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Some cinemas in Tuscany show English-language films in English with Italian subtitles. This is the “original sound” version or original version (versione originale or VO). When looking for films screened in English, look for the marking “VO” beside the showing. New schedules are usually released weekly on Fridays.
- Trova Cinema: Cinema and film search for Italy, with information on new releases (in Italian)
- Yahoo Movies for Italy (in Italian)
- Film.it: Displays new releases and trailers. Allows user to search for a particular film or cinema (in Italian)
- Coming Soon: Trailers of new films to be released in Italy (in Italian)
- Internottola: Film schedules for the whole of Italy; select the relevant Province and city for film times for a particular week
- Eventi Toscana: Search by Tuscany city for films, times and links to cinemas (in Italian)
- Toscana Cultura: A list of all cinemas and contact numbers in Tuscany.
|Regional cinemas with English-language film in Florence|
|Odeon Cinehall||At: Piazza Strozzi, 50123 Florence (FI)
Movies in VO every week
|Tel: 055 214 068
|Goldoni Cinema||At: Via dè Serragli 109, 50121 Florence (FI)
Movies in VO every Thursday
|Tel: 055 222 437|
|British Institute||At: Palazzo Lanfredini, Lungarno Guicciardini 9, 50125 Florence (FI)
Movies in VO Wednesdays at 20:30
|Tel: 055 267 78270
|Istituto Stensen||At: Viale don Minzoni 25/c, 50129 Florence (FI)
Movies in VO occasionally shown
|Tel: 055 576 551
THE “UFFIZI GALLERY“
Address: Loggiato degli Uffizi, 6
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday from 8.15 to 18.50
Phone: 055 238 8683 / Reservations phone: 055 294 883
Ticket: Euro 9,50 / Euro 6,25 for European citizens over 18 and under 25
Museums Reservations: reserve your ticket museum to visit to Uffizi Gallery.
Museums Reservations: book a guided visit to the Uffizi Gallery.
The UFFIZI GALLERY is one of the gratest museums in Italy and the world. The Uffizi were intended to house the offices of the famous Medici family (Uffizi = offices). From the beginning, however, the Medici set aside certain rooms to house the finest works of art from their collections.
Today the Uffizi contains masterpieces by Italian and foreign artists from the 13th to the 18th century, such as Cimabue, Giotto, Masaccio, Beato Angelico, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Piero della Francesca, Raphael, Caravaggio, along with Rubens, Rembrandt, Dürer, Goya and many others.
The Vasari Corridor (Corridoio Vasariano) that connects the Uffizi Gallery with the Pitti Palace hosts a rich collection of self-portraits by past and present artists. Built by Vasari in 1565, it passes above the Ponte Vecchio, the “Old Bridge” (infact the oldest bridge in the city), with its many jewelry shops.
THE “ACCADEMY GALLERY“
Address: Via Ricasoli, 58-60
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday from 8.15 to 18.50
Phone: 055 238 8609 / Reservations phone: 055 294 883
Ticket: Euro 9,50
Museums Reservations: reserve your ticket museum to visit to Accademy Gallery.
Museums Reservations: book a guided visit to the Accademy Gallery.
The ACCADEMY GALLERY (“Galleria dell’Accademia”) is one of the best known museums in Florence, because it houses famous sculptures by Michelangelo, including the “David”, “The four prisoners” and the “Pieta of Palestina”. There are also many paintings collected by the Grand Duke Peter Leopold to help the young Florentine artists, enrolled in the Academy of Arts school which is still next door to the gallery.
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM “IL BARGELLO“
Address: Via del Proconsolo, 4
Opening times: Everyday from 8.15 to 13.50
Phone: 055 238 8606 / Reservations phone: 055 294 883
Ticket: Euro 4,00
Museums Reservations: reserve your ticket museum to visit to the National Museum “Il Bargello”.
Guided Visit Reservations: book a guided visit to the Bargello Museum and Santa Croce Square.
The NATIONAL MUSEUM “IL BARGELLO” has its setting in one of the oldest buildings in Florence and one of the most beautiful in Italy, which was begun in 1255. Initially the residence of the “Bargello” or head of police spies, from which it took its name, the building’s use as a National Museum began in the mid-nineteenth century. What the Uffizi offers in painting, the Bargello offers in sculpture and its courtyard and interiors contain some of the masterpieces of the Tuscan Renaissance. It contains masterpieces by Brunelleschi, Michelangelo, Cellini, Giambologna and Donatello alognwith priceless ivories, enamels, jewels, tapestries and weapons.
THE MUSEUM OF “SAN MARCO“
Address: Piazza San Marco 3
Opening times: Monday – Friday from 8.15 to 13.50; Saturday and Sunday from 8.15 to 18.50
Phone: 055 7238 8608 / Reservations phone: 055 294 883
Ticket: Euro 7,00
Museums Reservations: reserve your ticket museum to visit to the Museum of San Marco.
It is worth visiting the setting of the MUSEUM OF SAN MARCO for its architecture alone. This consists of the former Dominican convent restored and enlarged to its present size for Cosimo the Elder de’ Medici by his favourite architect Michelozzo (1396-1472). This building was the scene of fervent religious activity, highlighted by personalities such as Beato Angelico (1400-1450) and, later, Gerolamo Savonarola.
Fra’ Angelico was a Dominican monk who later became Prior of the convent and who decorated in a style perfectly adapted to the architecture of the chapter house, cloister and the brothers’ first floor cells. The museum offers the visitor an example of a perfectly preserved fifteenth century convent, its rational and harmonious plan based on Brunelleschi’s innovations.
Everything is designed to coordinate and simplify the monastic life within its walls in its calm cloister as well as the light-filled library, one of the finest interiors of the Renaissance. Furthermore, the the museum contains the works of Fra’ Angelico in the form of frescoed interiors and the panels displayed in the large alms-house. The museum also has a very beautiful Last Supper frescoed by Ghirlandaio at the end of the fifteenth century, and, in its first public library of the Renaissance, a fine series of illuminated manuscripts.
THE MUSEUM OF THE “CATHEDRAL“
Address: P.za Duomo
Phone: 055 230 2885
The MUSEUM OF THE CATHEDRAL (“Museo dell’Opera del Duomo”) houses artworks from the Gothic Cathedral, the Baptisty and the Tower of Giotto (campanile). The most important works in the museum are by Michelangelo (“Pietà”), Donatello (“Mary Magdalen”), Arnolfo di Cambio (“Boniface VIII”) and Luca della Robbia (“Cantoria”).
THE MUSEUM OF THE “HISTORY OF THE SCIENCE“
Address: P.za Giudici, 1
Phone: 055 265 311
Ticket: Euro 6,50
Website – More info: http://galileo.imss.firenze.it/
The MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF THE SCIENCE houses an important collection of scientific instruments in a carefully arranged layout, the proof that Florence’s interest in science from the thirteenth century onwards was as great as its interest in art. It was the interest of the Medici and Lorraine families in the natural sciences, physics and mathematics which prompted them to collect precious and visually beautiful scientific instruments along with paintings and other objects of art and natural curiosities; this provided the nucleus for this museum. It is well-known that Cosimo I and Francesco de’ Medici encouraged the scientific and artistic researches carried out in the Grand Ducal workshops, but also members of the Medici family in the seventeenth century protected and personally followed physics experiments in the full light of Galileo’s method. Very important the original scientific instruments used by Galileo Galilei.
GALLERY OF THE “HOSPITAL OF THE INNOCENTS“
Address: Piazza SS. Annunziata, 12
Opening times: Everyday (except Wednesday, closed) from 8.15 to 14
Phone: 055 249 1708
Ticket: Euro 2,50
The GALLERY OF THE “HOSPITAL OF THE INNOCENTS” is set in one of the best known and most important architectural complexes of the early fifteenth century in Florence. This was commissioned and financed by the Arte della Lana to the designs of Filippo Brunelleschi. The “hospital” aimed to raise abandoned children and teach them some useful trade enabling them to take their place in society. In the buildings of the refectory, cloisters, dormitories, infirmary, nurses’ rooms and porticoes, Brunelleschi created a perfect example of rational and harmonious hospital architecture subsequently enlarged and decorated with frescoes documenting the continuing activities of the institution and the favours of the reigning Medici family.
After the 1966 flood, the entire complex of buildings was completely restored in an attempt to return to its original fifteenth century appearance. The Gallery is placed in the loggia above the cloister and in the former dayroom of the children above the main portico. The Gallery contains also fine works of a collections made up over the centuries by gifts, bequestes and loans, apart from works, specifically executed for the Innocenti itself.
“PALAZZO VECCHIO” museum
To learn more about Palazzo Vecchio you can choose among several organized tours that will allow you to discover the many rooms where the most powerful rulers of Florence lived or managed, especially the House of Medici.
To visit the Museum of Palazzo Vecchio you can choose among:
Palazzo Vecchio is a micro-cosmos where history and art have been irremediably intertwined for more than seven centuries. This visit will make you know all the rooms of the Museum, with a special attention to the masterpieces it contains. The tour ends in a place reachable only by a secret passage, which is not open to the public.
Price: from 16€ (reduced 11,5€) – including online booking Duration: 1 hour and half (every day) Book now !
Secret passages tour:
At Palazzo Vecchio there are rooms inside Palazzo Vecchio where time seems not to slip by and where it is easy for visitors to experience emotions from the past.
Price: 16€ (reduced 11,5€) – including online booking Duration: 1 hour and half (every day) Book now !
Guided tour with GIORGIO VASARI:
On Saturdays and Sundays you can participate in this interactive visit. The animator-actor who plays Giorgio Vasari leads visitors in the secret paths of the palace. Each place represents a different moment of the professional and human life of the artist and architect who worked on restructuring the Palazzo Vecchio under Cosimo I.
Price: 16€ (reduced 10€) – including online booking Duration: 1 hour and half (Saturdays and Sundays) Book now !
Guided tour with COSIMO I:
Cosimo I de’ Medici was the first member of Medici who made of Palazzo Vecchio his residence. He commissioned a big restructuration to Giorgio Vasari.
The guided tour with Cosimo I is an animated visit through the rooms of Palazzo Vecchio ending with an interactive theatrical performance with Duke Cosimo and Duchess Eleanor, played by actors. Visiting the Quartieri Monumentali with Cosimo I, visitors will understand the relationship between Art and Power as in Cosimo’s thought.
Price: 10,82€ (reduced 8,82€) – including online booking Duration: 1 hour and half (Saturdays and Sundays) Book now !
List of other museums open to the public in Florence:
Florence Museum Tickets Reservation: book your ticket for the Palatine Gallery skipping the line!
Address: Pitti Palace – Piazza Pitti, 1
Opening times: weekdays 8,30 – 18,50; holydays and Sundays 8,30 – 18,50 Saturdays 8,30 – 22,00
Phone: 055 238 8614 / Reservations phone: 055 294 883
Ticket: Euro 6,00
The Pitti Palace and Monumental Apartments
Address: Pitti Palace – Piazza Pitti, 1
Opening times: weekdays 8,30 – 18,50; holydays and Sundays 8,30 – 18,50 Saturdays 8,30 – 22,00
Phone: 055 238 8614 / Reservations phone: 055 294 883
Museums Reservations: reserve your ticket museum to visit Medici Chapels.
Address: Via Madonna degli Aldobrandini, 6
Opening times: Monday to Friday, from 8.15 to 17; weekdays, from 8.15 to 13.50
Phone: 055 238 8602 / Reservations phone: 055 294 883
Ticket: Euro 4,00
Address: via Santa Margherita, 1
Opening times: Every day (except Monday), from 3.30 to 12.30 and from 15.30 to 18.30
Phone: 055 219416
Ticket: Euro 2,50
Cenacolo di Sant’Apollonia
Address: via XXVII Aprile, 1
Opening Times: Every day (except Monday), from 8.15 to 13.50
Phone: 055 388 607
Website – More info: http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/musei/apollonia
Address: Via Romana, 17
Phone: 055 222 451
Website – More info: http://www.msn.unifi.it/
National Archeological Museum
Florence Museums ticket reservation: book your ticket to visit the National Archeological Museum in Florence without line!
Address: Via della Colonna, 38
Opening Times: Monday from 14 to 19; Tuesday and Thursday from 8.30 to 19; Wed. Friday and weekends from 8.30 to 20
Phone: 055 235 75
Ticket: Euro 4,13 + online booking fee
Address: Via Arte della Lana
Phone: 055 284 944
Della Ragione Modern Art Collection
Address: Complesso delle Oblate, via Sant’Egidio
Opening Times: Wed. to Mon. from 9 to 14; closed Tuesday
Phone: 055 283 078
Ticket: Euro 2,00
Davanzati Palace Museum
Address: Via di Porta Rossa 13
Opening Times: From Monday to Sunday, from 8.15 am to 1.50 pm Closing on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month and on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Monday of the month
Ticket: Full price ticket: € 2,00 Reduced: € 1.00 The cost of the ticket may vary during special events or thematic exhibitions.
SAN LORENZO MARKET: From Piazza S. Lorenzo to Via dell’Ariento, all around the Basilica of San Lorenzo (in the very historical center of the city) you can find what may be the most important market of the city. Just walk around searching for clothing, articles in leather, souvenirs, etc. It is Closed on Sundays and Mondays.
MERCATO CENTRALE: Stalls inside the San Lorenzo central market, in Via dell’Ariento you’ll find the best food market of the city. Walk in and discover. It opens every morning from 7am to 2pm, Saturday from 7am to 5pm, closed on Sunday and public holidays.
SANT’AMBROGIO: Located in Piazza Ghiberti and Piazza Sant’Ambrogio, the market is both indoor and outdoor. Just walk around to discover fresh fruits and vegetables, clothes, flowers, shoes and houseware stands. Then, move inside to discover a large selection of fresh meat and fish, pasta, general groceries and a wide array of farm direct cheeses. Hungry? Take a seat in their connected restaurant (innexpensive and delicious). The market it’s open every weekday (except Sunday) from 7 to 14.
MERCATO DELLE CASCINE: situated in the very beautiful Parco delle Cascine (the bigger “park” of Florence) each Tuesday morning opens (from 7 to 14) what is arguably the biggest and cheapest market in town! If you’re searching for fruits, vegetables, clothing, general groceries, houseware stands, antiquities, telephone cards, shoes and ..whatever else you can think of, then come here.
LA FIERUCOLINA: The “Fierucola” is a market selling biological products and promoting the use of organic and biodynamic farming on a small scale. Here, visitors will find many wine and food farming products without chemical substances and also several handmade products. It takes place on 3rd Sunday of every month (except August) in Piazza Santo Spirito (in the Oltrarno).
CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN FLORENCE: advent is a really magical period for visitors arriving in Florence. The Christmas’ markets and the craft bright activities, liven up the festives season. This is an opportunity to really enjoy looking around for gift-ideas or just wondering through the stalls during the festivities typical of Florence.
German Christmas’ Market – Piazza Santa Croce
In December, until 24th.
Typical Christmas Market where you can find ornaments to decorate your Christmas tree and Crib; also, traditional sweets from the nordic regions are found and the interior decoration is carried out in a very special context.
Opening hours: Every day from 10:00 – to 20:00 hrs.
Florence Noel: Christmas’ Market
Christmas in Florence. Stazione Leopolda – Viale F.lli Rosselli.
First week in December. Payment on Entrance.
Fierucola di Natale: Christmas – Fair. Piazza S. Spirito.
The Sunday before Christmas.
List of other “food markets” in Florence:
Fruit and Vegetables Main Market
Address: Viale Guidoni
Opening hours: From Tuesday to Thursday from 10 to 11am; Saturday from 9 to 10 am
Le Cure market
Address: Piazza delle Cure
Opening hours: every morning except Sunday and public holidays
Santo Spirito market
Address: Piazza Santo Spirito
Opening hours: every morning except Sunday and public holidays; all day on the second Sunday of every month
List of other “clothing, leather and straw goods markets” in Florence:
Mercato del Porcellino
Articles in Florentine straw, hand embroidery, leather goods, objects in wood, flowers
Address: Piazza del Mercato Nuovo
Opening hours: every day from 8am to 7pm, except Sundays and Monday mornings
Address: Piazza del Mercato Nuov
Opening hours: every day from 9 to 18,30 pm, except Sunday and public holidays
List of other “second-hand furniture, household
articles and books markets” in Florence:
Oltrarno Flea Market
Address: Piazza S. Spirito
Opening hours: Second Sunday of the month, from 9 to 19
Address: Loggia del Grano
Opening hours: From Thursday to Saturday, from 10 to 18
List of “plants and flower market” in Florence:
Address: under the portico in Piazza della Repubblica (via Pellicceria)
Opening hours: every Thursday morning, from 10 to 19
Address: Piazza Pitti, 1
Phone: 055 2651816
Web Site: http://www.firenzemusei.it/00_english/boboli/index.html
The BOBOLI GARDENS were not famous until the land became the property of the Medici family, who called in Niccolò Pericoli, known as Tribolo, to design them; this artist created a masterpiece of “landscape architecture” between 1550 and 1558. The park, on the property of the Pitti Palace, was planned to occupy a scenographic setting on the slopes of the Boboli hill (covering 320.000 square metres) and also had access from the square.
The park was enriched with many Mannerist inventions by Buontalenti (like the Grotta Grande), fountains and statues by Ammannati, Giambologna and Tacca, and was eventually completed by Giulio and Alfonso Parigi (1631- 1656). The two architects, father and son, carried out the stone Amphitheatre, the unique setting for many celebrated theatrical performances, the cypress alley known as the “Viottolone” and the square and pool of Isolotto. The last additions, like the Coffeehouse (1774-76), the Lawn of the Columns (1776) and the Lemonary (1785), were later installed by the Lorriane family. Pietro Leopoldo decided to open the garden to the public in 1776. The design of the Boboli Gardens was used as a basis for all the royal gardens in Europe, including Versailles.
Opening Times: Every day from 8.15 to 16.30 in November, December, January and February, Every day from 8.15 to 17.30 in March, Every day from 8.15 to 18.30 in April, May, September and October, Every day from 8.15 to 19.30 in June, July and August
Price: Up to EUR €21 per person
Address: Via dei Bardi, 1 rosso (Piazza dei Mozzi)
Web Site: http://www.bardinipeyron.it
From Boboli garden, through Costa a San Giorgio, you can visit a recently restored Garden: Bardini Garden. If you don’t come from Boboli you can enter in Via de’ Bardi nr 1.
The Bardini Garden has an extraordinary view of the Florence skyilne: its 4 hectares of park between the left bank of Arno river, the Montecuccoli hill and the medieval walls. The garden was originally a loom of the Mozzi Villa (which is still now at the entrance of the garden) in 1700 it was enlarged and enriched with fountains with mosaics. In 19th century the garden was enlarged again in Victorian style. Now, after many years disagreement for the inheritance, the intervention of the Minister of Cultural Heritage, and five years of restoration, the garden has again its original look and rich array of foliage as well as a large baroque flight of steps and six fountains with mosaics, all of which have rose borders. In the green theatre you can admire a bed of azaleas or camellias in addition to many other different types of flowers. In the agricultural area, there are fruit trees, a tunnel of wisteria and a collection of hydrangeas.
Opening Times – Everyday: from 08:15 to 16:30 from November to February; from 08:15 to 17:30 on March; from 08:15 to 18:30 on April, May, September and October; from 08:15 to 17:30 on October when legal hour changes; from 08:15 to 19:30 from June to August.
Price: Up to EUR €15,97 per person
PARCO DELLE CASCINE
Address: Parco delle Cascine
Opening Times: always open
The first nucleus of the Isola Estate, known today as the Parco delle Cascine, was bought by Archduke Alessandro in the mid-1500’s.
The estate was subsequently expanded by Cosimo I. The park’s present name derives from the farms on the estate, which were primarily dedicated to cattle raising (a cascina is a barn). Since the beginning of the 17th century the park has been dominated by a majestic tree-lined lane, first known as the Stradone dei Pini and subsequently as the Stradone del Re. Under Pietro Leopoldo the park was reorganized, with the addition of gardening facilities and a guardhouse. It was also opened to the public, but only for special events and Ascension Day. It was conceived of as an essentially wild area whose only fixed structure was a hunting lodge built by G. Manetti in 1786, where the Archduke and his family could stay.
The following year, in occasion of Archduchess Maria Teresa’s wedding, all the old buildings were demolished. In the second half of the 18th century Archduchess Elisa made the park public, thus giving the city a vast green area very different from the gardens within the courtyards of the city’s palaces.The Archduchess also had a new entrance added to the park at Porta al Prato, where the Baluardo del Serpe was breached and a wide road avenue built to the Arno. At the same time, the street that paralleled the river was straightened and paved. In the 19th century the gardens of the Cascine were laid out in a romantic style, and looked very different than they do now. Also, in the course of the 19th century large areas of the park were transformed into sporting facilities, including racetracks.
Address: entrance from Piazzale Michelangelo
Opening time: open from the 2nd of May to 20st of May (Monday-Friday: 10-12,30; 15-19. Week-End: 10-19)
Phone: 055 483112
The entrance to Florence’s Iris Garden is located where Viale dei Colli opens into Piazzale Michelangelo. The garden has more than 2,500 varieties of the flower that has symbolized the city since 1251.
GIARDINO DELLE ROSE
Address: viale Giuseppe Poggi 2
Opening Times: suggested to visit in May
Phone: 055 2625342
In 1865 the City of Florence asked Giuseppe Poggi, the architect who masterminded the restructuring of the future Capital of the Kingdom of Italy, to turn his attention to the left bank of the Arno. Poggi had the city buy about 2.5 acres of the hillside above Porta San Niccolò (upriver from the Ponte Vecchio) that Rose Garden, Poggi’s terraces towards the end of the century. It was May 1895, during the annual Festa di Belle Arti offer a magnificent view of the city. The which is patterned after similar French gardens, was planted on opened to the public in delle Arti e dei Fiori organized by the Society and the Italian Horticultural Society.
List of Historical gardens open to the public in Florence and its province:
Address: Piazza Pitti, 1
Opening times: every day (except Monday) from 9,00 to 16,30
Phone: 055 218741
Ticket: 6 € (3€ reduced)
Book your ticket!
Address: Via P.A. Micheli, 3
Opening times: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, from 9,00 to 12,00
Phone: 055 2757402
Web Site: Orto Botanico
The Garden of Palazzo Medici Riccardi
Address: Via Cavour, 1
Opening times: from 9,00 to 13,00 and from 15,00 to 18,00 – Sunday from 9,00 to 13,00 – (Closed Wednesday)
Phone: 055 276.01
Address: Via Bolognese, 17
Opening Times: from 8,00 to 20,00
Web Site: http://brunelleschi.imss.fi.it/ist/luogo/giardinoorticultura.html
The Garden at Villa della Petraia
Address: Villa della Petraia, 40 – Località Castello
Opening Times: Every day (except Monday), from 9,00 to 16,30
Phone: 055 425691
Web Site: http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/english/musei/petraia/Default.asp?
The Garden al Villa di Castello
Address: Via di Castello, località – Castello
Opening Times: Every day (except Monday), from 9,00 to 16,30
Phone: 055 454791
Web Site: http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/english/musei/villacastello/Default.asp?
THEATRES in Florence
Musichas played a very important part in the artistic life of Florence; the very first opera was in fact created here at the end of the 16th century, based on the theories and the experiences of the Camerata dei Bardi. The temple of Florentine music today is the Teatro Comunale, home of the Maggio Musicale, which, like its twin city Salzburg – and also Bayreuth – holds the oldest and most important Festival in Europe, further supported by concert and opera seasons of the highest quality.
THE “TEATRO COMUNALE” (city theatre) OF FLORENCE AND THE “MAGGIO MUSICALE FIORENTINO“
Address: Corso Italia, 16
Phone (Call center telephone bookings): +39 0935 564767 | Monday – Friday from 9 to 21.30, Saturday from 9 to 16
Box Office Teatro Comunale: Corso Italia, 12 | Tuesday to Friday 10am-4.30pm; Saturday 10am-1p
The Teatro Comunale was originally the Politeama Fiorentino, designed by Telemaco Bonaiutiin 1862, an open air arena which lead to the creation of the theatre as we see it today. At present the Comunaleis is basically a huge auditorium with a single tier of boxes and two large amphitheatres – like semicircular galleries – that can seat about 2000 people. The Piccolo Teatro of the Comunale, situated on one side of the main auditorium; is a really up-to-date ‘small theatre’, capable of seating about 600 spectators.
Partially destroyed twice, by an air raid in 1944 and by the famous flood of 1966, the Teatro Comunale has always been immediately restored and has come to symbolize the city’s sense of responsibility and will to start again, (as expressed in the wonderful concert in Piazza della Signoria after the bomb attackon the Uffizi in 1993).
Indispensible elements behind the organization of the performances are the scene dock and costume shop while the technical staff (electricians, stage hands, sound technicians etc.) have always won the praise of the various artists with whom they have worked.
The stage of the Comunale has born witness to the triumph of some of the most famous names in music of our times, among them conductors like Vittorio Gui, Bruno Walter, Wilhelm Furtwangler, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Zubin Mehta, Von Karajan and Muti; the wonderful voice of Maria Callas made its debut here, while Pietro Mascagni, Richard Strauss, Paul Hindemith, Bela Bartok, Igor Stravinsky, Luigi Dalla Piccola, Luigi Nono, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Luciano Berio and many others came to interpret their own compositions. Some of the exceptional directors and set designers include Max Reinhardt, Gustav Grundgens, Luchino Visconti, Franco Zeffirelli, Luca Ronconi, Bob Wilson, Giorgio De Chiricoand Oskar Kokoschka.
The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino was founded by Vittorio Gui in 1933 and immediately became one of the most important music festivals in the world. The Festival itself has always been characteristic for the originality of some of its basic cultural choices: this can be seen in the close attention given to the problems connected with the ‘visual aspect’ of opera, thus some of this century’s finest theatre and film directors have been called in to collaborate in the Festival as well as many famous painters and sculptors for the design of the sets and costumes. This has meant an almost constant exploration of Twentieth century music, from historic avant-garde compositions to more recent experiences, accompanied by the rediscovery of compositions and authors of the past that have fallen into oblivion.
The Maggio Musicale is normally heldduring the months of May and June but the activity of the Teatro Comunale continues all the year round, except for a short interlude in August, with the Summer Season, the Autumn Opera and Ballet Season (September – December) and the Symphonic Season (January – April); it offers an incredibly wide choice of music in various forms, capable of suiting all the different tastes of a huge public.
The Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino first came into being in 1928, again thanks to Vittorio Gui, though it was then called the Stabile Orchestrale Fiorentina. Composed of about 120 musicians, this orchestra has been led by some of the greatest conductors of our time and has always been admired for its extensive operatic and symphonic repertory, which ranges from baroque to contemporary music.
The Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino was formed in 1933 for the first Maggio Musicale under the guidance of Andrea Morosini. The Chorus is at present composed of about 100 members and its repertoire not only includes traditional and contemporary opera but also many important symphonic compositions and chamber music.
Maggio Danza, the Corps de Ballet of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, was founded in 1967, its first point of reference being the figure of Aurelio Milloss. However the Florentine ballet company really began to assume a precise identity with the advent of Evgheni Polyakovin 1978 who was to give it a varied repertory that included modern contemporary dance as well as the great classical ballets. Composed of about 40 members, Maggio Danza has collaborated with some of the greatest étoiles in the world: Carla Fracci, Alessandra Ferri, Maya Pliseckaja, Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Eric Vu An.
THE “TEATRO VERDI”
Address: Via Ghibellina,99
Phone: 055 212320 – 2396242 | Fax: 055 288417
Ticket Office of the Verdi Theater of Florence: Monday to Friday 15 pm – 19 pm
Website – More info: http://www.teatroverdionline.it/
The Teatro Verdi of Florence was founded in September 1854 by Girolamo Pagliano and was designed by the architect Telemaco Bonaiuti. Its orginal name was Teatro delle Antiche Stinche after the Trecento prison on which it was constructed. (Several cells are still visible today on the underground levels of the theatre).
The theatre, which assumed its current name in 1901, was designed by the architect Telemaco Bonaiuti and was completed under his supervision.
Between 1950 and the present, the theatre has undergone three different renovations in compliance with building codes. These adaptations have modified the interior of the hall but have preserved the classical Italian structure of the theatre: an ample orchestra pit, six levels of loges and the former royal box transformed into a dress circle, and the interior decor of the main entrance and the two foyers.
Since January 1998, Teatro Verdi has been the venue for Orchestra della Toscana’s rehearsals and concerts. Today, as throughout its 150 years, the theatre presents a program which includes various performing arts in addition to housing ORT’s classical music concerts: theatre, opera, operetta, ballet, pop and jazz concerts, film premières and conventions.
ORCHESTRA DELLA TOSCANA
Address: Via Ghibellina, 101
Phone: 055 281993 – 280670 | Fax: 055 281640
Website – More info: http://www.orchestradellatoscana.it/
Founded in 1980, ORT was established under the tutelage of the Tuscan Regional Government, the Municipal Government of Florence, and the Provincial Administrations of Florence. While under the artistic direction of Luciano Berio, ORT was given national recognition for excellence by Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Today, under Artistic Director, is Sergio Sablich’s able directorship and housed in the historic Teatro Verdi in the heart of Florence, ORT’s performances are broadcast nationally by RAI-Radiotre Suite. The Orchestra is composed of 45 musicians, divided into accomplished chamber groups: I Solisti dell’ORT, OrtEnsemble, Harmoniemusik – I Fiati dell’ORT.
From baroque to today’s music: Agile performer of a broad repertory that spans baroque to contemporary composers, the orchestra amply represents Haydn, Mozart, all of Beethoven’s symphonies, and large selections from baroque instrumental music, with a special emphasis on the presentation of works rarely performed. In addition to choral masterpices, ORT has performed Mahler’s Lieder, choral works by Brahms, and operatic selections with an emphasis on Rossini. The tuscan formation stands out in the Italian scene thanks to its aptitude for theearly 20th century music and a peculiar attention towards contemporary music. It has performed with renowned soloists and famous conductors worldwide; it has accompanied young performers at their débuts, and has also included in its programtheatrical and dance performances.
Invited by the main Italian Concert Societies, it has performed with great success at Teatro alla Scala of Milan, Teatro Comunale of Florence, Teatro Comunale of Bologna, Carlo Felice of Genoa, Auditorium “G.Agnelli” of Lingotto of Turin and Accademia di S.Cecilia of Rome. The Orchestra collaborates with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and with the Ravenna Festival, and since 1995 partecipates in the Rossini Opera Festival. Intenational tours since 1992 have included: Germany, Japan, Salzburg, Cannes, Buenos Aires, San Paolo, Montevideo, Strasbourg, New York, Edinburgh, Madrid. Since 1988, ORT has recorded numerous performances: works by Schubert and Cherubini, conducted by Donato Renzetti for Europa Music, Peter and the Wolf and L’Histoire de Babar with actor Paolo Poli, conducted by Alessandro Pinzauti for Caroman, Cavalleria rusticana conducted by Bruno Bartoletti for Foné, Il Barbiere di Siviglia conducted by Gianluigi Gelmetti for EMI Classics, Tribute to Mina and Orfeo cantando tolse by Adriano Guarnieri for Ricordi, Stabat Mater by Rossini conducted by Gianluigi Gelmetti, for Agorà, Holy Sea by Butch Morris for Splasc(h), Richard Galliano with “I Solisti dell’Ort” for Dreyfus. Of recent release is Tancredi by Rossini conducted by Gianluigi Gelmetti.
Among the renowned musicians who have collaborated with ORT: SALVATORE ACCARDO, RUDOLF BARSHAI, YURI BASHMET, GEORGE BENJAMIN, LUCIANO BERIO, FRANS BRÜGGEN, MARIO BRUNELLO, SYLVAIN CAMBRELING, KYUNG WHA CHUNG, MYUNG-WHUN CHUNG, ALICIA DE LARROCHA, GABRIELE FERRO, ELIOT FISK, RAFAEL FRÜBECH DE BURGOS, GIANANDREA GAVAZZENI, GIANLUIGI GELMETTI, IRENA GRAFENAUER, NATALIA GUTMAN, DANIEL HARDING, HEINZ HOLLIGER, ELIAHU INBAL, KIM KASHKASHIAM, TON KOOPMAN, GIDON KREMER, YO-YO MA, GUSTAV KUHN, PETER MAAG, PETER MAXWELL DAVIES, ALEXANDER LONQUICH, ANDREA LUCCHESINI, EDUARDO MATA, SABINE MEYER, MIDORI, SHLOMO MINTZ, VIKTORIA MULLOVA, ROGER NORRINGTON, DAVID ROBERTSON, ESA PEKKA SALONEN, HEINRICH SCHIFF, VLADIMIR SPIVAKOV, UTO UGHI, MAXIM VENGEROV, RADOVAN VLAKTOVICH.
TEATRO DELLA PERGOLA
Address: Via della Pergola, 18
Phone: 055 2479651 – 2479612
Website – More info: http://www.teatrodellapergola.com/
The Teatro della Pergola is a historic opera house in Florence, Italy. It is located in the centre of the city on the Via della Pergola, from which the theatre takes its name. It was built in 1656 under the patronage of Cardinal Gian Carlo de’ Medici to designs by the architect Ferdinando Tacca, son of the sculptor Pietro Tacca; its inaugural production was the opera buffa, Il potestà di Colognole by Jacopo Melani.
The opera house, the first to be built with superposed tiers of boxes rather than raked semi-circular seating in the Roman fashion, is considered to be the oldest in Italy, having occupied the same site for more than 350 years.
It has two auditoria, the Sala Grande, with 1,500 seats, and the Saloncino, a former ballroom located upstairs which has been used as a recital hall since 1804 and which seats 400.
Work on completing the interior was finished in 1661, in time for the celebration of the wedding of the future grand duke Cosimo III de’ Medici, with the court spectacle Ercole in Tebe by Giovanni Antonio Boretti. Primarily a court theatre used by the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, it was only after 1718 that it was opened to the public. In this theatre the great operas of Mozart were heard for the first time in Italy, and Donizetti’s Parisina and Rosmonda d’Inghilterra, Verdi’s Macbeth (1847) and Mascagni’s I Rantzau were given their premiere productions.
By the nineteenth century, La Pergola was performing operas of the best-known composers of the day including Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti and Giuseppe Verdi. Verdi’s Macbeth was given its premiere performance at the Pergola in 1847.
The Pergola’s present appearance dates from an 1855-57 remodelling; it has the traditional horseshoe-shaped auditorium with three rings of boxes and topped with a gallery. It seats 1,000. It was declared a national monument in 1925 and has been restored at least twice since.
Today the theatre presents a broad range of about 250 drama productions each year, ranging from Molière to Neil Simon. Opera is only presented there during the annual Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
List of other theatres in Florence (alphabetical order):
Address: Piazza Cestello
Phone: 055 294609
TEATRO DELLA LIMONAIA
Address: Via Gramsci, 426 (Sesto Fiorentino)
Phone: 055 440852
TEATRO DELLA S.M.S. GRASSINA
Address: Piazza Umberto I, 14 (Grassina)
Phone: 055 644481 – 642639
TEATRO DI RIFREDI
Address: Via Vittorio Emanuele, 303
Phone: 055 4220361
Website – More info: http://www.toscanateatro.it/
Address: Via delle Mimose, 12
Phone: 055 7398857
TEATRO GARIBALDI – TEATRO STABILE DI FIRENZE
Address: Piazza Serristori (Figline Valdarno)
Phone: 055 9155986
Address: Piazza Puccini
Phone: 055 362067
Website – More info: http://www.teatropuccini.it/
TEATRO STUDIO DI SCANDICCI
Address: Via Donizetti, 58 (Scandicci)
Phone: 055 757348 | Fax: 055 751853
Website – More info: http://www.scandiccicultura.it
Drawing on a tradition rich with skilled and talented craftsmen (and women), Florence is your natural choice for shopping not only for high fashion but also for the unique and one of a kind gifts and souvenirs. Italy is known worldwide for its high quality and striking design – and Florence is an excellent showcase for both. And what’s even better to know: you won’t have to break the bank to go shopping! Between luxury boutiques with top name designers, fashion outlets, craftsmen and their workshops to the open air markets you are assured of finding just what you are looking for at prices that fit your budget.
Many places now have “orario continuato” which means they are open all day, and don’t close at lunchtime. However, the further you go from the city center there are still some places that open between 9 – 10 and close at lunch around 1ish only to open again in the afternoon between 3:30-4:30 pm. The good news is they are open until 7:30-8pm. Stores are generally open from Monday to Saturday. Monday mornings and Sundays are normally times when the stores are closed. If you are one a schedule and want to hit any store in particular, then be sure to check the hours before you go shopping.
Another good pieces of news is almost everyone accepts payment with cash (Euros), debit cards and credit cards. Just a word to the wise, those who accept cash payments are normally not going to hand over a receipt…and though this is your choice, remember that if you are caught with a purchase and no receipt, you can be fined quite heavily. Other possible fines include buying from un-authorized vendors (especially knock-offs) … you will know who these are because they normally stash the goods in easy to transport blankets, bags and boxes.
Milan is commonly nominated as the design headquarters of Italy – but for those in fashion, they know that Palazzo Pitti, with its fashion fairs, has definitely put Florence on the map for cutting-edge and innovative design. Just the number of quality shops and flagship stores testifies to the city’s growing importance in the sector.
Since the 14th century, Via Tornabuoni has housed beautiful, stately palaces of noble Florentine families such as Antinori and Strozzi and now you will find boutiques for Gucci, Prada, Pucci, Cartier and Bulgari (to name a few.) This area is growing and expanding, including Via della Vigna Nuova where you can find shops for Etrò, Lacoste and Monteblanc and Via del Parione where you will find lots of specialty stores, ateliers and workshops.
Even if your wallet doesn’t stretch that far…you can always let your imagination wander the streets and admire the colors, the designs and the fashion.
Antiques and Collectables
Florence was home to one of the most famous antique and collectable dealers in Italy (if not the world): Stefano Bardini. Besides the museum near Lungo Arno, he has left quite a reputation which the local dealers constantly try to best. Where should you start your browsing? Via Maggio and Via de’ Fossi. Both these streets are full of important antique shops where you can find valuable artworks and collectables. Passing their windows sometimes seems like passing by a museum, with wonderful pieces on display.
There is also a collection of antique shops towards Piazza Beccaria. Normally set in Loggia di Pesce, they have been temporarily moved to Largo Pietro Annigoni, where you can browse and find treasures of all sizes, especially those just the right size for your suitcase.
The proximity to the Arno river was an important factor in Florence dominating the world of leather production and all its eventual by-products…for example leather jackets and gloves. The most picturesque solution for leather shopping is the open air markets in Florence such as San Lorenzo and Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, between the spacious Piazza Repubblica and Hard Rock Cafe and the lovely Ponte Vecchio.
However, there are many stores that carry a quality product, so be sure to do your price comparison first. Wallets, belts, coin purses and gloves (especially gloves) are great alternatives to procuring a quality product with a more reasonable price tag.
Color Me Pretty
Perfumes, Ceramics, & Artistic Paper
There are several historic “pharmacies” (what would be almost equivalent to a drug store today) which specialize in either antique recipes or sometimes new discoveries with traditional flavors. Producing a wide range of soaps, creams, ambient perfumes and body fragrances for men and women, these products are ideal souvenirs at reasonable prices that are truly unique and particular to Florence.
Another lightweight gift item you can search out include the fabulous designs on paper. The stationary is a combination of colors and swirls, or metallic accents and the Florentine Giglio symbol. There is a plethora of options ranging from cards, letters, stationery sets and large pieces of handcrafted paper perfect for crafting or gift wrapping.
Most of your ceramic producers are actually located outside of the city center of Florence towards Montelupo, Impruneta and other areas in Tuscany. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t find a wide selection of artistic bowls, plates, plaques and souvenirs in the many shops of Florence.
Gold, Silver & Art
Even before artists and sculptors like Brunelleschi, Donatello, Ghiberti and Botticelli began experimenting with working bronze, silver and gold, Tuscany could boast of the fabulous Etruscan gold craftsmen. This is a skill that found itself ingrained in Florence thanks to Lorenzo de Medici and his passion for gold jewelry, and the tradition of going to Ponte Vecchio to find quality pieces iss mainly due to Ferdinand I.
Aside from being famous around the globe for its gorgeous and sparkling windows, Ponte Vecchio is also famous for the jewelry shops located on the bridge where you can find lots of handmade, unique jewelry such as necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets and pins. In addition to the tradition of all that glitters, check out the selection of carnelian and sardonyx cameos and the totally unique micro mosaics and artistic compositions called “Commesso Fiorentino”. These mosaics are composed of mainly local marbles and are intricate pieces of art, true modern masterpieces from an antique technique.
Food & Wine
Perhaps the most popular, and easiest item to shop for are the delicious flavours of Florence and Tuscany. Some don’t travel well, like the bistecca fiorentina, pizza or gelato, so you will have to be sure to eat your fill while you are here!
However, there is an abundance of food items that do travel well – and they all make great gifts (for those hard to please relatives and friends) … and memorable souvenirs, to share in company when you finally go home. Besides making purchases while you are out wine tasting, a great place to pickup authentic and genuine products is at the covered Market of San Lorenzo and to Sant’Ambrogio Market for fresh in season produce, oils, pastas, butcher shops and more.
I Gigli shopping mall
The largest shopping centre in Tuscany and one of the most important in Italy.
Via San Quirico, 165, Località Capalle, 50013 (Campi Bisenzio)
Looking for some out of town shopping in the city of Florence? Just outside of the city is the I Gigli shopping mall. With over 130 stores, both national and international brands, there is something for everyone. I Gigli has a variety of shops from electronics, clothing, jewelry, and even some culture. It is the perfect place to treat yourself to a handbag, accessories, or furniture for the summer. It also has over 20 different food options, the Andy Warhol…in the city exhibition, and children related workshops if you want to take a little break from shopping.
Buses leave to I Gigli shopping mall everyday of the week from the Santa Maria Novella station, all you have to do is take either 30, 35, or 303 and you will get there in no time to start your shopping.
Valdichiana Outlet Village
Foiano della Chiana (Arezzo). Monday to Sunday from 10am to 8pm. From the 1st of June until the 31st of August open from 10am to 9pm on Saturdays and Sundays
The Valdichiana Outlet Village is one of the best fashion outlets in Tuscany, not to be missed if you are looking for a true outlet tour in Tuscany. Located in a beautiful setting, between the provinces of Arezzo and Siena, the complex is characterized by a suggestive and fascinating architecture, featuring all the main and most prestigious Italian and international brands such as Conte of Florence, Replay, Enrico Coveri, Fornarina, Benetton, Puma, Sisley, Bassetti, Bata, and many others. In the over 140 charming shops you can take advantage of great discounts ranging from the 30% to the 70% discount all year long.
You will find all types of stores, for shoes, home furnishings, garments, and much more. At the village you can enjoy a pleasing atmosphere, while taking advantage of a number of services, such as the beauty center, the children’s playground, the library, the tourist office, and many bars and restaurants, where you can taste and savor the many delicious dishes and typical products of the local Tuscan cuisine.The outlet center is about 30 minutes south of Arezzo, very close to the Valdichiana exit off the A1 highway.
Getting there: The outlet center is about 30 minutes south of Arezzo, very close to the Valdichiana exit of the A1 highway, so if you are arriving by car you simply need to take the Valdichiana exit, and then follow the precise directions for “Outlet Valdichiana”. You can also easily reach the Village by train from Florence and by bus. The bus departs from a side of Arezzo’s train station and stops right in front of the outlet.There are over 140 shops of both of Italian and international brands. You can find shops for Guess, Calvin Klein, Levi’s Dockers, Fornarina, Puma, Sisley and Benetton.
The Barberino Designer Outlet
Barberino del Mugello (Florence). Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 8pm. In June, July, August , September and December open on Monday too from 2pm to 8pm. Closed on May 1st, Easter and August 15th.
The Barberino Designer Outlet is very close to the A1 Barberino di Mugello highway exit, you’ll see signs as soon as you exit. There are over 100 shops of the best brands selling almost everything from clothing to cosmetics, from electrical appliances to chocolate and shoes. The most famous brands are Prada, D&G, Lacoste, Furla, Polo Ralph Laurent, Belstaff and Calvin Klein. Then there is also Puma, Adidas, Pinko, Guess, Coccinelle, Pupa, Malboro Classics Docksteps, Lagostina and Bormioli to name just a few more others. There are shops for all tastes so it is likely if you to go this outlet, you won’t leave with empty hands!
Getting there: Aside from driving there, you can also take a daily shuttle from Florence run by the outlets. The shuttle (cost 15 euros) leaves twice a day, at 10 and 14.30, from the Piazza Stazione SMN right in front of the BATA shoe store. The bus returns to Florence at 13.30 and 18.00 so it gives you anywhere from 3 to 7 hours of shopping. SITA also runs buses to the outlets, you should check directly at the SITA bus station in Piazza SMN (Via Santa Caterina da Siena, 17) once you’re in Florence for the most current time schedules.