet giants, including Facebook,

Google, YouTube, Twitter and Wikipedia, attended the event to school clergy in the communications tools of the moment and their suitability in advancing the Vatican’s mission. At the same time, delegates from around the world convened to discuss immigration, viewing it as an opportunity, not a problem, at the World Congress on Migration. Addressing delegates on the first day of the conference, Pope Benedict XVI said migration was ‘a bigger issue than ever before, both in terms of size and complexity…It now affects nearly every country in the world and is part of the vast process of globalization.’ Days prior, Catholic charity Caritas released a report revealing the growing migrant presence in Italy, which today boasts over 4.5 million legal immigrants.

News in BRIEF Greener than a baby’s bum New parents in Bologna will soon be able to reduce their carbon footprints and protect their babies from diaper rash through a new cloth diaper service, set to be up and running by year’s end. It takes at least 500 years for disposable diapers to decompose, and Italy throws about 6,000 in the trash every day. A cooperative in Bologna is working to reduce that waste through Lavanda, a service that rents and washes cloth diapers. Soiled diapers are picked up and clean ones delivered for about 15 euro a week. For more information, contact progettolavanda@gmail. com. Rendition case closed A Milan court sentenced 22 CIA agents and a U.S. Air Force colonel, in absentia, to prison terms ranging from five to eight years for having abducted an Egyptian cleric living in Milan in 2003. A handful of Italian military intelligence agents were also found guilty of aiding and abetting in the controversial case that put the spotlight on the U.S. practice of ‘extraordinary rendition.’ The rendition victim, Hassan Mustafa Omar Nasr, was awarded a provisional one million euro in damages from each of the convicted; his wife was awarded a provisional 500,000 euro. Drugs and politics After the president of the Lazio region was caught on tape with a transgender prostitute after having used cocaine, mayors and politicians across Italy are calling on other public servants to undergo drug tests. Although the tests being demanded would be voluntary, Rome’s mayor Gianni Alemanno, recently said he intended to impose mandatory drug tests on all city officials and people with institutional responsibility. He offered urine and hair samples to set an example for the rest. ‘As far as I’m concerned, these tests should be obligatory for everyone in municipal, provincial and regional government, as a guarantee for all citizens,’ he told reporters.

Accounting for 7.2 percent of the Italian population, Italy’s immigrant presence for the first time exceeds the European Union average of 6.2 percent. The report showed that immigrant workers are also on the rise and are necessary to help sustain the Italian economy. Italy’s two million foreign workers produce some 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Foreign workers pay some 7 billion euro annually into the national retirement fund and 3.2 billion euro in income taxes.


News & Views

Thursday 19 November 2009

Sports & Leisure NEWS

Sports Sports inin BRIEF BRIEF Register now: Florence Marathon Be among the 10,000 runners expected to participate in the 26th Florence marathon on November 29. The 42 kilometer, 195 meter course takes runners through the most beautiful streets and piazzas of Florence, among them Piazza Signoria, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Pitti, Piazza Duomo. The race, which begins at 9am in Piazzale Michelangelo and ends in Piazza Santa Croce, will be broadcast live on RAI Tre. Registration is open until the list reaches 10,000 participants. Sign up at Firenze Marathon, viale Fanti 2, c/o the Luigi Ridolfi stadium; call 055/5522957, email or visit Praising local athletes The provincial division of the Olympic sports association, CONI, held an awards ceremony on November 12 at Palazzo Vecchio. Awards were presented to ACF Fiorentina captain Dario Dainelli, who was named best athlete in the city for his superior sportsmanship; the Florence women’s water polo team, which plays in the national A2 division; and the organizers of the Firenze Marathon. Awards were also given to Firenze Rugby, the Marzocco Ski Club, the Target Shooting club, the Fiorentina Softball team and the local sports cooperative, La Cooperativa Sociale Matrix Onlus - Calcio a 5. Third times a charm? The AC Siena soccer club has resigned former coach Mario Beretta, who will replace Marco Giampaolo and make a third appearance with Siena as coach. At the tail end of the Serie A standings, Siena hopes Beretta, 50, who coached the team in 2006–2007, will bring more points to the Tuscan bianconeri. Beretta was fired in 2007 but was called back nine games into the following season, keeping the squad from relegation.

Sports for the disabled

Basketball and social-sports inclusion

Back on track

by Sam Griswold

Viola focus on wins; Vargas praised for his stellar performance


iorentina picked up back-to-back wins in the Serie A as they beat Catania at home on November 1, and then a week later picked up three points away to Udinese on November 8. The Viola were deserved 3-1 winners against Catania; however the match was in question until late in the second half, when goals by Marchionni and Gilardino secured the victory. A week later, Fiorentina traveled to Udinese with a depleted squad due to injuries. Prandelli was forced to do without regulars Gamberini, Dainelli, Zanetti, Mutu and Jovetic. Nevertheless, the Viola’s character shined through as they still managed to pull out a 1-0 victory over a formidable Udinese. Vargas scored the lone goal on a curling free kick just six minutes from the end to resolve what had been a very even match. The pair of wins put the Viola back on track after going four games without a victory, and saw them move up to fourth in the Serie A table heading into the international break. Champions League. Sandwiched between these two Serie A victories, Fiorentina hosted Debrecen in a Champions League encounter on November 4. Despite torrid weather conditions, which unfortunately kept many home supporters away from the stadium, the match didn’t suffer much as the two sides combined for seven goals as Fiorentina cruised to a 5-2 victory. Five different Fiorentina players found the net with Mutu, Dainelli, Montolivo, Marchionni and Gilardino all contributing to the cause. The win puts Fiorentina just one point adrift of group leaders Lyon, and more importantly, five points clear of third place Liverpool. The Viola can clinch a coveted spot in the next round with a win over Lyon, whom they will host in two weeks time. Mutu to return after international break. Adrian Mutu looks set to rejoin Fiorentina following his recent surgery to repair the damaged meniscus in his left-knee. The surgery appears to have gone fine, and despite missing out on the visit to Udinese, the Romanian should be fit and available following the international lay-off. Montolivo receives late Italy call. Fiorentina midfielder Riccardo Montolivo was called up at the last minute by Marcelo Lippi to replace injured Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi. Striker Alberto Gilardino and winger Mario Marchionni were also included in the squad that will face Holland and Sweden in two upcoming friendlies. Gilardino and Marchionni have been recent mainstays in Lippi’s squad and appear set to make the trip to South Africa this summer barring injury. Montolivo remains more of an uncertainty and will need to make the most of this final opportunity to stake his claim for a spot at the World Cup. All three Viola players played at least a small role in Italy’s 0-0 draw with Holland in Pescara on November 14. Striker Alberto Gilardino got the starting nod, but managed to create little in terms of attacking chances, and was substituted in the second half. Winger Marco Marchionni and midfielder

Manuel Vargas

Riccardo Montolivo were both second half substitutes, but like most of the Azzurri on that night, they failed to make a great impact. The surprise of the evening, in fact, came from another Tuscan side, as Livorno youngster Antonio Candreva was was among the best performers on the night. Vargas draws praise. Fiorentina winger Juan Manuel Vargas has perhaps been the revelation of the season so far, not only in Florence, but in the entire Serie A. After an up and down campaign a year ago in which he split time between left-fullback and left-midfield, Vargas has been deployed solely as an attacking winger this season, and to devastating effect. The Peruvian has been a true difference maker for the Viola this season, as his crosses and set-pieces, along with some timely goal-scoring and phenomenal work-ethic have led many to name him the most in-form winger in Europe. Following his most recent decisive performance against Udinese, rumors have resurfaced linking Vargas with a potential move to Real Madrid. However, the player was quick to refute the claims, stating that he was ‘deaf’ to the voices linking him to a move away from Florence, and humbly claiming that he still had much to learn and was focused solely on Fiorentina. Words that Fiorentina supporters will most certainly not be deaf to.


very Monday, 40 youths from the Elsa Morante Institute for the disabled meet up with kids from the Matrix cooperative for two hours of shooting hoops at the San Marcellino sports complex. Soon other sports will be added to the roster, including judo, archery, dance, bocce ball and juggling. The weekly practices are part Over the Limits, a project that offers an array of sports activities for Florence’s disabled youth. ‘The project is the result of a strong synergy between local schools, sports and sports associations. It is an occasion in which some of the most fragile can, through sport, grow and evolve socially and athletically. The city of Florence strongly supports this project because it is the perfect example of the city’s objective to reiterate that sports should be made more readily available to the citizenry,’ said local sports superintendent Barbara Cavandoli.


An Exclusive Tea House Contemporary Art Gallery



rom November 14 to 15, the Circolo Baragli of the Italian Union of the blind and visually impaired, located via Antonio Cocchi 17, hosted Florence’s first ‘showdown’ ping-pong tourney. Using a ball that makes sounds and bounces from one side of the court to the other, this new twist on ping-pong, called showdown, was especially designed for the visually impaired. During the tournament, male and female athletes from Bologna, Milan, Florence and Verona played 80 games of showdown. Showdown is an official Paralympic sport for the visually impaired, however fully sighted people can play recreationally, by wearing masks to cover their eyes.


featured artist December 2009-February 2010 Venice, California § Artist, Sculpture

Join us for a wine and blossuming tea reception Every Sunday from 7 pm

Every Game

ALL GAMES LIVE! For info, reservation schedules and viewing information call: 055.2344904 or cell. 349.2968513

Saturday December, 5 6 to 9pm

Book your next event, party or high tea at Bloom on-line ordering available

Chiasso del Buco 28. Firenze

next to Piazza della Signoria and Uffizi Museum


What’s On & Where to Go

Thursday 19 November 2009

SHOWS in English MOVIE REVIEWS by James Douglas ODEON ORIGINAL SOUND AT THE ODEON Piazza Strozzi, 2 • 055 214068 Note: Note: the regular programming of the Odeon Original Sound series is disrupted for the rest of the year by the 50 Days of Cinema, running at the cinema at the same time. The Fifty Days of Cinema features a wide selection of movies, many of them in English or in original language with English subtitles. Here are some selected highlights of these films: The International Women’s Festival (November 17–22). Full details not yet available. See Schermo dell’arte International Programme of Films on Contemporary Arts (November 23–26). Full details at http:// 23 NOVEMBER 21.00 Le ceneri di Pasolini (Alfredo Jaar, Chile, 2009) in the presence of the director 22.00 A Conversation with Basquiat (Tamra Davis,USA, 2008) 24 NOVEMBER 21.00 Backstory (Mark Lewis, Canada, 2009) 23.15 Picasso and Braque Go to the Movies (Arne Glimcher, USA, 2008) 25 NOVEMBER 22.15 Alice Neel (Andrew Neel, USA, 2007) 26 NOVEMBER 18.00 Miami Heights: Hernan Bas (Bill Bilowit, USA 2009) in the presence of the director 22.00 The Great Contemporary Art Bubble (Ben Lewis, UK, 2009) in the presence of the director NOVEMBER 27–DECEMBER 3 Florence Queer Festival Full details at Rosa von Praunheim retrospective: A variety of films by this (male) Latvian/German director, co-founder of the Gay Rights Movement in Germany. 27 NOVEMBER 17.45 Identities (Vittoria Colonna di Stigliano, Ireland, 2008) 5 stories of the transgender community in Ireland. In the presence of the director 20.30 I Can’t Think Straight (Shamim Sharif, UK, 2007) in the presence of director 28 NOVEMBER 18.00 City of Borders (Yun Jong Su, USA, 2009) in the presence of the director NOVEMBER 19 - DECEMBER 10 2009

29 NOVEMBER 15.30 Chris & Don: A Love Story (Tina Mascara and Guido Santi, USA, 2007) The lives of Christopher Isherwood and partner Don Bachardy. 22.45 An Englishman in New York (Richard Laxton, GB, 2009) The later years of Quentin Crisp in New York, with John Hurt brilliantly reprising his role in The Naked Civil Servant 1 DECEMBER 16.30 The Universe of Keith Haring (Cristina Clausen, Italy/France, 2008) 21.00 Pedro (Nick Oceano, USA, 2008) 2 DECEMBER 21.15 Patrick Age 1.5 (Ella Lemhagen, Sweden, 2008) in the presence of the director 3 DECEMBER 18.30 Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride (Bob Chrsitie, Canada, 2009) in the presence of the director 21.45 Drool (Nancy Kissam, USA, 2009) DECEMBER 4 – DECEMBER 10 River to River Indian Film Festival Full details at Guru Dutt retrospective, featuring films by and about the director of the classic Pyaasa (1957) which typified the golden age of Bollywood. The director/producer/writer/actor committed suicide in 1964 at the age of 39 having directed only 8 films. These include: 5 December 15.00 In Search of Guru Dutt (Nasreen Munni Kabir, UK-India, 1989); 5 December 17.00 Aar Paar (This or That), Guru Dutt, India, 1954); 6 December 15.00 15.00 Mr. and Mrs. 55, Guru Dutt, India, 1955) 8 December 15.00 Kagaaz Ke Phool (Paper Flowers), Guru Dutt, India, 1959 Other films include: 4 December 20.30 pm Opening Evening Performance of the Apsara Dance Group and Opening Film Rang Rasiya (Colours of Passion), (Ketan Mehta, India, 2008) The life of the 19th Century Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma: from the love story with his muse Sugandha to the fundamentalist reactions to his paintings, regarded as immoral portraits of the gods of Indian mythology. After the film Q&A with director Ketan Mehta 5 December 20.30, 6 December 22.30 Barah Aana (Shortchanged) (Raja Menon, India, 2008) A contemporary Mumbai story in which the lives of a chauffer, a watchman and a waiter intersect. After the first screening Q&A with director Raja Menon 6 December 20.30, 7 December 23.00 Khargosh (Paresh Kamdar, India, 2009) The story of an overwhelming love seen through the eyes of a child who acts as a gobetween for a boy and a girl who exchange passionate letters but are unable to communicate in person. 7 December 20.30, 8 December 23.00 Kaminey (Vishal Bhardwaj, India, 2009) A Tarantino-like pulp movie about two twins who grow up in the slums of Mumbai.10 December 21.00 pm - Closing Film Sita Sings the Blues (Nina Paley, USA, 2008)

In this hilarious animation film, three puppets tell the ancient and modern tragicomedy of Ramayana. Sita, the goddess, is forced to live far from her beloved husband Rama, while director Nina has to face the separation from her partner who has moved to India.

ASTRA 2 Piazza Beccaria • 055 2343666


Monday November 23 3:45 - 6:00 - 8:15 - 10:30 p.m.

This turned out to be Heath Ledger’s last film, causing Terry Gilliam no end of trouble—he almost abandoned the project—until Jude Law, Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell stepped into the breach. The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus is an extravagant surreal fantasy and morality tale in which this highly imaginative director sweeps us up into an extraordinary story of a travelling show, a race against time, and the doctor, suffering for his past peccadilloes, desperately trying to wrest his daughter from the grip of the Devil. ‘A eulogy, a polemic, an intriguing mess: Dr Parnassus is ultimately more worth your time than many a polished creation, and it’s a must for Terry Gilliam completists, but this time out he delivers a feast for the eyes more than he satisfies intellectually’ (Channel 4 Film). ‘…tootles around the place amiably enough: the essential note is whimsy.' The idea is to let your imagination wander. In the end, it was my attention that wandered (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian). For fans only?

THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS Monday November 30 4:30 - 6:30 - 8:30 - 10:30 p.m.

The Men Who Stare at Goats is a mad Iraq war comedy (but ‘More of this is true than you would believe’) about a reporter investigating a US Army unit of psychic soldiers who use their paranormal powers to gain the upper hand. Chief of these psychic spies and Jedi warriors, Lyn Cassady (George Clooney) entertains investigative journalist Wilton (Ewan McGregor) in the desert with antics and stories of antics that may or may not be credible. ‘A superbly written loony-tunes satire, played by a tony cast at the top of its game’ (Variety). ‘There’s no doubt we need more movies for grown-ups, with jokes that don’t hit us over the head, but The Men Who Stare at Goats doesn’t fit the bill. At best, it might hypnotize you into a stupor’ ( ‘A magicalrealist sitcom war farce that ends up being about nothing but its own slovenly smugness’ (Entertainment Weekly).


Thursday December 10 3:45 - 6:00 - 8:15 - 10:30 p.m.

Twenty years after his groundbreaking documentary Roger & Me, Michael Moore con-

tinues in his unique abrasive and confrontational style, often rambling and haphazard but never without an impact in Capitalism: A Love Story. Painting a similar canvas but on a much broader scale, he examines America’s love affair with capitalism and the impact this has had and has around the world. The dangers of corporate dominance and the contamination of the American Dream are of course dealt with. ‘No matter where you stand, there’s no denying ‘Capitalism’ is flat-out polemic wizardry (San Francisco Chronicle). ‘Scattershot, lazy slice of agitprop, which recycles Moore’s usual sliceand-dice job on corporations, while bobbing a curtsey to the current crisis’ (Village Voice).

BRITISH INSTITUTE Lungarno Guicciardini, 9 055 267781


Wednesday November 25 · 8.30 p.m. ‘‘The Greatest All New Fright Show In Town!’

The British Production Studio Hammer bought the rights from Universal for a series of Dracula movies that formed the core of the Hammer Horror classics. In Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) Christopher Lee is another (exhumed) incarnation of the Count, representing the 1960s in Dracula history, with production values to match. No movie masterpiece, but an effective adaptation, and notable for Lee’s inimitable performance.

NOSFERATU: PHANTOM DER NACHT (1979) Wednesday December 2· 8.30 p.m.

Werner Herzog’s movie Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979) is a deliberate attempt to rework the Dracula movie iconography and his version is often said to be more gothic romance than horror. Klaus Kinski is the Count in a mesmerising performance that in its attempt to avoid kitsch perhaps overreaches into arcane symbolism and unnecessary complication. Possibly the most atmospheric of all the Stoker adaptations, as well as a homage to Murnau’s original Nosferatu. In German with English subtitles.

BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA (1992) Wednesday December 9· 8.30 p.m.

More closely based on the original than most adaptations of Stoker’s novel, Francis Ford Coppola’s feverish, lush, gothically enhanced version of the story is notable for its production design. Gary Oldman is the Count in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) and his and other characterisations make this one of the more successful ‘modern’ versions of the story. ‘Dracula has the nervy enthusiasm of the work of a precocious film student who has magically acquired a master’s command of his craft. It’s surprising, entertaining and always just a little too much’ (New York Times).

“Revenge of the NERDS” costume party The biggest loosers party in Florence!

esday Wedn vember no 25th

8 pm to 9 pm Put your costume on for a crazy night down in the cellar..NEEEEERD!!! Welcome opening party Check it out the “Old Stove Signoria” Facebook Nerdy names assignation for games and ruffle profile for drinks offers, costumes etc. Punch and beer + Nerd food drink and eat all you can for 6 € 9.30 pm Music by

Next concert on friday 4th december

Piazza della Signoria 30R

What’s On & Where to Go All events included in this section are edited by The Florentine’s staff. The Florentine is not responsible for programme changes. If you would like to submit an event, please fill out the form at


Thursday 19 November 2009




Festa della Toscana/Tuscany Day Celebration

Quell’Instabile Oggetto Del Desiderio:

The Festa della Toscana was first celebrated in 2001 to commemorate the abolition of the death penalty in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany on the November 30th, 1786. Tuscany was in fact the first place in the world to abolish the death penalty, and the Tuscany Day celebrations mark this anniversary by promoting human rights, peace and justice. The Festa includes a series of exhibitions, cinema, theatre, readings, dance, concerts and much more throughout the Tuscan region. For a detailed program of events, call 800 40129, or go to

November 18–January 10, 2010 Museo Nazionale Alinari della Fotografia

November 30 Various places around Florence and Tuscany


XXVI Firenze Marathon

November 29, starts 9am in Piazzale Michelangelo and ends in Piazza Santa Croce Get your running shoes on for the annual Florence Marathon! Over ten thousand athletes from all over the world are expected to participate in this 42 km and 195 metre race.

That inconstant object of desire: the image of the female breast in professional photography This exhibition is opening at the same time as the bi-annual Breast Pathology Congress, the most important scientific congress of its kind in Italy. It is also supported by Europa Donna, a European opinion group working to promote the prevention of breast cancer. The photographic exhibition examines the many physical, psychological and sexual themes surrounding the breast. Freud would have a field day. For more information, call 055/216310 or go to

Florence Biennale 2009

December 5–13, Fortezza da Basso

Guests of honour at the 2009 Florence Biennale Contemporary art exhibition are Marina Abramovich and Shu Yong. Abramovich will present some of her artwork and take questions from the public, while Yong will present paintings from her ‘Chinese Myths’ series. The Biennale association is an official partner of the United Nations ‘Dialogue between civilisations’ program, which aims to use art as a way of communicating and understanding diverse cultural values. In total, over 2,500 works of art by international artists will be on display. For ticket prices and more information, go to

Chronicles of War, by Phyllis Plattner

Until December 21, SACI via Sant’Antonino 11 SPECIAL MARKETS

German Christmas Market  December  2–20 Piazza S.Croce

For a 100% Christmassy atmosphere, go to piazza Santa Croce and the annual German Christmas Market. Enjoy a glass of mulled wine and then trawl the stalls for gift ideas for friends and family. For details, call 055/2705233, 335365966, or go to

Wine&FashionFlorence 2009  December 5–13 Galleria degli Uffizi During this event, the Tuscan region’s most famous wines will be displayed alongside paintings and sculptures in the Uffizi Gallery, to underline the historical importance of the art of winemaking. Collections by Ermanno Scervino, Braccialini and Consorzio Centopercento Italiano will be shown and accompanied by fine wines. Sister events are also being held in November in Manaus, Brazil, and Miami, USA. For more information, call 055/9153879 or 055/663996 or see


Paolo Nutini ‘Sunny Side Up’ concert November 27 Saschall

Don’t let his name fool you into thinking that Paolo Nutini is Italian. He’s actually from Scotland. The singer-songwriter is currently promoting his second album, ‘Sunny Side Up,’ on a European tour that touches down in Florence on November 27. His music is a mix of uplifting folksy, soulful tunes guaranteed to warm your cockles on a cold winter night. For details, call 055/6504112 or go to


Disney Live: The most beautiful Disney fairy November 25–29 Nelson Mandela Forum

Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Donald Duck and Goofy will take the public on a journey into the enchanted world of three classic Disney stories: Snow White, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. For details, call 055/678841 or go to

SEMIANYKI - Russian mime and clown Theater December 3–6 Teatro Verdi

This mime show has been described as a surreal and chaotic yet poetic portrait of a ‘normal’ Russian family. The legendary Licedei Theatre Company has come from Saint Petersburg to give us this funny and touching clown show. For more information, call 055/212320 or go to


The Dumb Waiter (AperiTeatro)

Every Tuesday in November Lochness (via dè Benci 19r) 7:30pm

This adaptation of the Harold Pinter classic is directed by local actor/director Aaron Craig. AperiTeatro combines an elegant eating experience with quality theatre in a small and intimate setting. This first experimental project aims to provide the Florentine community with a unique theatrical evening in an unusual venue. Tickets cost €20 and include an aperitivo as well as the show. For more details, call 055/2399949 or see

Late Night with FITC: Theater for Sleepwalkers ‘Salami! Salami! (adults only!)  November 20–21 Teatro di Cestello

This non-verbal show is written and performed by master puppeteer and clown Bernard Vandal. ‘Salami! Salami!’ is a wordless, adult-oriented performance that tackles the subject of sexual identity and masculinity. Embarrassingly good fun. For more information, call 055/213788 or see

The series of multiple-panel oil and gold-leaf paintings deals with two equally powerful but opposing forces which have been prevalent throughout human history: the drive toward warfare and violence the desire for beauty and harmony on the other. A talk by the artist will be held on Wednesday, November 25 at 7:30pm at SACI. For more information, see

Open Studios: Firenze, Prato, Pistoia

October 2009–June 2010 Various artists’ studios around the region

How does an artist work? What does a studio tell us about an artist’s working practice and what can the artist tell us when he is working in his studio? Many private and otherwise inaccessible workshops in Florence, Prato and Pistoia are opening their doors to the public and welcoming into their inner sanctums anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of contemporary art. For detailed program of studio openings, go to


What’s On & Where to Go

Thursday 19 November 2009

Events in FLORENCE nov 20 to dic 10

mbership card necessary


Swing in Blue Dinner with live music The show begins at 8pm, ends at 10:45pm. Until 2am openbar with live music. Opera et Gusto, via della Scala 17r; For reservations call 3351020600


Christmas Market AIDO TOSCANA ONLUS 3-7pm. Chiesa di San Carlo ai Barnabiti, Via Sant’Agostimno 23, tel. 0574540002,


Gianna Nannini ‘Giannadream Tour’ Nov 19 to 20, Nelson Mandela Forum, tel. 055678841,

SUNDAY 22 n DINNERS Nadia von Jacobi Dinner with live music The show begins at 8pm and ends at 10:45pm. Until 2am openbar with live music. Opera et Gusto, via della Scala 17r. For reservations call 335.1020600 prenotazioni@


Christmas Market See Friday 20, 10am-6pm Collezionare a Firenze - Christmas fair of crafts, antiques goods see Nov 21 Fortezza Antiquaria - antique market see Nov 21


Flutes in jazz, masterclass by Michele Gori Daytime proof of orchestra Concert begins at 10pm, free admission; Casa della Creatività, Vicolo di S. Maria Maggiore 1, Firenze.

n THEATRE (in Italian unless otherwise noted) n LECTURES & CONFERENCES ...About Anne’ with Salome Jens (contemporary and international theatre in English with subtitles in Italian) 9pm on Nov 19 to 22, Teatro di Cestello, tel. 05213788, Late Night with FITC: Theater for Sleepwalkers ‘Salami! Salami! - piéce written and performed by master puppeteer and clown Bernard Vandal (dumb show) 9pm on Nov 20 to 21, Teatro di Cestello, tel. 055213788,

The Death Penalty in Old Florence with Shaun Loftus Adult Forums - Looking at the Millennium Development Goals At 10am, Grab a cappuccino and join us at St. James, Via Rucellai 9.

n THEATRE (in Italian unless otherwise noted) ...About Anne’ with Salome Jens see Nov 21



Brasilian Night with Dominguinhos & Ramon Band Live Music from aperitivo to late night Concerts begin at 10:30pm; La Rotonda Restaurant, Via il Prato, 10/16, tel. 0552654644

Deluxeé Brunch 11am to 3pm, Café Deluxeé (at the corner of piazza Indipendenza and via XXVII Aprile), tel. 055485749,


n MARKETS & FESTIVALS Christmas Market See Friday 20, AIDO 10am-7pm

Collezionare a Firenze - Christmas fair of crafts and antiques Nov 21 to 22, Saschall, tel. 0556504112, Fortezza Antiquaria - antique market Nov 21 to 22, Giardini della Fortezza da Basso, tel. 0553283550


Concert of the Rossini Philarmonic in honor of St. Cecily Nov 21, Basilica SS. Annunziata, tel. 0556533084, La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi Nov 21, English Church of St. Mark’s, tel. 3408119192, Machine des Ombres with Andrea Chimenti Live concert Aperitivo at 7pm, concert at 10pm, free admission; Casa della Creatività, Vicolo di S. Maria Maggiore 1, Firenze, Tribute to Robert Schumann Concert directed by Ingo Metzmacher Orchestra and the Chorus of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Nov 21, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, tel. 0552779-350, www.

n THEATRE (in Italian unless otherwise noted) Late Night with FITC: Theater for Sleepwalkers ‘Salami! Salami! see Nov 20 ...About Anne’ with Salome Jens see Nov 20


Fiorentina - Parma National Championship Soccer Serie A 3pm, Stadio Comunale Artemio Franchi, viale M. Fanti 4/6

THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS Astra 2 CineHall, Piazza Beccaria, www., tel. 0552343666, Showtimes: 3.45 – 6.00 – 8.15 – 10.30 p.m.


Rineke Dijkstra Forms of the body ideal relations in space 7 pm, free admission; Accademia Gallery, Tribune of Michelangelo’s David; contact fsmgallery, tel. 055280368, The shapes of the body. Ideal relations in space A cycle of meetings dedicated to the art of photography Nov 23, Galleria dell’Accademia, tel. 055217265


PSP - Phillips, Saisse, Palladino European Tour 2009 Nov 23, Viper Theatre, tel. 055318231, www.

n NIGHTLIFE Lost in Translation Are you lost in the Italian language and culture? We can help! Come every Monday if you need to practice italian conversation or for help with your homework! Lessons are free and a complimentary tuscan appetizer will be served from 6:30 pm. Mayday Club, Via Dante Alighieri 16/R. Tel. 055/2381290 Tropical Night reggae music, tropical drinks in juggs...) 10pm to 2 am, Old Stove Signoria, Piazza della Signoria 30r,

TUESDAY 24 n DINNERS World Arpeggio - Cristina Italiani and Simona Bertini Dinner with live music The show begins at 8pm, ends at 10:45pm.

Until 2am openbar with live music. Opera et Gusto, via della Scala 17r. For reservations call 335.1020600 - prenotazioni


Graduate Studies Seminar at Villa La Pietra Nov 24, Villa La Pietra, New York University in Florence, email:

n THEATRE (in Italian unless otherwise noted

AperiTeatro: THE DUMB WAITER - il Calapranzi by Harold Pinter - The show, in English and Italian, will take place every Tuesday through November in the Lochness Lounge, a popular Florence nightspot. Evert Tuesday in Nov 2009, Lochness, via dè Benci 19r; Time: from 7:30pm; tickets: 20 euro for show and aperivo-dinner; to reserve: www.performance-international. net,, tel 055 2399949; directed by: Aaron Craig with Carolina Gamini, Claire Kolb, set assistant: Rachel Winfield


Playwright and lecturer Candida Cave considers the lives of these six remarkable sisters who were born into the British aristocracy and achieved notoriety for their involvement inthsome of the most significant events of the 20 century. T Nancy, the scintillating wit and novelist; Pamela, who managed to maintain her privacy; Pamela the most private, Diana, admired by Hitler and married to Blackshirt Oswald Mosley; Unity, who shot herself at the outbreak of World War II over her feelings for Hitler; Jessica, the ardent communist who went to fight in the SpanishCivil War; Deborah, who as a child wanted to marry ‘the Duke of Right’, and did just that. The Mitford sisters are the subject of Candida Cave’s latest play, The Glamour of Evil.

6pm, The British Institute of Florence, Library and Cultural Centre, Lungarno Guicciardini 9, tel. 055 26778270, admission free.


Luigi Mariano Dinner with live music Show begins at 8pm and ends at 10:45pm. Until 2am openbar with live music. Opera et Gusto, via della Scala 17r. For reservations call 3351020600 - Wing Night + Margartita Party Chicken Wings special menu (50 cents wings) From 5pm. Live sports. House of Sizzle, Via dei Benci 33-35r, tel. 055.2344904 or 349.2968513. Free reservations


Giuffrè/Bennici duo Live Jazz concert Aperitivo at 7pm, concert begins at 10pm, free admission; Casa della Creatività, Vicolo di S. Maria Maggiore 1, Firenze. ORT - Concert directed by Günther Pichler music by Webern, Haydn, Mozart Nov 25, Teatro Verdi, tel. 0552340710, www.

n NIGHTLIFE “Revenge of the NERDS” costume party The biggest loosers party in Florence! 8 pm to 9 pm. Punch and beer + Nerd food drink and eat all you can for 6 €. Old Stove Signoria. Piazza della Signoria 30r. www. Ladies’ Night from 10 pm to 2 am. Old Stove Signoria. Piazza della Signoria 30r. www Tuscan Buffet Student night from aperitivo to late night Concerts begin at 10.:30pm. La Rotonda Restaurant, Via il Prato, 10/16. Tel. 055 2654644 limited please RSVP


Improvvixo Dinner with live music The show begins at 8pm, ends at 10:45pm. Until 2am openbar with live music. Opera et Gusto, via della Scala 17r. For reservations call 335.1020600 -

THURSDAY 26 n NIGHTLIFE Karaoke Night 10pm to 2 am, Old Stove Signoria, Piazza della Signoria 30r, www.michaelcollinspub. com


Azienda Vinicola Montevertine Free Wine Tasting 5pm to 7pm, Alessi Wine shop, Via delle Oche 27/31, tel. 0552396987


The Tortoise concert Nov 26, Viper Theatre, tel. 3477985172


Angels Thanksgiving Dinner 35 euros, save 5 for early booking by Nov 22. Three course traditional thanksgiving dinner at Angels Sunday Brunch. Book at FlorenceForFun office in Via della Pergola 10 A/R. Four Seasons Thanksgiving Dinner 4 courses 75 euros; 5 courses 85 euros (wines not included). Il Palagio Restaurant at Four Seasons Firenze, Borgo Pinti 99. Reservations tel. 055/2626450 Gourmet Thanksgiving Celebration The SpiceLab invetes you at St. James Church 50 euros for adults; 25 euros for children. Reservations are limited. St. James Church on Via Rucellai 9. Reservation spicelab@live. it or call 345.4087209. 10% of all the proceedds will go to help support the St. James Food Bank. Hotel Savoy Thanksgiving Lunch/Dinner Home away from home A delicious traditional filled turkey, pumpkin turtlet.... taste of home! L’Incontro Restaurant, Piazza della Repubblica 7, tel. 05527351; email: IX Accademia Thanksgiving Dinner 30 euros (drink not included), reserve early; Accademia Restaurant, Piazza San Marco 7r, tel. 055217343 Thanksgiving Dinner [at] Cafè Deluxeè Come celebrate Thanksgiving with us, feeling at home 23.90 euros per person, Café Deluxeé (at the corner of piazza Indipendenza and via XXVII Aprile); Reservations: info@cafedeluxee. com, tel. 055485749 Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner A special invite from the Tuscan-American Association and friends of the American community*, with chef Paula Carrier 35 euros, 8 pm at Villa del Molino “Dulcamara” Via Dante da Castiglione, 2 - Loc. Cercina, Sesto Fiorentino (5 mins. from Careggi). RSVP tel. 3356591939, email: paula_; More info: http://www. *Mention which group you belong to within the American community and we’ll donate 10% back to your group!


2nd edition BITAC – Italian Exchange Mart of the Cooperative and Associative Tourism Nov 27, Fortezza da Basso, tel. 0552478436,



International Youth Thanksgiving Dinner Don’t miss the holiday just because you are not at home. St. James Church in Florence (Via Rucellai 9) is offering a Thanksgiving dinner to University Students for only 5 euros. As seating is

The Reds & The White An event starring great Tuscan wines and white truffle from San Miniato 7:30pm, Four Seasons Hotel at Il

What’s On & Where to Go Conventino, Via Gino Capponi 46, Florence, price: 150 euro per person, Tables d’hôtes (10 persons); For reservations call 0552626450


Concert by Orchestra of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino directed by Pietari Inkinen, Mariella Devia soprano, music by Ludwig van Beethoven, Ernest Chausson, Claude Debussy and Gustav Mahler Nov 27, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, tel. 0552779-350, Paolo Nutini ‘ Sunny Side Up’ - concert Nov 27, Saschall, tel. 0556504112, www.

SATURDAY 28 n MUSIC & CONCERTS La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini Nov 28, Chiesa Anglicana di St. Mark’s English Church of St. Mark’s, tel. 3408119192, Muriel Acustic live concert Aperitivo at 7pm. Concert begins at 10pm, free admission. Casa della Creatività, Vicolo di S. Maria Maggiore 1, Firenze. Tommy Emmanuel - Tour 2009 Nov 28, Saschall, tel. 055650411, www.

n BRUNCH Deluxeé Brunch See Saturday 21

n CINEMA 4th Short Film Festival Raccorti Toscani Nov 28, Fortezza da Basso, tel. 05549721,


Christmas Market Do some early Christmas shopping at St. James 12:30pm to 5pm; Handmade crafts, artisan’s works and baked goods; Food and beverages will also be for sale; St. James Church, Via Rucellai 9. Information: Maurizia Marigioli Pizzi, tel. 0557330064

SUNDAY 29 n  SPORTS & ACTIVITIES XXVI Firenze Marathon - International Florence Marathon race Nov 29, starts from Piazzale Michelangiolo and arrives in Piazza Santa Croce, tel. 0555522957,

n NIGHTLIFE Brasilian Night with Dominguinhos & Ramon Band See Sunday 22

MONDAY 30 n CINEMA THE MAN WHO STARES AT GOATS Astra 2 CineHall, Piazza Beccaria, tel. 0552343666, Showtimes: 4.30 – 6.30 – 8.30 – 10.30 p.m.

n MARKETS & FESTIVALS Festa della Toscana Tuscany Day Celebration - events Nov 30, Various places in Florence and province, tel. 800401291, www.consiglio.regione.

n NIGHTLIFE Lost in Translation See Monday 23 Tropical Night See Monday 23

n DANCE INDANZA: The Best of Youth - new choreography for new generations Dec 1 to 2, Teatro di Rifredi, tel. 0554220361/2,

TUESDAY1 n GUIDED TOURS Art and Illusions. Masterpieces of Trompe l’oeil from antiquity to the present day: STROLLER TOUR - special guided tour of the exhibition devoted to mothers with children in strollers Dec 1, Palazzo Strozzi, tel. 0552776461/06,


Graduate Studies Seminar at Villa La Pietra See Nov 24


Concert by Orchestra Giovanile di Firenze

directed by Janet Zadow in occasion of the exhibition ‘I colori del Messico’ Palagio di Parte Guelfa, tel. 055680487 Musical conversations - Introducing the operas performed at the Teatro Maggio Musicale Fiorentino 2009-2010

Dec 1, Villa Arrivabene and Villa Bandini Sala Paradiso, tel. 0552767822,

WEDNESDAY 2 n DANCE INDANZA: The Best of Youth - new choreography for new generations See Dec 1




CARMEN SUITE See Dec 5 La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi Dec 6, English Church of St. Mark’s, tel. 3408119192,


by Georges Bizet, MaggioDanza e Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, music by Rodion, Fabrizio M. Carminati conductor, étoiles Eleonora Abbagnato and JeanSébastein Colau

Dec 5 to 6 and Dec 22 to 24, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, tel. 0552779-350, Amici della Musica - Concert Season 20092010 Dec 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, Teatro della Pergola, tel. 055607440 - 0552264333, www. La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini Dec 5, English Church of St. Mark’s, tel. 3408119192,

n BRUNCH Deluxeé Brunch See Sat 21

IY Student dinners Best deal in town - culture and food for €5. This evening John T. Spike talks about St. James Church, Via Rucellai 9 Wing Night + Margartita Party Chicken Wings special menu (50 cents wings) From 5pm, Live sports, House of Sizzle, Via dei Benci 33-35r, tel. 0552344904 or 3492968513. Free reservations.

International Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Art Painting, sculpture, graphics, middle mixed, installations, photo and digital art - Opening day - See ongoing

Mary Beckinsale takes four sculptures and will argue that they are ‘feminist in content’ meaning that they speak of the strength, identity and social equality of women, as distinct from a sexist archetype of the female. Mary Beckinsale served for ten years as Dean of SACI (Studio Art Centers International) in Florence before becoming its Director in 1995. She is President of the non-profit Palazzo dei Cartelloni and is a governing board member of the Association of Independent Art and Design Schools.

6pm, The British Institute of Florence, Library and Cultural Centre, Lungarno Guicciardini 9, tel. 055 26778270, admission free.


Musical conversations - Introducing the operas performed at the Teatro Maggio Musicale Fiorentino 2009-2010 Dec 2, Palazzo del Podesta, Sala Consiliare, tel. 0556585139, Tell Mama Janis Joplin Tribute Alessia Alessandri Voice, Marco Superti Guitar, Andrea Celli Bass, Riccardo Innocenti Drums 10:30pm, Rex Cafe’, Via Fiesolana 23/r

n NIGHTLIFE Ladies’ Night See Wed 25 Tuscan Buffet See Wed 25

THURSDAY 3 n NIGHTLIFE Karaoke Night See Thurs 26

n MARKETS & FESTIVALS Auction of Vintage jewellery Dec 3, Istituto degli Innocenti, tel. 05520371,


Gigi D’Alessio Tour 2009 Dec 3, Nelson Mandela Forum, tel. 055678841,

nov 20 to dic 10

Swedish Christmas Bazar See Sat 5


Four examples of ‘feminist’ art

Events in FLORENCE

Last Minute Dirty Band (back to the 60s) Live Concert From 9:30pm, Old Stove Signoria, Piazza della Signoria 30r,




Thursday 19 November 2009

n MARKETS & FESTIVALS Swedish Christmas Bazar Handicrafts, Ornaments, Christmas present ideas and original etchings by Daniel Graves! 11am to 6pm, Via Luna 1 in the courtyard of Manzani Graniglie e Ceramiche (Piazza Beccaria area)


Azienda Vinicola Tenuta di Biserno Free wine tastings From 5pm to 7pm, Alessi Wine shop, Via delle Oche 27/31, tel. 0552396987

SUNDAY 6 n DINNERS World Tour in 80 days - Ilaria Innocenti Dinner with live music The show begins at 8pm and ends at 10:45pm, Until 2am openbar with live music; Opera et Gusto, via della Scala 17r. For reservations call 3351020600 - prenotazioni@


Art and Illusions. Masterpieces of Trompe l’oeil from antiquity to the present day VIOLA SUNDAY - On Sundays when Fiorentina plays in Florence, the laboratories, in the same way in the morning, are realized in the afternoon at 3pm. Dec 6, 20, Palazzo Strozzi, tel. 055277646106,

n GUIDED TOURS Mathematics Sundays: ‘Christmas Origami’ Guided visit + workshop on folding paper Dec 6, Il Giardino di Archimede. Un Museo per la Matematica, tel. 0557879594, www.


Diladdarno Fair Dec 6, Piazza S.Spirito, tel. 05527051 Mercato del Piccolo Antiquariato Antiques Fair Dec 6, Piazza Mino Fiesole, tel. 055598720 – 055055,


n NIGHTLIFE Brasilian Night with Dominguinhos & Ramon Band See Sun 22

n SPORTS & ACTIVITIES Fiorentina - Atalanta National Championship Soccer Serie A 3pm, Stadio Comunale Artemio Franchi, viale M. Fanti 4/6

MONDAY 7 n NIGHTLIFE Lost in Translation See Mon 23 Tropical Night See Mon 23

n MUSIC & CONCERTS Circo Nero. The Biggest House Show Party Dec 7, Saschall, tel. 0556504112, Laura Pausini ‘Laura Live ‘ Dec 7, Nelson Mandela Forum, tel. 055667566,

TUESDAY 8 n WINE WINE CHAMPIONSHIP 2009. Popular competition for winetasters Dec 8, New Hall, Fiesole Town Hall and other places like the Terrace in Piazza Mino, tel. 055598720,


AILO Christmas Bazaar 10:30am to 6:30pm at Le Pagliere (ex scuderie reali) Porta Romana, Viale Machiavelli 24. For more information, contact Luciana Fava Giles at Fierucola dell’Immacolata Dec 8, Piazza SS. Annunziata, tel. 055697747 Second-hand book and comics fair Dec 8, Piazza Strozzi, tel. 05527051 0552616557, Olive oil producers on show at Fiesole Dec 8, Piazza Mino Fiesole, tel. 055598720, Swedish Christmas Bazar See Sat 5


Orchestra Florence Symphonietta Concert Season 2009 Dec 8, Chiesa S.Stefano al Ponte Vecchio, tel. 055 472583,

WEDNESDAY 9 n DINNERS Wing Night + Margartita Party Chicken Wings special menu (50 cents wings) From 5pm, Live sports, House of Sizzle, Via dei Benci 33-35r, tel. 0552344904 or 3492968513. Free reservations


Art on the run: the Florentine heritage in the Second World War

During the Second World War, tens of thousands of artistic masterpieces were taken from their traditional locations in churches, museums and private collections in Florence to fortified shelters where they would stand a greater chance of surviving if the city were bombed. From there they were dispersed all over the Tuscan countryside.


Thursday 19 November 2009

Events in FLORENCE nov 20 to dic 10

Writer Paul Blanchard tells their remarkable story.

6pm, The British Institute of Florence, Library and Cultural Centre, Lungarno Guicciardini 9, tel. 055 26778270, admission free.

n NIGHTLIFE Ladies’ Night See Wed 25 Tuscan Buffet See Wed 25


n APERITIVO TF Real Social Network - Get in the spirit witha Free holiday aperitivo From 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Mama’s Bakey and The Florentine present the Grand Opening of Mama’s new loggia. Come get your free copy of The Florentine and toast the holiday season with us. Info tel. 055 2306616 info@ Mama’s Bakery, Via della Chiesa 34r.


Concert by Opera Polifonica directed by Raffaele Puccianti on occasion of the closing of the exhibition ‘I colori del Messico’Dec 10, Palagio di Parte Guelfa, tel. 055680487 Ludovico Einaudi - Piano solo Dec 10, Teatro Verdi, tel. 055212320, www. Marta sui Tubi (Sicilian Trio) Dec 10, Viper Theatre, tel. 3477985172

ON GOING n CINEMA 50 days of International Cinema in Florence Until Dec 17, Cinema Odeon, tel. 055214068 Lo schermo dell’arte. International retrospective on films in the contemporary arts Nov 23 to 26, Cinema Odeon, tel. 055208138, River to River - Florence Indian Film Festival (9th Edition) Dec 4 to 10, Cinema Odeon, tel. 055286929 3355743364,


Once upon a time ... Florence and Tuscany. Culture and politics in the Risorgimento (1821-1871) Until Dec 31, Biblioteca della Fondazione Spadolini Nuova Antologia, tel. 055687521, Splendour and Reason. Art in eighteenthcentury Florence Until Dec 13, Galleria degli Uffizi, tel. 05523885, Manipulating Reality. How images redefine the world Photography and video art exhibition Until Jan 17, 2010, Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina (CCCS), tel. 055277646106, Antinous After and Beyond: Coptic Egypt and works by Paola Crema until Jan 6, 2010, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, tel. 0552357767, www.archeotoscana. Zenith - a great equestrian sculpture by Mimmo Paladino Until Jan 31, 2010, Cortile degli Uomini, Istituto degli Innocenti, tel. 0552037331, www. The Cheerful Vitality of Porcelain by Betty Woodman Until Feb 15, 2010, Museo delle Porcellane, Palazzo Pitti, tel. 0552388709, Mario Sironi: between Futurism and Metaphysics Displayed for the first time in Italy - forty

What’s On & Where to Go operas by Mario Sironi from the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in London. Until Jan 7, 2010, Peccioli, Museo di Icone Russe “F. Bigazzi”, Sala Consiliare del Palazzo Pretorio Come lame di luce by Mario De Maio Until Dec 18, Otel Ristotheatre, tel. 055650791, Art and Illusions. Masterpieces of trompe l’oeil from antiquity to the present day Until Jan 24, 2010, Palazzo Strozzi, tel. 0552776461/06, Roberto Capucci: Apertura di un percorso di studio - new fittings Until Dec 31, Museo della Fondazione Roberto Cappucci, tel. 0552638599, www. An anthology of the present day - artistic works by Domenico Lo Russo Until Dec 31, Varart, tel. 055284265 The drawn landscape. John Constable and the English teachers in the Horne collection Until Jan 30, 2010, Museo Horne, tel. 055244661, Mark Lewis Until Nov 28, Museo Marino Marini, Piazza San Pancrazio, tel. 055219432,, opening hours: 10am to 5pm, closed Sundays and Tuesdays Julian Rosefeldt / Ian Tweedy Exhibition featuring two artists Until Dec 6, EX3: Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, Viale Giannotti 81/83/85, Firenze, tel. 0550114971,, email: info@ Paesaggi Instabili. Gli Uffizi in cantiere Photography exhibition by Raffaello Scatasta Until Dec 16, Mon to Sat, 3pm to 7pm, Fsmgallery, via S.Zanobi 19r, Firenze, tel 055280368 Florence 1829: Art, science and society Florence Science. Collections, places and personalities in the 19th century. Nov 1 to May 9, 2010, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, tel. 0552760340, Cesare Zavattini. A life between reality and utopia Documentary exhibition Until Dec 6, Archivio Contemporaneo “A. Bonsanti”, tel. 055288342 Make Art, Not War Exhibition of thirty Afghan women artists Until Nov 30, Galleria Medici, tel. 0552760340 Per non dormire. Michael Buthe, Max Klinger and Jutta Koether Two filmed performances, drawings, paintings Until Dec 13, Villa Romana, tel. 055221654, Calonaci. Città verticale I / L’Albero del Fuoco / Città di Terra / Porta d’Europa An exhibition on bronzes Until Jan 15, 2010, Palazzo Pitti, Cortile dell’Ammannati and other places: Piazza Pitti / Giardino di Boboli, tel. 0558249598 3392251430 Firenze Scienza: collections, places, people of the 1800s in Florence Until May 9, 2010, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, via Cavour 3, tel. 0552346760; For Palazzo Medici Riccardi, contact Sigma CSC at tel. 055243140, La Tribuna di Galileo e la Specola Fiorentina Florence Science. Collections, places and personalities in the 19th century Until May 9, 2010, Museo di Storia Naturale - Sezione di Zoologia ‘La Specola’, tel. 0552288251 Physics in Florence in the nineteenth century Florence Science. Collections, places and personalities in the 19th century Until May 9, 2010, Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, tel. 055265311, The didactics in the sciences of the eighteenth century Florence Science. Collections, places and personalities in the 19th century Until May 9, 2010, Fondazione Scienza e Tecnica, Gabinetto di Fisica, tel. 0552341157242241, Painting exhibition by Alessandro Poggianti Until Nov 23, Galleria Gruppo Donatello, tel. 055579207, gruppodonatello/index.htm

L’esercizio illegale dell’astronomia Nov 14 to Dec 23, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, tel. 05524919257, www.bncf.firenze. That inconstant object of desire. The imaginary of the female breast in the author’s photography Nov 19, 2009 to Jan 10, 2010, MNAF - Museo Nazionale Alinari della Fotografia, tel. 055216310, L’arma per l’arte. The aspects of the sacred - exhibition organized by the Comando Carabinieri on the fortieth anniversary of their activities to protect Italy’s cultural property Nov 21 to April 6, 2010, Galleria Palatina, Palazzo Pitti, tel. 0552388614, Solchi di Antico Mondo - painting exhibition by Chiara Silva Nov 21, 2009 to April 22, 2010, Palazzo Borghese, tel. 0552396293, Animani A journey into the imagination of Mario Mariotti Nov 28 to April 11, 2010, Istituto degli Innocenti Piazza della Santissima Annunziata 12, (Inauguration on Nov 28, 6pm), tel. 0552478386, Carlo Testi. Natura and its enigmas Dec 5, 2009 to Jan 30, 2010, Archivio di Stato, tel. 0557378736, http://www.archiviodistato. International Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Art Painting, sculpture, graphics, installations, photo and digital art Dec 5 to 13, Fortezza da Basso, tel. 0553249173, Specchi Teriomorfici - graphic works by Sisetta Zappone Nov 5 to Dec 10, Museo di Storia Naturale, Sez. Zoologia “La Specola”, tel. 0552346760, Innocente e calunniato - an exhibition by Federico Zuccari Dec 6, 2009 to Feb 28, 2010, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi, tel. 05523885 Chronicles of War by Phyllis Plattner The series of multiple panel oil and gold leaf paintings called Chronicles of War deals with two equally powerful but opposing forces which have been prevalent throughout human history: the drive toward warfare and violence on the one hand and the desire for beauty and harmony on the other. The warfare imagery in these paintings is derived from multicultural world art history as well as contemporary news photographs. The paintings bring together similar depictions from different sources, focusing on the repetition and ubiquity of such images rather than on the individual events themselves. The images of peace and innocence are also quoted from many areas of art history. A sense of harmony and beauty is communicated by the arrangement of the panels into shapes that echo renaissance altarpieces with their decorated gold leaf borders and spiritual calm. Though these paintings can be seen as political art, they are also meditations on the stunning contrasts within the human condition.

Until Dec 21, SACI, Via Sant’Antonino 11, Open weekdays 9am-7pm and Saturdays 1pm-7pm; From Dec 14 - 21 only weekdays from 9am-5pm; A lecture on the exhibit with the Author on Wednesday November 25 at SACI at 7:30. Info Creativity in colour Inaugural exhibition of the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum Until Dec 31, Museo Salvatore Ferravamo, tel. 0553360456-455, Federigo and the Angeli workshop. Palazzo Davanzati: Dream and Reality Until Jan 17, 2010, Museo di Palazzo Davanzati, tel. 0552388610, www.polomuseale. I Baccanali: Bacchus, Tabacco and the sculptures of Michele Niccolai Until Dec 25, Auditorium al Duomo, www., Il pianeta delle tempeste - contemporary art by Gianni Dorigo Until Jan 6, 2010, Galleria San Gallo Art Station, tel. 055671476 Julian Rosefeldt ‘American Night’ and Ian Tweedy ‘70 Zeppelins’ Exhibition, video installations Until Dec 6, EX3 Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, tel. 0550114971 Exhibit of Sentimental Art Exhibition by students from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze Until June 11, 2010, Caffè Storico Letterario Giubbe Rosse, tel. 055212280, Painting exhibition by Kiki Smith: The Outsider Project Until Nov 30, Galleria Alessandro Bagnai, tel. 0556802066, Progetto Symposion: The civilization of wine from the prehistoric era to today Until Jan 10, 2010, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, tel. 05523575 Robert Mapplethorpe. “Perfection in Form” Ninety images by the great photographer compared to the most emblematic of the Renaissance icons: Michelangelo’s David. Until Jan 10, 2010, Galleria dell’Accademia, tel. 0552388609, The shape of the book: from roll to codex (3rd cent. BC – 19th cent. AD) Until Jan 6, 2010 Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, piazza S Lorenzo 9; opening hours: Sun. – Fri. 9.30am – 1.30pm. Closed on Saturdays; Tickets: euro 6 (Basilica and Museum of S. Lorenzo, monumental area of the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Exhibition); euro 3 (monumental area of the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Exhibition); tel. 055290184, Ugo Nespolo: Novantiqua Until Jan 10, 2010, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, tel. 0552388606 Virtual Museum - contemporary art by Bruno Chersicla Until Nov 26, Palazzo Borghese, tel. 0552396293,

n GUIDED TOURS Baluardo a San Giorgio Last Sunday of every month, 9:30am to 12.30pm, tel. 0552616051, free admission Planetarium: meetings with the public All year (except July and Aug), Sundays at 3.30pm and 5pm, Planetarium, tel. 0552343723, Guided visits by Associazione Akropolis Dec 1, 4, 10, 12, 17, Florence, tel. 055461428, Open Studios - visits to artists’ studios Dec 1, 3, 5, 12, 16, 18, various places in Florence, tel. 0552776461 - 3488137701, www.

n LECTURES & CONFERENCES Reading group on new female writers in English Every Thursday from Nov 5 to Dec 3 at 5pm, Via dell’Agnolo 5, tel. 0557877258, www.

n MARKETS & FESTIVALS Ciompi Antique Fair Every weekday and the last Sunday of every month, Piazza de’ Ciompi, tel. 0553283550 Porcellino Market Florentine arts and crafts with straw, handmade embroidery, leather, woodwork and flowers Everyday, all day, Logge del Porcellino San Lorenzo Market Florentine arts and crafts, handmade embroidery, paper, leather and much more Everyday, all day, streets around Basilica San Lorenzo 9th Sounds and Tastes from oll over the world Festival Nov 22, 29, Fortezza da Basso, tel. 055580996, Florence Noël - Christmas Market Nov 28 to Dec 8, Stazione Leopolda, tel. 3474838142, German Christmas Market Dec 2 to 20, Piazza S.Croce, tel. 0552705233 – 335365966,

Life in Italy

n MUSIC & CONCERTS Organ and Instrumental Concerts All year, Mon to Sun at 9:15pm, Sat at 6pm, Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Ricci, via del Corso, tel. 055289367, tickets: €11 La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi Nov 21 & 28, Teatro Auditorium al Duomo, tel. 3283562380, Il Campanello Opera by Gaetano Donizetti, Orchestra of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Fabrizio M. Carminati conductor, directed by Jean-Louis Grinda Dec 5, 6, 22, 23, 24, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, tel. 0552779-350, Musica in Maschera. La Boheme by G.Puccini Dec 5, 23, 29, Teatro Auditorium al Duomo, tel. 3283562380,

n PARKS Boboli Gardens Nov to Feb, from 8:15am to 4:30pm (5:30pm during March), from April to Oct, from 8.15am to 6:30pm, Piazza Pitti, ticket: €8, tel. 0552651838

n SPORTS & ACTIVITIES Firenze Moms 4 Moms Network (in English) Various events including Playgroups, Mom’s Night Out, Couples’ Night Out and much more For English Speaking Moms in Florence and surrounding areas,,, tel. 3335728945

St. Mark’s Church of England Spoken mass: Sun 9am, Tues/Thurs 9.30am, Wed 10am, Fri 12.30am, Sunday 10.30am sung mass Via Maggio 16, tel. 055294764; Please check for any alterations to times and dates. Beato Angelico: Holy Masses of the Artists Dec 6, 13, 20, 27, Basilica di San Marco, tel. 0552679079, www.beatoangelicomedaglia. com Beato Angelico: Mondays’ concerts Dec 7, 14, 21, 28, Sala Chiostrini, tel. 0552679079 - 3398658376,

CHILDREN n EXHIBITS Artists or wizards? Weekend workshops for children aged 3 to 12 and adults Nov 21, 22, 28, 29, December 5 , 6 , 12 , 13 , 19 , 20 , 27 Palazzo Strozzi info: 055 2469600

n CULTURE The Children’s Lending Library of Florence An English speaking volunteer run non-profit Lending Library. Members have access to books, videos and dvds plus all library run activities. All year, Opening hours (from Sept to June) : Sundays 10am - 1pm , Mondays 11am - 12pm , Wednesdays 11am - 1.30pm and 4pm - 6pm, Via Rucellai 9, (located in St. James American church building), tel. 055577527 - 3283282757,,

n THEATRE (in Italian unless otherwise noted) n MUSIC & CONCERTS Semianyki - Russian mime and clown Theater Dec 3 to 6, Teatro Verdi, tel. 055212320, Disney Live: The most beautiful Disney fairy Nov 25 to 29, Nelson Mandela Forum, tel. 055678841,

n WINE Wine&FashionFlorence 2009 Meetings, tastings, fashion Dec 5 to 13, Galleria degli Uffizi, tel. 0559153879 - 055663996,

n WORKSHOPS Planetarium - workshops for schools All year (except July and Aug), Mon to Fri, 9.30am - 1.30am - 2pm - 3.30pm, Planetarium, tel. 0552343723,

UP COMING n DINNERS St. James Christmas Gala Dinner In collaboration with Friends of St. James This year’s Gala features spectacular music, a gourmet menu, guest speakers and an exciting live auction with amazing items.


Florence Gospel Fellowship (Evangelical) Sunday Service at 6.30 pm (Evangelical) Sunday service at 6.30 pm (Evangelical) Via de’ Benci 9. Tel. 335.1505784 www.fgfint. Jewish Synagogue Shabos: 8:45am Via Farini 4, tel. 055245252 San Miniato al Monte Mass at 12pm (with Italian Gregorian chants) Via delle Porte Sante, tel. 0552342731 Santa Maria del Fiore Mass in English on Saturdays at 5pm Piazza del Duomo, tel. 055294514 Santissima Annunziata Mass in English on Sundays 5pm Via Cesare Battisti 6, tel. 055266181 Shir Hadash Jewish reform/progressive congregation tel. 3486913059 - 3489362564 St. James American Church (Episcopalian) Sunday: Smaller service at 9am - Eucharistic service with sermon and music at 11am Via B. Rucellai 9, tel. 055294417; Please check for any alterations to times and dates.

Canto di Natale by Charles Dickens - theatre show for children directed by Alessio Ferruzzi Dec 5, 12, 19, 23, Teatro di Cestello, tel. 055294609,

n WORKSHOPS Sunday School (For children ages 4-10) Nov 22, 29, Dec 6, During the 11 o’clock service. To rgister your children or help contact St. James Church / Undercroft, via Rucellai 9, tel. 055.294417 Familiarize the Museum in 2009 workshops, games, animations, guided visits to explore the world of nature Nov 28, 29 and Dec 5, 12, 19, 26, 27, Museo di Storia Naturale - Sezione di Zoologia ‘La Specola’ and other places: Sezione di Geologia e Paleontologia Sezione di Antropologia e Etnologia Sezione Orto Botanico “Giardino dei semplici, tel. 0552346760,

n THEATRE (in Italian unless otherwise noted) Teatrino del Gallo Puppet theatre, Pupi Di Stac, cinema workshop, concerts, exhibition, conferences, meetings and talk shows All year with monthly planning, Limonaia del giardino della Libreria Libri Liberi, Via San Gallo 25r, Florence, tel. 3386024335, www. teatrinodelgallo.iT Kastanka’ - theatre show for children, directed by Olga Melnik Dec 5, Teatro il Palco, tel. 0556810496 Maga Maghella presents ‘La Pomata Fantasia’ - thetare show for children and families Dec 8, Teatro Reims, tel. 3663706626, www.

OUT OF TOWN n EXHIBITS Lo Stile dello Zar - The Style of the Zsar Until Jan 10, Museo del Tessuto, Via Santa Chiara 24, Prato,, The City of Uffizi. The Oratory of Santa Caterina all’Antella and its painters Never seen before artworks on show Sept 19 to Dec 31, Oratorio S.Caterina, Bagno a Ripoli, tel. 0556390356-7, After Utopia: a view on Brasilian contemporary art Collective exhibit of contemporary Brazilian artists

Unti Feb 14, 2010, 10am to 7pm, closed

Tuesadays; entrance price: 5 euro, reduced 4 euros; Centro Pecci, Viale della Repubblica 277, tel. 05745317, Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin wall Conferences, photographic exhibition and film retrospective Until Dec 3, Cinema Multisala Grotta and other places: Sala Pilade Biondi, Auditorium Calamandrei, Atrio Palazzo Comunale, Sesto Fiorentino, tel. 0554496219, www. Emozioni di Azzurri and Verdi - exhibition on the landscapes of Giacinto Orfanello Nov 21 to Dec 10, Fiesole Town Hall, Council Hall, tel. 055598720, www.comune.fiesole. Lo zoo di Pinocchio. Portraits of people and animals - designs by Filippo Sassòli Nov 28 to Dec 13, Fondazione Primo Conti, Fiesole, tel. 055598720, www.comune. La Città degli Uffizi. Never before seen words Until Dec 31, Oratorio S.Caterina, Bagno a Ripoli, tel. 0556390356, www.comune. Calenzano:Toyland. The charm of the vintage toys. Dec 8, 2009 to Jan 9, 2010, Centro, Calenzano, tel. 0558824512 – 055882041,

n MARKETS & FESTIVALS ALTER MUNDI 2009 Festival Multietnico Nov 20 to 22, Officina Giovani, Cantieri Culturali, Piazza Macelli 4, Prato, tel. 05741836753, www.cantiericulturali.prato. it; Free entrance Antica Fiera di Carmignano Various events including food products and artisanal products market, shows and meetings Nov 30 to Dec 8 Carmignano (Prato), Ass. Attività Produttive del Comune di Carmignano, tel. 0558750232 37th Extra virgin new olive oil festival Dec 5, 6, 7, 8, Indoor Stadium, Reggello, tel. 0558669231/2, Olio Sapiens. New olive oil festival Dec 5 to 8, Piazza Matteotti and other places: Council Town Hall, tel. 0558050824, Tuscany Food Products Fair Dec 5 to 8, Lastra a Signa, historical centre, tel. 0558725770, Antique and collector’s market Dec 6, 20, historical centre, Scarperia, tel. 0558468165, Antique and flea market Dec 6, Piazza Vittorio Veneto, Sesto Fiorentino, tel. 0554496357, Antique and handicraft market Dec 6, Piazza Boccaccio and Via 2 giugno, Certaldo, tel. 0571661276, www.comune. Aprilante market Dec 6, Panzano in Chianti, tel. 0558545271, Christmas market Dec 6, 8, 13, 20, historical centre, Palazzuolo, tel. 0558046125, Extraordinary Christmas Market Dec 6, Piazza 6 Marzo, Vicchio, tel. 0558439225, Isabella de’ Medici and Chianti wine Musicians and flag-wavers show and Chianti wine tastings Dec 6, Cerreto Guidi, historical centre, tel. 057155671, Mediterranean tastes: bread, wine, new olive oil Includes handicrafts, antique and hobby crafts market Dec 6, 7, 8, Piazza Buondelmonti and other places: Loggiati del Pellegrino, Impruneta, tel. 0552036627 - 0552313729, www. Wine and oil tasting at the museum Dec 6, S.Pietro in Bossolo Museum of Holy Art, Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, tel. 0558050824 -


Thursday 19 November 2009

Events in FLORENCE nov 20 to dic 10

0558077832, Christmas markets and steam engine train Dec 6, 13, 20, hstorical centre, Marradi, tel. 0558045170, Extraordinary market and local products in the town centre Dec 6, istorical centre and other places: Piazza Gramsci, Montaione, tel. 0571699254, www. Christmas events and solidarity Dec 8 to Jan 6, 2010, historical centre, Celenzano, tel. 0558833262, Christmas market Dec 8, Piazza Marsilio Ficino, Figline Valdarno, tel. 055951569, Exhibition of the Navity representations Dec 8, 2009 to Jan 6, 2010, historical centre, Palazzuolo, tel. 0558046125, Feast of St. Lucy and Christmas Dec 8, 2009 to Jan 6, 2010, Tavernelle centre, tel. 0558077832 - 0558050822, Handicraft market Dec 8, Fucecchio, tel. 0571242717, www. Handicraft markets in the medieval village Dec 8, Montefioralle, tel. 0558546299, www. Handicraft and second-hand goods fair Dec 8, historical centre, Lastra a Signa, tel. 0558725770, Christmas Market Dec 5, 6, 7, 8, historical centre and other places: Piazza dell’Unione Europea, Montelupo Fiorentino, tel. 0571518993, www.comune.

n SPORTS & ACTIVITIES Foot race on the Reggello hills Dec 8, Municipal Stadium, Reggello, tel. 0558669231-2,

IN TUSCANY n EXHIBITS Il Nuovo dopo la Macchia: the origins and success of Tuscan Naturalism Until Jan 18, Terme Tamerici, Montecatini Terme (Pistoia) www.macchiaioli-montecatini. com Man Ray: the Fifty Faces of Juliet 1941-1955 Until Dec 6, Lu.C.C.A. Lucca Center of Contemporary Art, Via della Fratta 36, Lucca, www. Arte/Natura - Natura/Arte. Landscapes and contemporary art in Tuscany Until Nov 29, via Santa 5 Palazzo Fabroni (Pistoia), entrance 5/7€ info tel. 0573 371296 371817, Chagall and the Mediterranean Oct 9 to 17 Jan 2010, BLU palazzo d’arte e Cultura, Lungardno Gambacorti 9, Pisa, Opening hours: Tue to Sun 10/19, 8€. www.chagallpisa. it Federico Barocci (1535-1612). The enchantment of color. A lesson for two centuries Until Jan 10, Complesso Museale Santa Maria della Scala, Siena, tel. 0577224811-224835; LUCCAdigitalPHOTOfest 2009 Nov 14 to Dec 8, Lucca and various places,

book it now and more at


Life in Italy

Thursday 19 November 2009 Through ‘Italian Sketches’, readers will enjoy a brief ‘meeting’ with some of the men and women from all walks of life who have changed the face of Italy.


Amedeo Modigliani The ‘cursed’ painter


n the summer of 1984, Livorno, the port town on the Tuscan coast, was the site of one of the biggest hoaxes in the history of Italian art. The Museo Progressivo di Arte Moderna was planning to celebrate the centenary of the birth of one of the city’s most famous native sons, the artist, Amedeo Modigliani, with an exhibition of his sculptures. In search of new pieces, the curator of the museum, Vera Durbè, and her brother, Dario Durbè, the superintendent of the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Rome, decided to dredge the Fosso Mediceo, a canal where Modigliani was thought to have thrown some of his sculptures before he left Livorno for Paris in 1909. After eight days of digging, first one and then two other sculpted heads were found. The Durbè’s and other eminent experts promptly declared their authenticity. However, just before the heads were due to be exhibited, four university students revealed to the press that as a prank they had sculpted one of the heads with an electric drill and, in the dead of night, had thrown it into the canal. Then a dockworker and would-be artist confessed that he had sculpted two heads and dumped them into the canal. Seeing members of the often selfimportant and aloof art establishment in such a highly embarrassing position was the cause of much mirth throughout Italy. However, in the 20 days before the frauds were revealed,

by Deirdre Pirro

the sculptures had attracted more than 50,000 people from all over Italy to Livorno. With journalists and TV crews coming from the United States and Japan, renewed interest was sparked in Modigliani worldwide. Born into a Sephardic Jewish family in Livorno on July 12, 1884, Amedeo Clemente Modigliani, nicknamed Dedo or Modì, was a sickly child who, in 1895, contracted pleurisy and later typhoid. During his illness he discovered he wanted to be a painter. While working in the studio of Guglielmo Micheli (1866–1926) he met Giovanni Fattori (1828–1905) of the Macchiaioli school, who was later his teacher at art school in Florence. Studying in Venice from 1903 until 1905, Modigliani not only came into contact with modern art but also indulged in heavy drinking and drugs. In 1906, he moved to Paris, then the centre of the avant-garde. In 1909, after a brief visit to Livorno, he returned to Paris, renting a studio in Montparnasse. After meeting Constantin Brancusi, he began concentrating on sculpting, creating totem- or mask-like busts with egg-shaped heads, swan-like necks, pursed lips, long noses and almondshaped eyes. Although he exhibited several pieces at the Salon d’Automne of 1912, the dust from the stone and

wood he used in his sculptures badly affected his already ailing lungs. Forced to abandon sculpting, Modigilani returned to painting. Transferring his unique sculptural style onto his canvases, he turned out about 400 paintings, mostly portraits, often of his fellow artists Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau and Maurice Utrillo, his carousing crony. He painted with incredible speed, requiring only one or two sittings to complete each work, which he never retouched. He mixed elements of abstract art with aspects of African and Asian art in an extraordinary and highly individual way. His nudes reflect even greater intensity and sensuality. In fact, the police were so scandalised by the nudes in his first exhibition at the Berthe Weill Gallery in 1917 that they shut down the show. A short, proud, handsome man, Mondigliani loved women and they loved him. Although he had many brief, tumultuous affairs, one of his longest, from 1914 until 1916, was with Beatrice Hastings (1879–1943), a British journalist. However, his final and most serious relationship was with Jeanne Hébuterne, his model, whom he met in 1916. In 1918, with the war encroaching on Paris, his dealer Leopold Zborowski decided to decamp with Modigliani and some of his other artists to the south

of France. There Zborowski hoped, in vain, to sell some of Modigliani’s works to rich tourists. While there, Modigliani painted some of his best pictures. By the time Modigliani returned to Paris in 1919, with Hébuterne and their infant daughter, his health was deteriorating rapidly. He was penniless, as it was not unusual for him to sell his paintings for the price of a few drinks. Ravaged by dissipation, he died of tuberculosis, aged 35, at the Hópital de la Charité in Paris on January 24, 1920. Although Modigliani was not yet famous, a large crowd of painters, models and friends from his drinking days and nights in Montmartre and Montparnasse attended his funeral and accompanied him to his final resting place at the Père Lachaise cemetery. Heavily pregnant with their second child, Hébuterne, committed suicide the day after his death, throwing herself out of a fifth-floor window at her parents’ home. Their surviving daughter, Jeanne (1918–1984), then 20 months, was adopted by Modigliani’s sister and grew up in Tuscany. As an adult she became an expert in the authentication of her father’s works (his paintings are amongst the most widely copied of any artist) and she wrote his biography. At the time of the controversy surrounding the three heads excavated in Livorno, Jeanne Modigliani mysteriously fell to her death in Paris. But that is another story… For information on La Casa Natale Amedeo Modigliani (via Roma, 38, Livorno), contact Associazione Casa Natale Amedeo Modigliani Centro di documentazione: call 058/6808518; fax 058/6813514; or e-mail info@guastallacentroarte. com. The museum is currently closed due to a familial dispute.

Deirdre Pirro, author of Italian Sketches: The Faces of Modern Italy published by The Florentine Press, is an international lawyer who lives and works in Florence. Apart from the law, her interests include modern Italian history and the history of gastronomy. She can be contacted at

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Life in Italy

Thursday 19 November 2009

TF EVENTS Revealing Invisible Women


F had a great time with the launch of Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists in Florence. The weekend kicked off with an elegant presentation at the Uffizi Library—the room was packed as Jane Fortune passionately described her ‘quest’ to bring works by women artists in Florence to light, and her ultimate goal to see a space dedicated entirely to them. Cristina Acidini graciously spoke of the importance of the project and her desire to see more atten-



Florence’s stylish side


ike any city, Florence has many faces. Barbara Milo Ohrbach’s latest book, Dreaming of Florence, celebrates its chicest side. Beginning with a brief history of the city, Dreaming floats into museums, gardens, excursions, restaurants and more. An interesting selection of photographs by Ovidio Guaita give an elegant format to the Rizzoli publication, which is part insider’s guide to the most stylish Florentine locales, part daydream for all who love the city. ‘Florentine Notes’ highlight unique spots and give helpful travel hints on topics including Travelling with Children, Restaurants Open on Sundays, and Chic Italian Outlet Shopping. Be sure and check out page 39 where Ohrbach graciously mentions The Florentine, urging visitors to take advantage of the paper for its up-to-date and helpful information.

Dreaming of Florence: Where to Find the Best There Is Barbara Milo Ohrbach - Rizzoli, New York 45 euro Paperback Exchange is offering a 15% discount on Dreaming until November 30. They also offer 15% off with the special bookmark.

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Business not flying as high as you'd like? tion given to these artists. Saturday morning we headed to Paperback Exchange for a lively brunch and a talk by Jane. The shop was packed and Jane had them lining up to get their signed copy. The BM Bookshop hosted an afternoon tea and book signing—the cozy atmosphere was perfect for those who wanted a few minutes to chat with Jane while she signed away. Our special thanks goes out to everyone who helped make the weekend such a success, especially Cristina Acidini, Claudio Di Benedetto, Emily and Maurizio at Papex and the BM ladies.

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Life in Italy

Thursday 19 November 2009

EXPATS>inFlorence different>Paths same>Destination

Zachary Androus Balancing anthropology and jewelry making by Melinda Gallo Florence is home to many expats: those who have longed to live here, those who have found love and moved here, and those who have come to Florence and felt immediately at home here. Many people arrive here at a point in their lives when they seek to redefine themselves: whether they were not completely happy, were searching for something new, or were looking for love, it seems that those who come to Florence are reborn. Florence will always be the ‘cradle of the Renaissance’ for the art world, but it also welcomes people of all walks of life who are seeking to follow their hearts.


orn and raised in Alexandria, Virginia, by Greek parents, Zachary Androus imagined that if he were to leave the United States to live in a foreign country, he would go to Greece, not Italy. While studying for his PhD in medical anthropology at the American University in Washington D.C., Zachary went to Padova for an international conference on anthropology where he met Noel, the Italian woman who would become his wife. After maintaining a long-distance relationship for

over a year, Zachary moved to Florence, where Noel was working as a full-time anthropologist and completing her dissertation in anthropology. Zachary has been balancing his artisan career and his academic one for years. Before coming to Florence, even while teaching classes in anthropology and working on his PhD, he still found the time to make jewelry on the side. He has been working in the jewelry business for the last eighteen years, and has been making jewelry since 1997. He even worked for a goldsmith for two years to master the numerous techniques necessary to design and create jewelry. With a small work area in his home, Zachary sold much of the jewelry he made at craft fairs as well as high-end jewelry fairs. Upon arriving in Florence, Zachary shifted the focus to his artisan career. Now he is a full-time orafo, goldsmith, and a part-time anthropologist. He teaches a variety of social science courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Florence, focusing on clothing in non-Western society as well as intercultural communication. Zachary also continues to write articles about medical anthropology and takes his research to conferences around the world.

‘Florence is a great city to be any kind of artisan,’ Zachary says, explaining that Italians not only understand the importance of these creative professions, but that they have a great respect for them as well. In his workshop in San Niccolò, an artisan center of Florence, Zachary designs jewelry and fabricates custom pieces in silver and gold, sometimes incorporating natural gemstones. As a way of giving back to his art, he teaches jewelry making. He offers specialized and personalized one-on-one courses <> for people interested in learning the basics of jewelry as well as those wanting to refine their jewelry-making skills. He teaches a three-day course, allowing people to have a taste of jewelry design from beginning to end. Upon completing the course, students will have designed and created a piece of jewelry for themselves. Zachary enjoys living in Florence, a city that offers him a great quality of life. He believes that being a student of anthropology has helped him to adjust more easily to life in Italy. Because of his extensive knowledge of cultural anthropology, he has integrated himself into society by learning the language and trying all that is Italian, including food, finding it fascinating to try to understand how the locals approach life. Many people make a choice between two different career paths, but Zachary has been fortunate to be able to balance them both. Even though he still considers himself first and foremost a social scientist, his goldsmith career has certainly taken off since his arrival in Florence. Melinda Gallo, a writer and web developer who has been living in Florence for over six years. In her blog, Living in Florence (, she recounts her life in a city that she loves and appreciates more every day.


Life in Italy

Thursday 19 November 2009

Culture & CUSTOMS il fatto bello della settimana moments from everyday Italy

A duel by Linda Falcone


assimo has nervous legs and a mind that keeps the future up at night. Find his face in the crowd and you’ll know him—his eyes always follow, his mouth often leads. Mothers and nuns know to avoid him and schoolteachers sense his crimes before any redhandedness actually happens. Though 42, the man is still the naughtiest boy in the class. Too smart for his own good—or for anyone’s good—he is quick enough to climb beyond most pointless squabbles. Which is why the fights he picks are, well, very much picked. I rent office space from his fre- town’s best tailor: the Rock-thrower, quently absent boss because work the Fairy-tale-teller, the Recordis far better with some public pass- player and the Flirty lady-cat who ing through. And he likes me with pretends to play dead. Two words a brand of attraction that is both and he had them. Two words to wade instinctive and grossly premeditated. I through ‘til they soaked you to the am the girl with the boing-boing curls. core. ‘Stop it!’ I jolted, as if he’d dipped Disbelief is a bobbing bow in my hair. He’s grateful for that at times: naugh- my self-righteous braids into the inktiest comes to naught without some- well. ‘Why?’ he asked, one to shock. So, withquite satisfied with my out much choice in the He wasted no frown. Massimo likes matter, I succumb: the studying face lines, the man is a word-spender time stirring same way you and I and words are my curwatching windy rency. Like it or not, he mischief stew, just like children chase waves recognized this immeon the beach. diately and wasted no to get a bubble Well, because nametime stirring up miscalling is mean. But chief stew, just to get out of me. answers like that are some bubbling out of far too reformatory, me. Yesterday morning, because I was so I left my protests in my pocket and off-guard and laughing at his imita- changed tune. ‘What compound word tion of the country’s prime minister, goes with you?’ I demanded. ‘Ah,’ he shrugged, equally enterMassimo began announcing his poor calendar of clients with spell-binding, tained. ‘No child can ever name himself.’ ‘Okay,’ I conceded. ‘What’s mine, inimitable accuracy. Like a whispering judge with a very loud gavel, he then?’ He thought and produced a named them, pounding their faults on the table with labels that some- wicked smile. Unlike mine, his thinkhow bruised me. Il Tirasassi, la Con- ing generates immediate results. ‘Fictafiabe, il Giradischi and la Gatta canaso?’ He said the name as a quesmorta. His despicable tongue cut tion and I took it as a dare. ‘Nosy?’ I stared, wearing disbelief these people apart and stitched them back together in a voice just loud again. ‘You’ve got to be joking. Any enough for near ears. Massimo’s ver- more reserved and I’d be underground.’ ‘Yes. But busybodies almost never bal sewing has the tightness of the

reveal themselves. You make your living by knowing all about us.’ My silence served him victory. ‘Vedi che ho ragione,’ he goaded. ‘You see that I am right.’ Right. The article starts here, actually. I was turned completely inside out at the unfair exactness of his accusation. A zillion offences at bay in this world and he chose precisely the one that bent me backwards to see it. I do make my living by eavesdropping into the Italian mind-set. Quite true. Which is precisely why the conversation suddenly took the turn that it did. At the time, his rightness smacked me. What strikes me even now, as I write our exchange, is the three minutes it just took to translate the phrase ‘Vedi che ho ragione’. When Italians tell you they’re right, they actually say ‘I have reason,’ and this enthralling habit cannot help but tickle the mind-buds the same way it teases the tongue. Italians appeal to Reason to prove their disputed points; the mere mention of the principle lends loftiness to the most trenched-in arguments. Either that, or ragione is simply the voice of justification: ‘I have my reasons for saying this, and that alone makes it right.’ Justice is a personal system of weights and balances, rightness is a well-justified argument. ‘Just because you have reason, does not make you right,’ I said. In English, it makes perfect sense. In Italian, unfortunately, that repetitive sentence sounds

your in-progress dictionary of the florentine dialect

by Francesco Stefanelli

Thanks to Vieri Wiechmann for sending us some of his favorite Florentinisms. Cantonata: Street corner. However, the idiomatic expression ‘prendere una cantonata’ means to make a mistake. Example: L’ha preso una cantonata di nulla! (He really messed that up good!) Sèmelle: A specific type of roll that used to be very common in Florence; you can still find sèmelle in some bakeries. The idiomatic expression ‘mangiare pane e sèmelle’ means to be so broke that you can’t afford anything to eat except bread and rolls. Stiacciata/schiacciata: Most people know that schiacciata is Florence’s brand of focaccia, but to ‘levare i’ fumo alle stiacciate’ (literally to take the steam off the schiacciata) means to be furbo (sly or cunning). Example: Io alla tua età levavo i’ fumo alle stiacciate! (At your age I was slick as anything!)

THIS COLUMN IS INTERACTIVE What are your favorite Florentinisms? Write to with your top picks, including definitions. Be a co-author!

like a ludicrous riddle. Language is a jester poking fun at the court. ‘What are you saying?’ he argued. ‘You get nervous and you loose all logic.’ That, incidentally, is quite true, too. Generally. ‘I’m not nervous,’ I fumed. ‘Just mad.’ ‘I’ve never known a woman who could separate the two.’ Oh. You’re in trouble. You are so in trouble. ‘Massimo,’ I started, ‘just wait. I’m going to cook you up and serve you over someone else’s breakfast.’ He laughed. ‘Does that mean I should consider myself publishable?’ ‘Oh, yes. Two words against 850.’ ‘And who decides who wins?’ he asked, intrigued as always with verbal duel. ‘I don’t want to win,’ I told him. ‘I just want to say it.’ Sometimes, having reason is reason enough. Teacher by profession and writer by necessity, Linda Falcone is celebrating her fifteenth year of Italian living. Author of Italians Dance and I’m a Wallflower and If They Are Roses, she delights in experimenting with both poetry and prose. Only the grocery list should never be written.


Life in Italy

Thursday 19 November 2009

Style & THE CITY

The perfect look: What to wear for an Italian-American dinner party

by Enrica Guidato

Dear Enrica, I have a dinner party coming up with a mix of American and Italian students ranging in age from 20 to 28 years old. I know what to wear for a dinner party with Americans, but I get somewhat self-conscious about what to wear and what not to wear when there are Italian men involved. I am average height and have some curves but my torso is a bit long and I have a small chest. Depending on what I wear and how I style my hair, I tend to look younger that I really am. I don’t want to dress like a nun but don’t want to look like ‘too sexy’, either. Would it be weird if I chose a dress shirt with black slacks? I like wearing high heels on formal occasions, but this seems more semi-formal, so would it be too casual if I wear flats? What kind of shoes should I go for that won’t kill my feet on my way to and from the dinner party? Lastly, it has been pretty cold at night, so what sort of jacket should I wear over my outfit that won’t make me look like a square box? Thank you! Sofia Dear Sofia, Thank you for your email; your issue is a very interesting one. The first and most important thing to consider is that when talking about fashion we have to differentiate between looking good, being well put-together, and being trendy. It is interesting that the Latin term elegantia comes from the verb eligere, which means ‘the ability to choose’. Through a meticulous combination of items, we can always choose the best look for certain occasions. For a dinner party with no dancing involved, I would definitely suggest long sleeves. If you wear a skirt, you’ll need stockings—it’s coming on

winter, after all, and there is no reason to go around half-naked. Avoid cotton and linen and very bright colors, especially if you have pale skin. In light of your body shape, you could wear a blouse or a dress with a bow collar or ruffles in the chest area, which will make you look bigger. If you are not into frills, then go for a simple boat neck, which is very chic and gives the same result. Avoid plunging necklines, v-necks and empire waist cuts. The top or dress can be a soft pastel tone—grey or purple, ivory-white or powder pink (just the top)—embellished with beads or embroidery.

Emphasize your waistline with a blouse tucked into pants (or a skirt), or a tiny belt on your dress; this will ‘break the figure’ and highlight your small waist while accentuating your hips. An elegant fitted sweater would also work, as the softness of the wool can give volume to the silhouette. If you choose pants, go for a classic ‘man-style’ with straight legs and a nice waistband (avoid skinny pants or leggings). A skirt should be a simple pencil skirt that hits just above the knee (no minis). If you pair a skirt with a minimal top, you can dare a bit with some ruffles or pleats. You can never go wrong with black, but you

could also experiment with a dark British plaid, which is very trendy this fall. As for shoes, if you go for a nice top and elegant classic skirt or pants, then black ballerinas are perfect. For a more feminine touch, the right heels would be ankle lace-up boots with a round toe and medium wide heel. Remember to bring along a warm wool short coat (if it is too loose you can add a nice big belt), a small evening bag and all your self-confidence and natural ‘charme’. Remember: there are as many different styles as there are people on this planet. We are each unique and should embrace the seasonal trends while staying faithful to our own personal style. Have fun! Enrica Enrica Guidato, a fashion designer, is a professor at Lorenzo de’ Medici and the Santa Reparata International School of Art, where she is the head of the fashion department. She believes that as we are all different-with diverse tastes, shapes and sizes-what we wear should respect our identity, enhance our strengths and make us feel confident each and every day. You can reach her at

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Life in Italy

Thursday 19 November 2009


The GOOD and the BAD The good news is very good, indeed, with a pan-Europe initiative to reduce waste, a local market where the ‘goods’ are good ideas for re-using what you have, and a local website to ‘freecycle’ items: EUROPEAN WEEK FOR WASTE REDUCTION November 21–29 Be inspired by this Europe-wide initiative aimed at companies and individuals to reduce the amount of stuff thrown away. See the general website ( and one specifically for Italy ( both sites are jammed with practical ideas to cut waste. The suggestions (mainly just good old-fashioned common sense) include avoiding products with unnecessary packaging, not buying disposable goods, buying products in containers that can be refilled (liquid soap and detergent, for example) and using storage tubs in the fridge instead of consuming reams and reams of cling film and aluminium foil. Why not stop using disposable paper napkins, for example? Cheap washable cloth napkins can be found in the kitchenware section at the supermarket. Very green and very bella figura when you have guests to dinner. WWF GREEN DAYS IN FLORENCECOUNTDOWN 2010 EXHIBITION November 25-27 Fortezza da Basso, Sala Scherma This exhibition is all about the challenges we face to conserve bio-diversity both on a local and global level. Countdown 2010 is organised by the Regione Toscana, the Italian Environment Ministry and WWF Italia. For a detailed program of events, go to MERCATO DEL RICICLO E DEL RIUSO (recycle and re-use market) November 29 and December 6, from 9am, Piazza Santo Spirito Have you heard Jack Johnson’s The 3 Rs? Musically, it’s not his best, but reduce, re-use, recycle is nonetheless a fine sentiment. In that spirit, on Sunday, November 29, and again on Sunday, December 6, Piazza Santo Spirito will be lined with stalls offering free

Now for the bad news (I know, I know, you’re supposed to leave the best till last, not the worst).

creative workshops and ideas on how to transform ‘rubbish’ into useful objects. Among the local associations present will be Riciclaggio e Solidarietà Firenze, a group that has been promoting ‘anti-waste culture’ in Florence since 1987. The market will be held once more in the spring of 2010. BORSA DEL RICICLAGGIO (RECYCLING EXCHANGE) Quadrifoglio set up Borsa del Riciclaggio ( to encourage people to pass on their used or unwanted things rather than throw them out and have them end up as landfill. Some items are offered for free (regalo) and other are for sale (vendita). Right now, among the free items is a CD player, a push-chair and a TV. If eBay leaves you feeling flummoxed but your stuff is too good to be carted off to the dump, then put a notice on the web site. It’s easy to use and everything is local. ALL ABOARD Here’s a good reason to leave the car at home and take the bus: ATAF plans to issue a new Carta Agile ticket for €30, good for 35 bus rides. Each 90 minutes of travel costs just 86 cents, rather than €1 as it does with the other Carte Agile, or €1,20 with a single ticket. You can’t buy the card just yet, but be patient and rest assured that when it is available, several will suddenly come along at once.

The bad news comes from Legambiente’s annual report, Ecosistema Urbano, a collaborative project with the Istituto di ricerche Ambiente Italia and Sole 24 Ore newspaper. The report looks into the eco-credentials of 103 Italian cities and then ranks them. Most of Tuscany’s major towns have sadly slipped down the chart, including Siena, which last year was the region’s Green Queen, in second place; this year it’s fallen to fifth. Florence, on the other hand, has slipped 23 places to an embarrassing 38th. The report analyses a wide range of environmental factors, which can be broadly classified into three macrogroups. First is the impact of the local population in terms of water, electricity and petrol consumption, waste production and the number of cars and motorbikes on the roads. Second is the quality of the local environment, such as levels of smog and the number of green areas in the city. Third is an analysis of green public policy, such as recycling, public transport, pedestrian areas, cycle paths and renewable energy. Florence has scored badly for a number of reasons, not least of which is its level of air pollution. The city is also in 88th place for the amount of rubbish produced (709.3 kg per person per year) and a shocking 90th place for the amount of electricity used per household. Cecilia Armellini, director of Legambiente Toscana’s Energy Group, also says that the city needs to use more renewable sources of energy and depend less on fossil fuels. However, several positive notes have also emerged from the report.

An English-speaking community for people living in, traveling to, or studying in Italy.

by Melissa Morozzo For example, Florence does very well nationally in terms of the demand and supply of public transport (5th and 7th place respectively), although that may leave many people wondering how bad the transport systems must be everywhere else. Florence is also in 7th place for the number of cars on the roads (only 55 cars per 100 inhabitants) and 6th place for its public parks (largely for the Cascine). For a more detailed review of the report, go to www.legambiente. eu/campagne/ecosistemaUrbano/ index. What do you think the City of Florence needs to do to boost its green credentials? Send your ideas to

Melissa Morozzo has been living in Tuscany for eight years and can just about use the Italian subjunctive. Se io fossi in te, andrei a leggere il suo blog:


Life in Italy

Thursday 19 November 2009


Discovering Santa Reparata Exploring a major archaeological treasure


or some, the stairs down to the crypt extended the visit to Florence’s cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore. For others, it led to information about other sites in the city. The low ceiling and musky smell was enough to turn others away. But for Brett Hurley, a tourist, the crypt was the beginning of a learning process. ‘My father had mentioned it,’ Hurley said. ‘It’s amazing…the general archaeology, the general findings, the mosaics. I didn’t expect everything to be mostly intact.’ Hurley is referring to the remains of the cathedral of Santa Reparata. The church was built in Florence between the fourth and fifth centuries, soon after Christianity was accepted as the official religion of the Roman Empire. The cathedral underwent several renovations before its destruction in the thirteenth century, when Florence, a rapidly growing city, desired a cathedral that compared to the large and beautiful ones of its neighbors, Siena and Pisa. As a result, Santa Reparata became the foundations of the new cathedral that today still attracts thousands of visitors each year. For centuries the remnants of the old Santa Reparata basilica were lost. But in 1965, excavations under the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore led to one of the most important archaeological discoveries in Florentine history.

The archaeologists found traces of ancient Florence’s second Christian church, which had been built outside the city walls. The Roman architecture, mosaic floors, decorations and artifacts provided a wealth of information, particularly about ancient Roman architecture in Florence. The cathedral was small and basic. It originally had three naves, three apses (one semicircular in the center and two on the side), and 14 pairs of columns. Santa Reparata, in its nearly 1,000 years, had endured wars and changes of rulers, all of which resulted in expansion and renovation that changed its appearance over time. The layers of the old church, dating from Roman Empire through the Renaissance can be identified in the various co-exisiting levels, something few other places in present-day Florence offer scholars and visitors. The mosaic floors are from the fourth century art, while marble intarsia pavements (a mix of marble, brick and stone) indicate

by Noelia de la Cruz features added much later. The artifacts, which range from Constantine coins to medieval buckles, also provide examples of the length of Santa Reparata’s existence and its many transformations. The excavations yielded several tombstones, including those of bishops, members of noble families and Filippo Brunelleschi, the renowned Renaissance architect who designed the dome of the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. ‘The Body of a Man of Great Genius,’ is inscribed on his tomb. It is placed next to the Santa Reparata excavation site, near the souvenir shop, close to where his tomb was originally found. (Admission to see his tomb is free.) Who was Santa Reparata? The details of her life and legend, are, as is the case with many saints, a little fuzzy. Before Christianity became an accepted religion in the Roman Empire, most emperors were tolerant of Christians as long as they honored either the emperors themselves or pagan gods. It is believed that Santa Reparata, a young girl, refused to do so and was persecuted, abused and killed for her disobedience. Reparata became a saint, virgin and martyr for Christians. The cathedral was dedicated to her as a token of appreciation for her faith but mainly for a victory won over invading tribes on her feast day. The labor of the eight-year ex-

cavation is apparent, and the site today is beautifully restored. Some of the components of the exhibition, such as the columns and seats by the altar, were added to create a more accurate depiction of what the inside of the basilica looked like. Several pathways and small bridges guide visitors around the site to the mosaics, Roman infrastructure, artifacts and altar. Small-scale architectural models illustrate the old cathedral’s original set-up. The dim lights and different smell give the space a bit of an eerie feeling. But as you walk around you will begin to feel, for a few minutes, as if you’ve been transported back through time. A few hints of this past appear as you walk around Florence. The downward slope of via Elisabetta near the Piazza della Signoria indicates the presence of a Roman theater below, while gold rings on some streets indicate where Roman bell towers used to stand. But the extensive collection and range of material in Santa Reparata is incomparable. Because of the Duomo’s intricate exterior design, impressive interior design and view from the top, many forget to explore what lies beneath. Yet what’s there provides a window into a history that paved the way to the Florence we have today. Santa Reparata becomes another way for anyone, from archaeologists to students and visitors, to use the past to understand what they see in Florence in the present. Santa Reparata is open Monday to Saturday 9:30 to noon and 1:30 to 5. Admission: 3 euro. For a more detailed description of the excavations, read Guido Morozzi’s personal account and findings in Santa Reparata: The Ancient Cathedral of Florence.

Noelia de la Cruz is a junior magazine journalism major at Syracuse University.

Thanksgiving day. Home away from home.


Il giorno del Ringraziamento - un pranzo, una cena - la riscoperta di una tradizione americana attraverso il gusto. L’INCONTRO BAR AND RESTAURANT Piazza della Repubblica, 7 50123 Firenze Italy T 055 27 35 1 - F 055 27 35 88 8


Life in Italy

Thursday 19 November 2009

Food & WINE

Living the local cuisine







Olive fritte (fried olives)

Olio nuovo

Using the sweeter and meatier more rounded black olive (which you can find now at the markets around Florence), wash the olives, then plunge them into a large pot of boiling water and drain immediately. Heat up some good extra virgin olive oil in a pan with a couple of whole cloves of garlic and a chilli pepper. Cook the olives slowly in the oil until they have lost all of their water. Some of the skins will pop, this is fine. Drain, salt well and eat while still warm.

FROM THE TREE TO THE TABLE After picking the olives that are gathered either by hand or by mechanical means, there is a five-step process to making extra-virgin olive oil and virgin olive oils. Step 1 WASHING Water jets on conveyor belts remove large particles of earth and foreign bodies, followed by the removal of olive leaves and small un-ripened fruit.

by Rachel Priestleyy


inally! A real Italian invitation to go olive picking—to experience picking olives in the countryside followed by a long Italian lunch. I called my host, Giacomo, only three times on my way to ask for more precise directions (and turned the car around twice without telling). After arriving at Giacomo’s country house, I was taken straight to the olive orchards at the back of the house. There I met Francesca, who thrust what could only be described as a giant-size plastic comb into my palm. When I gave her a questioning look she said, ‘Ah, have you never done the raccolta before? No? OK, think of when we were kids and combed our doll’s hair; you grab the branch, pull down and comb. The olives fall out like knots and the leaves remain: it’s as though you have given your bambola a nice hairdo.’ It turned out to be fantastic fun, and hard physical work. My arms are still aching, happily. The nets were down around the trees to catch and hold the olives that we had combed from the branches. Once finished, we carefully collected all the olives from the nets and poured them into the cestini (baskets). Before that could be done, however, each of the more mature trees needed a person to climb it and comb and cajole the olives from the higher hard-to-reach branches and into the net below. It was great fun: I haven’t climbed a tree in forever and it was heavenly. We were called from the fields to stop the raccolta at around 2pm, with a rousing, ‘Basta, a tavola!’ Nine of us had managed to fill six cestini di olive, which were put in the shed where they would later be joined by other baskets filled by other family members. Once Giacomo’s family has finished the raccolta they will take all of their olives down to their local frantoio (olive press). Giacomo’s family fields have about 120 trees that produce approximately 75 to 80 kg of extra-virgin cold pressed oil every year for home consumption. Plenty, he says, since there are four of them in the family; and besides, his brother is already married. I am not sure how this relates to his lack of oil consumption, but it could simply be a classic ‘lost in translation’. There was still time before lunch to make some amazing crostini con bietola e olio nuovo (chard and new olive oil) with some of Rosa’s freshly pressed oil. I followed Giacomo out to the vegetable patch, where he weighed me down with big, juicy, fresh green chard. I washed the freshly picked bietola leaves and tore out the tough white stalk. After ripping the leaves into large pieces by hand and tossing them

into a pot with high sides, I covered them to let them steam for about five minutes. Once the leaves turned an emerald green, I turned off the heat and let them cool slightly. Fat wedges of Tuscan bread were toasted over the embers of olive branches while some of last year’s extra-virgin olive oil was heated in a pan, along with some finely chopped garlic and some chilli flakes. We added the cooked bietola and some smoked sea salt and sautéed before drizzling the bread with more oil, salt and extra juice from the bietola and finished with lashings of olio nuovo. Lunch was a huge selection of salumi; formaggi; grilled meats cooked in a hearth with a grill placed over the top of the embers of olive branches; chubby little sausages made of cinta senese; pork ribs, cooked in an entire rib cage piece then cut; and juicy, marinated chicken thighs. Good oil should be used for everything—even for cooking. The same rule applies to olive oil as it does to wine: don’t cook with anything you wouldn’t consider drinking. Now that the new oil is pressed, it is typical to use last year’s oil for cooking and to finish dishes with a filo d’olio nuovo, or as the nonne say for superstition, una croce d’olio. Originally from New Zealand, Rachel Priestley is a wine and food consultant who has opened Italian restaurants and wine bars in Lombardy, Latina, Vienna and Naples, in addition to having worked as Director of Gastronomy for Antinori wines for four years. She is passionate about Italian food, wine and culture, and is the owner of Santa Croce Wine Company in Florence.

Step 2 FRANGITURA The olives get pressed to produce a pulpy, usually violet-coloured substance, with no addition of heat or water. Though it is now done by mechanical means, it was traditionally done by grinding one stone around and around inside another larger stone, often pulled by a donkey or a horse, differing from region to region. I have friends my age from Sardinia who remember growing up with their olive oil being made like this. Step 3 GRAMOLAZIONE This is the important step of adding a recipe of movement, heat and time together to separate the pulp into diverse particles, therefore helping the microscopic oil drops unite into larger oil drops: normally 27°C for 15–20 minutes to get a high quality and low extraction. This year in Tuscany, for top-quality extra-virgin olive oils, it is good to get 15kg of finished product for every 100kg of olives picked. Step 4 CENTRIFUGATION AND EXTRACTION This machine separates the different particles produced by the gramolazione into: oil, vegetal water, and the remaining sansa or pomace, which is what the pulp is called. Step 5 SEPARATION This final step takes the oil, adds fresh pure water, mixes them together and filters the water away which in turn removes further impurities from the oil. The oil is then taken and filtered through cotton, and bottled. OLIVE OIL QUICK FACTS Olio extravergine di oliva contains maximum 0.8% acidity and is considered the best in quality and flavour. Olio extravergine di oliva has an acidity level of less than 2%. The flavour is considered ‘good’. Pure olive oil or olive oil are blends of refined and virgin oil and lack the flavour intensity found in the virgin oils. Maximum 1.5% acidity. Olive-pomace oil or olio di sansa di oliva is produced by extracting a further 3 – 6% of oil remaining in the paste after extraction through chemical means. It generally lacks flavour. DOP is a guarantee that all phases of growth, production and transformation take place in one specific and defined area. For example, olio di oliva DOP Toscana must be produced and transformed in the specified DOP Toscana area following specific guidelines.


The SpiceLab

invites you to join us for our

Gourmet Thanksgiving Celebration

Thursday November 26 10% of all the proceeds will go to help support the St. James Food Bank

Thanksgiving Menu

A Selection of Fresh Breads & Honey Butter, Fig & Gorgonzola Quiche with a Balsamic Reduction, Mushroom Pate with Carmalized Shallots on Roasted Brioche, Cream of Butternut Squash Soup, Warm Autum Salad with Goat Cheese and Maple Syrup Vinegrette, Cranberry Sorbet, Turkey Roulade with Apple Sausage Stuffing, Roasted Fall Vegetables, Butterscotch Banana Cream Pie Tarts, Chocolate Mocha Cups with Cranberry Chutney, Coffee & Pumpkin Bars The dinner will be located at the

St. James Church on Via Rucellai 9

Reservations are limited 50 euro for adults 25 euro for children Book you place by emailing or call 345.408.7209

Thursday 19 November 2009

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Thursday 19 November 2009

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We are Part of Nature. Tiziano Codiferro, Green Designer, can help you to create “Green Wellness” in your garden or terrace. He can manage the project from design to realization. For more info call 347.7633625. / E-mail


The restaurant MAGNIFICO MESSERE (via San Gallo 40/r) invites you to try our wonderful menu for an aperitivo or a dinner. Facebook friends and student discounts. E-mail sunflowerfiel29@hotmail.comBuy wine from the producer. Podere Gualandi, certified organic, sells wine and olive oil, free delivery in Florence, call 349/3973026. Check details at


n  Personals English Speaking Expat Group. Get together in a nurturing environment to support one another in this adventure of being an immigrant. / E-mail ROCK BAND - Anyone else of about 40-50 who still wants to be in a band? I’m an average guitar player looking to improve and have some fun. Join me? E-mail n.broom@ Join the Playgroup! For children from 18 to 36 months, from Monday to Friday, 8,30 to 1,30 at the American Church, via Rucellai 9. For info call Caterina 3332722144. E-mail n  Household items for sale Aerobed Twin Luxury Inflatable Mattress. Includes mattress pad, flat/fitted sheets, fleece blanket. Cost e95, selling for only e60. Bought in early Oct. E-mail

Tuesday and Thursday From 7:00 pm to 8:40 pm Every level EUROPASS Centro Studi Europeo VIA S. EGIDIO, 12 - 50122 FLORENCE TEL. 055 23 45 802 -

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The Florentine 112  

The Florentone number 112, November 19, 2009

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