“I renaioli” of Florence: sailing the Arno in a traditional boat

“I renaioli” of Florence: sailing the Arno in a traditional boat

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The association “I Renaioli” was founded in 1995 with the aim of keeping alive the tradition of old boats used to sail the Arno River. Additionally, the objectives are to recover, conserve and maintain the Arno vessels along with the promotion of navigation using traditional boats in the Arno; encourage the expansion of the pole rowing and last but not least, the protection and conservation of the fluvial ecosystem as historical and environmental heritage.…

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Distinguished libraries of Florence

Distinguished libraries of Florence

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Following the steps of German photographer Candida Höfer, who exceptionally portrayed the soul of libraries in solitude, same images in Florence reveal the splendour of the Marucelliana library, born in the middle of the XVIII century after donation by the abbot Francesco Marucelli; The Biblioteca dell’Accademia della Crusca, placed within the Medici villa of Castello, as the largest library of linguistics and history of the Italian language; The Medicea Laurenziana Library designed by Michelangelo (holds its infamous Mannerist staircase) in the cloister of the basilica of San Lorenzo; The National Library of Florence, which also offers a free guided tour in Italian and English on Saturdays at 11:30 a. m.; and the modern library in the Novoli campus of the University of Florence (UniFi).…

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“The Cleaner:” Marina Abramović at Palazzo Strozzi

“The Cleaner:” Marina Abramović at Palazzo Strozzi

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Florence is alive and wants to express itself. Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi presents a retrospective of world-wide acclaimed performance artist Marina Abramović. The show opens its doors on September 21, the same day that L’Eredità delle Donne festival begins. During four months, till January 20, 2019, Florence and particularly the Palazzo Strozzi hosts an exhibition that pays tribute to the fifty-year career of one of the heavyweights of Action Art. She is the first woman that has a “solo exhibition” at the Palazzo Strozzi.…

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Gosh: cocktails & pink flamingos in Florence

Gosh: cocktails & pink flamingos in Florence

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Taking a cocktail surrounded by pink flamingos is precisely what happens in Gosh, the coolest (and a bit pretentious) cocktail bar in Oltrarno. I like to ascertain if its decoration is the result of an in-depth and well-paid study of interior design or simply due to the exquisite taste (or not) of its owner. In fact, it is noted that the owner of Gosh, Alexander Vartivarian, comes from the world of fashion (he worked for Elie Saab and was trained in Polimoda). In Gosh there´s vintage furniture and the original cocktails are based on ginger, spices, flowers and mezcal, all served in metal jars, in my opinion, with too much ice. Not only the decoration of the place is the choice of Alexander himself, but also as the menu and the music — “Gosh” is actually the name of his favourite song. Aperitivo, snacks are served between 18 and 21 hours. Cocktails are better when in twilight, in its relaxed atmosphere. They also offer boring cocktails without alcohol.
Gosh – Via di Santo Spirito 46R – Florence – from six in the afternoon to midnight, even later on weekends.

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La Spiaggetta sull’Arno: an urban oasis in Florence

La Spiaggetta sull’Arno: an urban oasis in Florence

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There are no palm trees in La Spiaggetta sull’Arno, yet this Florence’s oasis has white sand where one can lie on for sunbathing, reading a book, drink Prosecco, set up a blind date, or practice tai-chi, yoga and other oriental oddities. The Arno’s Rive Gauche small urban beach is an initiative developed by Easy Leaving Firenze. It is located only a stone’s throw away from San Niccolò, under the Lungarno Serristori. During summer, one can enjoy all the comforts of a real maritime establishment with hammocks, sun loungers and a beach bar serving ice creams and cocktails while listening to music. At sunset, the bar also offers a typical aperitivo adding a panoramic view. An inimitable spot within the city, where experiencing a summer in the beach with all its activities is doable. Play beach volleyball, ping pong, football, or petanque tournaments is also possible here. To liven up the hot, humid and sticky Florentine summer nights — filled with mosquitoes — concerts, DJ sets and performances are also scheduled.
Practical info here

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‘Steve McCurry. Icons,’ photo exhibition at Villa Bardini

‘Steve McCurry. Icons,’ photo exhibition at Villa Bardini

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On view until September 16, Villa Bardini presents a retrospective dedicated to the artist Steve McCurry (Darby, Pensilvania, 1950), one of the great masters of contemporary and documentary photography. Curated by Biba Giacchetti, the exhibition entitled Steve McCurry. Icons displays more than a hundred photographs featuring the best works of the North American photographer produced during his extensive career spanning over forty years. The exhibition takes visitors on a symbolic journey through countries like India, Afghanistan, Burma, Japan, Cuba or Brazil across the complex universe full of experiences and emotions carried in McCurry’s images.
Steve McCurry. Icons – Villa Bardini – Costa San Giorgio 2, Florence (admission: 10 EUR)

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Uncommon Museums of Florence #1: Museum of Masonic Symbology

Uncommon Museums of Florence #1: Museum of Masonic Symbology

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Opened in March 2012, the Museum of Masonic Symbology was founded by Cristiano Franceschini in Florence as a private initiative with the aim to transmit to the brothers the evolution of different Masonic traditions over time. According to Franceschini, the museum is mostly visited by Brazilians, since there is a large number of Freemasons in that country. Moreover, for the broader secular public, the museum wants to make known the Masonic ideology, philosophy and ethics through the representation of symbols, on which these rituals are based. The collection on display includes ritual objects with etched, embroidered, applied, printed or engraved symbols. The first Italian masonic lodge, known as “The Lodge of the English-people” was created 1731 in Florence. The collection presented here comprehends more than ten thousand objects dated from the end of the eighteenth century and coming from around the world: dresses, aprons, belts, bottles, porcelain, pins, ties, stamps, photos, documents, books, glass slides or magic lanterns are part of the lot.
Museo di Simbologia Massonica – Via dell’Orto 7

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The gates of Florence

The gates of Florence

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The gates of Florence were part of the city´s old defensive border. Sadly, the wall by the northern side of the Arno River was demolished in the 19th century so to pave the way for the main ring road. However, part of the wall located in Oltrarno, at the south side of the Arno, and other gates remain today: Porta San Gallo, Porta San Niccolò, Porta alla Croce, Porta San Frediano, Porta San Giorgio, Porta San Miniato and Porta al Prato. A stroll on a sunny afternoon from Porta San Giorgio to Porta San Miniato — with the ancient wall on one side and the terrific landscape of the Tuscan countryside on the other — is a must; feels like natural Prozac for the senses. …

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Cantinetta Antinori: Tuscan wines and culinary delights

Cantinetta Antinori: Tuscan wines and culinary delights

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The art of making wine has its guild in Florence since the Middle Ages: “Dell’Arte dei Vinattieri,” in which Giovanni di Piero, the first member of the Antinori family, was registered in 1385. Following this tradition, in the Cantinetta Antinori, you can see the symbol of the craft guild. The Cantinetta is elegantly arranged in a room overlooking the central courtyard of the fifteenth-century Palazzo Antinori located in the historic city centre. The restaurant is open to the public for lunch and dinner. As a tradition, it is nowadays still possible to do the Antinori wines tasting — either by a bottle or by a glass —. The cuisine offers a selection of Tuscan specialties, which are prepared with products from the Antinori farms in Tuscany and Umbria. The menu is configured depending on the season, out of respect for the tradition of Tuscan cooking philosophy where every product from the land must be eaten during its natural season of matureness to taste all the splendor of its flavors entirely. For each dish, the personnel recommends the Antinori wine that suits the best.
Cantinetta Antinori – Piazza degli Antinori 3 – Florence

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Firenze Jazz Fringe Festival 2018: where Florence’s streets become a jazz club

Firenze Jazz Fringe Festival 2018: where Florence’s streets become a jazz club

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Jazz bassist Furio Di Castri founded the Firenze Jazz Fringe Festival (FJFF) with the aim to bring jazz to the general public, converting churches, squares, and other Oltrarno premises in the stage for the concerts. Past editions already counted around 25,000 participants. During five days, from September 5 to 9, the FJFF returns to the city offering 70 hours of music grouped in 50 live acts, where 150 artists will perform in 12 different locations. The program stands out for the coexistence of new productions and renown international artists concerts. FJFF is an innovative and sustainable event pursuing a cultural alternative in which the participation of the public is crucial. FJFF is, above all, an event by and for the public, which is involved in the street performances, concerts, improvisation and DJ sessions. The current edition highlights the expressive strength of its participating musicians such as Enrico Rava, Francesco Bearzatti, Peppe Servillo, Javier Girotto, Natalio Magalavite, Fabio Morgera, Nico Gori, John De Leo, Rita Marcotulli, Simone Graziano, Mauro Ottolini, Alessandro Lanzoni, Peter Tonolo, Stefano Cocco Cantini, Alessandro Galati, Francis Maccianti and many other prestigious artists from the Italian jazz scene. FJFF opens its doors on September 5 at 9 p.m. at the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte with trumpeter Enrico Rava.…

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