MOVEMENT/Florence Dance Festival
Until August 3
An eclectic mix of some of the biggest names in classical, modern and contemporary dance comes to the Renaissance city. This year’s highlights include The Special World Wide Event, two evenings with Ukrainian ballet star Sergei Polunin in an unprecedented choreography dedicated to Vaslav Nijinsky’s Sacre; performances by Israeli dance company Batsheva, the New York Dance Project and T.H.E. Dance Company. The 30th anniversary of the festival begins on June 30 with an open day of music and dance at the Santa Maria Novella complex. Tickets can be bought singularly for every event or as a package at florencedancefestival.org
Until August 8
Piazzale degli Uffizi, Florence
Forty-six original language and subtitled films are on the daily programme for this year’s edition of Apriti Cinema in the striking setting of the Uffizi courtyard. The showcase includes a tribute to legendary French director Agnès Varda, with, amongst others, the projection of her 1981 classic Mur Murs, as well as Melanie Mayron’s 2018 tale of unexpected love between Rose and Louise in Snapshots, and various Middle Eastern films presented by Middle East Now, a stronghold on the Florence film festival scene for many years. For the full timetable, check cinemalacompagnia.it. Free entrance; showings start at 10pm.
MUSIC/Festival au Dèsert
Parco delle Cascine, Florence
In collaboration with Fabbrica Europa, Festival au Dèsert returns for its tenth edition. Fusing African, Mediterranean and Saharan sounds, acts include Moroccan gnawa musician Majid Bekkas accompanied by American drummer Hamid Drake and Sardinian Gavino Murgia, as well as the celebrated Malian group Tamikrest and the Orchestra of Arab and Mediterranean Women, whose sounds and songs blend melodic sweetness with modernity. The festival is held in the Cascine Park, a great excuse to take the evening off and cool down with some mellow tunes. More information at fabbricaeuropa.net. Free entry.
CULTURE/Copula Mundi Festival
August 29-31, September 1
Parco delle Cascine, Florence
Copula Mundi Festival is a late summer festival in the city’s principal park. The relaxed vibes combined with a rich array of art, music, theatre and dance events make it one of the highlights of what can be, at times, a slow part of the year. The tagline sums up the essence of this event: an experimental festival for the creation of shared imaginaries. Last year’s edition involved contests for emerging bands and artists, social dinners, DJ sets and performances: we can expect much of the same in 2019. This year’s programme is on copulamundi.org or on Copula Mundi’s Facebook. Free entrance.
CONCERT / Laura Pausini and Biagio Antonacci
Stadio Artemio Franchi
Italian pop stars Laura Pausini and Biagio Antonacci arrive at Florence’s football stadium for the latest date of their tour of the peninsula. Expect the solo artists’ greatest hits, plus three hours of music galore. Tickets available from TicketOne.
Piazza Santissima Annunziata + various other locations
This is the fourth edition of piazza Santissima Annunziata’s summer showdown that involves some of the greatest names in modern music. Roberto Bolle and Friends, Piovani, Francesco de Gregori, Steve Hackett, Caetano Veloso and Loreen McKennitt will take to the stage this year, in addition to a special dawn Danilo Rea concert (4:45am). The festival includes free entry to the Because The Night photography exhibition at the Università di Letteratura as well as various free guided visits to some museums. Concerts start at 9:15pm. More information at musartfestival.it or call 055/667566
SPECIAL EVENT/Porrettana Express train
Until late October
Departing from Pistoia
The Porrettana Express Train reopens its route until late October. It’s a wonderful way to cool down as the train heads up through the Apennines taking in over 17 stations and 64 bridges and viaducts, while providing scenic views through the Trenitalia carriage windows. The initiative includes meals and refreshments as well as historical accounts of the first Transpennine railway service. Themed children’s days and activities are planned to take place on July 13 and October 13. Train departs from Pistoia. Booking and information at porrettanaexpress.it.
ART/Pecci Summer Live 2019
Various dates throughout July
Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, viale della Repubblica 277, Prato
Some of Europe’s most cutting-edge but also classic acts come to Tuscany’s centre for contemporary arts. This year’s summer exhibition, Night Fever. Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today, in collaboration with the Vitra Design Museum and ADAM – Brussels Design Museum, explores visual graphic representations of nightclubs as well as the architecture and project design surrounding European nightclub culture. This makes the Pecci Summer Live calendar livelier than ever. With concerts from British electric funk band The Comet Is Coming, psychedelic Pordenone group Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti, Milanese outfit Cacao Mental, poly-instrumentalist Yann Tiersen and guitarist J Mascis. Tickets available at ticketone.it.
CULTURE/The New Generation Festival
Giardino Corsini, via della Scala 115, Florence
The international music, opera and theatre festival returns to the Corsini Gardens for four days of top-tier performances. The brainchild of orchestra conductor Maximilian Fane, producer and director Roger Granville, and film and theatre director Frankie Parham, the festival aims to break down boundaries between generations and genres as well as offering talented young musicians the opportunity to perform internationally. More information at newgenerationfestival.org.
July and August
Various venues in Florence and surrounding towns
Come August and the height of the summer heatwave, you can usually count on shop and restaurant closures and minimal scheduled events. The good news? This is prime time to sagra—we’re using it as a verb, because the Tuscan sagra is more than a tradition-infused food fest, it’s a way of life. A few top picks: the Sagra del Tortello in Ronta, near Borgo San Lorenzo (July 6-7); the Sagra del Fungo Porcino con Polenta (Porcini Mushroom and Polenta) in Capannori, near Lucca (July 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28); and the Sagra della Cipolla (Onion Festival) in Certaldo (August 23-September 1).
Via Benedetto Croce, Pisa
The final Toscana Pride parade takes place in Pisa this year and is full of the flamboyance and fun that you can expect from this celebration of LGBTQIA+ culture. Join the young and old, families and students in an all-singing, all-dancing parade. Many cities are organizing bus excursions that leave from surrounding towns; such initiatives depart from Siena, Livorno and Florence —look on Facebook for these details. For more information about the parade route and side events happening on the first weekend in July, see toscanapride.eu
DRAG/Spread the Love Festival
The Student Hotel, viale Spartaco Lavagnini 70-72, Florence
Celebrate LGBTQIA+ culture during Pride Month at The Student Hotel Florence. Listen to YouTubers Charlie Moon and Cristiano Cervigni, aka Issima91, and join the talk about coming out in families by A.GE.DO Toscana. The Florentine’s editor in chief Helen Farrell and Vincenzo D’Angelo, guest editor of this issue’s LGBTQIA+ special, will speak about pride in publications today. The evening ends with a drag performance by Karma B.
DANCE/Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
Great Cloister of Santa Maria Novella, Florence
The famous all-male drag ballet troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is set to take the great cloister of Santa Maria Novella by storm. The New York-based comic ballet company will perform Swan Lake & Other Classics as part of Florence Dance Festival (see above). For more information, see florencedancefestival.org.
Associazione Sedici, via Genova 17/5, Prato
ULTRA is a photography exhibition curated by Associazione Sedici, a cultural association housed in via Genova’s trendy ex-industrial buildings. This year’s edition adheres to the theme Where Love is Illegal, a project by New Zealander Robin Hammond who documents the personal experience of people from the international LGBTQIA+ community. This project has been created to capture the stories of the people that live in intolerant societies. Free entry. The show opens on July 19 at 9pm. For more information, turn to page 23 and see www.sedici.org.
PRIDE/Torre Pride Village
Torre del Lago
20+ days of events in Italy’s top gay seaside spot. Entertainment group Mamamia brings fun galore to Torre del Lago, hosting aperitivo evenings, drag shows (special guest Karma B) as well as club nights and parties playing bubbly pop and house. The final of Miss Drag Queen Italia, Il Gay Più Bello d’Italia and Revolucion Kiki Function, the first ball to take place at Torre del Lago, are also part of the line-up. For more information, see versiliagay.it or call 393/2239322.