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Ideas for the 1st weekend of Spring in Tuscany

March 25, 2011 by Cristina Romeo

Trees are in bloom, the sun is shining bright and temperatures are very pleasant: Spring has finally arrived in Tuscany!

Take a look at all the events organized in Tuscany for this first weekend of Spring, the calendar is full of many various types of proposals.

It starts with VerdeMura, an exhibition of plants, flowers, garden furniture and products organized within the town-walls of Lucca. The exhibition starts today and continues until Sunday 27.

Then several events dedicated to sweets or flea markets and antiques. While sports fans, particularly motorbike-lovers, will have the chance to participate in the Mugello Motor Fest at the Mugello International Circuit in Scarperia. On Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 visitors can also have the chance to test bikes by the most famous worldwild motorcycle manufacturers. You’ll find all the information on the official website of event.

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Florentine New Year

March 24, 2011 by Cristina Romeo

Every March 25, Florence celebrates the Florentine New Year. On this day, the Catholic Church celebrates the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and, in honor of the Virgin, from the Middle Ages up until 1750 this date decreed the beginning of the civil year in Florence.

To celebrate Florence’s New Year, several events takes place in the city historical center.
As in the past, the celebrations center around the majestic Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata, facing the square of the same name. Inside the church, a famous fresco of the mid-1200s representing the Annunciation is venerated. According to tradition, every year on the occasion of the Florentine New Year the inhabitants of Florence and surroundings come to visit and venerate it.

Tomorrow starting from 3:45pm the parade in historical costume of the Florentine Republic will go through the streets of the historic center of Florence, from the Piazzetta di Parte Guelfa to reach the Basilica of SS. Annunziata, accompanying municipal authorities. At 4:30pm, the authorities will pay tribute to the ancient fresco of the Annunciation, preserved in the Chapel of the Holy Effigy. Throughout the day, a small fair with candy stalls and stands selling small craft items will take place in Piazza SS. Annunziata.

The Association Centro Guide Turismo organizes guided tours in the morning and early afternoon, reservation required, to the Church of Santa Maria Novella, the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella and of the Duomo. The visits will be held in Italian. For information and reservations, call 055.2616056.

Happy New Year Florence!

Downtown Florence all lit up

March 18, 2011 by Lourdes Flores

We’d like to share some of our pictures of Florence all lit up for the celebration of Italy’s 150 years of unification! Here you can see Ponte Vecchio all lit up in green, white and red!

You can see more pictures on Facebook!

Here is a view of Piazza della Repubblica, full of people – we were fortunate and the rain had stopped and lots of people were about.

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Program for Notte Tricolore in Florence tonight

March 16, 2011 by Lourdes Flores

Here is a more detailed program of what is going on in Florence tonight in celebration of 150 years since the unification of Italy, called Notte Tricolore, or Tricolor Night in honor of the Italian flag!

Piazza Signoria
19.00 Concert by the Orchestra a Plettro Ottocento Toscano
19.30/22.00 Artistic exhibit by the Accademia delle Belle Arti di Firenze
20.30 Concert by the Orchestra Filarmonica Gioacchino Rossini
21.00 Show “Viva l’Italia” by Aldo Cazzullo inside the Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio, in collaboration with the Teatro Stabile di Verona
21.30 Parade in historical costume by the Florentine Republic with flag throwing exhibition by the Bandierai degli Uffizi
22.00 Performance by the MaggioDanza
00.30 Fireworks from Palazzo Vecchio

Piazza Duomo
19.00/02.00 The song of the Elements. Florentine artisan for the Italian flag – high quality workshops and lab workshops will be hosted in the square by the Fondazione di Firenze per l’Artigianato Artistico in collaboration with CNA Firenze, Confederazione Nazionale Artigianato Piccola e Media Impresa, Confartigianato Imprese Firenze.

Piazza S. Croce
19.00 Gira l’Italia: activities for families with children by the Laboratorio d’arte of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni e Scuderie from the Quirinale in Rome
19.00/00.00 Là dove ‘l sì suona. Azioni sulla Divina Commedia will be readings from the Divine Comedy by All’improvviso Dante – 100 verses for Florence
19.30/22.00 “Alla ricerca del fiorentino d’oggi” by the dell’Accademia della Crusca
20.30 Gira l’Italia: activities for families with children by the Laboratorio d’arte of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni e Scuderie from the Quirinale in Rome
21.00 Lo stravizzo delle parole. Linguistic games with Emanuele Baldi by the dell’Accademia della Crusca
23.00 Music concert by Funk Off and Sound Street Band

More events
Both the Museum in Palazzo Vecchio and all of the State museums (including Uffizi and Accademia) will be open until 1.00 a.m.
Show “Notte italiana” by Maurizio Scaparro at the Teatro della Pergola at 21.00
Organ concert by the Conservatorio di Musica L. Cherubini in Basilica S. Croce at 21.00
Concert by the military corps of the Italian Red Cross at the Conservatorio di Musica L. Cherubini at 21.00
Palazzo Aperto: exhibits and music by the Tuscany Regional Council in Palazzo Panciatichi e Bastogi from 20.00/01.00
Fanfare by the Associazione Nazionale Bersaglieri-Sezione Aldo Marzi of Florence at 21.30
Film on the Italian unification by Regione Toscana and Fondazione Sistema Toscana

Enjoy the celebrations! And remember March 17 is a holiday but State museums will be open and the following will have special exhibits: Bargello, Costume Gallery, Modern Art Gallery, Petraia Medici Villa, Poggio a Caiano Medici Villa, Castello Medici Villa garden and the Orsanmichele museum (generally closed).

Events for Celebrating the Unification of Italy and the weekend in Florence

March 10, 2011 by Cristina Romeo

This year we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy and for this occasion the 17th of March has been proclaimed a national holiday. Schools and public offices will be closed all over Italy but whether shops and restaurants close is up to the owners to decide.

There are events planned at all levels, in Florence and Tuscany and throughout Italy. In Florence, the city is organizing several initiatives to commemorate this important anniversary and at the same time involve all citizens in the celebration.

The night between March 16th and 17th will be a “Tricolor night” in honor of the white, red and green Italian flag. Many events will start at around 7 pm on Wednesday the 16th all over Florence, from special colored lighting of iconic buildings to open-air concerts.
For the occasion, all the city and state museums in Florence (including the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia) will be open until 1 am.
Three central important Florentine squares have been designated to celebrate three Italian “talents”: the beautiful Italian language, art and craftsmanship.

– In Piazza Santa Croce the Italian language will be celebrated with public readings of Dante’s Divine Comedy. At 9pm within the beautiful Basilica of Santa Croce you can attend the concert by the Cherubini Conservatory.

– In Piazza Duomo, the celebration of Italian crafts starts at 7pm with stands that showcase the excellence of Florentine craftsmanship.

Piazza della Signoria will be dedicated to Italian art. The Philharmonic Rossini will perform in front of Palazzo Vecchio starting at 8:30pm while at 10:30pm the square will host a performance by the dancers of Maggio Danza.

An occasion for a special vacation to Florence

The arrival of spring and these interesting events organized for the Unification of Italy offer a special occasion to spend a few days in Florence.

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Weekend and Women’s Day in Tuscany

March 4, 2011 by Cristina Romeo

Spring will arrive in less than 20 days but we had some really cold days during this week in Tuscany. The weather forecast for the weekend fortunately is pretty good and it seems we’ ll have rising temperatures in all the region.

This weekend precedes March 8, date that this year on which we’ll celebrate both Fat Tuesday (the last day of carnival before Ash Wednesday) and International Women’s Day.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, women have free entrance to all State museums and places of art in Tuscany (this initiative, promoted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, is valid for all State museums in Italy).

Throughout this weekend, March 5 and 6, celebrations of Carnival will continue which end this year on Tuesday the 8th. You can find a selection of major events dedicated to Carnival in this other post we dedicated to the events of Carnival 2011 in Tuscany.

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Ideas for the weekend in Tuscany

February 25, 2011 by Cristina Romeo

Piazza della Repubblica in Cortona

Counting on good weather, this weekend is certainly dedicated to enjoy Carnival and its masked parades. There are many nice events all around Tuscany and we have collected a list here in a post devoted exclusively to this Carnival 2011.

If you’ re not going to participate in one of the many festivals or parades in masks, you can choose to visit “Danza in Fiera” in Florence, a large event dedicated to dance, or the Chocolate Festival in Scandicci or maybe one of the antique markets around Tuscany happening this weekend.

Some details on the dance fair: Florence is hosting “Danza in Fiera“, a great dance festival organized in the Fortezza da Basso, from Thursday 24 to Sunday, February 27. Dance events, free classes, workshops and more for all lovers of dance. View the full program here.

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Carnival 2011 in Tuscany

February 18, 2011 by Cristina Romeo

Tuscany is preparing to celebrate the Carnival with many amusing events organized in next weeks in the main cities as well in the tiny villages of the region.
From the great and famous Carnival parades in Viareggio to the events in smaller towns, such as the Carnival at Mugello in Dicomano or San Gimignano, there are a lot of funny and colorful appointments for both adults and children.

Viareggio and its famous allegoric floats

Viareggio offers one of the most famous Carnival parade in Italy. Its allegorical floats in paper mache animate every year the seaside avenues of the city, well known as “La Passeggiata”.
On Saturday 19 a cerimony will officially open this Viareggio Carnival 2011. The real parades will take place around 3 pm on Sunday 20 and 27 of February, March 6 (Sunday) and Thursday 8. The final parade on March 13 will start at 5pm. The events required entry tickets.The Viareggio Carnival is really a funny (a bit crowded) event, enjoy a short video of one of its past masked parade.

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Love and chocolate for this weekend in Tuscany

February 9, 2011 by Cristina Romeo

The weekend before St. Valentine’s Day, this year falling on Monday, has chocolate as one of its best protagonists. Love and chocolate are a perfect match, are they not?!

There are 3 chocolate-flavored events in Tuscany this Saturday and Sunday, February 12 and 13:

In Fiesole, a short distance from Florence’s historical center, on Sunday you’ll find the “Chocolate Festival”. The stands, located on the central Piazza Mino, will offer specialties prepared by master chocolatiers from all over Italy.

Piazza Santa Croce, in the historical center of Florence, hosts until Sunday the sweet temptations of the “Chocolate Fair”. The large square is animated by many stands full of sweets proposed by Italian and international master chocolatiers.

From this Friday until Sunday in Livorno you’ll find the sixth edition of the handmade chocolate festival called Chocolandia. Confectioners will involve visitors in tastings, new recipes and tips about chocolate.

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Sweet events and much more for this weekend in Tuscany

February 4, 2011 by Cristina Romeo

The weekend is about to start – weather forecasts are for splendid weather with spring-like temperatures – what better news to start off the weekend?

This weekend offers many events both in Florence and Tuscany for all tastes and for all, from food fairs for foodies (that’s a mouthful!) to antiques markets to the feline expo in Pisa to several Carnival “previews”. I’ve organized events by type, let’s get planning where to go!

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