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Luxury hotels and restaurants in Florence

Strolling on my own in the web I found one more out of hundreds website about Florence: Italianday.com.
One can say there are too many touritsic website. That was different. I rather enjoyed the pictures of monuments and landscape (marvellous!).
Actually there is not only Florence, there are much more Italian destinations. I see there are many hotels around all Italy (Sardinia, Venice. Rome, Florence, Umbria, Apulia..).
Some of there are really gorgeous.. This website offers a selection of Italy luxury hotels and charming accommodations (I think it is very useful for those travellers willing to come to Italy).
There are 4 and 5 stars hotels, castles and charming dwellings and some restaurants. In Florence's page at the moment there is just one restaurant: Borgo San Jacopo. I have never been there so far, some of my friends have been there and said they eat well. Surely on the photo looks like it is on a great position (Ponte Vecchio just few steps away) and prawns in another photos look really tasty.. something to try for sure! Well, in Italy there are really fabulous places. I know the five stars hotels on the Florence’s pages of Italianday.com (Westin Excelsior and Grand Hotel) because sometimes I popped put there for some parties or ‘aperitivi’ I really didn’t know anything about Castello del Nero in Tavernelle. I actually read on a newspaper they have a spa as well. I really would love to sleep in a luxury hotel once.


Live jazz music in Florence

PROGRAM 1st-31th of October 2007
Concerts start at 10.15 pm – members only
Promotion: for only 5 euros you can gain a membership card valid till December 31st
October special promotion: “U.S.A. College day”, every Wednesday if you are an AMERICAN STUDENT in Florence and BRING WITH YOU your STUDENT ID card, you can buy 2 Jazz club membership card for only 5€ (2 for 1: come with a schoolfellow!)
Monday 1st closed.
Tuesday 3nd JAM SESSION BLUES + HOUSE BAND Today the Jam Session has the colours of blues: it will start with STAY FREE BAND (www.stayfreeband.com), led by one of the most important blues musician in Tuscany. Roberto Uggiosi: guitar and voice; Marco Polidori: bass; Luca Solini: drums.
Wednesday 3rd METROPOLIS JAZZ QUINTET. Standard jazz, Italian and American evergreen songs with a lot of free space for improvisation. Denise Lembo: voice; Marco Zini: tenorsax; Umberto Quattrone: guitar; Alessandro Berti: double bass; Enzo Marino: drums.
Thursday 4th NADIA ANGILELLA GROUP. A modern arrangement of Italian ’40s and ’50s songs and ’30s and ’40s American swing. Nadia Angilella: voice; Paolo Iannone: piano; Piero Barbetti: drums; Paolo Bulletti: bass.
Friday 5th From 21 p.m. Fiesta española with GIGI CARDIGLIANO GROUP. Flamenco, paella and sangria (info for dinner: Vincenzo Ricchi 331 6477097).
Saturday 6th “Jazz & Friends” presents DANIELE MALVISI (sax) + Leonardo Pieri: piano; Nicola Vernuccio: doublebass; Cosimo Marchese: drums. Jazz with a great Italian saxophonist and composer.
Sunday 7 th and Monday 8 th closed.
Tuesday 9th JAM SESSION + HOUSE BAND. Tonight jazz-funk, with the House Band made up of Francesco Cherubini: drums; Leonardo Volo: piano, Carlo Bonamico: bass. But Jam Session is free and open to any kind of jazz…
Wednesday 10th EMIFOLK (13 BLUES). Folk-blues-rock&roll. Emiblues (Emiliano Degli Innocenti): guitar, mouth organ, bass, and voice; Folk13 (Folco Tredici): guitar, mouth organ, and voice.
Thursday 11th SUNRISE JAZZ ORCHESTRA conducted by Stefano Rapicavoli. Born in 1994, one of the first jazz orchestra in Tuscany which already playes with big artists.
Friday 12th CHICAGO BLUE REVUE. R&b-swing-rock’n’roll, arranged in 50s’ Chicago Style. Giacomo Ferretti: guitar, voice; Fabrizio Berti: mouth organ, voice; Piero Ferretti: bass, voice; Enzo Panichi: drums.
Saturday 13th Silvano Grandi & THE SULTANS OF SWING. Silvano Grandi: piano; Maurizio “Bozorius” Bozzi: bass; Eraldo Cardinali: drums + Guests.
Sunday 14th and Monday 15 th closed.
Tuesday 16th JAM SESSION BLUES + STAY FREE BAND, led by one of the most important blues musician in Tuscany. Roberto Uggiosi: guitar and voice; Marco Polidori: bass; Luca Solini: drums.
Wednesday 17th TRIO SCAFROGLIA. Tommaso Ceccatelli: guitar; Andrea Vincenti: voice; Mirco Capecchi: double bass (Swing).
Thursday 18th ROBERTO ANDREUCCI ’70 FUNK TRIO. Funk and jazz-funk in ’70s style Roberto Andreucci: electric piano; Milko Ambrogini: bass; Stefano Tamborrino: drums..
Friday 19th ALEX GONFIANTINI BLUES BAND. One 19 years old talent. When he was 16 he was on the stage of Pistoia Blues; at seventeen he opend the second night at Turrita blues; at eighteen he played at Bordighera Jazz & Blues. Keep an eye on him! Alex Gonfiantini: voice and guitar; Carlo Bonamico: bass; Antonio Masoni: keyboards; Cosimo Marchese: drums.
Saturday 20th PERFIDIA QUINTET. The band, whose name comes from a very famous 30s' bolero, works to restore the intense and full of pathos atmosphere of bolero, son and latino american music, especially the traditional cuban music. Francesco Birardi and Gianni Biondi: guitars and voice; Paolo Casu: congas, darbouka, percussions; “Sandrito” Garbey: trumpet; Michele Staino: double bass.
Sunday 21st and Monday 22th closed.
Tuesday 23th JAM SESSION + HOUSE BAND. Tonight latin jazz & fusion, with the House Band with Marco Pezzola: piano; Carlo Bonamico: bass; Pepe Bonanno: drums. But Jam Session is free and open to any kind of jazz…
Wednesday 24th FEIJOADA. Brasilian Music. Irene Giuliani: voce; Guido Salvi: guitars; Lorenzo Innocenti: electric bass; Tommaso Rosati: drums..
Thursday 18th “CAPPOTTO E CAMMELLO” (Coat & Camel). Leonardo Boni and Roberto Uggiosi: guitars and voices. A new reading of ragtime and blues-swing songs by artists as Sam Chatmon, Sonny Terry, Browie McGee etc.; the love for this kind of music also appears through their version of more recent authors' songs, like John Fogarty and Lennon-McCartney.
Friday 26th SOUND POWER FUNK in “Rock my love” . Andrea Coppini: sax; Franco Baggiani: trumpet; Emanuele Fontana: piano and keyboard; Marco Cattarossi: bass; Cosimo Marchese: drums. An extraordinary explosive band, led by Andrea Coppini and with teachers from the music school “Sound” of Florence (www.soundrecords.it ), which plays rock songs arranged in funky style.
Saturday 27th SIX DIXIERS. Alberto Guerrini: clarinet; Mirko Rabitti: trumpet; Nerio Bianchi: trombone; Enzo Bonfiglio: banjo; Francesco Lorenzini: bass; Giole Camellini: drums. The band plays both classical dixieland songs of ‘20s and ‘30s and songs of the smaller bands playing in those years. In the repertory songs like Sweet Georgia Brown , All of Me , Basin Street Blues, Fire chief Rag, and Italian songs like Pippo Pippo, Mille lire al mese, etc.
Sunday 28th and Monday 29th closed.
Tuesday 30th JAM SESSION BLUES + STAY FREE BAND, led by one of the most important blues musician in Tuscany. Roberto Uggiosi: guitar and voice; Marco Polidori: bass; Luca Solini: drums.

Wednesday 31st HALLOWEEN PARTY: live music with “Florence funky company” (soul-funk and disco music) + DJ SET to late night. Witches, wizards, vampires etc. are welcome!

Info and reservations: Vincenzo Ricchi, 331 6477097; after 21 p.m.: 055-2479700

Via Nuova de’ Caccini, 3 - Firenze
tel. 055-2479700 / 331 6477097
open from 9 pm to late night
concerts from Tuesday to Saturday – closed on Sunday and Monday


On the tuscan road




this wesnesday there will be the first appointment with the tuscan recipes:

The CHIANTI region: land of Gallo Nero and of the tuna that doesn’t live in the sea.
The LUNIGIANA region: land of bread and pilgrims
: the jewels of San Miniato
The MAREMMA region: homeland of strong tastes
The CASENTINO : land of cold cuts, beans and stews
MARCH 2008
The GARFAGNANA : not just cereals
April 2008
SAN ROSSORE : a game reserve and its jewels
May 2008
The Etruscan coast and the blue-fish

For all those who will participate at at least 6 dinners, there’ll be a special gift from the Rifrullo!
Come and taste the real Tuscan dishes: food, wine, history, people…at the RIFRULLO you will experience an itinerary throughout this beautiful country!

For further details: http://www.ilrifrullo.com/index.php?lang=en


Corri la vita marathon

Next Sunday in Florence there will be "Corri la vita".
"The run against Breast Cancer"

CORRI LA VITA is a marathon with the goal of collecting funds for the fight against breast cancer. It is a wonderful event that will involve the city of Florence and the whole of Tuscany. All are invited to participate: residents and non residents, from the most serious athletes to the most sedentary, but also children, adults of any age, individuals, whole families, groups, colleagues and friends…everyone is welcome. Participating means you will have the chance to add your contribution towards saving millions of lives each year.

In 2005, with the success of the previous editions, a new Cancer Rehabilitation Center was created to assist people who have undergone breast or intestinal surgery in both physical and psychological rehabilitation. Part of the money collected with Corri La Vita is also designated to FILE which provides hospice care and pain alleviating therapy.

As in the previous editions, there will be a non-competitive walk (approx. 6 Kilometers) open to all and a competitive mini-marathon (approx. 12 Kilometers). The exact itinerary, as always, will start and end in Piazza Santa Croce at 9.30 am and you can be sure that it will lead through beautiful hidden gardens and historical buildings and sites.

DATE AND PLACE: Sunday, September 30th 2007, in Firenze Piazza Santa Croce
REGISTRATION: Boots will be open in Piazza Santa Croce Saturday 29 September 10 to 17 and last minute Sunday 30th September from 8:00 to 9:00 in.
Every participant must fill in an entry form, specifying if he/she wants to walk (6 km.) or take part in the competitive race of 12 km (see example of required medical certificate below). The entry form must be taken to:
The enrollment fee is minimum 10 Euro per person and for this you will receive a bib number, together a free Salvatore Ferragamo T-shirt and gift bag certificate. Children under 10 do not pay, but those children who register and pay their € 10 will be eligible for a t-shirt, bib number and gift bag certificate plus the possibility of winning race prices.

Read also Vivicittà Firenze half marathon


Lucca comics and games 2007

Lucca is known throughout the world as a city of Art, History and Culture. Since 1966, however, Lucca has also been the undisputed City of Comics, and year after year has hosted an event dedicated to strip cartoons that is acknowledged to be the most important and exciting of its kind in Italy.
I've been to several editions of Lucca comics, even last year when it was held in the center of the town. It was quite funny to have a coffee in a bar besides Jessica Rabbit or Jack Sparrow, it was gorgeous to watch Luke skywalker and the Jedi fight near the ancient walls, or walk besides Darth Fener.. it was funny to see Sailor Moon window watching in Lucca.. (you can see some pictures here)
A long and impressive story that has made Lucca one of the world's capitals of comics, thanks to the enthusiasm and skill of international experts, publishers, authors, critics and fans.
In 1993 started a section, Lucca Games, dedicated to role-playing and simulation. Soon after, this was joined by Lucca Junior for children.

Almost 400 exhibitors from all over the world, spread out over 16,000 square metres of covered area, large exhibitions mounted in important buildings in the historic centre of Lucca, meetings and discussions, innumerable new publications, meeting with the many authors who take part in the exhibition, more than 400 accredited journalists and more than 85,000 visitors - these are the current statistics for LUCCA COMICS & GAMES, statistics that have made Lucca a must for cartoonists, game writers, publishers, scholars, opinion leaders and fans.

Together with the new Italian Museum of Comics, set up in 2001, Lucca Comics & Games is now a great cultural event representing arrival in a journey that began 40 years ago. And above all, the beginning of a new adventure that makes Lucca the fantastic City of Comics and Games - in the heart of Tuscany, in the heart of Italy, in the heart of fans all over the world.

This edition is devoted to Alice in Wonderland.
From the 1st to the 4th of November.


Dancing at Barberino Outlet

Tomorrow afternoon at Barberino Outlet there will be the special exhibition of the Kataklo' company. These dancers have become famous thanks to the opening ceremony for Olimpics games in Turin.
On Saturday 15 September 2007, from 6 pm, you will be able to enjoy an evening in the company of great artists of dance, with the spectacular Kataklò Athletic Dance Theatre and many other internationally known dancers.

This weekend you can admire original idea of Michelangelo shown on the facade of San Lorenzo church, you can go to Fragranze show, you can wander through the little market of antiquees at Fortezza da Basso, you can have brunch at Rifrullo (they have started again the great Sunday brunch).


Fragranze, Pitti exhibition

From 14 to 16 September 2007, in the Gardens of Palazzo Corsini, Florence, Pitti Immagine presents the fifth edition of Fragranze, the only event of its kind in Europe dedicated to the world of artistic and selective perfume-making.

One of the most beautiful gardens in Florence will be the stage for the most exclusive fragrance, timeless perfumes, research on cosmetic specialties, body-care and wellness products and perfumed accessories. Exceptionally high, artisan quality, sophisticated items and unique products from the world’s biggest names.
Fragranze is the meeting point for the most advanced, creative and niche fragrance market (there were over 1,000 visitors at the last edition). It is the event that selects and showcases the latest and most interesting products the industry has to offer, and it’s a workshop-laboratory that researches products that are complementary to and coherent with perfumery.
During Fragranze Florence, the place where modern perfume-making was born, the place where the wealth of monumental and botanical gardens combines with the unique nature of its artisan workshops, will be valorizing its traditions and projecting them into the future proclaiming itself at the international capital of creative perfume-making.

Of the over 100 brands at this edition, we can mention: Abahna, Aqaba, Casaroma, Clive Christian, Crabtree & Evelyn, Diptyque, Creed, E. Marinella, Floris, Il Profumo, La Maison de la Vanille, Laura Tonatto, Le Prince Jardinier, Lorenzo Villoresi, Maitre Parfumier et Gantier, Menard, Nougat, Penhaligon's, Profumi di Pantelleria, Robert Piguet-Bahgari e The Laundress.

The new staging concept was designed by Sergio Colantuoni, stylist and fashion editor for important international fashion and lifestyle magazines. The products will be displayed in an elegant and imaginary store of the future projected back to the 1940’s. It will be a tour of elegant “couture-parfumeur” windows, framed in stuccowork, lights and floral arrangements, and then a huge, magical room that will host Meeting-Parfume and Risto-Parfume with different atmospheres bonded together by a special alchemy.

The 3 days of Fragranze will feature a program of events that combines information and entertainment: projects, exhibitions and presentations organized by Pitti Immagine and the exhibitors will turn the spotlights on the international leaders in artistic perfume-making and contemporary life-style and wellness culture. The various initiatives scheduled for this edition include a special installation-journey through 7 areas dedicated to the 7 basic fragrance classifications, and a photographic exhibition which takes a look at the personal idea of beauty of perfume-wearers, realized through images taken by young Italian photographers.

This edition, too, of Fragranze will be open to the public for one day. On SATURDAY 15 SEPTEMBER, all fragrance enthusiasts will be able to enter this fascinating world to learn about the exclusive products and to participate in the events and become closely acquainted with modern olfactory culture. Entrance fee: 10 euro.

see also Pitti Immagine Uomo


Food and wine tasting

Tomorrow, Wednesday, 12 September 2007, at 8,30 pm

after the summer stop, the wednesday special events at the Rifrullo are starting again.

Wednesday 12th, they shall start with a wine tasting. The wines are from La Montina. You can have dinner at a special rate.

The menu is selected in order to follow the wines FRANCIACORTA DOCG:

Selection of ham and salami with crostini (BRUT)
Mix of fried vegetables (Extra Brut)

Tagliatelle with vegetable ragout (Satin)
Risotto with prawns and courgettes

Melon and watermelon dessert (Demisec Rosè)
Please contact us for your table reservation. Places are limited!
Price per person: Euro 22,00 (including service, water, wines).

To reserve: phone numbers: 055 2342621 - 055 2347850
For further details, please visit the web site www.rifrullo.com
And don't forget to that every Sunday you can find at the Rifrullo their well known rich Brunch (from 12,30 to 15,30), while the evening is dedicated to the happy hour, with lots of good things to eat! (all you can eat just for 10 euros)


Wine tournament near Florence

I wrote about this wine tournament in Fiesole (near Florence) several months ago, now it's time to go and drink!
From saturday, the 8th (3.00 pm) to Sunday, the 9th of September (until 5.00 pm) you can taste several kinds of wine and tuscan food. Entrance free, you pay for the glass necessary for drinking wine.
On Sunday, at 6.00 pm, there will be a special celebration for the "bistecca alla fiorentina" with the cut of the steak, made by the florentine association of butchers.
Here's the detailed program (I'm sorry it's in italian):
Campionato di..vino in Fiesole, near Firenze.


Live music in Florence in September

Tomorrow there will be the Rificolona here in Florence. Besides the main procession on the night of the 7th, from Piazza Santa Croce to Piazza Santissima Annunziata, and the kids carrying the coloured lanterns through the streets of Florence, you can go also to Piazza della Passera for the Rificolona concert.
In the little square near to Ponte Vecchio and Piazza Pitti, in these days there are some little jazz live concerts.
For the eve of the 7th: Rossana Casale
trio jazz with Luigi Bonafede e Aldo Mella.
Rossana Casale is a famous italian singer, with a smooth voice and long carrier.
Entrance free.
In the afternoon food and events for kids, from 5.30 pm.


Feast of Rificolona

This friday in Florence there will be the "rificolona": an historical event made for kids. Children wander through the streets of Florence carrying papier-mâché lanterns tied to the ends of sticks, called rificolone.

More probably the Festa della Rificolona grew out of the great fall market held September 7 (the day before the Nativity of the Virgin) in Piazza Santissima Annunziata. It was perhaps the most important market-day of the year, because it allowed the farmers to gather cash for the coming winter. To arrive early those living in the outlying regions would shoulder their packs long before dawn and carry lanterns, made by suspending candles within tissue-paper wind-shades, to light their way. Entire families would come, dressed in their Sunday best, but they were ignorant county folk and their attempts at elegance only made the city people laugh (Florentines still call an overdressed, over made-up woman a rificolona). Children would blow whistles at them, and make their own lanterns with colored tissue paper to follow along, or shoot at the farmers' lanterns with blowguns, in an attempt to knock over the candles and set the tissue paper ablaze.

The Festa della Rificolona closes with a procession on the night of the 7th, from Piazza Santa Croce to Piazza Santissima Annunziata, which is led by the Cardinal.
Various Rificolona laboratories are organised by the City Wards to help keep up the lantern making tradition.


Pizza festival near Florence

The little town of Lazzeretto, in the Florentine countryside hosts the Pizza Festival (Sagra della Pizza) until Sunday 16th September 2007. Lazzeretto lies between Empoli and Pistoia, not so far from Florence. (here's the map to get to Lazzeretto)
The festival is a very big gastronomic event and propose a big selection of home made pizzas cooked in the traditional wood stove. Besides all those pizzas the festival also propose typical dishes of the Tuscan gastronomy.
Every night music, performances and more (entrance free) here is the program of live music and dancing.

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