Feste delle Donne aka Women’s day is back this Thursday to infiltrate the city with girl-only events and make men rush out to buy the ladies in their life mimosa flowers. I looked up the history surrounding the event and found this from lifeinitaly.com
This civil holiday was born as a political event, and over the course of years blended into the culture of many countries, to the point that in some celebrations, the day lost its political flavor, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love to the women around them. Women’s Day has its roots in two events that took place outside of Italy. On March 8, 1857 a strike by garment workers in New York, led to the formation of the first women’s union in the United States. Sixty years later Russian women led a strike calling for “bread and peace” during the twin horrors of World War I and the Russian Revolution. In 1945 the Union of Italian Women declared that this special date, March 8, should be set aside to celebrate womanhood across the country.
I would dare say that I see this day celebrated with more gusto among Italians than on Valentine’s day. It’s really nice that women get a special day in Italy since we all pretty much know il bel paese is not in the forefront for women’s rights. You can bet that the day after many donne will be donning their rubber gloves and washing those dishes, taking care of the kids, and working a full-time job while their husbands and partners enjoy a relaxing evening and a home-cooked meal. I think its important to honor the powerful role of women in society today, considering that just 40 years ago there was such a drastic difference of what was expected of us in our defined roles in life. I really enjoy talking to women growing up in the 40’s , 50’s and 60’s to see their outlook on life and all they had to endure. I do hope this generations young women appreciate the rights that were fought for them to have ( birth control, right to choose, equal working conditions.. ) but sometimes I fear that society has come complacent and expectant which is truly sad.
Anyway, without getting too melodramatic, lets talk about what is going on around town to celebrate this special day. Obviously there are many events organized by various local venues, and you can be sure a drag queen or two will enter the mix ( we can only hope ) Below are my “top picks”.
- State Museums are FREE for women on women’s day so why not start the morning early and check out one of the museums you haven’t gotten around to seeing. I recommend the Medici Chapels and Palazzo Pitti’s costume gallery. list of state museums available here
- Known for their amazing panoramic terrace. Hotel Baglioni will be showcasing a specially designed menu for the night including some special mimosa flowers. The menu includes scallops, mushrooms, decadent chocolate cake, champagne wine and more.. all for €44 per person including drinks. full menu and more info is available here.
- YAB loves Women, at 9:30pm, this famous nightclub near piazza della repubblica is hosting a special night including dinner with sexy waiters for €25. I’ve actually been one year and it was pretty fun if you don’t mind a little male waiter attention, bring your girlfriends! reservations required, info and reservations Tel. 329/3627079 Marco.
- Janis Joplin Tribute, at 8:30pm, Caffetteria delle Oblate. If you haven’t been to the caffe in the Oblate library steps from the duomo, you are truly missing out. Its cheap, got a nice view from the top and they have some cool events, one of which being a women’s day tribute to Janis Joplin, a musical hero. A fun and FREE event, details are http://www.lospaziochesperavi.it/caffetteriadelleoblate/index.php?file=eventi&subpage=suite
- Clubhouse “bachelorette party”, 8:00pm. Shades of pink will take over this local near the San Lorenzo markets and women will be showered with great music, sexy male strippers ( yep I said strippers) and of course dinner. Don’t forget contests, goodie-bags unlimited wine and more, its everyone’s bachelorette party. €20. info here https://www.facebook.com/events/197419103695754/
- Otel presents “off limits” straight from Paris, 8:00pm. Of course you knew they were going to have an event, and this looks pretty amazing. Yes the strippers will also be present here ( I sense a theme..) and attendees will have the chance to feast on a delicious dinner and show. €35 , for reservations call 055/650791.
- E ora dove andiamo film by Nadine Labaki, 9pm, Odeon Cinehall. A new Lebanese debuted for women’s day called ” Now, where are we?” tells the the story of five women who speak of everyday problems they face as women in a beauty salon. Nadine seeks to tell the story of these women set in a small village in the mountains of the Middle East where Muslim and Catholic communities are often in conflict. € 7.50 / € 6.00 reduced, http://www.odeon.intoscana.it/news_view.php?id=278
- WOMEN’S DAY at KITSCH 2, 8:00pm, via san gallo 20/r. Not the usual “Women’s Day” with flowers and gifts, but instead a party where the women are the protagonists and creators of music and art. Titled “Cabinet de Curiosités” there will be an intriguing blend of forms, paintings, photos and jewelry by designer Friedrich . Admission free.
- Women’s day festa at Rifrullo, 7:30pm, via san niccolo. Live music and a special sensual apertivo for the ladies at one of my favorite aperitivo joints. more info here https://www.facebook.com/events/363245850363002/
- God Save the Beer! 7:30pm at Le Murate and Angels Restaurant. a tasting menu and a chance to save the (artisan) beer at both locations. Tied to the famous “taste” event at Stazione Leopolda coming next weekend, I am sure this will be really good. For more info email email@example.com €25 for tasting menu.