If you happen to be in Florence this May, you made a smart move. It’s not too hot and humid, people are still in the city (unlike August), you’re sure to get some smiles and the sun is shining. Not to mention many events going on around town worth visiting.
This week has felt a bit like an early August for us with both the 25th and the first of May being a holiday. Me and t-man took advantage of the (one) sunny day and relaxed on the beach near Vada and rode bikes everywhere. I beat him at bowling, he beat me at ping pong, we were a pair of regular pensioners for at least a few days. We also happened to eat some really delicious food, think ‘mille foglie” with a exotic fruit twist. yum
Back to reality, which means lots of work to return to aka my numerous job juggle, and life wouldn’t quite be complete without the beginning of what most certainly will be numerous trips to the questura for my permesso di soggiorno renewal process. The bathrooms seem to have been out of order for quite some time now and I am considering selling a porta potty to the building, after all when you gotta go.. you gotta..go
At least we have a lot to look forward to, in the form of TRL, all the gelato you desire, wine, “future of our earth”, contemporary art, a visit from Mario Monti and more.
Coming up this Saturday, May 5th, will be the Italian MTV TRL awards live at 9pm at Piazzale Michelangelo. Think, lights, noise, artists performing love on stage and more. All overlooking Florence in one of the best panoramic views in town. Get there earlier if you want to take part in the mayhem.
Going on from May 3-13 is the annual Fabbrica Europa, a famous contemporary arts festival located at Stazione Leopolda as well in various locations around town. Look for live performances, even at traffic lights, installations, concerts and more.
I had to add this because of my own strong personal interest in politics, apparently on May 10 will be The State of the Union organised by the European University Institute and the Florence School of Regulation in the historic Salone dei Cinquecento of Palazzo Vecchio (Florence City Hall). In attendance will be the Prime Minister himself Mario Monti, and in discussion is the EU energy policy. For a full list of speakers and sessions, click here.
May 9-13 from 7pm onwards is the first edition of “Gusto Birra” , a festival dedicated to locally-made beer/birra artigianale. A beer lover’s dream with an array of different stands open for tastings with a 10 euro ‘tasting card’. Located steps from Piazzale Michelangelo (exact address is viale michelangelo 61). You can meet and greet local producers and enjoy Tuscan specialties with your beer. They claim once you start drinking birra artigianale you can’t go back.. like lays potato chips? I think this is an event I need to check out!
May 12-13 features “notte blue” or rather 27 hours dedicated to Europe bringing together traditions and local cultures. Beginning at 4pm on May 12 and ending 7pm the next day, this year’s theme is dedicated to making Florence the 2012 European city of sport. Concerts, special themed aperitivos, all-night fun, shows, dances, special museum visits and more. Click on the link above for a full schedule of events.
May 17-20 “I Profumi di Boboli” or “Scents of Boboli” returns for their sixth edition in this amazing location. This exhibition features fragrances, accessories (scented candles, oils, soaps, herbal extracts, prints, spices, flowers and more. In it’s 400 year history, this is the only market present in the historical Boboli garden location. Opens on Thursday the 17th at 12, while Friday and Saturday opens at 10am with the last entry to the garden at 7pm on via romana. The entrance to the Boboli Gardens is free for residents of the City of Florence ( proof of identity needed aka Carta d’identita). The entrance to the Boboli Gardens until 5:30pm allows access to the scents of Boboli, the Boboli Gardens, the Silver Museum, the Porcelain Museum, the Costume Gallery, Palazzo Pitti, and Bardini Garden. Entry into the Boboli Gardens for non-residents: € 6.00 (www.firenzemusei.it).
I Vini del Castello 2011– May 19th and 20. During these two days is the return to Montefioralle now known as “Wines of the medieval castle of Montefioralle” which will host winemakers from the area giving spectators the chance to taste their wines at booths set up specially on the main streets of the village. In addition to the exhibition you can also sample a variety of typical food products.Hours: Saturday 19 from 11:00 to 20:00, Sunday 20 from 10:00 to 19:00. Free shuttle bus from Greve in Montefioralle: Saturday: from 15 to 20, Sunday: from 12 to 20
For those who love fashion, from 22-27 May 2012, is Fashion Design Week. Spread in various locations all around the city of Florence, graphic and visual design, industrial design, fashion design, interior design, music and food design will be celebrated during this week. Exhibitions, workshops, meetings, design-aperitifs and an innovative night-life will be organized to create a network between designers and everyday people.
Terra Futuro will be here from May 25th to the 27th, two days dedicated to the future of our planet. This “future fair” will consist of seminars, conferences, workshops, and laboratories located at the Fortezza di Basso and entrance is free.
May 23 to 27, from 12pm-12am: That’s right folks, your wildest gelato dreams have come in fruition thanks to the third edition of this now-annual festa. Italy and gelato go hand in hand as one of the most popular treats in the country and this festival allows you to learn, taste (they even have flavors including blue-cheese), and even take part in the gelato-making experience yourself. An actual gelato-making class will be held at Piazza Santa Maria novella. Gelato stands will be at Piazza Santa Maria Novella, Piazza Strozzi and Piazza della Repubblica. and you will need to purchase a “gelato-card” to partake in samples. Don’t forget to try their gelato cocktails, I had one last year and it was simply divine. Check out their cute video promoting the festival below.
On Sunday, May 27th will be one of my favorite days in May. “Cantine Aperta” when wine cellars open for a day to the public for tastings, tours, culinary workshops and more. This is the perfect day to mimic ‘Under the Tuscan Sun” get out to the countryside and try some wine. A list of participating wineries are here.