If I’ve not been particularly active lately, know this: I despise summer. I’ve been lying in cool, fanned rooms when in Germany and regretting having ever gotten out of cooling seawater when I’ve been in Italy. I really can’t think of any advantage to hot, sticky, mosquito-infested, humid weather other than the the pleasant side effect of a tan.
But September – that’s a whole different story. As leaves crinkle and turn golden, and the relief of cold weather make its way towards us, September is a time to wrap up the past season, but at the same time, (even for summer Scrooges like me) make the most of the last snatches of hot air. Florence has so much going on this month – take a look.
Eat for charity
Eating for charity?! Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it… It couldn’t get any better, given the backdrop of the Battistero you’ll have when eating at Eataly, Florence’s slow food gem. Eataly has teamed up with six renowned chefs to organise a charity dinner, the proceeds of which will be given to charity, specifically to the Meyer hospital. If you’re of the lucky 150 guests, you’ll get to sit back on Via Martelli and dine al fresco under Florence’s show-stealing skyline highlight: the Duomo. Selections by chefs of the calibre of Sparacino, Tomei and Barone will be whipping up delicacies for you – all for a cost of 50 Euros, Chianti included.
- Enjoy a different view
If you’re looking for a different view to Piazzale Michelangelo’s or have climbed to San Miniato far too often, head to San Niccolò. Restored in 2011, the historic fortress is open for its annual series of guided visits. Offered daily (weather permitting), visits start every 30 minutes from 5pm to 8pm.
- Take a trip to the cinema
Taking the kids to Finding Dory, a girls’ night watching the latest Bridget Jones (yep, still going), a trip down memory lane immersed in a Beatles documentary… there’s a lot of choice at Florence’s Odeon this month for films in their original language. Stock up on popcorn and head to the cinema, just by Palazzo Strozzi.
- Have your last summer gelato
My favourite are Santa Trinita, strongly influenced by the view (by the bridge), and Grom (Via dello Studio), but if you’re a chocolate fan, Venchi (Via dei Calzaiuoli, or opposite the Porcellino) is the place to go. La Carraia is also great for moreish palates – Pan di Stelle and various cheesecake flavours always feature.
Get there now before the seasonal flavours disappear!
- Try a new restaurant
I knew I’d get your attention with that one…
- Catch a new exhibition… or one that’s almost over
23 September 2016 – 22 January 2017
Ai Wei Wei comes to Florence with “Libero,” a highly anticipated exhibition by China’s leading au courant artist.He’s an international icon of resistance against censorship, and a well known political activist: after his lifejackets in Berlin being hung outside the Opernhaus, it would be strange for you not to have heard his name. But you can redeem yourself by heading to this exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi, which will include photography, large-scale installations, and of course, the trademark lifeboats hung on the outside of the building- a clear reference to the Mediterranean refugee crisis. Whilst Ai Wei Wei only hits Florence at the end of the month, Karl Lagerfeld is about to leave!
During the 90th edition of menswear showcase Pitti Uomo (June 14–17), Palazzo Pitti opened a photography exhibition dedicated to the 82-year-old creative director and head designer for Chanel, Fendi and his own fashion label. It’s about to end, so catch it while you can at Palazzo Pitti (where else?). Ends October 23rd.
- Stand against senseless violence
Florence’s intercultural community reaffirms its commitment to peace with a public tribute to those who lost their lives in the Al-Qaeda attacks and aftermath 15 years ago on September 11, 2001. Although primarily focused on 9/11 victims, survivors and their families, the vigil will also be a symbolic remembrance of all those whose lives have been lost to senseless violence. Residents, university students and officials will read and perform music from a variety of religious and cultural traditions.
The event is organized by NYU Florence and the Comune di Firenze.
For more information, see the website.
(Thanks to The Florentine for this)
- Head to a French market
17 September – 2 October
Bring the Belle Epoque to Piazza Santa Maria Novella – tick. Market stalls will be full of French products this month, on the trails of Paris’ universal exposition of 1889. Get your cheese, cosmetics and trinkets and stroll through jazz-infused streets. Get the information on Facebook : just search for Mercatino Francese Belle Epoque.
Enjoy September, pals.