Anno 5 numero 104 - Firenze Thursday 18 June 2009
EXPATS>inFlorence Painting the
A new view of Roll the dice
Florence In Tuscany? Rebecca Milner spring in a
Restored walkway in Minister proposes casino by Melinda Gallo
Palazzo Vecchio by Rea Stavropoulos
see pg. 4 see pg. 5 see pg. 18 see pg. 20
FACE OFF! Renzi and
Galli go head
Tuscany’s immigration legislation
sparks national controversy
race A fter weeks of deliberation, in-
cluding a 30-hour debate in the
regional council, on June 1, Tuscany
passed a new immigration law. The
legislation was advanced by councilors
from the majority government of the
centre-left and was strongly opposed
by the centre-right on both the national
and regional level.
The controversy has to do will the
treatment and status of illegal immi-
grants in the region. While current na-
tional laws seek to curb and control the
presence of illegal immigrants, Tuscany’s
new law goes in the opposite direction,
emphasizing the basic human rights of
both legal and illegal immigrants.
It grants free access to health care and
other forms of socio-sanitary assistance,
such as meals at municipal cafeterias
and beds in municipally run shelters.
see pg. 3
F Get the City Card
ollowing the June 6 and 7 local elections where no candidate received 50 percent of the vote, a second ballot is
needed to determine Florence’s next mayor. On June 21, a run-off vote will pit centre-left candidate and former
president of the province Matteo Renzi, who received 47.57 percent of the vote, and centre-right candidate Access to municipal museums
Giovanni Galli, who got approximately 32 percent of the vote.
Local officials recently announced that
Renzi expressed his disappointment with the results, as most public-opinion polls pointed to him as the probable Florence will soon offer a museum card
winner. Because he failed to secure 50 percent or more of the votes, Renzi and Galli, called by the press, respectively, to both residents and tourists. The card
the ‘boy scout’ and the ‘footballer’, will face each other in the run-off. The race has attracted the attention of the entire would provide access to 36 of the city’s
country: the centre-right seeks to take hold of Florence, which has traditionally been a centre-left town and one of the municipal museums, including the Stib-
most durable ‘fortresses of the left’ in Italy. Renzi has said that he will not seek alliances with any of the other parties bert, the House of Dante, the Science
from the first ballot, while Galli has declared himself open to ‘conversations’ with the former candidates. Stay tuned to Museum, Palazzo Strozzi, the Fondazi-
www.theflorentine.net for the results of the June 21 run-off. one Alinari and Santa Maria Novella.
see pg. 4
see pg. 3
Pick-up points www.theflorentine.net/pods email@example.com
150 points of distribution in town - 10,000 copies bi-weekly
Bars, cafes and restaurants. 4 Leoni Restaurant, Accademia Restaurant, Caffé Pitti Restaurant, Colle
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Shoppe, Old Stove Irish Pub, Olio & Convivium, Ora d’Aria Restaurant, Palle d’Oro Trattoria, Piansa Café, Procacci,
Red Garter Pub, Ruth’s Kosher Vegetarian Food, Sei Divino! Winebar, Sosta del Convivium, Tacos Mexican Take
away, Teatro del Sale, The Friend’s Pub, 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 & Emporium, Mandragora Book & Art Stores, Paperback Exchange.
Hotels. B&B Il Salotto di Firenze, Classic Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel, Gallery Art Hotel, Grand Hotel, Hotel Alba,
Hotel Aprile, Hotel Continentale, Hotel David, Hotel Kraft, JK Place Hotel, Hotel Lungarno, Hotel Orto De’ Medici,
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Palace, Palazzo Antellesi Apartments, Palazzo Tornabuoni Residence Club, Plus Hostel Florence, Relais Piazza
Signoria, The Westin Excelsior Hotel, Wallart Hotel, Windows on Italy Apartments, Youth Firenze 2000. I just returned home from Florence. My family and I spent 10 days there (we
Shops, salons and health clubs. Alchemilla Herbalist, Beaded Lily Handmade Jewelry, Ethic, Casini have visited now three times in the past three years) and I cannot tell you how
Leather shop, Contrasto-Aveda salon, Ginger Lily Gift shop, Klab Conti Wellness Gym, Leonardo Shoes, Lory disappointed we were to find Donatello’s David was not at the Bargello. This was
Copy Store, Santa Croce Wine & Co. wineshop, SKIN Aesthetic Medical Clinic, Wellness Center Pitti Palace - Hair
& Beauty. our daughter’s first visit to Florence and we specifically went to the Bargello to
Travel & tourist. APT Florence Airport Arrivals Desk, APT Headquarters, APT Tourist Information, APT see David. When we learned the sculpture was not there, we did not buy tickets
Tourist Information Fiesole, Florence For Fun Tours, The Original and Best Walking Tours, Tourist Information or even visit. Imagine our surprise when we read that it was not being loaned to
Borgo S. Croce, Tourist Information Rail Station Square.
is made possible thanks to support from the another museum but was on display at a trade show. Why not take the copy to
Universities, Institutes and Language schools. ABC School, Accademia del Giglio, Accademia
is made possible thanks to support from the
Italiana, AIFS Study Abroad, American Language Center, Angel Art School, API Academic Program Int., CSU the trade show? When we are in the city for a limited period of time, my expec-
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, tation is that the masterpieces will be available to see. I cannot believe the city
Florence University of the Arts, FSU Florida St. University, GE Florence Learning Center, GIA Gemological of Florence, where art is so important, would agree to such an arrangement as
Institute of America, Gonzaga University, Harding University, JMU James Madison University, Kent State
University, Koiné, Leonardo da Vinci, Lorenzo de’ Medici School, New York University - Villa La Pietra - Villa Ulivi this. We were disappointed but also question the validity of removing this art-
- Villa Natalia, Palazzo Spinelli Art Restoration, Perseo Jewelry School, FIT - Polimoda, Richmond University, works from public view as well as the wisdom of moving it to another location.
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.
Our opportunity to see Donatello’s David is now lost. I think this is unfair to
Others. British Consulate, Il Varco dei Biffi, GE Nuovo Pignone, Guess, Menarini, Odeon Theatre Cinehall, those of us who will not have the opportunity to see this masterpiece. Count
Regione Toscana Giunta Regionale, St. James Church, St. Marks English Church, The Florentine, Unicef, US me as an art lover who is extremely disappointed and even astounded at this
lack of judgment and rather cavalier attitude.
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News & Views 3
www.theﬂorentine.net Thursday 18 June 2009
The results are in! Table of CONTENTS
quindicinale/every other week Winners and losers in the provincial and EU elections Florence News 3-5
redazione via dei Banchi 4 - 50123 Firenze
National News 6
ph. 055 2306616 - fax 055 9060996
I n addition to the local mayoral race, Italians were called to the polls on June 6
and 7 to vote in provincial and European Union (EU) elections as well. Despite a
decrease in turnout for the national and European vote, these elections followed Sport News 7
executive director Marco Badiani the current trend toward support for the centre-right. A brief summary of the elec-
managing editor Alexandra Lawrence tion results follows: Movie Reviews 8
news editor Brenda Dionisi
PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS: Andrea Barducci was elected president of the province
cultural editor Jane Fortune
of Florence with 55.47 percent of the vote. Barducci, who represents the Partito Events 9 - 13
events Marco Badiani
copy editor Ellen Wert Democratico (PD), the Italy of Values party (IdV), the Sinistra per la provincia and the What’s happening in Florence
Comunisti Fiorentini party, received more votes than the centre-right candidate,
this issue’s contributors
James Douglas, Deirdre Pirro, Sabine Eiche,
Samuele Bardini, who ran for the People of Freedom (PdL) and Northern League
Linda Falcone, Francesco Stefanelli, parties and got 30.73 percent of the vote. Other candidates running for provincial Italian Sketches 14
Melinda Gallo, Melissa Morozzo, president were Andrea Calò (5.93 percent), Federico Tondi (4.55 percent), Claudia Guccio Gucci
Rea Stavropoulos, Matt O’Leary Agati (1.28 percent), Simone Faini (1.05 percent), and Corrado Olivotti (0.95 per-
interns Kim Chi Ha cent). Voter turnout for the provincial elections was 75.37 percent.
pubblicità/sales Giacomo Badiani EUROPEAN UNION (EU) ELECTIONS: Italy’s centre-right parties came out ahead in Kids Page 16
pubblicita@theﬂorentine.net the European elections, in keeping with most of the EU, in a vote marked by record- Brunelleschi and his dome
classiﬁed & subscription Giovanni Giusti breaking low turnout and concern about the economic crisis. Across the EU, only
annunci@theﬂorentine.net 43 percent of eligible voters exercised their right; Italy led the EU in voter turnout
subscription@theﬂorentine.net with 66.5 percent of eligible voters in Italy going to the polls, but it was a record Il Fatto Bello 17
accounting/payments/invoices low for Italy. Claiming the continent
Deborah Bettazzi Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right PdL party took 35.23 percent of
accounting@theﬂorentine.net the votes yet lost some ground since the previous election. The PdL’s main ally, the Book Review
Northern League, was one of the big winners, attaining its best result ever: 10.21
graphic design Leo Cardini - agilelogica.it
layout Cathy Gale percent (up from 8.3 percent in 2008). The centre-left PD lost ground, slipping to Stay Close: A mother’s story
web Antonio Lo Iacono - agilelogica.it 26.14 percent of the vote after taking 33.2 percent in 2008. The centre-left’s IdV of her son’s addiction
direttore responsabile Silvia Bini party, however, collected a record number of votes with 8 percent of the vote; it
editore B’Gruppo s.r.l. took 4.4 percent in 2008. The Union of Center party won 6.51 percent of the vote, Expats in Florence 18
via Valentini 10 - 59100 Prato also an improvement over 5.6 percent of votes in 2008. None of Italy’s other parties
iscritta al registro degli operatori di comunicazione (ROC) Rebecca Milner
broke the 4-percent threshold at the national level.
al n. 14773 del 17/11/2006 - Reg. Trib. di Prato n.4
printer Nova Arti Graﬁche srl, Signa (FI) Be Green in Flo 19
The Florentine is printed on certiﬁed ‘well-managed forest’
eco-paper’ with vegetable-based biodegradable ink and
New law makes waves continued from pg.1
On yer bike
Although the new measure does make a distinction between legal and illegal im-
Distribution CMO Group
migrants, it seeks to give added support to those who have permits to live and
Travel & Leisure 20
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copy in oﬃcial points of distribution When the debate that preceded the vote in the regional council ended, the
in a Florentine garden
(see complete list on website); reaction of its supporters and opponents reflected the deep divide: its supporters
Spedizione Italia/home delivery Italy:
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from the centre-left broke out into applause; some opponents left the meeting, Food & Wine 21
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1 Year (24 issues) € 36 gional councilors present at the vote, 39 voted yes and 4 voted no.
International home delivery: Centre-right politicians of the People of Freedom (PdL) party say they will col-
Rest of Europe (24 issues) € 81 lect signatures to hold a referendum to counter the newly approved law. The na- Business Cards 22-23
North America (24 issues) € 87
tional government has said it is prepared to test the constitutionality of the law, Classified Ads
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Methods of payment: which, its opponents maintain, will make Tuscany a haven for illegal migrants.
Paypal (credit card) by email to President of the Tuscan region, Claudio Martini, has stated on several occasions
subscription@theﬂorentine.net that the law ‘is not one that seeks to oppose the national government; it was first
Cash c/o our oﬃce drafted during the last Prodi government , and it has not been changed. It
Bank transfer to B’Gruppo srl, is not against anyone, but instead it wants to confirm our position on immigration letters to the editor
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issues. We will not become a haven for illegal immigrants…we will, instead, stop a
c/c 78620416 to B’Gruppo srl war against the poorer people in our region, a war that has already begun thanks
Chiuso in stampa Lunedì 15/06/2009 to the budget cuts in the welfare sector by the national government.’ Send us your thoughts,
critiques and advice!
4 News & Views
Thursday 18 June 2009 www.theﬂorentine.net
KEEPING KIDS SAFE
News in BRIEF Lucca builds ﬁrst self-sustainable,
A heavy price to pay
When Luca Calcagnini, a butch-
er from Vernio (Prato), left a bot-
T uscany inaugurated its ﬁrst anti-
seismic school building in Galli-
cano, in the province of Lucca.
tle of wine on a table outside The school, which will house over
his shop during a town festival,
hoping to attract customers, he
A new view of Florence 400 elementary and middle-school
students, is not only able to with-
did not expect to be ﬁned 5,040 Restored walkway in PalazzoVecchio stand quakes measuring up to 9 de-
grees on the Mercalli scale, but it is
euro for occupying public prop-
erty without a permit. When
his appeals were not granted, C ity ofﬁcials recently re-opened a
fourteenth-century perch once
used in defending the city from mili-
and shot arrows at enemy armies
Closed for more than 10 years for
Gallicano is located in a high-risk
zone for quakes, explain local au-
to express his unhappiness, thorities. Accordingly, the school’s
he decided to pay with small tary attacks. lack of personnel and then a three- anti-seismic design is based on 46
Forty-two metres above ground year, 560,000-euro restoration effort, cylinder-shaped ‘seismic isolators’
change—very small change. He
level, a walkway traverses the four- the walkway was re-opened on June 8. upon which the 1500m2 structure
drove to the local police station teenth-century walls of Palazzo For the remainder or June, guided rests. In the event of an earthquake,
in an Ape truck ﬁlled with 400 Vecchio. With its commanding view visits are by appointment only (tick- the isolators would absorb the move-
kilos of 1-, 2- and 5-cent copper of the surrounding area, it was used ets are 8 euro; call 055/2768224). ments and force from the shocks.
coins. According to the press, it for patrol. Called the Cammina- From July on, two guided visits a ‘This is a novel building technique
took Calcagnini two and a half mento della Ronda, from this spot day will be organized for groups of taken from the Japanese experience
years to collect the coins. Florence’s soldiers dropped buck- 30 people or more (times are yet to and modeled to meet our needs
ets of boiling oil on and threw rocks be announced). against the threat of earthquakes in
Bus drivers to strike Italy’, explained architect of the proj-
ect, Alfredo Macerini.
Florence commuters will have to
ﬁnd alternative means for travel
on June 26: local trade unions
The night shift ‘Other buildings being construct-
ed in Italy using these same tech-
niques are located in such high-risk
recently announced that Ataf Local ofﬁcials greenlight expanded hours zones as Francavilla, Mulazzo and
drivers will be on strike from Fivizzano. In addition to ensuring
s in Milan, Pisa, and other European cities, public and private con- safety and stability during a quake,
6am to 11:45am and 3:35pm struction ﬁrms can now work in Florence 24 hours a day. Florence
to 11:30pm. For more informa- they are all functional, aesthetically
vice mayor Giuseppe Matulli recently met with top ofﬁcials from the pleasing and ecological structures’,
tion call Ataf at 055/56501 or local Asl and Arpat to discuss the possibility of allowing road and construc- Macerini added. Tuscany, along with
see www.ataf.net. tion work at night in order to ease trafﬁc congestion and other problems Lazio and Molise, adopted legislation
during the day. calling for anti-seismic construction
Summer surveillance There is no municipal law against the proposal, but the vice mayor did following the 2006 earthquake in the
Municipal police and Carabin- emphasize that the city will not opt for nighttime construction for its proj- central Italian region of Molise.
ieri police will be on 24-hour ects because it is too costly, citing an average 30-percent increase in ex- In 2009, the Tuscan region set
patrol in Piazza Santo Spirito penses for overnight labor. aside 19 million euro toward the
Matulli also stressed concerns about noise pollution, pointing out that by reconstruction of 51 state schools.
until mid-September, local of-
law, road and other construction work must not cause more noise greater According to regional authorities,
ﬁcials report, to enforce anti-al- than 50 decibels by day and 53 decibels by night. As long as this limit is 1,454 public buildings, among them
cohol laws and monitor behav- respected, he explained, private ﬁrms may work overnight. 964 schools, need to be brought up
ior. A ban on take-out drinks in to code.
glass containers is also in effect
throughout summer months,
from 10pm to 4am every day.
A TUSCAN ELDORADO? FOLON IN FLORENCE
Foreign-owned businesses ﬂourish in Florence Artist's wife donates
From the silver artwork to the city
screen to the catwalk
American actor, producer and W ith over 10,000 businesses owned by non-Italians, Florence is Italy’s
ﬁfth most afﬂuent city in terms of foreign-owned businesses. Increas-
ingly, foreign-born entrepreneurs are looking to the Florence province for its W idow of the late Belgian artist
Jean Michel Folon has donat-
ﬁlm director John Malkovich was ed a small group of her husband’s
promising economy and investment potential.
in Prato in late May to check on The number of businesses operated by immigrants has tripled over the artworks to the city of Florence.
the progress of his new fashion last 10 years, according to a recent study conducted by the University of Nine statues and two drawings will
collection, which is being man- Florence. The data collected shows that the majority of foreign-born en- be displayed at the city’s rose gar-
ufactured there. On May 29, trepreneurs in Tuscany own businesses in the construction sector (43.4 den, located just below Piazzale Mi-
Malkovich met with Prato mayor percent), followed by commerce (22.3 percent), the textile and garment- chelangelo. The statues will be part
of the permanent museum at the
Marco Romagnoli, who gave him making industry (20.08 percent), agriculture (3.3 percent), professional
Giardino delle Rose, set to open in
an ofﬁcial seal of the city. services (2.6 percent), transportation (2.2 percent), restaurants and hotels
spring 2010. One sculpture will be
(0.9 percent) and personal services and assistance (0.6 percent). placed on display at the headquar-
Figures also reveal that of the 5,116 foreigners who own businesses in ters of the Tuscan region in Palazzo
the local artisan trades, 18 percent are women. Sacrati Strozzi.
American Independence Day at Villa Demidoff
war), and a mini street fair for volunteer associations, com-
G et your calendars out and circle the 4th of July to cel-
ebrate American Independence Day at the Tuscan munity groups, professionals, and businesses who offer
COMMUNITY NEWS American Association’s traditional picnic. The day kicks off
at 9am in Poggio a Caiano, where a plaque will be dedi-
services to the English-speaking community. Little ones will
have a ball in the kiddie corner, with a host of special games,
TF’s community news column cated to Filippo Mazzei, a Tuscan promoter of liberty and activities...even pony rides! American barbeque—including
introduces English-speaking close friend of Thomas Jefferson. Mazzei is said to be the hamburgers and hot dogs grilled to perfection—and lots of
groups and associations and
author of the phrase ‘All men are created equal’, which later Tuscan specialities will be on hand throughout the night. The
highlights news of speciﬁc
interest to the English-speaking became one of the founding principles of the Declaration of party continues with music and dancing until midnight.
community in Florence. Let us Independence. For information on having a stand at the mini street fair,
know you are out there, email Beginning at 5pm, Villa Demidoff and Pratolino Park come contact Cathleen Compton at cathleen.compton@gmail.
community@theﬂorentine.net. to life with live music, sports (volleyball, soccer and tug-of- com. Stay tuned for updates on www.toscanausa.org.
News & Views 5
www.theﬂorentine.net Thursday 18 June 2009
continued from pg.1
A living will Get the City Card
Access to municipal museums
Ancient Rome beneath our feet According to the local press, the
cards will be available at tourist of-
C ity workers recently uncovered
the remains of a Roman temple
dating back to the second century
fices and hotels by the end 2009.
The tourist card will cost 20
AD, beneath Piazza San Firenze. euro and last for 48 hours, during
Experts believe that the remains, which time visitors can ride all Ataf
which include a spiral column and and Tra-in buses and enter any of
hundreds of multicoloured mosaic the participating museums free of
fragments, were part of an ancient charge. Locals will pay 50 euro for
Roman temple dedicated to Isis, the their city card, valid for one year
Egyptian goddess of motherhood and allowing only free entrance to
and fertility. the participating city-run muse-
The workers were digging a ﬁve- ums.
by three-metre hole, barely four me- nticipating the late-June pas- ‘to not undergo any therapeutic or Both cards will include a pocket-
tres deep, for a new water cistern for sage of a national law that life support treatment (forced food sized map of the city.
the courthouse’s sprinkler system. would allow for living wills, Local officials hope that the Flor-
and water)’ in case of illness or in
Much Roman Florence has yet to the city of Pisa has opened a reg- ence’s state-run museums and gal-
be discovered, city ofﬁcials note. the case of incapacitation or irre-
ister, the ﬁrst in Tuscany. The Pisa versible brain damage. leries, which include the Uffizi Gal-
city council made the decision in The document is legally valid as lery, the Galleria dell’Accademia,
response to a petition with a long Palazzo Pitti and the Cappelle Med-
ROLL THE DICE list of signatures that citizens pre-
long as it is completed by an individ-
ual who has ‘full capacity of his/her
icee, among others, will join the ini-
sented. tiative in the near future. Currently,
IN TUSCANY? Functioning much like an ar-
mental facilities and ability to freely free entrance to the state museums
choose’. Individuals must also name is available through membership in
Minister proposes casino chive, the register will be housed in
the ofﬁces of Palazzo Gambacorti. a representative who would be in the Friends of the Uffizi, good for
The ofﬁce will collect declarations charge of making decisions based on one year, and a cost-saver for those
from Pisa citizens regarding the the directives of the living will. visitors who plan to either cover
medical action they would prefer in ‘The wills will be collected, archived several museums or make multiple
case of grave illness or injury. and ﬁled by number to guarantee the visits to a few: see www.amicidegli-
The living will is based on a mod- certainty of date and source’, said uffizi.it.
el drafted by the Umberto Veronesi Maria Paola Ciccone, municipal su-
Foundation. Residents ﬁling a living perintendent of social health policies.
will must state whether they choose SEAL-SPOTTING
True LOVE resurfaces
A lthough lacking the ﬁnal seal of
approval, it’s a done deal, many
locals believe: Tuscany will soon Japanese art lover gives inheritance to the city
have a casino.
Tourism minister Michela Bram-
billa announced the proposal while T akaharu Miyashita loves Florence and Italian Renaissance art so much
that he is donating his inheritance to restore the Cappella Maggiore in
Florence’s Santa Croce Basilica.
on a recent visit to the Versilia and
suggested also that Tuscany’s ca- A professor at the University of Kanazawa, Miyashita is a well-known
sino would move according to the
season. From January to June, it
scholar of Italian Renaissance art. Following the recent death of his parents,
he inherited 12,000,000 yen (about 90,000 euro), which he has decided to
donate to help pay for the four-year restoration effort, already underway, by
O ne of the world’s most en-
dangered seals was recently
spotted off the coast of the Tuscan
would be in Viareggio; from July to
December in Montecatini Terme. expert restorers from the Opiﬁcio delle Pietre Dure. island of Giglio.
The casino would be part of a Restoration of the Cappella Maggiore was made possible through a pre- A young Mediterranean monk
nationwide project to boost tour- vious 15,000,000-yen contribution by Miyashita and Tetsuya Kuroda. As a seal ‘showed off for about two hours,
ism, and it would be one of ﬁve or six result of Miyashita’s donations and scholarship on Florence and its artistic surfacing and diving, coming and
around the country. The project will treasures, a collaborative accord was signed by the University of Kanazawa, going’, said Marco Prete, one of the
likely begin in late 2010, Brambilla the Opera di Santa Croce and the Opiﬁcio delle Pietre Dure to help pro- tourists sunbathing on rocks of the
told ofﬁcials in the Versilia. mote Florence and Renaissance art in Japan. tiny isle when the seal appeared.
City ofﬁcials in Viareggio and ‘Luckily there were only a few
Montecatini say they are thrilled at of us there to see it, and nobody
the prospect. decided to jump in the water, so it
In Montecatini, plans are to house could enjoy itself undisturbed just a
the casino in a turn-of-the-century, few metres from the rocks’, he told
former thermal springs centre, called Call Home Free the local Giglio News.
the Kursaal. The International Union for the
Meanwhile, in Viareggio, ofﬁcials For all Italian cell phones Conservation of Nature estimates
have identiﬁed two possible loca- the current global population of
tions: the congress Centre on Viale
calling from Italy & Europe
Mediterranean monk seals is about
Marconi or the Grand Hotel Royal 350–450 individuals. Most of
along the Lungomare Carducci. Calls to the US at 18 ¢ /min
the monk seal population lives in
The local press also reports that Greece and Turkey, but about 150
the former casino in Bagni di Lucca Calls from Europe at 32 ¢ /min
are thought to inhabit the Atlantic
will re-open its doors for electronic
coast of North Africa off Morocco,
gambling. Constructed in 1839, the Recharge your Vodafone®
Casino Reale di Ponte a Serraglio Madeira and Mauritania.
was the ﬁrst casino built in Europe. According to spokesperson of
TIM® or WIND® plan on-line for the Tuscan archipelago, Umberto
When it re-opens, instead of roulette
and poker tables, it will feature an Mazzanti, the Mediterranean monk
array of gambling machines. Local Get your Free seal lived in Italian waters until the
ofﬁcials hope it becomes the most Trial minutes now at 1960s. On the rare occasions when
prestigious, high-tech casino in Eu- the endangered seal is spotted, it is
rope. www.prontophone.com usually around the island of Sardinia.
6 News & Views
Thursday 18 June 2009 www.theﬂorentine.net
News in BRIEF Airborne art THROUGH A
A nip here, a tuck there DIFFERENT LENS
Plastic surgery is becoming more
commonplace in Italy, especially Edible bonus for employees
among those over 65. Data re-
leased at a recent conference re-
veals that 45 percent of Italy’s 12 I nstead of cash, employees of Italian
company Luxottica, the world’s larg-
est eyewear manufacturer, will receive
million seniors are in good physical
condition and opt for procedures pasta, olive oil, coffee and even Nutella
to retain their beauty and regain as their annual merit bonuses.
a more youthful appearance. Ital- Two years ago, owner of Luxot-
ian physicians report that one out tica, Leonardo Del Vecchio, in coop-
of every two patients undergoing eration with the unions that represent
plastic surgery is over 65. the company’s workers, began this
experimental policy when he became
Seeking an end to piracy Renzo Piano brings paintings to ‘life’ concerned about rising taxes for both
International leaders from 40 the ﬁrm and his 8,000 employees. He
countries met in Rome on June 9 also noted increasing ﬁnancial difﬁcul-
and 10 to address the escalating
hy hang art when it can ﬂy? tant artists of the post-war avant- ties for his employees, which have only
threat of piracy from Somalia. At To display the works of Ve- garde movement, gained interna- worsened during the economic crisis.
the 15th meeting of the Interna- netian abstract artist Emilio tional acclaim in the 1950s follow- The company’s merit-based staff
tional Somalia Contact Group, Ital- Vedova (1919–1996) at Venice’s Mu- ing a solo show in New York and bonus plan integrates salaries with
ian foreign minister Franco Frattini seo Vedova, internationally renowned a collective show at the 26th Ven- non-monetary beneﬁts. Luxottica’s em-
said piracy was ‘just the tip of the Italian architect Renzo Piano has put ice Bienniale in 1952. In 1960, he ployee beneﬁt plan also includes
iceberg of Somalia’s problems’ and the works on the move throughout won the Bienniale’s Grand Prize for schoolbooks and scholarships for the
stressed that it could be eradicat- the museum so they can be seen from painting. children of its staff, specialized medi-
ed only by addressing the coun- a variety of angles. The Museo Vedova, located in cal visits, language courses and day
try’s political and socio-economic Suspended in the air by a ﬂeet of the artist’s former studio near Ven- care services. This year, the eyewear
problems, resulting from 18 years robotic shuttles moving along a track ice’s salt docks, opened on June 3 manufacturer will offer a ‘grocery bo-
of civil conflict. Hosting the two- ﬁxed to the ceiling, Vedova’s most fa- on occasion of the 53rd Venice Bi-
day meeting with Somali counter-
nus’, valued at 110 euro per employ-
mous paintings glide through the mu- ennial art exhibition. ee, through which staff will receive
part Abdullahi Omaar, Frattini said
seum at various heights, periodically Explaining how he came up with staples of Italian cuisine from a local
a ‘global approach’ was needed to
stopping at strategic points under spot- the idea, Piano said, ‘the warehouses supermarket.
resolve the Somalia crisis, and he
lights before moving to another posi- are narrow and long and so it made Income taxes would eat up 50
promised that Italy would do its
tion. The public can view the paintings sense to imagine that down at the percent of the bonus if it were in-
part by offering to train police and
from below or from a mezzanine along far end, a bit hidden in the shadow, cluded in employees’ paychecks.
coast guards in the former Italian
one of the museum’s walls. would be the storage facility, and The company also saves money by
colony. According to the Interna-
The collection, grouped according out of this, as if by magic, the works purchasing the articles in bulk and it
tional Maritime Bureau, pirates,
the majority of which come from
to chronological or thematic contexts, would appear in a certain order. contributes to the local economy.
Somalia, have already made 114 is constantly changing, with works From this came the idea of mobility,
attempted attacks, hijacked 29 coming out of or going in to a storage whereby it’s not the spectator who
ships and taken 478 crewmem- space at the back of the museum.
Vedova, one of the most impor-
goes to the artwork, but the artwork
that comes to the spectator.’
ITALY’S WAGE GAP
bers hostage in 2009.
Salaries among the lowest
CLEANING UP A historic visit A ccording to a recent report by
the Organization for Economic Co-
operation and Development (OECD),
Italy workers are among the lowest
PALERMO Gaddaﬁ meets Italian paid in the developed world, only
ahead of workers in Portugal, the
Military helps clear leaders, strengthen ties Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey, Slo-
the streets vakia, Hungary and Mexico.
O n his ﬁrst ofﬁcial visit to Italy, Lib-
yan leader Muammar al-Gaddaﬁ Italy ranked 23 out of 30 for av-
W hen piles of garbage lined the
streets of the Sicilian city of
Palermo in late May, following a week-
made a special request: he wanted to
meet with 700 Italian women leaders
erage net salaries in all categories
studied: single workers, single-in-
come households with two children
in politics, business and culture. In re-
long wildcat strike by local garbage and double-income households with
sponse, Italian ofﬁcials organized a con-
workers, who refused to clear the city’s two children.
ference during which the Libyan leader
rubbish without the proper equipment, Average wages were calculated in
spoke about the condition of women in
like boots and gloves, the national gov- dollars and adjusted according to the
ernment called in the army. cost of living in each country. Single
During the historic three-day visit in Rome, he also met with Italy’s
Facing a heat wave, locals be- Italian workers without children take
premier, Silvio Berlusconi; Italian president Giorgio Napolitano; for-
gan setting rubbish bins on ﬁre to home an average of $21,374 a year
eign minister Franco Frattini; senate speaker Renato Schifani; house
stave off the stench and potential compared to an OECD average of
speaker Gianfranco Fini; and Rome’s mayor, Gianni Alemanno. How-
health risks, as well as to voice their $25,751. Part of the reason for such
ever, his itinerary did not include a visit to the Vatican and a meeting
discontent over the strike. low net salaries is Italy’s high tax rate,
with Pope Benedict XVI.
Now, with the strike settled on the study stated, estimating that a sin-
Security was tight as protesters voiced their dissent about the recent
June 7 and garbage collection re- gle worker without children earning an
Italy-Libya accord to block immigrants from reaching Italian shores.
sumed, 100 soldiers are also work- average salary relinquishes nearly 45
Gaddaﬁ’s visit comes following the recent ratiﬁcation of a friendship
ing around the clock and help clean per cent of his gross wages to taxes
and cooperation treaty between the two countries.
up the mounds of rotting refuse and other deductions.
The treaty is the ﬁrst step in resolving issues that date back to Italy’s
around apartments, homes, church-
colonial occupation of the North African country. Among other things, Low salaries and the current eco-
es and other public places.
the accord includes a collaborative effort to ﬁght illegal immigration. It nomic situation have spurred many
Workers for the garbage col-
also stipulates that Italy pay Libya $200 million over 25 years to fund Italians to get second, even third jobs,
lection ﬁrm Amia, which has more
various infrastructure projects and that Italy clear Libya of landmines to make ends meet, the Italian media
than 2,000 employees, agreed to
left from the colonial period. reports, a trend recorded among
resume garbage collection after
Gaddaﬁ will return to Italy on July 8 to 10 to attend the Group of both higher- and lower-income work-
some of their demands were met.
Eight (G8) summit in the earthquake-hit town of L’Aquila. ers in Italy.
News & Views 7
www.theﬂorentine.net Thursday 18 June 2009
Sports & Leisure NEWS
What’s next for the Viola? Felipe Melo Sports in BRIEF
New job for Giani
Transfer season may mean changes on the bench Florence’s outgoing superintendent
of culture and sports, Eugenio Giani,
was recently elected the president
ith the 2008–2009 Serie A soccer season ending, Fiorentina players of CONI Provinciale, besting favor-
will be getting some hard-earned rest. After medical check-ups July ite Roberto Bellocci 30 to 18 for the
13–15, the team begins practice on July 16 in the northern Italian coveted role. Giani’s win came as a
town of Cortina d’Ampezzo. They will train there for a week and then move to surprise to many, as did the number
San Piero a Sieve. of votes he garnered. Remarking on
The end of the Serie A also marks the start of transfer period. Although Giani’s unexpected win, Bellocci
Viola team manager Pantaleo Corvino has stated that the team’s limited said he will leave his presidential
budget would preclude many changes, there are speculations that there hopes behind and bow out of sports
may be a few new faces on the Fiorentina bench next season. management for a while. Giani re-
This season’s Serie A champions, Internazionale, is rumored to be very in- ports that he is thrilled about his new
position and says he will work hard
terested in Felipe Melo. The Brazilian sensation, however, continues to reas-
to convince naysayers that he is ﬁt
sure Fiorentina fans that he does not intend to leave the club this summer. for the job.
It has also been reported that Juventus is hoping to swap mid-fielder
Marco Marchionne for Viola defender Manuel Pasqual. Jump into Costoli
According to reports in the Corriere dello Sport, Germany’s Bayern Munich After the long winter break, the Cos-
is ready to offer 20 million euro for Viola goalkeeper Sebastien Frey. Bay- toli municipal pool, located on Viale
ern management has been keeping an eye on the 29-year-old for several Paoli, has reopened for the summer.
months and has expressed interest in the French goalee, possibly preparing Through to August 31, the pool is
to offer a four-year contract worth 3 million euro a year. Frey, whose contract open Tuesday to Sunday (including
with the Fiorentina runs to June 2013, has stated his desire to stay with the holidays) from 10am to 6pm, Mon-
Tuscan team. days from 2pm to 5pm. Entrance is
6.50 euro for adults (reduced 4.50
euro). Ten-entrance tickets (50 euro)
are good for weekdays only. Chil-
NEW VIEW OF dren under 7 years enter free and
all children 12 and under must be
THE MAREMMA South Africa accompanied by an adult. All swim-
mers must show a valid ID card to
Ancient paths open to all access the pool. For more informa-
Italy put to the test in tion, call 055/6236027.
F or millennia, all over the world, farm-
ers have moved their livestock from
protected valleys to higher pastures for
After beating Northern Ireland 3-0 in star Davide Santon; Italian-American
grazing. The Tuscan Maremma is rife a friendly match in Pisa on June 6, in Villa Real striker Giuseppe Rossi; and
with hidden paths and roads created
as herders in Tuscany and neighboring
anticipation of the start of the FIFA
Confederations Cup tourney in South
Sampdoria striker Giampaolo Pazzi-
ni. These were in addition to veterans
PRATO TO TAKE ON
Emilia Romagna moved their animals
over the centuries. Called Le Antiche
Africa, the Italian national football
team made their ﬁrst ever appearance
and World Cup champs like Gianluigi
Buffon, Rino Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo
THE SUPER TEN
Dogane della transumanza, several of
the paths, most of which fell out of use
as World Champions at the pre-World and Luca Toni. Local rugby team moves up
Cup warm-up tournament. On June Lippi has said that he is out to win
in the 1950s, are now being cleared
and mapped for nature lovers to enjoy,
thanks to a project called Le vie delle
10, the Azzurri triumphed over New
Zealand 4-3 in another international
friendly match held in Pretoria, South
the Confederations Cup by trying to
rebuild the same team spirit that char-
acterized the 2006 World Cup-win-
F rom national textile center to rug-
by capitol? The Cavalieri Rugby
Prato team will play alongside Italy’s
acque, created by environmentalist Mas- Africa. ning squad. However, the 61-year-old best rugby squads in the Super Ten
simo Bondi and promoted by the munici- Following the back-to-back victo- tactician’s decision to rely on many national rugby league for the ﬁrst time
pality of Manciano (Grosseto). ries against the paddies and the kiwis, of the key players on the World Cup in the club’s history. The Cavalieri
Three paths are already open to the the Azzurri put a few more notches team has upset some fans. won ﬁrst place in the second division
public and ﬁve more will open in coming on its belt before beginning their Con- The Confederations Cup runs from of the Italian rugby union on May 30,
weeks. The paths, which can be traveled federations Cup campaign. The team June 14 to 28 in South Africa. Italy is when they met L’Aquila. They beat the
by foot, bicycle, mountain bike or horse- debuted with a good dose of enthusi- playing in Group B against the United Abruzzo squad 25-18 in extra time at
back, hold a wealth of treasures, among asm and determination to spare, in- States, Brazil and Egypt. Italy made its
them lesser-known thermal springs and
the Stadio Flaminio in Rome to gain
tent on proving to the world that they Confederations Cup debut on June 15 automatic entrance into the top tier of
ancient ruins. It is possible to walk from are still World Cup caliber. Italy coach against the United States. The Floren-
one small town to another on the paths, Italy’s national rugby union competi-
Marcello Lippi chose to put some tine went to press the same day; for tion. ‘This is a goal we had been work-
which are lined with thick, Mediterranean new faces on his 23-man roster, in- game results in English see www.soc-
scrub, and along the way take a dip in ing to achieve for years’, commented
cluding Cagliari goalkeeper Federico cernet.espn.go.com. Italy meets Egypt
the many fresh water rivers and ponds. club president Fabrizio Tonfoni.
Marchetti; 18-year-old Inter Milan on June 18 and Brazil on June 21.
Celebrating the Red Cross
Commemorations in Solferino and Florence
F rom June 28 to July 2, more than 250 youth from around the world will
gather to take part in a commemorative march from Geneva, Switzer-
land, to the Italian town of Solferino, near Verona, to celebrate the 150th
anniversary of the founding of the Italian Red Cross by Henry Dunant.
Dunant established the Red Cross just months after having traveled to
the battleﬁeld of Solferino. There he saw thousands of soldiers injured and
in agony but without any assistance. The volunteer-based humanitarian as-
sociation he created to aid those wounded in battle later became the Red
Cross. On June 8, Florence celebrated the 145th anniversary of the local
division of the Italian Red Cross, the second oldest in Italy after that of
Solferini. A commemorative event was held on at Palazzo Capponi, on
Lungarno Soderini, to mark Florence Red Cross’ founding in 1864. The
Red Cross and city ofﬁcials also opened a temporary photography exhibit
on the history of the Red Cross, which was held at Palazzo Capponi from
June 9 to 14.
8 What’s On & Where to Go
Thursday 18 June 2009 www.theﬂorentine.net
SHOWS in English JUNE 19 - JULY 2 2009
ed the film adaptation of that novel, is prob- towering android sequences and fistfights. 1981 TV series. And it’s inevitable that com-
MOVIE REVIEWS ably best-placed to direct Angels & Demons,
which tells the story of the Illuminati secret
It gives you all the pleasure of a video game
without the bother of having to play it.’ (Roger
parisons will be made and the new impostor
found wanting. Julian Jarrold’s Brideshead
brotherhood and their threat to the existence Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times) Revisited is the first movie version. It is
by James Douglas of the Catholic Church. Elemental trickery ‘middle class’ Charles Ryder’s poignant and
with air, earth, fire and water is assembled nostalgic account of his entanglement with
ODEON ORIGINAL with Brown’s usual mumbo-jumbo and a the aristocratic Flyte family, the Marchmains
SOUND AT THE ODEON cracking yarn is promised to those who care REVENGE OF THE FALLEN of Brideshead, principally brother and sister
about these things. ‘The antimatter is sus- Friday June 26 , Saturday June 27 Sebastian and Julia, before World War II, and
Piazza Strozzi, 2
www.cinehall.it 055 214068 pended, there, in an airtight nano-composite & Sunday June 28 ü 5.15 - 8.00 - 10.45 p.m. the perils of misplaced love and issues of
shell with electromagnets on each end. But religious faith. This adaptation’s weaknesses
Monday June 29 & Tuesday June 30
if it were to fall out of suspension, and come may lie in its over-ambitious attempt at com-
CHOKE into contact with matter, say with the bot- 5.30- 9.00 p.m. pression and its understated treatment of
Thursday June 18 ü 5.00 - 6.55 - 8.45 - 10.35 p.m. tom of the canister, the two opposing forces Revenge is coming. Shia LaBeouf returns as Waugh’s themes. ‘The film, conventionally
Victor Mancini (Sam Rockwell) is a sex addict would annihilate one another. Violently.’ So Sam Witwicky in the spectacular sequel to made, is no great pleasure to watch. No one
with a neat scam for raising funds to support says glamorous side-kick Vittoria Vetra. She Transformers, again collaborating with the involved seems greatly interested in the moral
his ailing dotty mother: pretending to choke must know what she’s talking about. Autobots in the battle against the Decepti- and historical issues it deals with, as opposed
to death in restaurants and milk the sympathy cons, although it’s not his war. But then fate to the opportunities it offers for costume
transmuted into dollars from bystanders. rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choos- parades and shots of Oxford, Castle Howard
Choke is a straightforward juvenile dirty sex TERMINATOR SALVATION ing. Michael Bay’s Transformers: Revenge and Venice’ (Philip French, The Observer). Nev-
comedy based on whizzkid Chuck Palahniuk’s of the Fallen boasts astounding CGI in its ertheless, it’s a Brideshead worth revisiting.
Tuesday June 23 ü 5.30 - 8.10 - 10.30 p.m. action sequences, a gripping revenge theme
novel of the same name. ‘It adds up to an en-
tertaining collection of vignettes strung to- Thursday June 25ü 5.30 - 8.10 - 10.30 p.m. and a surprise twist at the end. Hugo Weaving
gether by a sarcastic loudmouth whose heart In Terminator Salvation (aka Terminator 4) voices Megatron again. The movie is being
is breaking under his sophomoric bravado’ Christian Bale steps into the Schwarzenegger released more or less simultaneously around BRITISH INSTITUTE
(New York Times). ‘A singularly vulgar piece role as John Connor, who now finds himself the globe but advance publicity suggests that Lungarno Guicciardini, 9
of work” (Washington Post). ‘It’s an indelibly in 2018 leading the resistance against Skynet for spectacle and entertainment this particular www.britishinstitute.it
warped cartoon of lust and despair’ (Entertain- terminators bent on eliminating mankind, and summer blockbuster is a cut above the rest. 055 267781
ment Weekly) and that’s a recommendation! tussling with a man who may be from the fu- Transformers sceptics should be won over by
ture or the past. McG directs what he describes this undeniably exciting sequel.
as a homage to 1970s and 1980s science fic- PUNTER’S CHOICE
ANGELS & DEMONS tion cinema—the best—and obviously James
Monday June 22 ü 5.30 - 8.00 - 10.30 p.m. Cameron’s original Terminator (1984). His effort,
BRIDESHEAD REVISITED Best movie made since 1994. Result to be
Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom though, is unlikely to attain the classic status Wednesday July 1 & Thursday July 2 announced. Poll leader so far and likely win-
Hanks) is on the trail of mysterious ancient of Cameron’s. ‘Most of the running time is oc- 5.30 - 8.00 -10.30 p.m. ner is Roberto Benigni’s controversial 1997
forces in Ron Howard’s adaptation of Dan cupied by action sequences, chase sequences, It could be said to be foolhardy to attempt ‘holocaust comedy’ LA VITA E’ BELLA (Life is
Brown’s novel Angels & Demons, the prequel motorcycle sequences, plow-truck sequences, another version of Evelyn Waugh’s novel, Beautiful).
to The Da Vinci Code. Howard, having direct- helicopter sequences, fighter-plane sequences, already brilliantly adapted in the celebrated
The Consulate General
of the United States Provincia di Firenze
Saturday July 4 2009 as high
Parco di Villa Demidoff - Pratolino as you'd like?
from 17:00 to midnight
Come one… ames
Team sports g
come all. Lottery
Independence Day Mini street-fair Check out
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What’s On & Where to Go 9
www.theﬂorentine.net Thursday 18 June 2009
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: www.theflorentine.net
‘Fochi’ di San Giovanni Claudio Baglioni in concert
St. John’s Fireworks Display June 22 and 23 at 9:15pm
June 24 Florence Boboli Gardens (Prato delle colonne)
Florence celebrates its patron saint, San Giovanni, on June What better way to spend an early summer evening than lounging in
24 and the day is a local holiday. Florentine merchants the Boboli Gardens’ open air theatre while listening to one of Italy’s most
close up their shops in anticipation of evening activities. popular singers belt out romantic favorites? Baglioni brings his new show,
The city has long marked the Festa di San Giovanni with Musical History of a Love that won’t last a lifetime but will change your life
a traditional parade through the centre, a Calcio Storico forever.
match in Piazza Santa Croce, and, later in the evening, a For ticket information, see www.festivalopera.it or call 055/5978309.
fireworks display over the Arno. Records of the first cel-
ebrations of San Giovanni as the city’s patron saint date Michael Nyman: The Piano Sings
back to the fourteenth century, when the Baptistery of San June 24 at 8:30pm Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Giovanni and the surrounding piazza were the heart of Popular composer Michael Nyman will perform songs from his latest album, The Piano Sings,
Florence’s religious and political life. The best place to see a collection of well-known pieces reworked in versions for solo piano. Many of the pieces
the fireworks is along the Lungarno or from one of three include tracks from previous albums as well as soundtracks for such films as The End of the
most centrally located bridges. Affair, the Diary of Anne Frank, Gattaca and Wonderland.
For more information, call 055/294174. Images from various films will provide the background for the composer’s evocative music.
Call 055/2779350 or visit www.maggiofiorentino.com for ticket information.
‘Nottarno’ White Night in Oltrarno
June 27 Oltrarno, various locations EXHIBITS
Florence’s Oltrarno will stay up all night long on June 27 for the
second annual Nottarno summer event. Live music, events,
markets, wine tastings and more take place all over the city’s From Petra to Shawbak.
‘left-bank’, from the Ponte Vecchio to Piazza Tasso. Visit your Archaeology of a Frontier
favorite artisan workshops, stores, cafes, bars and more as eve- June 19 – September 20 Boboli Gardens (Limonaia)
ryone keeps their doors open well into the next morning. For This fascinating exhibition presents the results of the latest research
more information, call 055/2705300 or visit www.diladdarno.it. conducted by the archaeological mission of the University of Flor-
ence over the past 20 years in Petra and Shawbak. Visitors will be
SPORTS transported back in time as they are treated to some of the Jordanian
deserts most amazing treasures. Channel your inner Indiana Jones
World Volleyball League: Italy vs. USA and head to this innovative and exciting walk through thousands of
June 19 at 7:30pm Nelson Mandela Forum years of ancient history. For more information, call 055/2388736 or
Italy’s national volleyball team takes on the Beijing Olympic champions, Team USA, in a qual-
ifying match for the World League finals. A great chance to witness world champion level
sports first hand right here in Florence. Joconde: From Mona Lisa to a Nude Gioconda
For more information, call 055/678841 or visit www.mandelaforum.it. Until September 30 Museo Ideale Leonardo da Vinci, Vinci
Leonardo’s famous portrait has been the subject of numerous other
Notturna di San Giovanni Walking Race works of art over the centuries. This exhibition, held at the recently
June 20 piazza Duomo restored Museo Ideale Leonardo da Vinci, showcases various cop-
Take off on a 4-, 7- or 10-kilometer race walk through the streets of Florence on a warm sum- ies and renditions of the Mona Lisa—including a Gioconda nuda.
mer night. Now in its 70th edition, the race is the perfect way to see the city’s streets in a new For more information, call 0571/568012 or 0571/56614 or visit
way. The shorter races are ideal for kids and families. For more information on how to regis- www.museoleonardo.it.
ter, see www.firenzemarathon.it (in English) or call 055/5522957.
Massimo Listri. Biblioteche
SPECIAL MARKET Until August 2
Luigi Pecci Contemporary Art Center, Prato
Fortezza Antiquaria Antique Market Massimo Listri’s exhibit showcases his photo-
June 20 – 21 Fortezza da Basso gardens graphs taken inside some of the world’s most
This eclectic antique market is back in its famous libraries, including the Vatican Library
regular spot in the Fortezza da Basso gar- in Rome, the Imola City Library, Trinity College
dens after four and a half years in piazza in Dublin, St. Gallen in Switzerland, the Mala-
Indipendenza. Over 120 antiques dealers testiana Library in Cesena and the National
from all over Italy converge at this market, Library in Naples. Listri also included two
held every third weekend in Florence. Wind local libraries especially for the exhibition:
your way through the stalls and discover the Laurenziana Library and the Innocenti
treasures ranging from furniture, knick- Archives. The catalogue will be the third printing of the 2002 collection of photographs and
knacks, books, prints and collectables. The introductory text by Umberto Eco, entitled Il fascino delle Biblioteche. FOR Photo Art Research,
market is open from 8am to 7pm both days. Florence collaborated on the exhibition.
For more information, call 055/27051. For more information, see www.centropecci.it or call 0574/ 5317.
Make your life lighter.
enjoy your shopping now at
10 What’s On & Where to Go
Thursday 18 June 2009 www.theﬂorentine.net
All events included in this section are edited by The Florentine’s staff.
The Florentine is not responsible for programme changes.
Events in FLORENCE JUN 19 to JUL 2 If you would like to submit an event, please fill out the form at: www.theflorentine.net
mbership card necessary
FRIDAY 19 TUESDAY 23 n LECTURES & CONFERENCES n MUSIC & CONCERTS
Democrats Abroad Florence Lecture Se- Festival delle colline - Sunrise Jazz Orche-
n DINNERS n CINEMA ries - Alan Kuperman: “Wishful Thinking stra Jazz Music Concert
Will Not Stop Genocide: How to Improve June 28, Piazza del Castello, Vinci, tel.
Shabbat time TERMINATOR SALVATION
Humanitarian Intervention” 0571568012, www.comune.vinci.fi.it
Starts at 8:41pm until Saturday at 9:55pm Odeon CineHall, piazza Strozzi, see movie
Shabbat meals are at Ruth’s Kosher vegeta- page Alan Kuperman taught at SAIS in Bologna and Itineraries in nineteenth-century Floren-
ce: Squares and music
rian food on Via Farini 2/a, tel. 0552480888,
n MUSIC & CONCERTS now teaches at the LBJ School of the Univer-
sity of Texas as a professor of Public Affairs. June 28, Florence city centre, tel. 0552769717
– 0552654753, www.comune.fi.it
n MUSIC & CONCERTS Claudio Baglioni in concert
June 23 at 9:15pm, Giardino di Boboli, Flo-
He was also Legislative Director for Congres-
sman Charles Schumer of New York and has Le Pietre Risonanti. A music walk with the
MAGGIO OFF Alessandro Quarta-Dimitri rence, tel. 0555978309, www.festivalopera.it a longstanding interest in human rights vio- musicians from the Fiesole Music School
Naïditch. L’altra faccia del violino - The Music in the Square lations and humanitarian intervention. (www. Summer in Fiesole 2009 - 62nd edition
other face of the violin Firenzestate 2009 utexas.edu/lbj/faculty/alan-kuperman) June 28, Montececeri Park, tel. 0555978548,
72nd Maggio Musicale Fiorentino June 23/30, Various locations, Florence, tel. June 25, English language lecture to be held www.scuolamusica.fiesole.fi.it
June 19, Piccolo Teatro del Comunale, tel.
0552767045-6, www.comune.fi.it at Syracuse University, Piazza Savonarola 15,
Thursday from 6:15pm to 7:45pm, admis- n GUIDED TOURS
Natalia Gutman’s cello concert
n SPORTS & ACTIVITIES Summer in Fiesole 2009 - 62nd edition sion: 1 euro donation to DAF; free snacks,
cash wine bar; email: kristina.paccione@
Il Baluardo a San Giorgio - extraordinary
Volleyball World League : Italy vs USA June 23, Basilica di S.Alessandro, tel.
gmail.com June 28, Il Baluardo a San Giorgio, info@iba-
June 19, Nelson Mandela Forum, tel. 0555978548, www.scuolamusica.fiesole.fi.it
055678841, www.mandelaforum.it Un, duo
Soul sensation - Alessia Alessandri teams up FRIDAY 26
SATURDAY 20 with the guitar and the funky sounds of Fede-
rico Piras for a live music session. Happiness
guaranteed. n CINEMA
n MARKETS & FESTIVALS June 23, Public House Via Palazzuolo 27r,
TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN
Odeon CineHall, piazza Strozzi, see movie TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN
Fortezza Antiquaria Antique Market free admission page Odeon CineHall, piazza Strozzi, see movie
June 20 to 21, Giardini della Fortezza da Bas- page
so, tel. 0553283550 WEDNESDAY 24 n DINNERS n DANCE
n MUSIC & CONCERTS Shabbat time Roberto Bolle and friends. Una notte di
Light Across Congo n GUIDED TOURS Starts at 8:43pm until Saturday at 9:55pm
Shabbat meals are at Ruth’s Kosher vegeta-
July 29 and 30 at 9:15pm, Giardino di Boboli,
Benefit concert for the Congo with original mu- Il Gioiello. Galileo’s last home rian food on Via Farini 2/a, tel. 0552480888, Florence, tel. 0555978309, www.festivalope-
sic and score, interpreted by Peter Dulborough June 24, Palazzo Strozzi and other places www.kosheruth.com ra.it
June 20 at 9pm, Circolo parrocchiale M.C.L. like the Museo di Storia Naturale dell’Uni-
“L’Incontro”, Parrocchia del Sacro-Cuore, Via versità di Firenze, tel. 0552346760 n EXHIBITS n MUSIC & CONCERTS
XX Settembre, Tavarnuzze, tickets: 10 euro,
tel. 3492176168, email: peterdulborough@ n MUSIC & CONCERTS Eloise Ghioni. La leggerezza profonda del
Concert by Youth Orchestras - Luigi Che-
hotmail.com, MAGGIO OFF. Michael Nyman: The piano rubini, Riccardo Muti conductor, Coro La
Solo Exhibition Stagione Armonica, music by Giovanni
www.peterdulborough.com sings concert Varart, Via dell’Oriuolo 47-49r, tel. 055284265, Paisiello
n SPORTS & ACTIVITIES 72nd Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
June 24, Piccolo Teatro del Comunale, tel.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Opening hours: 10am to 72nd Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
70th Notturna di San Giovanni walking 12.30pm and 4 to 7:30pm; Closed on Mon- June 29, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fioren-
0552779350, www.maggiofiorentino.com days and holidays
race tino, tel. 0552779350, www.maggiofiorenti-
June 20, piazza Duomo, tel. 0555522957, Music Festival
June 24, Villa La Borraccia and other places:
n MUSIC & CONCERTS no.com
Badia Fiesolana, tel. 0555978527, Concert by Orchestra Giovanile Italiana
www.scuolamusica.fiesole.fi.it - Gianandrea Noseda conductor, music TUESDAY 30
SUNDAY 21 by Bedřich Smetana, Igor Stravinskij, An-
Music in the Square
See June 23 tonín Dvóřak n CINEMA
n MARKETS & FESTIVALS n MARKETS & FESTIVALS
72nd Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
June 26, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorenti-
TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN
Odeon CineHall, piazza Strozzi, see movie
Fortezza Antiquaria - Antique Market Fochi di San Giovanni – St. John Fireworks no, tel. 0552779350, page
See June 20 Display tel. www.maggiofiorentino.com
The Little Summer Fair June 24, Florence, tel. 055294174, WEDNESDAY 1
June 21, Piazza S.Spirito, tel. 055697747 www.sangiovannibattista.net
n MUSIC & CONCERTS n CINEMA
European Music Festival - Orchestra dei THURSDAY 25 n CINEMA BRIDESHEAD REVISITED
TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN Odeon CineHall, piazza Strozzi, see movie
Ragazzi, Conductor Edoardo Rosadini
June 21, Teatro Puccini, tel. 055597851, n CINEMA Odeon CineHall, piazza Strozzi, see movie page
www.scuolamusica.fiesole.fi.it TERMINATOR SALVATION
Odeon CineHall, piazza Strozzi, see movie
page n DANCE
MONDAY 22 page n MARKETS & FESTIVALS Galà di danza MaggioDanza
n EXHIBITS Nottarno - White Night in Oltrarno
July 1 at 9:15pm, Giardino di Boboli, Floren-
n CINEMA Domenic Cretara. Arte senza confini
June 27 to 28, Oltrarno Are, Florence, tel.
ANGELS & DEMONS
Odeon CineHall, piazza Strozzi, see movie
Mon to Thurs from 9am to 1pm and 3 to 5pm, n MUSIC & CONCERTS n LECTURES & CONFERENCES
page Fri from 9am to 1pm - CSU International Pro- Pietre dure in the Rosalinde and Arthur
I maestri dei maestri. Concert by A. Luc-
n MUSIC & CONCERTS gram, Via Leopardi 12, tel. 0552345700, Arti-
st’s reception is on July 3 at 6pm
chesini, piano, G. Pretto, flute, F. Cusano,
Gilbert Galleries at the Victoria and Al-
violin, A. Nannoni, cello
n MUSIC & CONCERTS
Claudio Baglioni in concert Tessa Murdoch, lead curator of the Gilbert
Summer in Fiesole 2009 - 62nd edition
June 22, Florence, Giardino di Boboli, Galleries which have just opened in the
tel. 0555978309, www.festivalopera.it June 27, Basilica di S.Alessandro, tel.
Aida by Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901) Victoria and Albert Museum in London, will
O flos colende: Sacred Music in Florence - June 25 at 9:15pm, Giardino di Boboli, Flo- consider Sir Arthur Gilbert’s (1913-2001) fa-
13th edition rence, tel. 0555978309, www.festivalopera.it n SPORTS & ACTIVITIES scination with micromosaics which led him
June 22, Cattedrale di S. Maria del Fiore, tel. Concert by Orchestra and Chorus of Mag- Nature walks - six excursions in Florence’s to collect pictures, gold boxes, and furniture
0552302885, www.operaduomo.firenze.it gio Musicale Fiorentino - Bruno Bartoletti District 5 by Studio Biosphere decorated with hardstones, an ancient art
conductor, Samuel Ramey basso, music June 27, Various places in Florence and pro- revived under the Medici at the Opificio in
Florence in 1588.
www.intoscana.it/eticketing by Petrassi, Pizzetti, Boito vince, tel. 0552767045-6, www.comune.fi.it
6pm, The British Institute of Florence, Library
72nd Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
June 25, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fioren- and Cultural Centre, Lungarno Guicciardini
tino, tel. 0552779350, SUNDAY 28 9, tel. 055 26778270, free admission
Summer Jazz - concerts
n CINEMA THURSDAY 2
Firenzestate 2009 TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN
book it now and more at
June 25, Centro Culturale ex Gover, tel. Odeon CineHall, piazza Strozzi, see movie n CINEMA
055461428 - 0552767045, www.comune.fi.it page BRIDESHEAD REVISITED
Odeon CineHall, piazza Strozzi, see movie
What’s On & Where to Go 11
www.theﬂorentine.net Thursday 18 June 2009
Events in FLORENCE JUN 19 to JUL 2
n MUSIC & CONCERTS on 1st, 3rd, 5th Monday and 2nd, 4th Sun- modern artists. 6 (Basilica and Museum of S. Lorenzo, monu-
Zubin Mehta, Messa da Requiem day of the month. – Ticket euro 9,00. Info March 14 to July 12, Museo degli Argenti mental area of the Biblioteca Medicea Lau-
di G. Verdi 0552388611 www.polomuseale.firenze.it (Palazzo Pitti), opening hours: 8.15am – renziana, Exhibition); euro 3 (monumental
July 2 at 9:15pm, Giardino di Boboli, Franco Ionda. Ecce Homo XXI - exhibition 6.30pm, closed on the first and last Monday area of the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana,
Florence April 9 to June 20, Galleria del Palazzo Enrico of the month, Ticket euro 10 combined with Exhibition); tel. 055290184,
Coveri, tel. 055281044, Boboli and Bardini gardens, Silver, Porcelain www.bml.firenze.sbn.it
and Costume museums, tel. 0552388709,
ON GOING www.galleriadelpalazzo.com
THOMAS GILLESPIE: No Country for Old
Men - Totally painting
From Petra to Shawbak. Archaeology of a
Pittore Imperiale. Pietro Benvenuti at the Until July 31, Galleria Poggiali and Forconi Via
n DANCE Frontier - exhibition
June 19 to Sept 20, Limonaia del Giardino di Court of Napoleon and of the Lorraines della Scala, 35/A; Opening hours: Tuesday –
Firefly. Anthony Heinle choreography, Boboli, Palazzo Pitti, tel. 0552388736, Pietro Benvenuti was appointed by Napole- Saturday 10.30am-1pm and 3:30pm-7pm
new creation for MaggioDanza www.unannoadarte.it on’s sister court painter, and from 1807 until Sunday and Monday closed; tel. 055287748,
72nd Maggio Musicale Fiorentino his death in 1844, he directed the Academy of www.poggialieforconi.it
Galileo’s Universe. Images of the Cosmos Florence. The exhibition shows his most im-
June 16 to 18, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Views of Florence between XVII and XX
from Antiquity to the Scientific Revolu- portant works.
Fiorentino, tel. 0552779350, centuries from the collection of the Cassa
tion - exhibition March 10 to June 21, Palatine Gallery and
www.maggiofiorentino.com di Risparmio di Firenze
The exhibition reconstructs the history of the
n EXHIBITS Cosmos as designed and shown as it extended
Gallery of Modern Art (Pitti Palace), opening
hours: 8.15am – 6.50pm. Closed on Mon-
44 paintings among others by Reschi, Van Wit-
tel, Zocchi, Signorini, Canella.
Anatomize the Scientific Revolution. It features scientific days, tel. 055 2388614-6,
instruments, celestial atlases, drawings, pain- Until Sept 27, Villa Bardini, Costa S. Giorgio 2
An anology from body to Earth, from anatomy www.polomuseale.firenze.it – 6; Opening hours: 10am – 6pm from Wed.
to cartography - scuplture by Maya Lea Porter tings and precious illuminated manuscripts
from the most prestigious museums and libra- Playboy a Re-View till Sun. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays;
Jan 7 to June 30, Museo di Storia Naturale, Until June 29, FOR Gallery, Via dei Fossi 45r Tickets (exhibition + Capucci Museum + An-
Sez. Zoologia “La Specola”, opening hours: ries around the world. A special section is reser-
ved for the original telescope of Galileo. Portraits - photos by Paul Thorel nigloni Museum) euro 6; tel. 0552638599 –
9.30am – 6.30pm everyday. Closed on the 0552346988, www.bardinipeyron.it
first and last Monday of the month, tel. March 13 to Aug 30, Palazzo Strozzi, tel. June 18 to Oct 2, Istituto Francese di Firenze,
0552346760, www.msn.unifi.it 0552645155, opening hours: daily 9am – tel. 0552718820 Yves Netzhammer - site-specific instal-
8pm, Thursdays 9am – 11pm, Ticket euro 10. Rafael Canogar. Documents and works - lations April 1 to July 31,Cortile di Palazzo
Antonio Ligabue in Pontassieve - exhibi- www.palazzostrozzi.org Strozzi, tel. 0552645155
tion organized in collaboration with Cen- exhibition
tro Studi Antonio Ligabue di Parma Green Platform May 14 to June 24, Archivio di Stato, tel. n GUIDED TOURS
Until June 7, Sala delle Colonne, Town Hall of April 24 to July 19, Centro di Cultura Con- 055263201, www.archiviodistato.firenze.it
Baluardo a San Giorgio
Pontassieve, tel. 0558360346 - 255, temporanea Strozzina (CCCS), opening Rene&Radska. Dreams and Shadows - Last Sunday of every month, 9:30am to
www.comune.pontassieve.fi.it hours: 10am – 8pm. Thursday 10am – 11pm. photografic exhibition 12.30pm, tel. 0552616051, free admission
Closed on Mondays tel. 0552645155, June 18 to Aug 2, MNAF. Museo Naziona-
Art books edited by Bisonte at Biblioteca www.strozzina.org Guided visits by Associazione Akropolis
Nazionale di Firenze - exhibition le Alinari della Fotografia, tel. 055216310,
June 3, 8, 10, 16, 18, 24, 29, Firenze, tel.
May 14 to June 30, Biblioteca Nazionale Cen- Harlequins and Puppets. Giusti, his works www.alinari.it
trale, tel. 0552342585, www.ilbisonte.it and days - documentary exhibition Retrospective on Pietro Benvenuti akropolis
June 10 to July 30, Biblioteca Nazionale Cen- Until June 20, Galleria Palatina & Galleria
Art Exhibit Storie Minime, photographs trale, tel. 055241151
by Luís Badona (a young Brazilian artist) d’Arte Moderna, tel. 055294883,
From 3 June 2009 to 26 June 2009, 9:00 - Helene Brandt: Verdura Bionica www.unannoadarte.it
18:00, J.J.J. Gallery - Eurocentres Firenze,
Palazzo Guadagni, P.za S. Spirito 9 - 50125
An exhibition of organic - synthetic sculpture
June 15 to 30, Palazzo dei Cartelloni, Via S.
Robert Mapplethorpe. La Perfezione nel-
la Forma - photography exhibition
Florence. Tel. 055 213030.
BALANCE Alessandro Moggi FOR Maggio
Antonino 11, Florence, www.saci-florence.
edu, opening hours: Mon to Fri from 9am to
May 26 to Sept 27, Galleria dell’Accademia,
April 28 to May 30, from 11am to 8pm @ FOR
7pm, Sat from 1 to 7pm, free entrance
Instruments of Science. Ancient Florenti-
Roberto Capucci: Apertura di un percorso
Gallery, Via dei Fossi 45r, ne collections - exhibition di studio - new fittings
www.forgallery.com Feb 11 to Sept 30, Istituto e Museo di Sto- Until Dec 31, 2009, Museo della Fondazione
Bizhan Bassiri: la caduta delle Meteoriti
nelle ore vitali che anticipano la visione -
ria della Scienza, opening hours: Mon, Wed,
Thu, Fri 9.30am - 5pm. Tuesdays and Satur-
days 9.30am - 1pm, tel. 055265311,
Roberto Cappucci, tel. 0552638599,
Rodolfo Meli. Treasures from Populonia
Monday July 6
May 21 to Aug 30, Various locations, Floren-
ce, tel. 0552776461, Inventories of abstraction by Yves Nets-
with Timodemo - archaeological, contem-
porary art exhibition
www.fondazionepalazzostrozzi.it hammer - a site-specific multimedia in- March 25 to June 30, Museo Archeologico
Casa Guidi - visits April 24 to July 12, Centro di Cultura Contem-
Nazionale, tel. 05523575
April to Nov, open Mon-Wed-Fri from 3pm to poranea Strozzina (CCCS), tel. 0552776461, (www.florencein.org)
6pm, Piazza San Felice 8, www.browningso- www.fondazionepalazzostrozzi.it Until July 31, Museo della Specola, via Roma-
ciety.org/casaguidi.shtml, tel. 055284393 na 17; Tickets euro 6; opening hours: 9.30am in collaboration with
L’Erbario, tra museo e ricerca - Herbarium: – 6.30pm everyday; closed on the first and
Crystals. The most dazzling exhibition in museum and research last Monday of the month; tel. 0552346760,
the world For the first time in Florence you can see seve-
April 1 to Oct 1, Sezione di Zoologia ‘La www.imss.fi.it Presents the debate (in English):
ral examples of herbs and recipes from across
Specola’, opening hours: 9.30am – 6.30pm Italy. Splendour and Reason. Art in eighteenth-
everyday. Closed on the first and last Mon-
day of the monthTicket for the exhibition
Museo di Storia Naturale, Sezione di Zoolo-
gia La Specola Via Romana, 17, open daily
century Florence - exhibition
May 30 to Sept 30, Galleria degli Uffizi, tel. Mediating
or the museum only euro 6,00; combined
ticket museum+exhibition euro 10,00. Info
from 9:30am to 2pm,s Sat from 9:30am to
5:30pm, closed first and last Monday of the
The Fine Art of Christina Grace Mastran-
Drawings from the Louvre Museum. The
month, tel. 0552288251, tiket price: full euro
; reduced euro 3, www.profumidiboboli.it
gelo A show of over 40 paintings and dra-
wings done by the artist in Florence while Exchange
Italian Renaissance in the Rothschild Living Marbles. Gian Lorenzo Bernini and studying at the Angel Academy of Art. On ope-
ning night there will be an aperativo, a DJ set
Facing issues of adaptation and
collection of the Louvre Museum - exhi- the birth of the Baroque portrait - exhibi-
bition tion and lots of artists. integration in the ‘working world’
May 26 to Sept 14, Casa Buonarroti, tel. April 3 to July 12, Museo Nazionale del Bar- June 6 to 27, Sei Divino Wine Bar, Borgo of Florence and Tuscany
055241752 gello, opening hours: 8:15am to 5pm, clo- Ognissanti 42r; Opening Reception on June
Eliseo Mattiacci. Opera site specific, scul- sed on the second and last Monday of the 6 from 6.30pm-11.30pm; free admission,
ture e disegni - exhibition month, tel. 0552388606,
Together Florence Inn
May 8 to July 31, Galleria Il Ponte Firenze, www.polomuseale.firenze.it
tel. 055240617 The Liturgical Treasure of the Santa Maria Sala riunioni
Louise Nevelson. 60 collage artworks
Ferdinando I de’ Medici Maiestate Tan- May 8 to July 25, Galleria Il Ponte Firenze, tel. Nuova hospital in Florence via de Gasperi 6
tum 055240617, www.galleriailponte.com Until June 28, Archivio Storico del Comu- Bagno a Ripoli (FI)
Grand Duke Ferdinando I (1549 – 1609) will ne, via dell’Oriuolo 33-35, opening hours:
Marco Lodovichi - painting exhibition Fri., Sat., Sun. 11am – 2pm/3pm – 6pm; free www.togetherflorenceinn.com
be commemorated in the fourth centennial of June 27 to July 3, Sala A.N.R.A.C., Centro entrance; tel. 0552616527 – 0552285567,
his death with this exhibition, which focuses
on two emblematic events: his wedding with
Coop Le Piagge, tel. 0552767020,
www.comune.fi.it/archiviostorico 10 €
Christina of Lorraine and the precious altar-ci- The shape of the book: from roll to the co- for wine tasting
Memories of Antiquity in twentieth-cen-
borium for the family mausoleum, the Princes’
tury art - exhibition
dex (3rd cent. BC – 19th cent. AD) and buffet-dinner
Chapel, chosen as the exhibition venue. Until June 30 and from 6 Sept to Jan 6, 2010
May 2 to Nov 1, Cappelle Medicee – Cappella More than 130 works on show among pain- Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, piazza San
dei Principi, via Madonna degli Aldobrandi- tings and sculptures that have passed through Lorenzo 9; opening hours: Sun. – Fri. 9.30am RSVP – email@example.com
ni, opening hours: 8.15am – 4.50pm. closed the centuries and can be compared to today’s – 1.30pm. Closed on Saturdays; Tickets: euro
12 What’s On & Where to Go
Thursday 18 June 2009 www.theﬂorentine.net
Events in FLORENCE JUN 19 to JUL 2
Planetarium: meetings with the public
All year (except July and Aug), Sundays
n PARKS Santa Maria del Fiore
OUT OF TOWN
Boboli Gardens Mass in English on Saturdays at 5pm
at 3.30pm and 5pm, Planetarium, tel.
0552343723, www.fstfirenze.it Nov to Feb, from 8:15am to 4:30pm (5:30pm Piazza del Duomo, tel. 055294514
n NIGHTLIFE during March), from April to Oct, from
8.15am to 6:30pm, Piazza Pitti, ticket: €8, tel.
Mass in English on Sundays 5pm
Mugello Dance Experience
June 26 to 28, Piazza Ettore Alpi, Palazzuo-
La Loggia del Pesce 0552651838 Via Cesare Battisti 6, tel. 055266181
lo Sul Senio, tel. 055289276 - 0558046125,
From May 12, Piazza Ciompi Villa Peyron Shir Hadash www.mugellodance.org
Aperitifs, music, shows, dinner, and much
Via Vincigliata 2, Fiesole, tel. 055454791
Beato Angelico: Concerts on Monday
Jewish reform/progressive congregation
tel. 3486913059 - 3489362564 n EXHIBITS
more June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Sala Chiostrini (Via della St. James American Church (Episcopalian) Indro Montanelli. His life, his works, his
May 14 to Sept 13, Piazza ghiberti Sant’Am- Dogana 3/rosso prima traversa dietro Piazza Sunday: Smaller service at 9am - Eucharistic places - photographic, bibliographic and
brogio, www.laspalmasfirenze.it San Marco), tel. 0552679079 - 3398658376, service with sermon and music at 11am documentary exhibition
Parterre Firenze 2009 www.beatoangelicomedaglia.com Via B. Rucellai 9, tel. 055294417; Please check April 22 to Sept 13, Museo di Fucecchio and
Fondaz. Montanelli Bassi, FUCECCHIO, tel.
Weeklong programme: Monday 7:30pm to
10pm. Parterre is dedicated to children and
n SPORTS & ACTIVITIES http://stjames.it for any alterations to times
and dates. 057122627, www.fondazionemontanelli.it
youth with an evening DJ sets: Tuesday is Jazz Firenze Moms 4 Moms Network Joconde. From the Monna Lisa to the na-
St. Mark’s Church of England
Live / Wednesday Good Vibration night / Thur- (in English) Various events including Play- ked Gioconda - exhibition on the origins,
Spoken mass: Sun 9am, Tues/Thurs 9.30am,
sday is litterature night, held in conjunction groups, Mom’s Night Out, Couples’ Night Out the success and the mysteries behind Le-
Wed 10am, Fri 12.30am, Sunday 10.30am sung
with Giunti al punto / Friday is Live Music / Sa- and much more onardo’s Gioconda
turday is video / Sunday features a video and For English Speaking Moms in Florence June 14 to Sept 30, Museo Ideale Leonardo
Via Maggio 16, tel. 055294764; Please check
DJ set. and surrounding areas, www.firenzemom- Da Vinci, tel. 0571568012 - 057156614,
www.stmarksitaly.com for any alterations to
Untill Sept 13, Parterre, h 19.30 to 01,30 info s4moms.net, infotiscali@firenzemom- www.museoleonardo.it
times and dates.
www.parterrefirenze.it s4moms.net, tel. 3335728945
Loris Cecchini: dotsandloops
n MARKETS & FESTIVALS Vincigliata Adventure Park
Tree Paths and Soft-Air: Challenge yourself in CHILDREN April 5 to Aug 8, Centro per l’Arte Contempo-
ranea Luigi Pecci, v.le della Repubblica 277,
69th Pitti Immagine Bimbo
June 25 to 27, Fortezza da Basso, tel.
the canopies! Fighting fatique and fear in an
environment of utter security far from the ur- n WORKSHOPS Prato, tel. 05745317, www.centropecci.it
05549721, www.pittimmagine.com Massimo Listri. Biblioteche
ban caos! Four different paths from beginners Bottega dei Ragazzi: activities and wor-
In cooperation with FOR (Firenze)
76th Pitti Immagine Uomo to advanced. New Soft-air course. kshops in English
Until August 8, Centro per l’Arte Contempo-
June 16 to 19, Fortezza da Basso, tel. Parco Avventura, Via di Vincigliata, Fiesole, June 27 to 28, Istituto degli Innocenti, tel.
ranea Luigi Pecci, v.le della Repubblica 277,
05549721, www.pittimmagine.com www.treeexperience.it, tel. 0553984036. 0552478386, www.labottegadeiragazzi.it
Prato, tel. 05745317, www.centropecci.it
Ciompi Antique Fair n THEATRE (in Italian unless otherwise noted) Hands up! Hands as symbols and the im-
The Spaces In Between - work by Susi
Every week day and the last Sunday of every portance of gestures in art
Summer in Fiesole 2009 - ballet, theatre, Bellamy Until Oct 31, Castello di gab-
month. Piazza de’ Ciompi, tel. 0553283550 Bottega dei Ragazzi - English Language Wor-
shows, concerts biano, Via di Gabbiano 22, Mercatale
Festival Oltrarno Atelier - 4th edition kshops for Kids
June 19 to July 20, Fiesole Roman Theatre, Val di Pesa (Florence), tel. 055821053,
June 17 to 19, Cango, Cantieri Goldonetta, June 27, Istituto degli Innocenti, www.labot-
tel. 0555961293 - 0553860130, wwwcastellogabbiano.it
tegadeiragazzi.it - See feature article in TF n.
Firenze and various locations in Oltrarno,
98 for details. n GUIDED TOURS
n WORKSHOPS Imagining the Cosmos: seeking answers Guided Walking Tours
Florentine arts and crafts with straw, handma- Planetarium - workshops for schools in the stars April 1 to Oct 31, Calenzano area, tel.
de embroidery, leather, woodwork and flowers All year (except July and Aug), Mon to Fri, English language workshops for kids 0558833255 - 0558833237,
Every day, all day, Logge del Porcellino 9.30am - 1.30am - 2pm - 3.30pm, Planeta- Saturdays at 11am until August 30. Children’s www.comune.calenzano.fi.it
rium, tel. 0552343723, www.fstfirenze.it workshops in English, Palazzo Strozzi, Re- The Impruneta Terracotta. Masters of the
San Lorenzo Market commended for children aged 7 to 12. Pro-
Florentine arts and crafts, handmade embroi- Renaissance and today’s kilns
grams are free with paid admission. Reser-
dery, paper, leather and much more UP COMING vations are strongly recommended, tel. 055
April 1 to Oct 31, Calenzano area, tel.
0558833255 - 0558833237,
Every day, all day, streets around Basilica San
Lorenzo n MARKETS & FESTIVALS 2469600, firstname.lastname@example.org www.comune.calenzano.fi.it
Stories in the Stars: tales of the cosmos
n MUSIC & CONCERTS Independence Day through time
Weekend guided tours in the Nature Re-
serve of Fucecchio marsh
July 4, Parco di Villa Demidoff, Pratolino, English language workshops for kids
Civil and religious architecture: villas, pa- Until June 28, Nature Reserve of Fucecchio
from 5pm to 11:30pm Saturdays at 11am until August 30. Chil-
laces and churches in Florence’s District Marsh and other places: Nature Reserve of
5 the Florentine territory’ - cultural mee- Mediating Cultural Exchange dren’s workshops in English, Palazzo Strozzi, Sibolla Lake; Reserve of Montefalcone; Colle
tings FlorenceIN with The Florentine Presents the Recommended for children aged 7 to 12. di Monsummano and other areas of Montal-
June 5, 12, 15, 18, 23, 25, 30, various locations, debate (in English) Facing issues of adapta- Programs are free with paid admission. Re- bano, tel. 057384540, email: fucecchio@zo-
Florence, tel. 055461428, www.comune.fi.it tion and integration in the ‘working world’ of servations are strongly recommended, tel. neunidetoscane.it, www.zoneumidetoscane.
Florence and Tuscany 0552469600, email@example.com it/eventi/padeventi.html
Concert Season 2009 - Careggi in music
July 6,Together Florence Inn, Sala riunioni,
Jan 4 to June 28, Sundays at 10.30am, Careggi,
Auditorium Clinica Medica, tel. 3407164029 -
via de Gasperi 6, Bagno a Ripoli, www.to-
The sky and the planets - tales and wor-
kshops for children
n MARKETS & FESTIVALS
getherflorenceinn.com, price: 10 € for wine June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Ludoteca La Mongolfie- Week-end of JUNE 20-21
tasting and buffet-dinner; RSVP required: ra, tel. 0552207455
Concerts of the Fiorentine Chamber Or- firstname.lastname@example.org 3rd Festival in the Poggio Farmyard
chestra - 29th concert season
On The Road Festival 2009 n GUIDED TOURS June 19, 20, 21, Ortimino, Montespertoli, tel.
June 21 to 22, Chiesa di Orsanmichele, tel. 0571609412,
A competition that for 21 years has gathered A Night at the Museum - animation, ga-
055783374, www.orcafi.it www.comune.montespertoli.fi.it
in Pelago the best street artists in Italy: mimes, mes, readings for children from 7 to 12
Estate a San Salvi 2009 - music, meetings, jugglers, musicians... years - Familiarizzare il Museo Attuttabirra Live 2009.
exhibitions, theatre shows, video July 3 to 5, Pelago,www.comune.pelago.fi.it June 25, Sezione di Zoologia La Specola and Beer and Music Festival
June 19 to 28, historical centre, Gambassi
June 15 to July 10, San Salvi città aperta, Chil-
le De La Baldanza, tel. 0556236195, www. n THEATRE (in Italian unless otherwise noted) other places like the Sezione di Geologia and
Paleontologia, tel. 0552346760, Terme, tel. 0571639192,
chille.it Macbeth www.unifi.it/msn www.attuttabirra.com
Il Riformatore del Mondo
By Thomas Bernhard with Sandro Lombardi,
July 8 to 12, The Bargello National Museum,
Via del Proconsolo 4, info and tickets at n THEATRE (in Italian unless otherwise noted) Bargino Festival
June 11 to 21, Bargino public gardens,
Marion D’Amburgo directed by Giovanni Scan- www.themacbethproject.org Teatrino del Gallo - puppet theatre Pupi tel. 0558256259,
della. June 3 to 21, Cortile del Museo Nazio- Di Stac, cinema workshop, concerts, exhi- www.comune.san-casciano-val-di-pesa.fi.it
bition, conferences, meetings and talk
nale del Bargello, tel. 0552264347,
RELIGIOUS SERVICES shows Bargino Festival
All year with monthly planning, Limonaia June 11 to 21, Bargino public gardens, tel.
Musica in Maschera. Tour, Gala Dinner and Florence Gospel Fellowship (Evangelical) del giardino della Libreria Libri Liberi, Via San 0558256259, www.comune.san-casciano-
concert - a special opportunity to explore Sunday Service at 6.30 pm (Evangelical) Gallo 25r, Florence, tel. 3386024335, val-di-pesa.fi.it
Italy in three different ways Via de’ Benci 9, tel. 3351505784, www.flo- www.teatrinodelgallo.it Bread Food Festival
June 4, 11, 18, 26, Palazzo Gaddi Arrighetti, rence-gospel-fellowship.blogspot.com June 21, Borgo San Lorenzo, tel. 05584966229,
tel. 3283562380, www.musicainmaschera.it Teatro Ragazzi - directed by Saverio Con-
Jewish Synagogue tarini www.comune.borgo-san-lorenzo.fi.it
Opera Festival 2009 Shabos: 8:45am June 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, Teatro 13, Bruschetta Food Festival
June 15 to Aug 1, see complete programme Via Farini 4, tel. 055245252 tel. 0552767828, www.comune.fi.it June 20 to 28, Fratellanza Popolare di San
of the events at www.festivalopera.it Donnino, Campi Bisenzio, tel. 055899211,
San Miniato al Monte
Organ and Instrumental Concerts Mass at 12pm (with Italian Gregorian chants) www.fratellanzasandonnino.it
All year, Mon to Sun at 9:15pm, Sat at 6pm, Via delle Porte Sante, tel. 0552342731
Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Ricci, via del Corso,
tel. 055289367, tickets: €11
Life in Italy 13
www.theﬂorentine.net Thursday 18 June 2009
Events in FLORENCE JUN 19 to JUL 2
Cooks & butchers - Food and Wine Festival
June 21, Piazza Matteotti, Greve in Chianti,
Tha Days of Water - walking tour, meeting,
Walking tours in the Chianti valley - pro-
n MUSIC & CONCERTS
tel. 0558545271, June 27 to 28, Crespino del Lamone, Marradi, June 28, Greve in Chianti area, tel. Il Flauto magico - Die Zauberflote di W. A.
www.comune.greve-in-chianti.fi.it tel. 055804714 - 055804726 0558545271, Mozart
Eccole di nuovo - Vintage cars and motor- www.comune.greve-in-chianti.fi.it June 27 at 9pm, Abbazia di San Galgano,
The Mountains Festival
cycles meet Chiusdino, Siena, tel. 0555978309,
June 28, Comunello di Casale, San Lorenzo,
June 21, Piazza della Repubblica, San Cacsia- tel. 0558373826, www.comunellodicasale.it IN TUSCANY Metarock 2009
no Val di Pesa, tel. 0558229558, www.comu- Threshing Festival - Old-fashioned count-
ne.san-casciano-val-di-pesa.fi.it ry life Festival n EXHIBITS The Quality POPular Festival
Fair of crafts, antiques and second-hand June 24 to 28, Campo Abetone e al Giardino
June 28, Piazza della Repubblica, San Cascia- Pieter de Witte - Pietro Candido a Volterra
goods June 21, Via D.Alighieri and Piazza Scotto, Pisa, www.metamusic.eu
no Val di Pesa, tel. 0558229558, www.comu- Until nov 8, Palazzo dei Priori a Volterra (Pisa),
Buonamici, Dicomano, tel. 0558385407, ne.san-casciano-val-di-pesa.fi.it www.dewitteinvolterra.com Paolo Poli and Le Fiabe Musicali
www.comune.dicomano.fi.it June 30 at 9pm, Abbazia di San Galgano,
Tortello (filled pasta) Festival SIGNORI DI MAREMMA èlites etrusche
International Ceramics Fair Chiusdino, Siena, tel. 0555978309,
June 24 to 28, Grezzano, Borgo San Lorenzo, fra Populonia e Vulci - exhibition on Etru-
June 20 to 28, Montelupo Fiorentino, www.festivalopera.it
tel. 0558456230, scans in the Maremma
tel. 0571518993, www.comune.borgo-san-lorenzo.fi.it June 13 to Oct 31, Grosseto, Museo Archeo- n WINE
www.comune.montelupo-fiorentino.fi.it Traditional River Boats Competition logico e d’Arte della Maremma Anteprima Vini 2009
June Fair June 28, Main canal of the Fucecchio Marsh, A new visual world: Origine, Balla, Kan- May 30 and 31, Real Collegio, Piazza del Col-
June 22, Reggello, tel. 0558669232, Massarella, tel. 0571298674, dinsky showcased at the new modern and legio, Lucca Degustazione vini in commer-
www.comune.reggello.fi.it www.prolocofucecchio.it contemporary art musuem in Lucca cio, Sunday from 10am to 6pm, tickets: 15
Minestra di pane (bread and vegetable Tuscan handcrafts and traditional pro- Until Aug 23, Lu.C.C.A. Via della Fratta, 36, euro, www.grancru.it
soup) Food Festival ducts Market Lucca, tel. O583571712,
June 20 to 21, Vitolini, Vinci, tel. 0571568012, June 30, Montaione, tel. 0571699254, email@example.com
Montaione fuori di sé - a meeting of diffe- n MUSIC & CONCERTS
June 27, Panzano in Chianti, tel. 0558545271,
June 23, Piazza della Repubblica, Montaione,
www.comune.montaione.fi.it Choral Singing Review
June 21, historical centre, Impruneta, tel.
Porcino Mushroom Festival in Cascia
0552036627 - 0552313729,
June 19 to 28, Cascia Reggello, tel.
Etnica 2009. Buskers in the village
San Casciano Sempre aperta - shows in
June 18 to 21, Piazza Giotto, Vicchio, tel.
the centre and open shops
June 4, 11, 18, 25, historical centre of San Ca-
sciano Val di Pesa, tel. 0558256385, European Music Festival. Young musicians
www.comune.san-casciano-val-di-pesa.fi.it playing in various places in Scandicci
Cityvibe- City Vibration
Snail Food Festival
June 21, various places in Scandicci, tel.
June 19 to July 5, Spicchio, Sovigliana, Vinci,
tel. 0571568012, www.comune.vinci.fi.it
Fabrizio Bosso & Javier Girotto Latin
Volontariando - rfood, music and shows
June 11 to 28, Circolo Arci La Fogliaia, tel.
June 22 at 9:30pm, Castello dell’Imperatore,
Prato, free entrance
Week-end of JUNE 27-28 La Vuelta - Music Festival
27th Ficattola Food Festival June 17 to 20, Parco il Poggione, San Cascia-
June 27, 28, Fornacette, Montespertoli, no Val di Pesa, tel. 0558256259 - 0558256385,
tel. 0571600220, www.comune.san-casciano-val-di-pesa.fi.it
www.comune.montespertoli.fi.it Le Pietre risonanti. A music walk with the
Antique and Handcrafts Market musicians from the Fiesole Music School
June 25, Piazza Boccaccio and Via 2 giugno, June 28, Montececeri Park, Fiesole, tel.
Certaldo, tel. 0571661276, 0555978548, www.scuolamusica.fiesole.fi.it
www.comune.certaldo.fi.it Marea Festival. Concerts, theatre, cinema,
Antique and Second-hand goods Market exhibitions, meetings, sport
June 28, at the lake of Londa, tel. 0558352535, June 25 to July 5, Buca del Palio Fucecchio,
www.comune.londa.fi.it tel. 0571268508, www.mareafucecchio.it Does your business
Antique Furniture Market Music Festival offer discounts, happy
June 28, Scandicci, tel. 0557591374, June 24, Villa La Borraccia and other places:
www.comune.scandicci.fi.it Badia Fiesolana, tel. 0555978527, hours, promotions to
Corso della Nave - historical folk comme- www.scuolamusica.fiesole.fi.it
moration of Rufina in ancient times n SPORTS & ACTIVITIES students?
June 25 to 28, historical centre, Rufina, tel.
1st SARA Racing Weekend at the Mugello
Little Market Fair June 19, 20, 21, Mugello motor racing circuit, Let us know your
June 28, San Donato in Poggio, Tavarnelle Val tel. 0558499111, www.mugellocircuit.it
di Pesa, tel. 0558072338,
20th National Carts Race of Castelnuovo
d’Elsa and discount details
Menar mascelle all’or di cena. Dinner in a June 28, Circolo Arci di Castelnuovo d’Elsa,
Renaissance-style Castelfiorentino, tel. 3207107485,
June 26, Piazza del Castello, Vinci,
and we’ll publish
tel. 057156332, www.comune.vinci.fi.it them in our special
6th Olympic Triathlon
Organic Products Market Il Pagliaio June 27 to 28, Bilancino Lake, Events Area,
June 28, Piazza G.Matteotti, Greve in Chianti, tel. 0558420106, www.firenzetriathlon.it Student Issue on
Isabella de’ Medici Cup - Tuscan Flagwa- September 24.
Procession of Madonna with traditional June 21, historical centre Cerreto Guidi, tel.
river boats 0571906220,
June 27, Main canal of the Fucecchio Marsh, www.comune.cerreto-guidi.fi.it e-mail:
Massarella, tel. 0571298674,
Italian Motorbike Championship - Classes
125SP 3rd Round Premier Nat. Cup 2009
St. Peter and St. Paul’s Feast June 26, 27, 28, Mugello motor racing circuit,
June 29, New area for public parties in San
by September 14.
tel. 0558499111, www.mugellocircuit.it
Piero a Sieve, tel. 0558487536,
14 Life in Italy
Thursday 18 June 2009 www.theﬂorentine.net
Through ‘Italian Sketches’, readers will enjoy a brief ‘meeting’ with some
Italian SKETCHES of the men and women from all walks of life who have changed the face of Italy.
by Deirdre Pirro
amily, fame, feuding, passion, litiga- when he returned to Italy. In 1920, aged origins. In fact, the pieces that estab- outside his ofﬁce in Milan in 1995. His
tion and homicide. All the ingredi- 39, he moved back to Florence and, in lished the reputation of the brand were ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani, dubbed the
ents of a successful Hollywood soa- 1923, opened both a luggage and eques- a bag with his signature bamboo handle, ‘Black Widow’ by the Italian press, was
pie like are, instead, the backdrop to the trian shop in via della Vigna Nuova and created in 1947; his men’s moccasins of sentenced to 29 years in prison for com-
story of one of Italy’s best known luxury a small workshop where he employed 1952–1953, featuring a horse’s bit (today missioning his murder. The couple’s two
label clans: the Gucci family. the ﬁnest craftsmen to work for him. By on display at the Museum of Modern daughters, however, still believe in their
The patriarch of this dynasty was 1937, he had added handbags to his line Art in New York); and the Flora scarf, mother’s innocence.
Guccio Gucci. A native of Florence, and relocated to a bigger shop on Lun- created in 1967 by his son, Rodolfo, for Between 1989 and 1994, an Ameri-
Guccio was born into a modest family garno Guicciardini. In 1938, he opened Grace Kelly. After the war, as Guccio’s can, former president of the New York
on March 28, 1881. After his father’s his ﬁrst shop in a chic part of Rome. clients grew in prosperity and sophistica- Bergdorf Goodman department store,
hat business went bankrupt, Guccio left When traditional raw materials like tion so did his business. Dawn Mello, became Gucci’s new crea-
Florence, ﬁrst for Paris and then Lon- leather were scarce during the period of Apart from Rodolfo, Guccio Gucci tive director. She worked hard to rebuild
don, where he worked at the elegant fascism and World War II, Guccio crea- and his seamstress wife, Aida Calvelli, Gucci’s reputation by revisiting and
Savoy Hotel, the place where royalty tively used materials like hemp, linen had three other sons—Vasco, Aldo, and revamping its past triumphs. But, it was
and the wealthy liked to stay. Observ- and jute to make his goods and acces- Ugo—who all eventually played an active not until another two Americans—top
ing their reﬁned baggage, he decided sorised them with the horse’s bit and role in the company. Before World War II, manager, Domenico De Sole, who previ-
to create his own line of leather goods stirrups that symbolised the company’s Rodolfo became a movie actor (as Mau- ously managed Gucci America, and the
rizio D’Ancora) and married a German groundbreaking designer, Tom Ford—
actress, Alessandra Leverkusen, known arrived at the helm of the company in
In Piazza Pitti… the evening is magic on the screen as Sandra Ravel. However,
by the time of Guccio Gucci’s death in
Italy that Gucci surged back from the
brink of bankruptcy to renewed proﬁt-
Milan on January 2, 1953 Rodolfo had making and global recognition for its
Enjoy the outdoor terrace returned to the business and, based in
Milan, went on to successfully manage its
edgy and aggressive image.
But, once again in 2004, stylistic direc-
Italian interests while Vasco supervised tion of the fashion house changed hands.
operations in Florence. In the mean- Three designers—Alessandra Facchinetti
time, Aldo moved to New York, where he and Scottish designer John Ray (both of
opened Gucci’s ﬁrst boutique, pioneering whom had worked under Tom Ford) and
Italian design in the United States. He Frida Giannini—now shared this respon-
also led the company’s lucrative assault sibility. But with Ray’s resignation and
on new international markets in the Far Facchinetti’s (albeit brief) move to Valen-
East. tino as the great designer’s successor, Gian-
Lamentably, by the 1980s, the Gucci nini remained as the group’s creative direc-
family became almost as famous for its tor. In November 2006, she was named
inﬁghting as for its stylish merchandise. one of the ’s 50 women
In 1980, one of Aldo’s sons left the group managers in the world ‘to watch’.
and attempted to launch a line of prod- Following a Herculean battle over
ucts under his own Gucci name. This control of the group during the De Sole-
provoked a series of lawsuits by other Ford interregnum, the Gucci group has,
family members that eventually blocked since 1999, been part of the inﬂuential
his plan—but not before Aldo Gucci had French holding Pinault Printemps Red-
been reported for tax fraud in the United out (PPR) and now has its headquarters
States. As a consequence, in January in Amsterdam. With its distinctive double
1986, Aldo pleaded guilty to evading G logo (in honour of its founder) stamped
more than $7 million in taxes and served on its merchandise, a status symbol of
a year in the Eglin Penitentiary in Florida, luxury, craftsmanship and glamour, the
nicknamed the ‘country club’. house of Gucci continues to dress the
Prompted by these serious rifts and rich and famous. It is not only one of the
Restaurant by the commercial disarray in which it biggest-selling Italian brands in the world
found itself, Gucci became a public com- but also one of the most illegally copied.
Caffè Pitti pany in 1982. Maurizio Gucci, Rodolfo’s Yet, despite a credit crunch that has seen
Piazza Pitti, 9 - Firenze son, was made chairman of the group in the proﬁts of other important labels plum-
1989. More court cases and squabbling met, the Gucci group reported a 5 percent
Tel. 055 2399863 - firstname.lastname@example.org among the kith and kin followed when sales increase to 855 million euro for the
Maurizio was accused by his cousins of ﬁrst quarter of 2009.
forging his father’s signature on papers
In addition to offering traditional Tuscan cuisine, Caffe’ Pitti transferring 50 percent of the com-
pany’s shares to him. With the business Deirdre Pirro is an international lawyer
features an array of truffle-based fare. Experience the sensuous in dire economic and creative straits, who lives and works in Florence. Apart
in 1993, Maurizio Gucci resigned and from the law, her interests include
aroma, texture and taste of these sumptuous delicacies. sold his interest to Investcorp, his Arab modern Italian history, the history of
corporate partner, effectively taking the gastronomy and travel. She can be
Special 15% discount on dinner business out of family hands. In a tragic contacted at email@example.com.
for The Florentine readers Aperitif with dishes from the menu epilogue, Maurizio Gucci was shot dead
* a new book by
Deirdre Pirro italian
the faces of modern Italy
On sale NOW
in Florence bookstores
TF Real Social Network
JULY 04 Independence Day JULY 06 Mediating Cultural
from 5 to 11:30 pm Exchange 7 pm
Parco di Villa Demidoff, Pratolino Toghether Florence Inn Via De Gasperi 6 Bagno a Ripoli
Come celebrate America’s Independence Day with a picnic in the park! FlorenceIN (www.florencein.org) and The Florentine present a debate
Hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon, games, music and more are on tap for (in English): “Mediating Cultural Exchange, facing issues of adaptation and
this traditional American event. Fun for the whole family! integration in the ‘working world’ of Florence and Tuscany”.
€. 10 for wine tasting and buffet-dinner – RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org
16 Life in Italy
Thursday 18 June 2009 www.theﬂorentine.net
The FLorentine Press Books
Deirdre Pirro leads the way through
modern Italy’s trials and triumphs,
showcasing the country’s ingenious Brunelleschi This poem is
and his dome
savior-faire and shouldering its dedicated to my
inherent social dilemmas. The icons young Florentine friends
Choppy and Giovanni.
of contemporary culture finally
find a forum in Italian Sketches:
by Sabine Eiche
the faces of modern Italy, a book
that dares to investigate the whos
H oists were built and bricks were brought,
Florentines rushed to the spot.
and whys behind one of the world’s
Florentines had civic pride,
Curious, they watched and cheered.
most-loved countries, Italy. Critics, too, were there and jeered.
Something that they didn’t hide. Brunelleschi’s was a scheme
[euro 12,00] Building churches was the rage, Which no man could ever dream.
Even if it took an age. Daringly, with special skill
Dignitaries riding through Workmen laid the bricks until
Noticed there was lots to do. All eight sections were complete.
In Italians Dance and I’m a
There’s Saint Mary of the Flower, Wonderful! Oh, what a feat!
Wallflower and in If They are Crouched below an ancient tower. Brunelleschi felt relieved;
Roses, Linda Falcone takes us Plans all done, walls all laid, Critics, though, were rather peeved.
on a leisurely twirl through the Large-scale models also made. There’s a hole right at the top!
Italian culture straight to the Sprawling nave, splendid choir, Cried the critic Cucco Zop.
But it lacks that thing up higher! Brunelleschi’s failed, I bet!
heart of Italian expression with Builders never could decide When it rains we’ll all get wet.
all its stinging wit and generous How to vault a space so wide. Brunelleschi saw the light:
humour. Men had tried for years and years, Cucco Zop was full of spite.
Always ending up in tears. Come with me, my learnèd friend,
So she stayed without a dome, Come and see what I intend.
Like some ruin of ancient Rome. Cucco Zop, though feeling leery
Time went on, and then there came
Came with him up to his eyrie.
Paper, paper everywhere,
Full of pathos and surprising Someone who would soon earn fame: Cucco Zop looked for a chair.
insights, these colourful Brunelleschi, really smart, Brunelleschi sighed, Oh, dear,
Talented in every art. It’s a little messy here.
stories of Italian language and
His good friend was Donatello, To the window both men walked,
lifestyle capture the essence Still quite young, but what a fellow! Brunelleschi talked and talked.
of the country’s multi-faceted He and Donatello went Pointing to the dome he said,
character. Down to Rome, and there they spent All I did was use my head.
Months and months so they could see In the rain and in the snow,
[euro 15,00/12,00] Treasures from Antiquity. You’ll stay dry from tip to toe.
Donatello then went home, This is not the Pantheon,
Brunelleschi stayed in Rome. Where the wet is never gone.
Oﬀ he trekked through ﬁelds all muddy, Underneath my splendid dome
Finding things he liked to study. It’s as safe and snug as home.
Columns, plinths and arches, too— That great hole right at the top
Fall in love with Florence all over Everything he saw he drew. Doesn’t mean that I’m a ﬂop.
again with Jane Fortune’s unique Back to Florence much inspired, Here’s the lantern I designed.
book. To Florence, Con Amore: Brunelleschi never tired. It will surely ease your mind.
Architecture was his life It will hold the dome together,
77 Ways to Love the City. (After all, he had no wife). Make it safe in any weather.
[euro 19,50] Cucco Zop smirked with relief,
oon the Florentines declared, I was right, you’re just a thief!
Everyone should get prepared. Brunelleschi shouted, WHAT?
Seeking talent was their mission. Are you crazy, or some NUT?
There would be a competition. Cucco Zop, who picked his nose,
Vault Saint Mary of the Flower, Shouted, IT’S ANTONIO’S!
Make her rise above the tower. Brunelleschi, that’s real low,
If it’s Leonardo lore you’re after, Builders, goldsmiths, sculptors, too, Stealing from Antonio!
then look no farther than Rab Showed the judges what they’d do. Brunelleschi swung his ﬁst.
Brunelleschi won the prize By good fortune he just missed.
Hatfield’s latest publication, With a trick that caught their eyes. Quick they climbed down to the ground,
Finding Leonardo: The Case Asked to make an egg stand up Growling like a fox and hound.
for Uncovering the ‘Battle of On its own without a cup,
Anghiari’. Tap one end was all he did, runelleschi in the end,
And the egg stood as was bid. With his temper on the mend,
[euro 20,00] Brunelleschi, what a man! Showed the critic Cucco Zop
He was tops, no also-ran. That the project for the top
Losers wept and went back home, Really was his own invention,
Brunelleschi planned the dome. Stolen with the worst intention
The Books are available in Florence at the
Thought a lot and took his pen, By his helper, ﬁercely jealous.
following stores: Art&libri, BM Bookshop, Wrote out orders for his men. I believe one day he’ll tell us,
Edison Bookstore, Feltrinelli International, Bring me bricks and bring me mortar. But for now let matters rest.
Give a big tip to the porter. Just remember, I’m the best!
Giunti al Punto, I’ Libraio, Il Porcellino,
Mandragora Art Stores, Martelli, Paperback
Sabine Eiche, a Canadian writer and art historian who lived in Florence for 32 years, has
Exchange, Uffizi Art Bookshop. published extensively on Italian Renaissance architecture, gardens and drawings. She is an
authority on the history and culture of the Duchy of Urbino and is preparing a book about the
For worldwide shipment orders: local cuisine. She also writes children’s stories. Her most recent book is Presenting the Turkey:
send an email to email@example.com The Fabulous Story of a Flamboyant and Flavourful Bird. (http://members.shaw.ca/seiche).
Life in Italy 17
www.theﬂorentine.net Thursday 18 June 2009
Culture & CUSTOMS
il fatto bello della settimana moments from everyday Italy
Claiming This country’s uniﬁcation was not
wanted by the people. It was the
product of an intellectual move-
ment. What did the Florentines have
to do with a king from Lombardy?
Nothing. They united our republics
and forced this nationality on us.
But a united Europe was different—
by Linda Falcone we needed it, and more importantly,
‘Just don’t touch the food,’ Fed-
Y ears ago, the Italian press published a controversial study that claimed one should enjoy ice cream only in wintertime, as
June sorbets risked freezing summer-hot intestines. I remember that day vividly. It was soon after New Year’s, so I far from
minded the news. Europe had just become a Union and all was right in the world—until I walked into the ice-cream shop off
‘ . Leave that right where it
is,’ Martina nodded.
via Calzaiuoli and came back out again without a cone. The euro had suddenly taken effect and gelato prices were anything Too soon, the dinner ‘crowd’ of
two foreign couples wandered in,
but frozen: the cost of two scoops had doubled overnight. feeling guilty for being hungry early.
Mamma-captain quickly called her
Chilled-milk-and-sugar merchants confusion. Since then, we—the whole than do those who win X’s on the
squad to take their spots. I, she said,
were not the only ones in Italy who of the population, I mean—have swal- electoral ballot.
had time for dessert. The wait staff
welcomed the uniﬁed currency lowed the bitter pill and stopped cal- Was anyone hopeful about the
knew nothing of the health risks of
with a slick dropping of digits. Ten culating what things would have cost election’s results or were they less
on a scorching
thousand lire shed three zeros and on our sweet, but obsolete old dime. important than running out of ﬁzzy
afternoon quite near the Solstice.
turned into 10 euro—twice its real Nevertheless, the sore theme of water on a weekend night? Or per-
Thank heavens for those who are
worth—thus, black cabbage became expenditure is by no means my forte, haps ‘hope’ was much too strong a
a luxury item, much like salt-less and both you and I would do well concept to pair with late-afternoon
bread and, well, everything else. No to be shocked that I’m even writing pasta and politics?
one could afford pop- about it. But these days, ‘The thing is, the European Par- Teacher by profession and writer by necessity,
corn at the movies, and a as the whole rounded liament Italians,’ Martina Linda Falcone is celebrating her fifteenth year
trip to the grocery store ‘Only Italians world keeps tightening explained. ‘Only an Italian can bear of Italian living. Author of Italians Dance and I’m
felt very much like com- want to be its belt and new Euro- standing between the French and a Wallflower and If They Are Roses, she delights
in experimenting with both poetry and prose.
ing home with a week’s pean parliamentarians the Germans. The Germans can’t
worth of overpriced ker- something have hobbled into their fathom being anything but them- Only the grocery list should never be written.
nels. People purchased can’t
other than who hot-spots, aI thoughthelp selves and the French won’t admit
household appliances but spare for there’s even anyone themselves.
and then returned their we are—and what happens now that Italy gives Europe elasticity. Only
unopened packages—a Election Day has come Italians want to be something other
practice previously un- that is our to take its banners away. than who we are—and is our
heard of in Italy. ‘I was only political Last week, Martina— only political strength.’
thinking in lire when I my friend and a waitress I smiled and Federico, the maî-
brought it,’ they’d say. strength.’ at an outdoor restaurant tre d’ and wine-man agreed. ‘That’s
The values of postage whose tables are danger- right. Italians are easy in Europe.
stamps were ‘uniﬁed’ to suit German ously in the way of whizzing trafﬁc— Admit to the superiority of our food
and French wages, and only the price invited me to eat with her at what exports and avoid laws that ban egg
of coffee hovered close to its original she calls ‘the American hour’. The pasta and you’ll keep us happy as
cost. Salaries were the only thing in whole of the wait staff dines on Easter Sunday.’
Italy immune to inﬂation: those were spaghetti at six, and her mother— ‘Maybe,’ I said, ‘but Europe was
translated to the with by- who looks like a cook and talks hard won.’
the-bank accuracy. Rampant inﬂa- like a captain—never minds stack- ‘ in Italy is hard won,’
tion, I’ve been told, was primarily an ing an occasional plate on her pile he replied. ‘Still, like I say, we are
Italian epidemic and did not seem to for me. I love to go there. If you a new nation. And we bridge the
spread its toxin to original member are ever wondering about the state European divide.’
countries with the same infectious of the world, talk to the people ‘Okay,’ I told them. ‘But I don’t
intensity. Europe was a union and who wait on it. The four servers understand exactly why.’
Italian proﬁteers from the supply- passing out Martina’s menus know ‘Because,’ Martina ventured,
line down simply took their cut of the more about people and politics ‘we have yet to Italians.
your in-progress dictionary of the ﬂorentine dialect New book at Paperback Exchange
by Francesco Stefanelli
Diòspero: Persimmon. What the rest of Italy calls a ‘cachi’, Florentines call a ‘diòspero.’
Guanciale: Bed pillow. Also the cheek of a pig, which is a local delicacy enjoyed
with various sauces or sliced very thinly on bread.
Sìstola: Garden hose.
Example: Ecco...! Se’ ristaccata la sistola dalla cannella! (Oh great! The hose has
come off the spigot again!)
Pareva or pari pari: Being similar to someone or something.
Example: Con quella cravatta pareva un ovo di Pasqua! (He looked like an Easter
egg with that tie on!)
Example: L’è pari pari i’ su babbo! (He looks exactly like his dad!)
@ THIS COLUMN IS INTERACTIVE What are your favorite Florentinisms?
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your top picks, including definitions.
Be a co-author!
Fun book, in English, for young
readers. Includes audio version.
18 Life in Italy
Thursday 18 June 2009 www.theﬂorentine.net
BOOK REVIEW EXPATS>inFlorence
TRUE LIFE different>Paths
A mother’s story of
addiction and hope Milner
by Alexandra Lawrence Bringing color,
accuracy of Libby’s account is the result of
her faithful nightly journaling—and thus it laughter to Florence
captures the blame, deception, despera-
tion, isolation, fear, secrecy and chaos she
and the family felt. Because Jeff is clean by Melinda Gallo
today—after 15 years of heavy drug use
and countless rehabilitation treatments— 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
ntil I read Stay Close: A mother’s story it is Libby’s hope that by sharing the fam-
of her son’s addiction, the phrase ily’s story, her family can heal and others people arrive here at a point in their lives when they seek to redefine themselves: whether they
‘heroin user’ conjured scrawny can hope. were not completely happy, were searching for something new, or were looking for love, it seems
Some readers will question Libby’s reac- that those who come to Florence are reborn. Florence will always be the ‘cradle of the Renais-
addicts shooting up in back alleys and
tions and choices: Why didn’t she see the sance’ for the art world, but it also welcomes people of all walks of life who are seeking to follow
cheap motel rooms; malnourished models
getting their buzz in posh clubs. This book problem early on? Why did she continue to
shattered my naïve image and showed me believe him when he said he was finished
t’s easy to understand why Rebecca Milner sons, and she was among those let go. Look-
that a heroin user could just as likely be a with drugs? How could she continue to
is so happy: she has already made two of ing for work again, Rebecca found a business
college-educated, upper-middle-class guy trust him? I believe that she expects these her dreams come true. The first was to live card of an Italian lawyer whom had she met
from the suburbs and a ‘good’ family with a questions, almost welcoming them, for and work in Italy and the second was to have by chance at a movie theatre; he had said at
mother with a PhD in education. they are the same questions she asked her- her own business and work with her hands. the time that he was looking for an assistant
The book’s cover and frontispiece fea- self for so many years. Perhaps what makes When she was in her teens, she moved to help with his English-speaking clients. She
tures photos typical of most American fam- this story different from so many others with her family to Naples, where her father contacted him and was hired immediately.
ily’s albums: a precious little boy dressed about addiction: she does not pretend to was stationed on a naval base. Initially she After working with him for a year and making
in 70s-style knee socks and a home-made have the answers. In fact, the only answer didn’t want to leave England, but once she her own contacts, she decided to become a
Superman cape hugging a tire swing; an she offers is one she got from an Italian set foot in Italy she was smitten with the new freelance translator.
infant in the arms of his young mother. The man, the director of a drug rehabilitation sights, sounds and smells around her. Two and In the summer of 2008, she created Pari-
first line of the book, however, is ‘My son is center near Florence. a half years later, they moved back to England, passi <http://www.paripassi.com/> to make
in jail.’ She had gone to the center in the hope but Rebecca never forgot Italy. The memories her second dream of working with her hands a
What follows is the story of Libby of enrolling Jeff in its intense treatment of her time in Naples were so vivid that she reality and no longer just a hobby. She designs
Cataldi, her sons Jeff and Jeremy, and how community. In tears, feeling broken and vowed to ‘live and work in Italy forever.’ patterns for wallpaper, textiles, clothing and
drug addiction settled into their upper- desperate to find a way to help Jeff, she After finishing her A levels, Rebecca stud- furnishings; gets fabric printed and sews her
middle-class lives. It is the story of a family had decided to give up and let him go, ied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and own handbags, scarves and other accessories.
and how they dealt with—and continue once and for all. The director urged her Design, where she ignored her love of textiles She maintains that Florence has assisted
to deal with—the addiction of their oldest not to surrender but to stargli vicino, stay and focused on another outlet of her crea- her greatly in moving her creativity to the
son and big brother. close to him. With that simple imperative, tivity: graphic design and illustration. Upon foreground, finding the city so beneficial
We follow Jeff through high school, Libby began her courageous climb out of graduating, she was hired at a publishing to her work: ‘There isn’t that sense of being
desperation to a place where she can now company in London, working with textiles as overwhelmed by so much information in
where he began experimenting with drugs
share her story without shame. a leisure activity. For 10 years, she put Italy out the streets by advertisements and billboards.’
and alcohol and had his first scuffles with
of her mind because she thought it might just When walking around town, she feels more
the law. From a private school in northern be too difficult a dream to realize. It wasn’t un- centered, able to think without distraction.
Maryland whose principal was his mother, Stay Close: A mother’s story of til she began travelling for pleasure that her Rebecca introduced her first collection of
Libby, the book take us through his prep- her son’s addiction desire to make her dream of living in Italy a designs and accessories this year. Her work
pie Boston university days, his first job, his reality became too strong to avoid. is not only about beautiful colors and unique
St. Martin’s Press, 2009
numerous professional successes—and In 2004, Rebecca decided on a whim to patterns, but about adding joy to people’s lives.
his subsequent slide farther and farther Euro 22,40 book a flight to Florence and stay one month Her next dream is to bring color, patterns and
into addiction. Initially, his drug abuse to see what would happen. She chose Flor- laughter to the world. And because she has al-
seems counterbalanced by his achieve- Libby Cataldi, who holds a doctorate in ence because it has so much to offer: it’s walk- ready realized two of her dreams, this third one
ments. However, as his life spirals out of education and has been an educator all able, the countryside is close by, it’s not too will most likely come true as well.
control, the story becomes so gripping her life, was recently head of Maryland’s far from the sea and it’s centrally located in
and so sordid that I found myself turning Calverton School. She has two sons, Jeff Italy. Rebecca contacted everyone she knew Melinda Gallo, a writer and web devel-
the pages quicker and quicker to see what and Jeremy Bratton, and divides her time who had a link to Italy, enlisting them to help oper, has been living in Florence for over
Jeff’s next move would be, to find out how between Annapolis, Maryland and Flor- her find work in Florence. One person told her six years. In her blog, Living in Florence
Libby would make it through yet another ence, Italy. See www.libbycataldi.com for about a job opening with a publishing com- (http://www.melindagallo.com/blog), she
dramatic episode. Most striking is the jux- more information on her life, her work pany, and after interviewing for the job, she recounts her life in a city that she loves and
taposition of the chaos of Jeff’s life and and Stay Close. was hired on the spot. After a 10-month stint appreciates more every day.
Libby’s calm narration. The immediacy and at the job, there were layoffs for financial rea-
Life in Italy 19
www.theﬂorentine.net Thursday 18 June 2009
exhaust fumes stain and blacken Flor-
ence’s lovely old buildings and monu-
On yer bike ments. If you need further convinc-
ing, I’ll leave you with the words of a
much more eminent geek than me:
‘I thought of it while riding my bike,’
by Melissa Morozzo explained Albert Einstein about his
campaigns to support cyclists’ rights, theory of relativity.
regularly organizing events to raise
awareness of cyclists’ needs, such
as Firenze all’Alba, an early morning GREEN FEEDBACK
bike ride around Florence, when the The Mugnone litter collection
roads are blissfully free of traffic, end- organised by the Democrats
ing with a very civilised cappuccino Abroad (now considering chang-
and brioche. It also promotes Critical ing their name to River demo-
Mass Firenze, a pro-cycling/anti-car cRats) was a huge success. Over 40
club that meets on the last Thursday bags of trash were collected, the
of every month in Piazza Santissima contents of which ranged from the
obvious and seedy items like con-
love my bicycle. I love it more than ties through the +bici +baci (‘more Annunziata for a mass pedalata
I love tea, spaghetti with aglio, olio bicycles, more kisses’) advertising through town. dom wrappers to a teddy bear that
and peperoncino and waking up on campaign. Nobody seems to be able I’ve been trying to find out exactly was leaning against the stones of
a Sunday morning, thinking it’s Mon- to explain the connection between how much of a difference cycling the bridge. A great time was had
day for a second and then realising cycling and kissing, but if it gets a makes to the environment, in com- by all. Look for more similar events
that I can snuggle down for another few people out of their cars then it’s a parison to driving, and came up with in the future!
couple of hours. That’s a lot of love. good thing. The council is also behind some interesting information. Did you
When I first moved to Italy, buying a the Milleunabici scheme, brainchild of know that 7 to12 bikes can fit into one OTHER COOL GREEN STUFF
bike was like buying freedom: it costs the Associazione Città Ciclabile Onlus, car-size parking space? Some experts Check out www.wwoof.org. I keep
nearly nothing to run and will take me a pro-bicycle organisation. Through claim that cyclists are exposed to no meeting enthusiastic ‘wwoofers’, so
anywhere. I am still constantly amazed Milleunabici, residents and tourists more exhaust fumes and pollution I think this site deserves a mention.
that this strange contraption can con- can rent bikes from various spots than are people sitting inside their cars Wwoof puts volunteers in touch
vert the puny strength of my spindly around town from €2 to €8 a day. A (I’d love to know if this is true). On the with an international network of
legs into enough power to get me monthly pass for residents costs €20. other hand, someone has calculated organic farms that offer board and
across the city in 20 minutes. For a complete list of prices and the amount of energy needed to pro- meals in exchange for help on the
One needn’t be an ecological rental stations, see www.firenzecit- duce the food that ‘the human engine’ farm. If you fancy learning about
expert to realise that cycling is far bet- taciclabile.org. Another useful site for requires to power a bike, compared organic farming and don’t mind
ter for the environment than is driv- cyclists in Florence is www.florence- to the energy needed to produce the getting your hands dirty while on
ing. It’s also healthier and a hell of a lot bikepages.com, with its useful infor- gasoline guzzled by your average car, holiday, then check it out!
cheaper. Not only do I avoid spending mation about bike tours, cycle paths and the results (at www.bicycleuni-
on petrol and parking, but I can save and taking a bike on public transport. verse.info) are disturbing: ‘meat pro- The Thrifty Cookbook by Kate
on a gym membership, too. I don’t Of course, cycling in Florence duction is so wasteful that walking Colquhoun (Bloomsbury) is quirky,
worry about traffic jams or bus strikes. isn’t all smooth gear changes. As was actually uses more fossil energy than fun, inspirational and infinitely
My journey to work is exactly twice revealed in TF 102, bike accidents are driving, if you get your calories for useful. How not to waste a single
as long by public transport as it is by on the rise in Italy: the national cycling walking from red meat.’ However, this thing in your fridge, from wine
pedal-power. I don’t have to spend 30 association, Asaps, reports that one was more of a critique of the US meat dregs to soggy carrots and stale
minutes on the number 14 with my person dies each day and 40 more industry. There are still many reasons crusts. Your grandmother would
face pressed into a stranger’s sweaty are hospitalised for injuries suffered why cycling is better for the environ- be proud.
armpit. while cycling. Those statistics scared ment.
Florence’s city council estimates me into buying a helmet. Helmets The first bike I bought in Italy was The Florentine wants to hear from you
that there are 28,000 cyclists pedal- have come a long way since I last had stolen long ago, which brings me to if you know of any eco-projects around
ling around town, and it hopes to one in 1980something, but I still find the other great problem for cyclists in town, or if you have anything to say about
encourage even more people onto them impossibly geeky. I figure that as Florence. Everyone has a sad stolen- any of the topics covered in the Be Green
two wheels by laying over 100kms the only cyclist in Florence to use arm bike story. An ex-colleague said she In Flo pages! We look forward to hearing
extra cycle paths by 2010. This would signals, I’m probably off the geekdom saw a thief as he cycled away on a dif- from you at email@example.com
be a vast improvement on the current scale anyway. By becoming a mem- ferent bike, carrying her bike on his
situation where, apart from certain ber of Firenze in Bici Onlus (www. shoulder. Melissa Morozzo has been living in
disconnected tracts of piste cicla- firenzeinbici.net; €15 membership Despite all this though, cycling Tuscany for eight years and can just
bili, cyclists must fight for space on includes RC insurance), I got my hel- is definitely the way forward in Flor- about use the Italian subjunctive. Se io
traffic-clogged roads. Cycling is also met for a cool €14 from Florence By ence in terms of saving the environ- fossi in te, andrei a leggere il suo blog:
being promoted by the local authori- Bike in via San Zanobi. Firenze in Bici ment, time and money. Just think how http://melsdaily.blogspot.com.
Megan Pacetti, Independent distributor
Tel. +39.339.5858054 - firstname.lastname@example.org
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20 Life in Italy
Thursday 18 June 2009 www.theﬂorentine.net
TRAVEL & LEISURE
Painting the spring in a Florentine garden by Rea Stavropoulos
n a slope a few hundred metres Lily pond in the Botanical Gardens villa Gamberaia outskirts of Florence, and this was their
outside the medieval city gate ﬁrst home. It is a short bus ride from the
of San Niccolò, I sit secluded city centre to Castello, where you can
among olive and cypress trees, con- visit the gardens serenaded by swallows
templating the panorama of Florence and cicadas, with the scent of lemon
spread out before me, in the com- blossom in the air and imagine Venus or
pany of the Queen of Denmark, Wil- Flora gazing out onto the beautiful gar-
liam Shakespeare and the Princess of dens through the half opened shutters.
Monaco—just some of the numerous It was Grand Duke Cosimo I in the
species here in the city’s rose garden. following century who laid out the
The harsh sounds of motorini and gardens on the design that can be seen
car horns mingle with birdsong and today.
bells, and at 8:30 in the morning, when He was passionate about plants,
the scent of roses is most intense, founding the Botanical Garden in
Florentines and tourists are otherwise Florence, the third oldest in the world,
occupied, so I have it all to myself. in 1545. Cosimo sent experts on plant
Weaving through the city’s crowded, hunting expeditions around the world
narrow streets, dodging dogs, people to ﬁnd, catalogue and paint plants that
and various forms of transport on my he added to his collection at Castello.
way here only intensiﬁes the pleasure of Here was to be found the renowned
being in the garden. Now, as I paint, my Medici collection of citrus fruit, with
awareness of the bustle close by makes rare specimens and strange hybrids,
this moment of quiet privacy all the the south of the city. When the sun is on either side to frame glimpses of and the gardens still have what are
more precious. too strong, there is always a bench in the city. Magniﬁcent azaleas were in claimed to be 500 of these pots brought
This is just one of the gardens in the shade on one side of the Isolotto, bloom in enormous terracotta pots. out regularly for the spring and sum-
and around the city that I have vis- with its water and lemon garden sur- In the summer the hydrangeas, hos- mer and put back in the enormous
ited and painted during the month rounding Giambologna’s Ocean foun- tas and lilies will be in ﬂower. There for the winter months.
of May. Florence’s name comes from tain and the ﬁgures of Perseus and is a romantic ‘English style’ park with English humanist Francis Bacon,
‘Fiorenza’, the ‘ﬂowering city’, and this Andromeda reﬂected in the water. The a small lake and winding stream. On described gardening as ‘the purest
truly is the month of ﬂowers. But Flor- Prato delle Colonne, with its tall syca- the loggia at the top of the hill one of human pleasures’, and no doubt
ence’s gardens also provide peace and more trees growing in a semi-circle can pause for refreshments and a Cosimo would have agreed for, in
a cool shade in the summer months. like the columns of some ancient tem- grand view over the terraced slopes 1570, he decided to retire to his villa
Boboli Gardens, laid out by Grand ple, is beautiful in the autumn, when of the garden to the city and the hills at Castello and spent his last years
Duke Cosimo’s wife, Eleonora of the leaves turn gold, but it is lovely beyond it. there cultivating jasmine.
Toledo, are the grandest and most every time of year, and generations of It is just a short bus ride from the
extensive of the city’s gardens, with Florentine children have been brought city centre to the village of Settignano
their avenues of cypress trees, foun- here to play after school by their grand- and the Villa Gamberaia, whose gar- GETTING THERE
tains, mazes, statues, urns and garden parents. In the summer, it becomes an dens American author Edith Wharton
open-air theatre for opera and ballet. described as ‘probably the most per- BOBOLI GARDENS
‘rooms’ enclosed by high hedges. I
Leave Boboli from the Fort Bel- fect example of the art of producing a Piazza Pitti
have my favourite places to paint there
vedere exit and just a short walk to great effect on a small scale’. Set in the June – August open 8:15am –
according to the different seasons and
Costa San Giorgio ﬁnd the Bardini hills just outside the village, the gardens 7:30pm (closed first and last Mon-
times of day. Right now, the light is
gardens (use the same ticket). These look down upon Florence and the Val day of the month)
best in the late afternoon and the hour
have been recently restored and are d’Arno from the north. They have all the Entrance: 7 euro
before sunset high up in the Knight’s
Garden, where low box-hedged par- beautifully maintained, planted to usual features of a Renaissance garden: GIARDINO BARDINI
terres enclose roses and peonies and provide ﬂowering interest in every a grotto, a , a nymphaeum, a Costa San Giorgio 4
the garden ﬁts like a terrace into the season. In May, the wisteria tunnel ,a , but these are on a June – August open 8:15am –
ramparts built by Michelangelo along was in its full glory, lanterns of lilac smaller, more human scale than those 7:30pm (closed first and last Mon-
the city walls, providing amphithe- ﬂowers overhead, with the light ﬁl- usually found in the grander Medici day of the month)
atrical views of the hills of Arcetri to tering through and spilling down gardens. Iris Origo, who grew up in Entrance: 7 euro
nearby Fiesole, described it as ‘the most
romantic garden of all’, perhaps because VILLA GAMBERAIA
of the mystery surrounding its owner at Via del Rossellino 72, Settignano
the time. Princess Ghyka, sister of the Ataf bus #10
Queen of Serbia, acquired the villa in Groups with reservations only.
1895 and lived there as a recluse with Call 055/697205
her English companion, Miss Blood. Entrance: 10 euro
She restored the gardens but disliked VILLA MEDICEA DI CASTELLO
visitors, because, it was said, she had Via di Castello 47
lost her former beauty. She bathed in the June – August open 8:15am –
water gardens at dawn to avoid curious 7:30pm* (closed second and third
eyes. No one was bathing among the Monday of the month)
water lilies when I visited, and except Ataf bus #28
for one gardener and the odd visitor, Free entrance
my fellow painter and I had the place to *Open upon staff availability.
ourselves for the whole day. Call 055/454791 before visiting.
have become Florentine icons,
the essential goal of most visitors to the Rea Stavropoulos is an artist from
Ufﬁzi. They were commissioned by the London with a studio in Florence. She
artist’s patron, Lorenzo di Pierfranc- occasionally organizes painting courses
esco, a cousin of Lorenzo il Magniﬁco, in Florentine gardens. Check out her
to be hung in his villa at Castello, on the website at www.reastavropoulos.com.
Life in Italy 21
www.theﬂorentine.net Thursday 18 June 2009
Food & WINE
as possible and then get them sizzling hot in the oven and serve with lentils slow-
cooked in stock with soffritto vegetables and some rosemary or sage. Sausages can
Leftover lovers be sliced and added to tomato, bean and onion stews, or hot rice dishes.
Most types of white ﬁsh can be good for lunch the day after it’s been cooked:
one way of serving it is to ﬂake the ﬁsh and mix it into a mix of hot rice, cooked in
stock and then ﬂavoured with pepper and parsley or, if you’re feeling bold, curry
spices. You can then add sauteed peppers and onions, cut into ﬁne slices, some
fresh parsley, and chopped hard-boiled eggs. Stir well to ensure that the ﬂakes of
ﬁsh are piping hot before you serve the dish.
We won’t cover the usual ‘chop it all up and throw it in a bowl with salad and
vinegar’ or ‘stick them in a hot pan and pour beaten eggs over the top’ routes, as
you already know this. (However, a friend was converted, on a trip to visit friends
in Rome, by what he considered to be the mind-blowing concept of a leftover lin-
guine, tomato and onion omelette.) Use your imagination, as always. You think
something might taste good in a salad? Isolate the ﬂavours that work well and
by Matt O’Leary try to see if you can get them in a sauce or stew. Cuts of cooked meat and pre-
prepared veg that would normally go in your omelettes can be wrapped in thin
pancakes and baked in the oven instead. Who knows: soon you may ﬁnd yourself
cooking twice as much as you need at dinner and investing in a separate fridge for
your beloved leftovers.
agle-eyed readers might have noticed that, of late, this column has revolved
around two distinct themes: summer and the onset of good weather, and
thrift. It’s not through a lack of inspiration—I’d hate to give the impression Matt O’Leary is the food editor of BUCK magazine and www.buckstyle.com.
that writing this column is as easy as gazing out of the window and thinking either
‘Cor, what a lovely day’ or ‘I wish I were a rich man’—but these, in fairness, do rep-
He lives and works in Siena and London.
resent current obsessions. Saving money in the sunshine. That alliterates nicely.
They’re not the only two things currently occupying my mental space, but a
food and drink column about labradoodles, the forthcoming Dylan Dog movie,
Bat For Lashes or lettuce cultivation would presumably see the editors of
R E C I P E S
blowing the dust off their ‘REJECTED’ stamps and prying open the tin of
red ink. So, thrift and summer food it is: although depending on how the lettuce Recipe of the fortnight:
goes, we can consign that one to the ‘maybe’ pile for now.
Anyway, this fortnight’s thrift advice revolves around what one should do when C H I C K E N A N D A S PA R AG U S
presented with leftovers. Food wastage statistics are truly shocking. We, as con- BAKE WITH LEEK SAUCE
sumers, tend to buy way too much food and cook it out of mismanagement, bore-
dom or desperation, and then end up having to cart big, aromatic binfuls of it out
2 breast fillets of chicken, diced
for collection on a daily basis. And repurposing cooked food isn’t a tremendously
attractive concept at all, if we’re being honest. The word ‘leftover’ itself conjures 5 large pieces of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
up images of rejected, unloved scrag-ends, languishing forlornly in the fridge on 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
a plate, gazing unappealingly up at you every time you open the door to pick out Oil for sauteeing
a Chino, drooping their shoulders as the door closes and leaves them, again, in Salt and pepper
darkness... waiting for the inevitable moment at which you’ve had just one glass of
wine too many and feel like a 2am, pre-unconsciousness sandwich. 25g butter
Poor leftovers. It’s time to show them some of the love that they deserve. Addi- 25g flour
tionally, if you factor in any spare cooked food into your eating plan, then you can 1 small, trimmed leek, sliced very finely
eliminate the health risks involved with simply chilling food until you might feel 500 ml milk
like eating it. The inevitable caveat about following instructions about storage and 1 delicato stock cube
longevity apply here, as you’d expect: be careful to store food properly once it’s 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
cooled, be very wary of risky ingredients like rice and cooked, processed (minced,
shredded or reconstituted meat), seafood and so on. But stick to the guidelines 1. Fry the chicken and onion in the oil, until the chicken is browned lightly
and you’ll ﬁnd yourself healthy and sated. and the onion is translucent.
Roast, grilled, or sauteed pieces of meat make such good sandwiches and cold
2. Transfer to a small, deep dish and dot the pieces of asparagus around.
cuts that it’s sometimes difﬁcult to be bothered to do anything else to them. But
Season and set aside.
they can also be unappetising and greasy the day after cooking, and so might need
extra care and attention. Cuts of beef and steaks, or veal, can be cut into inch-thick 3. Melt the butter in a pan. Add the leek and stir well, cooking until the
pieces and cooked slowly in sauces made with plenty of tomato, celery, onion, car- leek is starting to soften. Add the flour and stir well, quickly, until it forms
rots and beans, plus wine, stock, garlic and parsley, until falling apart. Serve this a paste with the butter and leek. Now, add the milk slowly, stirring all the
with rice. Chicken can be denuded of its skinny, fatty bits and either hammered while, to make a sauce.
tender with a rolling pin and served cold with a salad of strongly ﬂavoured leaves 4. Add the stock cube and cook for a couple of minutes.
and crisp pancetta or cooked until piping hot in a creamy vegetable sauce (maybe Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
featuring leeks, spinach and mushrooms, with fresh sage and lots of pepper) before 5. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables. Transfer to a hot oven
being tucked into a pastry case and baked until golden. and cook for 35–40 minutes, until the sauce is golden brown and bubbling.
Lamb can be chopped into ﬁne pieces and fried with garlic, lemon, rosemary and Serve with baked potatoes and green vegetables or salad.
parsley, then used to ﬁll pitta bread or wraps with salad and a yoghurt and mint
dressing. Pork, if it’s been stored correctly, can be re-used too, but is best if it’s a fatty
joint from the belly or loin, preferably with the skin attached. Roll these as tightly
22 Classiﬁed Ads
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