April, how did you get here already? I’ve been having a ball this morning checking out all of the hilarious April fools jokes from all around the world via this ‘live’ article from The Guardian. Including but not all is “Beefeater, the restaurant where you take your grandma on Boxing Day, launches the ‘Beefeater Steak Tan’ – the world’s first fake tan made using real steak juices. ” or why Italy is actually the worst country to visit (oh Buzzfeed) and what about these poor kids?
— joe heenan (@joeheenan) April 1, 2016
Jokes aside, there is plenty to look forward to this month in my beloved Florence. We have markets, we have art, we have international film festivals. Also since the weather is heating up, have a look at this recent post on awesome gardens to visit around town. If you need a little visual inspiration, I highly recommend you follow the #YourFlorence hashtag on instagram, I’m like a proud mama bear with all of the fabulous featuring so many different perspectives of one, pretty awesome town. Additional to the events below, please check out the calendar of La Pietra Dialogues, by NYU, they often host extremely interesting seminars on a range of truly interesting subject matter such as migrants, racism or journalism.
Also have a look at The Florentine’s top picks of events for April for additional suggestions.
Market | Mostra Mercato ‘Artisan market’ April 2nd, 3rd, Fattoria di Maiano, 9:45am – 7pm.
Fattoria di Maiano is only 5.5 kilometers in Florence and is well-known locally for their lovely farm, terrace restaurant and olive oil. They also host a myriad of events open to the public, including this weekend’s artisan market, where they will host over 80 artists. Not only good, there will also be a food-truck and gelato cart. More info can be found here.
Popup Market | “Creative Factory” on April 3 (Sunday) From 10am–8pm. @Museo Bellini
How cool is this? On Sunday emerging Florentine designers will be having a fun ‘creative market’ selling all sorts of cool items for sale including jewelry, prints, clothes, fashion accessories illustrations and graphics. There will also be guided visits to the very cool Museo Bellini. address: Lungarno Soderini 5. make a reservation email firstname.lastname@example.org for the guided visit, more info can be found here.
Market | ‘Fierucola dei legnaioli’ Wood market on April 3rd, address: piazza SS.Annunziata, 9am-7pm
This Sunday on April 3rd, head to piazza ss. annunziata to browse wooden objects made by local artisans in one of my favorite squares. In addition to wood-items, you can find ceramics, textiles, and organic food products.
Antique Market, Piazza Vittori Veneto (cascine), When? April 16th and 17th, 9am -7pm
This is the monthly reoccurring antique market which is typically at the fortezza di basso but has moved to Cascine every third weekend of the month. It is the kind of place to discover odd baubles, find things like antique coat hangers and browse through old maps. I love it and I think it’s a great excuse to get to know Cascine park.
Market, ‘Fierucolina di casa” piazza santo spirito, When? April 17th, All Day
Your general flea market in santo spirito is on March 20th this month, with the focus being on items for the house. It’s always a lot of fun browsing the items here and I highly recommend a visit if you’re in town. It’s a good excuse to get a coffee at Volume or lunch at nearby upmarket Gurdulu or the classic Trattoria Giovanni or Casalinga (reservations recommended).
Flea Market, Piazza Ciompi, When? April 24th, 9am-7pm
A larger version of the flea market that occurs in this area of Florence every single day. It is certainly a site to see as sellers lay their wares around the surrounding streets.
Artisan Market | ‘Mostra Mercato Internazionale dell’Artigianato’ , April 23rd-May 1st, 10am-10:30pm
One of Europe’s biggest arts & crafts fair is coming back to town with the annual Mostra dell’artgianato, this fair has been running since 1931 and is such fun, I look forward to it every year. Brazil will be the country guest of honor 2016 for 80th edition of the International Crafts Show. My advice is to avoid the weekend crowds and go during the weekdays so you can browse goods from all over the world to yourself. Where? Fortezza da Basso (Viale Strozzi, near station). Official website.
General Events & Food
Park | Inauguration of ‘Pratolino Park’ April 2nd. (take the number 23A Bus to Pratolino).
While not exactly in the historical center, Pratolino park is one of the best green spaces in the vicinity of Florence and well-worth a bus trip. They are officially inaugurated the 2016 season with a day of events on April 2nd (a Saturday). They will offer nordic walking lessons for anyone who signs up by calling +39 329 4320795, guided garden visits and everything is free to the public. address: Strada Provinciale della Casa Al Vento · Vaglia. Take ATAF bus #25A from Piazza San Marco. More info here (In Italian).
Free Workshop | ‘Art of the table’ April 2nd, 4-6pm at Blanc Mariclò a Firenze (via dei Fossi, 37R)
Ever wondered how beautiful tables are born? Don’t miss this free and fun workshop of Mise en Place and Art de Table by Stefano Agnoloni at the Blanc Mariclo store in Florence (via dei fossi). There will also be a special guest of the event Enrica Della Martira who will provide a gourmet snack for participants. Booking subject to availability, save your spot by emailing email@example.com. More info here.
Run | Florence Half Marathon on April 3rd, piazza santa croce
The 33rd half marathon includes a ‘mere’ 21 kilometers (and some change). The good news is that there is something for everyone. Participants can also choose to do a 5km walk or 10 km non-competitive race (which is still open for registration). My favorite part about this is the kids race “Tommasino Run” which lasts 1,5 km (which is the one that I would be most appropriate for). The race will take place mainly in the historical center, sign up for one of the races here.
Cocktails! | Florence Cocktail Week (First Edition) April 11-17th of April, Around Florence #FCW16
Now this has me excited. A week dedicated to cocktails, coffee and other gourmet specialists from Mon-Friday. It’s the first edition, which means leave it up to the bloggers/websites not affiliated with the events to actually report on this (lol). but luckily for me my friend Coral or Curious Appetite has dig dirty and come up with the best events for the week that you should check out. From a coffee lesson at a beloved coffee bar Piansa, that has just moved to/opened up again in Beccaria to Florian for craft cocktails. Get the scoop here!
Bike | Sunrise Bike Ride, April 16th, 6:30 AM – 8 AM, Cascine Park
The Florence Bike Festival is running from April 15th-17th and this means tons of fun events for lovers of two-wheels. The Sunrise bike ride takes place early as can be on April 16th. The cost for inscription is 10 euros for adults and two euros for kids up to 12 years old, the cost includes the ‘sunrise’ t-shirt. Sign up here. address: Parco Delle Cascine Firenze: Via Jacopo Nardi 13, 50144 Florence, Italy.
Gelato! | Gelato Festival, April 21-25th, piazzale michelangelo, more details.
Yep, the gelato festival is coming back to town the week of the 21-25th and I am as excited as ever to dig into the latest artisanal favorites from some of the top gelaterie in the city. Plus the walk up to the piazzale means that you can deserve a second, third or fourth cup, right?
Flower Power | ‘Mostra dei Fiori’ @Giardino dell’Orticoltura, April 23- May first, 10-7:30pm
Pretty much an institution for the May first ‘Ponte’ weekend is the beautiful flower show held annually at the horticulture garden close to piazza della liberta. They always have a wide range of plant species to gawk at and buy, such as giant basil or carnivorous plants (seriously). address: Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 17, 50139 Firenze. event info.
Liberation Day | Festa della Liberazione, April 25th, All Around Italy
An important day that marks the fall of Mussolini’s Italian Social Republic and the end of the Nazi occupation in Italy in 1945. During WWII there were plenty of resistance factions around the country that sacrificed their lives to give Italy liberty which is why my thoughts are with them during this special day. Typically there are marching bands and parades on this holiday so businesses to be closed (not related to tourism). In Florence, around 5pm, there will an orchestra and ceremony in piazza della signoria.
White Night | ‘Notte Bianca’ April 30th, Florence, Italy
Notte Bianca is an event where stores and some museums stay open late and the city celebrates in masse., and this year it kicks off the first night of summer as part of a city program called ‘estate florentina 2016’. It’s always a lot of fun yet a little more subdued these past years. This year’s edition actually ends at 2am which is sort of a buzzkill since it used to end in the wee hours with a croissant and coffee at palazzo vecchio offered by the city BUT there are some cool sounding events that I don’t want to miss. This year’s event is dedicated to culture and offers more than just a chance to get drunk in masse. There will be plenty of open-air concerts, literature readings, pop-up exhibitions, free museums openings and stuff for kids.
Just keep in mind that the center of town gets crowded, so stick to a certain area if you don’t want to get caught in the crush. Also bring comfortable shoes..
The full program is finally out, and I can see that there will be plenty of music to be heard all over the city, from classical concerts in the Palazzo Vecchio to an Irish twist at piazza ghiberti closer to piazza beccaria. Official site.
My top picks include
- ‘Bach in Black’ classical concert at 9pm at Palazzo Vecchio’s Salone di cinquecento.
- Markets and Music, Irish themed from 9:15pm – 11:30pm at piazza ghiberti.
- History of Tango, at piazza santa maria novella 10am-9:30pm
- Fire & Dance, from 9:30-11:30 at piazza del carmine.
- Free museum entrances: Palazzo Vecchio until 11:30pm, Museo Novecento until 11pm, Casa Siviero until Midnight.
- 80’s themed aperitif at the piazza dei tre re from 8pm-2am.
- Video mapping installation on the Church of Sant’Ambrogio
- Traveling theater in search of Dante’s paradise setting off in bikes from the Casa di Dante at 6pm, and 7pm departure from piazza santa croce.
- The Jewish community in Florence will also host an evening of literature, colors and sounds in the garden of the synagogue on via faring 6, the fun starts at 6pm- 9:45pm.
- Oblate library, music and dance from 10:30-midnight.
Free Visits | ‘First Free Sundays’ April 3rd, All Around Italy
As you all know, every first Sunday of the month, state museums (Uffizi gallery, Accademia, Palazzo Pitti) all over Italy are free to the public, while city museums are free only to Florentine residents. Yes the major museums will be crowded so unless you have the Firenze card, you can’t skip the line on first free Sundays. My recommendation is to either go first thing in the morning or an hour before closing to not kick yourself in the butt in a long line. Also consider visiting less well-known state museums such as the Bargello (which is fantastic!) and the Medici Chapels and San Marco (only open in the morning).
Museo di Palazzo Vecchio (hours 9.00/23.00), **Torre di Arnolfo which has the best view of town (hours 10.00/17.00, 30 people every half hour), Scavi archeologici di Palazzo Vecchio (hours 9.00/19.00, 25 people every half hour), Santa Maria Novella (hours 13.00/17.30), Museo Stefano Bardini (hours 11.00/17.00), Fondazione Salvatore Romano (hours 10.00/16.00), Museo Novecento (hours 9.00/18.00), Cappella Brancacci in Santa Maria del Carmine (hours 13.15/16.45, last access at 16.15,30 people every half hour), Museo Gino Bartali (hours 10.00-16.00), Museo del Bigallo (hours 9.30-12.00)
The full list and more details can be found in this list by Discover Tuscany.
Art Exhibit | Alexandra Wong at Creative People In Florence, April 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Via di Mezzo 6r
Alexandra Wong is a painter and draughtsman from the United States and a current resident in Florence Italy. Captivated by the narrative qualities visual art has the ability to portray, her work is often centered upon a specific person or location that reveal the confusion of truth and objectivity in a linear narrative. Her latest series plays with images of physical permanence and contrasting context. Alexandra principally utilizes the medium of watercolor for its ability to navigate through ambiguous washes and plains to specific and detailed edges.
To learn more about Alexandra and her work you can visit her websitewww.alexandrawongart.com, more info here.
Keep a look out for contemporary pieces of art in an exhibition titled ‘Spiritual Guards’ by Belgian artist Jan Fabre this spring in some of the Florence’s most captivating locations. You can read more about it here via The Florentine.
Saturday With Foreigners In Florence, April 2nd, 9pm, La Ménagère – Firenze
The Foreigners in Florence group hosts regular meetups to get to know fellow peeps around town and this Saturday they are heading to La Menagere, a wonderful concept bar/restaurant in the San Lorenzo neighborhood. RSVP by Friday (01.04) at 6PM if you want a table! More info here.
Open Mic | April 6th, Open Mic at Tasso Hostel, around 8:30pm.
Open mic night is always a lot of fun and a great place to meet people. They meet the first Wednesday of every month at the very cool Tasso Hostel for a night of readings, music or whatever their heart desires. Address: Via Villani 15 (piazza tasso area), event details here.
Calling all Creatives! | Creative People In Florence Aperitivo, April 14th, La Drogheria, 7pm.
The CPIF or Creative People in Florence are a creative collectif of like-minded artistic souls who seek to help one another showcase their work. I highly recommend getting to know them better and coming to one of their events, including this month’s aperitivo at Drogheria in Piazza Annigoni 22, actually a really cool spot to get a burger. More info here.
International Co-Networking | April 21st, 5-7pm, @Multiverso, Facebook event.
Are you full of innovative ideas, bursting with creative energy and ready to make some solid connections (but also tired of working by yourself, in random Florentine bars with crappy wifi)? Then this International Co-Networking Event might just be what you’ve been looking for!
Step up your professional game in Florence, meet the co-working world and do some serious networking with like-minded people. Let’s put our heads together & go above and beyond. Free to go and there will also be breakout sessions.
9am onwards: try out co-working at Multiverso for free
5pm: kick-off International Co-Networking
5.30pm: start breakout sessions
6:30pm: casual networking with aperitivo + music
address: Via Campo d’Arrigo 40/r (next to Campo di Marte train station)
CPiF Workshop: Contemporary Watercolors, April 13, 2016 at 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Sign up for this 2-hour watercolor workshop taught by artist Allie Wong. address: Via di Mezzo 6r. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to save your spot! More info here.
Art For Kids | ‘Maps Of Florence’, April 16th, Cartavetra art gallery (Via Maggio, 64 r), 3pm.
This is an event featuring new maps of Florence for kids by “Italy for Kids” who will be present to speak about their kids maps project in Italy. The event is open to the public and free for all ages at Cartavetra art gallery (Via Maggio, 64 r) on Saturday April 16th 3 pm. To participate in the tour and workshop after there is a reservation and fee required. For more information email Molly McIlwrath | email@example.com.
Film Festival | “Middle East Now” April 5th – 10th, Odeon Cinehall + other cinemas around Florence.
In its 7th edition, the ‘Middle East Now’ film festival is one of the most important cinema festivals in town, and always one that I personally adore as it often helps to understand these cultures where many have prejudices or preconceived notions. The range of films are always quite dynamic, in the 2016 edition, there will be over 40 in total, all with subtitles. More info can be found online. This year, the festival pays homage to the Turkish director Yeşim Ustaoğlu who is among the very few female directors in Turkey and is considered to be among the trailblazers of contemporary Turkish cinema. I especially want to see her film “Journey to the Sun” which is the story of a brave friendship between a Turk and a Kurd. From Afghanistan the national première of the profound documentary Love, Marriage in Kabul by Amin Palangi (2015, Italian première), which is something I’d love to see as well.
Original-Language Movies, @Odeon Firenze, The Entire Month Of April, Piazza Strozzi.
I went ahead and bought Odeon cinema ticket package so I am actively promoting any trips to the cinema with friends. Films at the Odeon are in their original language. The first week of April will be showing the film “Truth” the synopsis being “Controversy surrounds CBS anchor Dan Rather (Robert Redford) and “60 Minutes” producer Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) after the network broadcasts a report about President George W. Bush and his military service.” Price: 8 euros for a normal ticket, or you can get a pass for 8 shows for 44 euros. Program for this month.
“Cinema Club” Movie Nights At Todo Modo, Thursdays Of The Month, 6:30pm, via Fossi 15R.
Someone sent me this event via twitter, apparently there is a cinema club in Florence offering movie nights at cool independent bookshop cafe Todo Modo on via dei fossi. Movies about artists and art and important movies of the past. Events start at 18:30 with aperitif for 10€. Movie itself starts at 19:30.
Next 2 screenings:
7th of April – Naked Lunch by David Cronenberg
22nd of April – Chinatown by Roman Polansky