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Free concert of classical music

Next Tuesday, the 1st of July, enjoy a spectacular concert of beautiful classical music, performed by the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino orchestra.
For the final concert Zubin Mehta will direct one of the most loved simphonies:
Ludwig van Beethoven's "Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 Choral"
One of the best known works of the Romantic repertoire, and one of Beethoven's greatest masterpieces.

The concert will start at 9.30 pm in Piazza della Signoria.
Free entrance.


Restaurants on river Arno in Florence, italy

cheap restaurant in FlorenceOne of the best restaurants on Arno river is Golden View Open Bar: you can see the gorgeous Ponte Vecchio just in front of you, while you are eating, through the huge windows. And every evening there's live jazz music.
You can savour several kinds of “pizza”, “calzoni”, and “focacce”, topped with the most traditional dressings, and the most innovative ones, such as “Mezzaluna sull’Arno” and “Focaccia Barbablù”. From the Pizzeria’s oven comes out bread twice a day, the very bread you find on the tables, along with the delicious “schiacciatine”.

Golden View Open Bar
Via De' Bardi, 54/64 Rosso, Ponte Vecchio Firenze
Tel: +39 055 214502
Mob: +39 3334757400
Email: info@goldenviewopenbar.com
Opening hours 11.30 am - 1.00 am

Another place I really recommend is this nice tuscan restaurant in San Niccolò quarter. It's not exactly on the River, but it's quite close to. And it's one of the few places in Florence to find free wireless internet. There you can have an excellent brunch (except in Summer) for only 20 euros. It's not easy to find cheap good restaurants in Florence!

See also the post about the boat tour on Arno River>>


The historic football of Florence named "Calcio storico fiorentino"

Yesterday was Saint John, the patron of Florence. In Florence we are used to celebrate this day in several ways: first, everything is closed. People don't go to work, only touristic stores are open.
During the day there are historic processions and canoa races in the Arno river.
At the end of the day, exciting fireworks are waited from everybody.
But this year there was something special more longed for: the return of "Calcio Storico", the florentine historic soccer played in medieval costumes.
The game is played in the Santa Croce square, where a temporary field is built and covered with sand. Several matches are held between 4 teams representing each quarter of Florence in June. The final match is held on the 24th of June. It's a rough game, where players keep running with the ball (the "caccia") trying to avoid smash, fists and collisions.
Every year someone gets hurt and is brought to Hospital...
In 2006 the game was becoming too violent and it was suspended. Finally, after 2 years, the Calcio storico has come back with different rules and new teams (younger players).
Yesterday the final match was between the red team (representing Piazza Santa Maria Novella) and the blue team (Piazza Santa Croce). The final score was: 9 "cacce" and a half to 4, in favour of red ones.


Nottarno, the "white night" in Florence

Next saturday (21st of June) in Florence there will be the "nuit blanche" (=the white night): a special night with events through Florence all night long. From 7.30 pm until 4.00 am:
- Stores will be open
- In the streets there will be concerts and live performances (Irish music in Piazza del Carmine);
- You wil find music and entertainment in the squares of Piazza del Carmine, Piazza Pitti, Piazza Santo Spirito;
- Mortadella and other food given for free in Via Romana;
- the zoological museum "La Specola" will remain open until midnight, with a interactive video with the voices of animals;
- performances of scuplture, architecture, photography...
- clowns and events for kids at San Niccolò
- A open air market that sells biological products, fruits, vegetables, bread, wine, honey, oil and other italian food until 2.30 am.
And people everywhere!


The cloud at Pitti Fair

When I was visiting the Pitti Fashion Fair I was captured by a peculiar sculpture... when I touched one of the 15,000 individually addressable fibers, I realised that they where sensors.

The cloud responds to human interaction and expresses context awareness using hundreds of sensors. Constructed of carbon glass, spanning over 4 meters, and containing more than 65 km of fiber optics, the Cloud encourages visitors to touch and interact with information in new ways, manifesting emotions and behavior through sound and a dichotomy of luminescence and darkness. Each fiber represents a pixel that can be touched, modified, or moved in a physical way.

Located in downtown Florence outside the Fortezza da Basso. the Cloud is part of the “Redesigning Fashion Trade Shows” project that Pitti Immagine launched with MIT Mobile Experience Lab in January 2007. It is a long-term project that will creatively rethink the trade show concept and will propose innovative technologies, perspectives and sensory experiences for fashion trade shows.

Sundek Party for Pitti Fashion Fair

sundek party pitti fashionYesterday I have been to the Sundek Party near the station: a special party in occasion of Pitti Immagine Uomo 74. It was really nice, full of music, people, drinks in a great location.
The dj (Nicky Siano) is one of the most famous: coming from New York (Studio 54) he has shown a great talent during his performance.
I went back home at 1.00 am, but people continued to arrive even later!


Pitti Uomo 74: the fashion fair in Florence

This morning I went to Pitti Immagine Uomo 74, the fashion fair that takes place in Florence twice a year.
First, I visited the stands of well know brands (Prada, Hugo Boss, Woolrich, Sundek with the surf exhibition, Massimo Rebecchi with the italian vip "Morgan") but I also discovered some brand new companies that are launching their products and labels. Some are very innovative and inusual.

I entered the stand where there was the exclusive world preview by PUMA by Mihara Yasuhiro & dress for PLAYSTATION®3 : a sample exhibit of a new Fashion software being developed by Sony.

I really enjoyed the area "Welcome to my house": an exhibit dedicated to fashions influenced by street culture with a selection of young, but already well-known, brands that focus their research on street styles. In this area I noticed the one named "Dead meat" : a little fashion company that tries to gather political provocation and street design. You can read on their manifesto:
Dead Meat is born with the intent to transform the t-shirt into a canvas for the youth to express their ideas, on which we build and form piece by piece an message until it becomes poetry.

Then I walked through the area "New Beat(s)", the area that Pitti Uomo reserves for debuts by young talents. The new layout has transformed the Lyceum's rooms into a Portoguese courtyard decorated with azulejos, to showcase the offerings of young brands from the world over: from Russia to Japan, from Belgium to Finland.

Then I had a strange meeting... with a interactive cloud from MIT... I will tell about this later.

This night Lee will be present with a big event to celebrate the brand: Lee Rocks Firenze, Live set from 10 pm and Dj set from 12 pm at Teatro Gambrinus, with The Teenagers, The Tunas, Radio days.


Tuscan coast

It seems like summer does not want to come!
I planned the week end with some friends at ARGENTARIO, south of Tuscany, but the weather was not like we expected. Saturday was fine even if the sun was not very much a summer sun but we enjoy the wild nature of La Feniglia beach. Unfortunately, the beach was very dirty and it was so sad to see all the plastic bottles covered this beautiful beach but we breathed some good air and I highly recommend to rent a bike to stroll around this amazing natural park owned by the WWF.
For dinner we went to Guido in Magliano who confirmed to be an excellent restaurant with moderate prices (25 euros). We had tagliolini with truffles, homemade gnocchi with arugula and asparagus .
The following day the sky was covered with dark clouds so we went around Talamone, Porto Santo Stefano, Porto Ercole… and only in the late afternoon the sun appeared. But the real disaster was on Monday when it rained cats and dogs. You can easily imagine our comments but at the end we decided for a cultural visit: Pitigliano e Sovana to see some Etruscans tombs. The Ildebranda Tomb is amazing but there is no inscription, not even a sign of explanation.
When we decided that we had enough of rain it was time for lunch and this is not a nice episode to tell. In a restaurant at the beginning of the village (La Tavernetta) we were treated very nastily. We wanted to sit down and eat something and we kindly asked if they had space (and they had!), but the lady, without even looking at us said “NO” and she walked away leaving us green of hanger.
We finally found and had a good soup in a bar in the little square but we remained very angry on how they treated us. In certain part of Tuscany they have yet to realized how important the service and courtesy is.
See on google maps where argentario is>>


Lounge bar open til late in Florence

drink and clubs in Florence till lateI was asked in many cases advises for a place open until late at night, in Florence, Italy.
Well here it is, Pantheon lounge in Via della Fornace, just before the Rooms club in Piazza Ferrucci.
I was skeptical after reading an article in another web site but then I decided to try. A fantastic setting made with sofas, mirrors, soft lights. A perfect place where you can sit and relax in comfortable sofas while you chat with friends: they are open until 3am! The cocktails are nothing special and the music is too loud for me but this is really a nice place. Night birds this is the right place for you!


Florence best icecream shop

I recently tasted too many ice creams and the reason is because of you, dear readers…
I am joking but our discussion on the best ice cream in Florence (196 comments!!!) made me try many places… yesterday night around 11pm a friend of mine asked me to accompany him for an ice cream to "Roberto", in via Mariti.
I haven’t been there but I remembered the discussion about the change of owner and the "Buontalenti taste" in this ice cream shop, so I tried. I tasted the "Buontalenti". It deserves its reputation!
While I was there I asked him about the change of the owner: I was very curious about it. He explained me that the old owner Roberto owned the gelateria then he passed it to the son who after few months decided to leave, then finally passed on Francesco, the actual owner, a huge man, very nice and kind who told me a lot about ice cream making.
In this ice cream shop you can taste something like 42 different tastes, from the most classical ones to the most original, like a very good dark chocolate taste to yogurt with soft fruits or the ice cream at the Tennents beer! And I also saw the buffalo mozzarella milk taste!
I finally chose my tastes: cream cheese with pears and orange cream. The second one was really tasteful.. the shop is open every day until midnight, but he highly discouraged me to go on a Sunday afternoon: too many people, he said.
After meeting him, the two boys from Calabria of the GELATAMO shop (Via Doni) and Maurizio Vivoli of the ice cream in via De’ Neri, I realized that there is an endless passion behind this job and it explains why certain ice creams are normal, some others are special.


Pitti Uomo fair: waiting for some exciting Pitti Party!

Today I've just received the Pitti Fair press pass to get in to the Pitti Uomo fair that will take place from the 18thh of June, 2008. More than the fair the whole city is waiting for the great events and happenings that every year come to revitalise Florence. People in this small city long for getting all glammed up and drinking free alcohol at faboulous parties through the city.
Last year I went to a party to celebrate the launch of some new brand at Forte Belvedere, it was gorgeous!


You ask? I answer!

I've decided to answer to some of the questions you ask me.

Daily June and July temperatures in 2008 for Florence Italy?
In general it's about 25° C degrees in June (= 77 F) and a little more in July. It may happen to reach 30° C (= 86° Farenheit) at the end of June, but this year Summer seems to be very cold and wet! In general August is the hottest month in Italy.


The beach along the Arno river in Florence

After the success of the last year, even in 2008 Florence will have its summer beach. As Paris and London, also Florence offers the unique experience of sun bathing along the river.
You can rent for free your beach umbrella, chairs and loungers, and relax under the sun. If you are getting hot, you can even take a cold shower. If you get bored enjoy the new beach volleyball field.
A small bar will serve you delightful cocktail each evening.
The beach in Florence is open every day from 10 am until 8 pm.


Events in Florence, Italy, summer 2008

Florence is packed with places perfect for al fresco drinking, all along the banks of the Arno river (for exampe in this garden), out in the suburbs and hidden away amid the concrete in the centre of town.

events in summer 2008 florence italyThe roof garden of the Minerva hotel is the summertime attraction for the aperitivo on thursday evenings. Just 15 euros for a drink + a dinner along the swimming pool. Close to the main station of Florence: in Santa Maria Novella square.

Summer free music festivals give local bands the opportunity to play alongside more established names at Parco dell'Anconella, Gavinana live, Las Palmas or Sesto d'estate, let them entertain you with some good rock, classic and jazz music.

Weekend nights see DJs perking up clusters of young ones, office workers and locals at Piscina Le Pavoniere (=Pavoniere swimming pool), at Cascine park. A restaurant, a pizzeria and a jump in the pool if the temperature gets hot!
And tango nights every tuesday. On google maps>>

Get active in a new and fun way by skating your way around one of the most spectacular settings in Florence by night! The roller night will be in June (5, 19), July (3, 17) and is open to everyone and free. Starting from Pavoniere. After skating a dinner in a local pizzeria to meet new friends. For info: dodo.kess@libero.it

events in july in FlorenceForte Belvedere, (July 4-27) is the superb location that offers its patrons a view unrivalled anywhere in Florence. A small restaurant, a terrific terrace overlooking Florence, some jazz music and a soft green grass to lay on. On google maps>>

One of the most famous Summer Festival in Florence is "festa dell'Unità" that takes place in July at Fortezza da Basso. This year it changes its name and it becomes "In fortezza" (july 11-august 3). On Google maps>>
Fortezza will be the largest beer garden in Florence - big enough to accommodate 1000 people - and the main place where florentine people go to eat, to have a drink and to shop. Outdoor seating area, a theatre, 2 discoes and a bookstore.


Original sound movies in Florence in June, 2008

A series of long-awaited blockbusters hits our screen this season as well as some challenging independents and other appealing curiosities.
Marvel Comics legendary superhero Tony Stark/Iron Man performs well under pressure to save the world in Iron Man, with Robert Downey Jr in the title role. Kevin Spacey’s gambling movie 21 reveals how an MIT maths professor devises a scheme for his elite blackjack hit squad to break Las Vegas casinos in a noble fund-raising effort that is not infallible.
The world has held its breath for the simultaneous world-wide release - after a premiere at Cannes – of Steven Spielberg’s fourth Indiana Jones adventure Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Shia Le Beouf joins Harrison Ford for the latest instalment.
The prince of whimsy Wes Anderson’s latest serious comedy The Darjeeling Limited tells the story of the re-bonding of three brothers against the backdrop of a colourful journey through India that goes wrong.
An all-star, multiple Oscar-winning cast throngs Lajos Koltai’s movie Evening, a dying woman’s reverie about her past intercut with the present lives of her daughters.
The Hunting Party is a trio of journalists on the hunt in 1994 for the most wanted Bosnian war criminal.
Made of Honour is an ‘unbridaled’ romantic comedy with Patrick Dempsey as got-everything-going -for-him Tom whose proposal to best friend Hannah comes a little late.
Helen Hunt directs for the first time, and stars in Then She Found Me, a triple-whammy mid-life crisis story that Bette Midler brings her unique talents to.
Our only hope is something incredible, The Incredible Hulk, no less. Bruce Banner takes on General Thunderbolt Ross and The Abomination in the explosive comic superhero adaptation that slyly reintroduces Tony Stark.
Dark Leonardo Di Caprio-produced independent movie Gardener of Eden mixes familiar themes of vigilante justice, drug dealer territoriality and the paranoid loner in the city in interesting ways.

June 2008, original sound movies in Florence

Th 5 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (USA) by Steven Spielberg
with Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Cate Blanchett, Ray Winstone
-with italian subtitles-
Shows: 5.30 – 8.00 – 10.30 pm

Mo 9 The Darjeeling Limited (USA - 91’) by Wes Anderson
with Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Anjelica Huston,
Amara Karan, Camilla Rutherford
Shows: 6.00 - 8.15 - 10.30 p.m.

Tu 10 Evening (USA - 117’) by Lájos Koltai
with Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, , Natasha Richardson, Patrick
Wilson, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close
Shows: 5.30 - 8.00 - 10.30 p.m.

Th 12 The Hunting Parthy (USA/ CROAZIA(BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA) - 103’) by Richard Shepard
with Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Diane Kruger
-with italian subtitles-
Shows: 6.00 - 8.15 - 10.30 p.m.

Mo 16 Made of Honor (USA/G.B. - 112’) by Paul Weiland
with Michelle Monaghan, Patrick Dempsey, Kathleen Quinlan, Kevin
McKidd, Sydney Pollack
Shows: 5.50 – 8.10 – 10.30 pm

Tu 17 Iron Man (USA - 118’) by Jon Favreau
with Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Shaun Toub,
Gwyneth Paltrow
Shows: 5.30 – 8.00 – 10.30 pm

Th 19 Then She Found Me (USA - 100’) by Helen Hunt
with Helen Hunt, Colin Firth, Bette Midler, Matthew Broderick
Shows: 6.00 - 8.15 - 10.30 p.m.

Mo 23 The Incredible Hulk (USA - 112’) by Louis Leterrier
with Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, Tim Roth
Shows: 5.50 - 8.10 - 10.30 p.m.

Tu 24 The Incredible Hulk (USA - 112’) by Louis Leterrier
with Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, Tim Roth
Shows: 5.50 - 8.10 - 10.30 p.m.

Th 26 Gardener of Eden (USA - 112’) by Kevin Connolly
with Jon Abrahams, John Arocho, Gregg Bello
Shows: 5.50 - 8.10 - 10.30 p.m.

The building in which the cinema is located, is considered one of the most interesting examples of Renaissance architecture in Florence. Palazzo Strozzino was renovated at the beginning of the 20th century by the architect Piacentini who transformed the back and courtyard into an elegant art nouveau cinema-theatre which was opened in 1922.
Tickets and Club Card: A regular ticket costs Euro 7,50 but you can buy the Club Card which gives you a 40% discount for 8 admissions of your choice. It can be purchased at the Odeon Cinema box office.
here is the cinema on google maps>>

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