Well hello there May, you certainly snuck your way in didn’t you? It’s been a pretty cool Spring so far, sure we’ve had random rain showers and cold days but we’ve also enjoyed plenty of glorious sunshine and events all around town. As always, I feel so lucky to be based in such a dynamic and interesting city and I plan on taking advantage of it as long as I can.
This is the month to explore the city’s famous gardens, as many are free as the ones you need to pay for (rose garden especially), this is the month to get outta town and see the rolling hills bloom around Tuscany, if you can’t go on your own, think about a slow-food tour. For other events, The Florentine typically hosts an array of fun ones that you’ll see added here.
Art | First Free Sundays, May 1st, All Over Italy
First free Sundays is something I have been including in every monthly lineup because how amazing is it that in a city with so many museums, they offer at least one day where you can visit some of the most important places in town, for free. After May day holiday and #nottebiancafirenze (which ended up being pretty lame), head out this Sunday for a little art & culture. I recommend visiting lesser-known but incredible places like the Bargello Museum, Palazzo Vecchio and the Brancacci Chapel near piazza della carmine. FYI the Palazzo Vecchio is open today from 9am-11pm, Santa Maria Novella: 1pm-5:30pm, Archealogical area at Palazzo Vecchio: 9am-11pm, Museo Novecento 1pm – 5pm, Cappella Brancacci in Santa Maria del Carmine: 1pm to 17. More info can be found here on which museums are free and open.
*I also recommend visiting both the Iris Gardens and Bardini which will both be open today. Also today is the last day to check out the flower show at the giardino dell’orticoltura.
Market | ‘Cascine in Fiera’, May first, Cascine Park, 8am-8pm
This first of May returns a day at the park, when Cascine, the largest green space in Florence, hosts a large market on labor day (today in Florence).
Tea | Course On How To Make Your Own Tisane, Uva nera, 7:30-10pm
Have you ever wondered how to make your own tisane at home? I am a huge tea fanatic and thanks to a special collaboration with wine bar Uva Nera and Herborista Herbasalus you can learn how to make your own. Florinda Noka, will teach everyone how to prepare a fresh tisane which would be perfect for summer (served hot or cold). After there will be an aperitif buffet and class of wine. 15€ to participate in the night’s events. There are limited spots, reserve your spot at [email protected] or call +39 055 0121189. address: borgo ognissanti 25r. Facebook.
Open-Mic | May Edition Of Open Mic At Tasso Hostel, May 4th, 8:30pm
One of the coolest events each month takes place at a hostel that serves cheap drinks and offers creatives a free platform. In their words: “This month we have some very special guests! Brett Perkins and Magali Michaut are here from Denmark and will be doing a feature set at 9pm. You can see them at: https://www.facebook.com/
But come early at 8pm and join them for conversations about song writing! They teach song writing workshops all over the world so this is the perfect oppoortunity to pick their brains, and get excited about lyrics and songs. You can see more information about their songwriting workshops here: http://
Free to go, address: 15 Via Villani, 50123 Florence, Italy. Facebook event.
Art | Exhibit Showing Of Artist John Skelcher, May 5th, via di mezzo 6r. 7pm
The Creative Collective organized by the fine folks of Creative People in Florence is starting off May with a bang, first with a show presenting the paintings of artist John Skelcher, who concentration lies mainly with landscape scenes of Le Marche and Tuscany. He studied at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design and Staffordshire University and is currently studying at Angel Academy of Art here in Florence. Read more about John, his work, and his creative process check out his spotlight interview on the blog. Join the inauguration event this Thursday or you can stop by anytime during the month of May to see his works.
Contemporary Festival | ‘Fabbrica Europa’ May 5th to June 18th, Station Leopolda)
Creatives and curious alike will have to head to the Stazione Leopolda (and other venues) in Florence for an annual festival dedicated to different expressions of creative prowess. Have a quick glance at the program, I can see there will be several artistic installations, musical concerts and art shows. Tickets range between 8€ to 20€, depending on the event. More info can be found here. address: Viale Fratelli Rosselli, 5, 50144 Firenze.
Wine | Festa Del Vino, May 6-8th, Eataly, via martelli (by the Duomo)
This weekend, Eately conspires to get us drunk by offering this two-day event where participants can enjoy a variety of Chianti Classico wines and other famous friends along with some tasty snacks (crostini, cannoli) so you don’t drink on an empty stomach. Entrance, plus your wine glass and handy pouch costs 2€ (including the first taste), 6 tastes cost 10€. More info can be found here.
Culture | Open Day at the historical archives of the European Union, May 7th, 10am-5:30pm, Villa Salviati.
The Historical Archives of the European Union will host an Open Day on Saturday 7 May 2016, from 10.00 to 17.30, at Villa Salviati, Florence.Villa Salviati is accessible to pedestrians only, from the gates at Via Bolognese 156 and Via Faentina 261. Participation in the Open Day is free. It will be a day of art, books, music and circus shows for young and old to enjoy together in the name of a united Europe. The program can be seen here.
Workshop | Fleur, Springtime celebration of all things floral, May 7th, via di mezzo 7r. 3:30-7:30pm.
The second event this month organized by the Creative People In Florence is a fun floral affair just in time for mother’s day. There will be makeup tutorials by Antonellina Gruppillo, a flower crown/bouquet workshop with jewelry designer Clara Nguyen and you can work on your own customizable flower necklace by expert Sara Amrhein. Food and champagne will be included, make your reservation via [email protected]. For all the details check out the full description here.
Meet-Up | The Saturday Night Craze, May 7th, 10pm
The foreigners in Florence group on Facebook is an active group in the city that arranges weekly get togethers offering a chance to foreigners in Firenze to get to know one another, I think it’s great! This Saturday, they will be meeting up at the Beer House Club on cors
Live Music | Un-Usual Party at Stazione Leopolda, May 7th, 10:30pm-3am
The creators of the Unusual Florence together with Fabric Europa is showcasing some innovative musical artists for a an ‘unusual’ evening at the event space Station Leopolda. There will be a live performance by CHRISTOPHER CHASSOL, BARBER MOUSE feat. SAMUEL (Subsonic) and La Machina. address: Viale Fratelli Rosselli, 5. Tickets cost 15€ and you can also pick them up at Boutique Nadine. More info here.
Art | Women Artists Of The 1900’s, Villa il Palmerino & Villa il Roseto, May 11th-June 10th
The Advancing Women Artists Foundation is dedicated to showcasing women artists in Italy and a series of interesting events are in the helm of an upcoming publication of Pinochle and Pancini, ‘Twentieth-century Woman Painters In Florence.’ The fun kicks off on May 11th at 5pm, the inauguration of the exhibit and presentation of the catalog ‘Colors of the artist’ (in Italian) of Adriana Pincherle at Palazzo del Pegaso, via cavour 4. May 12th at 6pm (lasts until June 10th), where at Villa il Palmerino you can check out an exhibit titled ‘Art and Memory, Adriana Pincherle and Eloisa Pancini.’
On May 19th, historian Marilena Mosco will speak about her book ‘Artists Couples: Passiom, Complicity and Competition’ which looks at some of the most famous art couples of all time, think Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar. For more info email [email protected] – or call Tel: 339 8944725
Craft Fair | ‘Artigianato e Palazzo’ May 12-15th, Corsini Palace Gardens, 10am until 9pm
Just when you think Florence has it all, it goes ahead and gives you one of the most prestigious fairs in Florence, in a location that will have you stunned for time to come. The Corsini Palace is a historical residence in Florence owned by a real principessa, and the gardens are something I used to describe to people as ‘Firenze’s Garden Of Eden.’ This cultivated event includes os of the best master artisans around town, who work on their crafts at the fair, which is set up all over the majestic gardens. address: via della Scala 115 (in porta al prato neighborhood – close to the train station). website. €8, over 65 years €6, from 7 pm onwards every day free entry. Official hashtag #ArtigianatoePalazzo, this year is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the great flood in Florence
- Sign up for a special tour of the gardens with lunch to follow together with the princess in collaboration with Italian Stories on May 14th, 12pm-2pm, more info here.
Market | Vintage Market At ZAP piazza, May 14-15th
In a small courtyard, tucked away by the Duomo which currently houses the gluten-free restaurant Quinoa, there will be a vintage market (among other items) on the 14-15th of this month. I don’t have much info however you can keep in touch via their FB page. address: Vicolo di Santa Maria Maggiore, 1, Firenze.
Contemporary Art | Jan Fabre At Forte Belvedere, Starts May 14th, Free
The Forte is back! Set to open this May 14th and showcasing over 60 works of Belgian Artist Jan Fabre including films showcasing his past performances. The exhibition will remain open until October 2nd and will be open daily (closed Mondays) from 10:30am – 7:30pm. address: Via di S. Leonardo, 1, 50100 Firenze.
Walk | ‘Walking By Night’, May 14th, starts: La Murate, 9pm-11pm
For the first time ever, you can join a group of people joined to walk for their health during the night hours. The journey will cover 5 kilometers, and will start at La Murate. more info can be found here. address: Piazza delle Murate, 50122 Firenze.
Marathon | Deejay Ten, May 15th, starts: Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia
A 10 kilometer marathon and some of the best DJ’s around hits the street of Florence mid-month on May 15th. If I was a runner, I would probably take part in this since what better way to motivate you than blasting music club style! You can sign up and get more info here.
Contemporary Art | Jan Fabre in Florence, Piazza Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio
Esteemed Belgian artist Jan Fabre presents several of his famous works, including an over-sized turtled called ‘Searching For Utopia’ in the heart of piazza della signora, Florence’s seat of power. He is considered one of the most innovative and important figures on the contemporary art scene. You’ll also see a smaller statue titled ‘Man who measures the clouds’ next to The David in front of Palazzo Vecchio. They will remain there until October 2nd. To Read more about him and his other pieces in the Palazzo Vecchio, get the info via The Florentine and MuseFirenze.
Workshop | Hat-Making, May 19th, 6-9pm, via di mezzo 6r.
This sounds uber cool, for those who enjoy a little vintage flair (think 50’s and 60’s), you can get the chance to make your own Audrey Hepburn inspired hat with the skilled CPIF member Livia Quaresmini. The workshop will last around 4 hours, €60 per person. All materials included. No experience necessary. Please email [email protected] to participate.
FLOWERS | IRIS GARDEN, UNTIL MAY 20TH, VIALE DEI COLLI AND PIAZZALE MICHELANGELO
I adore a little ‘flower power’ so before it’s too late (because Iris flowers have a short shelf life) head over to the gardens (the first or second week of May) to see all of the wonderful varieties up close and personal. Also the iris flower has a special meaning to the city of Florence, in fact it is the city’s flower (think giglio) and there isa yearly competition on the best ‘buds’. Free to go, it is open 10 – 12:30 and 3 – 7 everyday from April 25 – May 20.
Art | ‘Night at the Museum’ as part of Amico Museo, May 21, participating locations
You might have noticed a new green space in the gallery walkway under the Uffizi corridor, well that’s no coincidence, it’s part of a series of initiatives by the Amico Museo which seeks to promote a deeper cultural awareness of what is around us. As part of the series of events, on May 21st, will be a night at the museum, which will offer free entrance from 9pm-11pm to places that participate. More info can be found here.
MeetUp | FIF Ladies Brunch, May 22nd, 11:30am, Odeon Bistro
The Foreigners in Florence group is a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow ‘stranieri’ in the city whether you’re new or not. They have arrange a fancy little ladies-only brunch on May 22nd at the Odeon Bistro (piazza strozzi in the historical center). Anyone and everyone is welcome, just make sure to let them know as they need to make reservations. You can do so via their FB page.
Original-Language Movies, @Odeon Firenze, The Entire Month Of May, 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. This May there are a number of awesome movies that I really want to check out including ‘Where will we invade next’ and ‘The Dressmaker’. Price: 8 euros for a normal ticket, or you can get a pass for 8 shows for 44 euros. Program for this month.