Piazza Duomo with a green lawn (a one-day event, today)

Folks, I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Has Florence just exploded with exciting cultural activities, or is it just me? I’ve been feeling this way for the past year, but I really think this week takes the cake. I cannot attend every one of these events so if you can give me a hand and show up and take a few pictures, please post them on the arttrav facebook fan page ;-).

Here’s my run down of what’s on in November 2010 including Florens 2010, BTO, Firenze Insolita, and other stuff.

Florens 2010

Nov. 12-20: Florens 2010 is an art geek’s dream week. Unfortunately it wasn’t comunicated very well and you have to slog through a large book to figure out which events to attend, but it’s all FREE and there really is a lot to do, from concerts (okay some of those cost money) to lectures on a wide range of themes about art. I wrote on Tuscany Arts about English events at Florens 2010 but of course the most geeky stuff is in Italian.

I just got back from seeing piazza Duomo covered in grass as a reminder of the Miracle of San Zanobi – please don’t ask why they’re doing that on November 13th as his feast day is January 26th. It wouldn’t have been so much of a miracle had the tree not flowered in the “dead of winter” but in November when some things still do bloom around here.

There are literally hundreds of things to do this week. I’m considering the following:

  • Nov. 18-20 is the three day Forum Internazionale dei Beni Culturali e Ambientali that are really the centrepiece of the Florens 2010 event; it’s really a conference that presents the results of a longer research project so it’s very much for people who work in the cultural sector. There will be conference acts distributed; this is serious stuff. There are exciting lectures on the arts for economic development (thursday pm), the use of technology for cultural promotion (I’m going!! – friday morning), global issues in museums, etc. There is simultaneous translation available in English and French.
  • Wednesday November 17 2010, ore 18-19: Chris Bangle, Design is Difficult. Salone del 500, Palazzo Vecchio.
  • Exhibits at the Oblate and Ferragamo. And one on fashion and art at Sant’Orsola.
  • I’d kill to get into the concert led by Zubin Mehta on the 18th but have to go to an office dinner party (boo)…
  • Palazzo Corsini is open with artistans’ work on display from Nov. 18-21 – that’s the home of Artigiano e Palazzo.


Nov. 18-19: Buy Tourism Online conference. Not culture per se, but a good trade conference at the Leopolda about digital promotion of tourism. Obviously this is a field of interest for me, but it’s going to be hard to reconcile this with the Beni Culturali Forum… There will be talks on social media for hotels, upcoming trends in mobile use in tourism, and driving tourism business amongst others. Representatives from Tripadvisor and Google will be talking.

Firenze Insolita

This is an initiative of the Quartiere 1 (central florence) to help citizens and tourists rediscover the city’s hidden treasures. Too bad their comunication strategy is also very hidden – the best I can do is point you to a PDF of the programme. Most of the events are free though some of the guided tours run by one particular tour company are not free, so check carefully. Some interesting stuff:

  • Firenze dello Spirito: guided tours of little known religious centers like the church of Sant’Elisabetta (via dei Serragli, who knew?), the synagogue, the mosque, the English Cemetary in Piazza Donatello [Fri November 19th at ore 11, Sat November 27 at ore 15 – that will be cool!!] – booking required, see phone number in that pdf!
  • December 7 is the Feast day of Sant’Ambrogio; in the homonymously named piazza from ore 15 onwards there will be activities and guided tours of the church.
  • Firenze Artigiana – half-hour visits to botteghe of artisans and restorers (including to a clock repair shop… intruiging).
  • Nov 20th there are concerts in the evening at Museo di Casa Martelli (via Zannetti 8) – free starting at 19:30.
  • Obscure group tours, the most promising of which might be a 2 hour tour on confraternities (Sat Nov 27), though on the same day competing with a tour of closed and no-longer-extant theatres which sounds like it would have to be presented in a very imaginative fashion. AND on the same day, Firenze Goliardica tour including wine and crostini, run by my buddies at De Gustibus (5 euro).

Is that all?

No. There’s also a lecture series at Palazzo Strozzi, an evening networking event about Design on Nov 22 run by ToscanaIN, Dinners with De Gustibus… Right! And somehow I have to find time to come home and blog about it!

Cheers. Enjoy. And let me know which of these things you attended and liked!

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