Florence Gelato Festival

Here is the official site of the 2016 Gelato Festival - the final event of the season is September 1st to 4th, at Piazzale Michelangelo:

THE FIRST TWO WINNERS FROM EACH STAGE OF THE TOUR WILL CHALLENGE ONE ANOTHER IN THE GRAND FINAL IN FLORENCE.
18 OF EUROPE'S MASTER GELATO MAKERS
WILL ENTER THEIR OWN UNIQUE FLAVOURS IN AN EFFORT TO BECOME
THE OUTRIGHT WINNER OF THE 2016 GELATO FESTIVAL
PURCHASE YOUR GELATO CARD IN ADVANCE AND COME ALONG AND CHOOSE THE FLAVOUR OF THE YEAR.

One of Florence's newer annual events, the Gelato Festival has been happening for several years now, usually around the end of May (in 2015 the event will also come back to close the tour in October in Florence).

These comments were about the first festival in 2010:

"We had lots of great gelato, but the lines were long at times and the overall organization seemed a bit lacking. It did seem to be a big success however judging by the number of people eating ice cream. The "Gelato University" put on in Piazza Santissima Annunziata by industry giant Carpigiani was also packed for every lesson."

This year's event (2012) is scheduled for May 23rd to 27th and will take place in the following piazzas:

I think last year's edition was better than the first, and maybe 2012 will be their best yet. There is much more going on than just tasting gelato of course - visit the official website for more details (in Italian only).

These photos are from 2010 and 2011:

florence-gelato-festival-card-boot.jpg gelato-case.jpg

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Festa della Liberazione, Liberation Day

Italy's Liberation Day (Festa della Liberazione) is a national Italian holiday commemorating the end of the World War II and the Nazi occupation of the country. There is usually a morning ceremony in Piazza dell'Unità  with Carabinieri marching band, war veterans and city officials, and a concert in the afternoon in Piazza Signoria. Wreaths are set out in the city in various locations, similar to the one below:

Festa della Liberazione, Liberation Day Wreath

If you want to witness one of the more strange, interesting and exciting rituals of Easter than the "Explosion of The Cart" or "Scoppio del Carro" (also known as "il Brindellone" or the "Cart of St. John") is a must see event on Easter Sunday in Piazza Duomo.

Il Brindellone

It is an ancient tradition that dates all the way back to the crusades, and an elaborate event that has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. A large, towering wooden "cart" is pulled into the square between the Duomo and the Baptistry by huge white oxen and accompanied by much fanfare, flag throwing and bell ringing. Inside the church, a fake dove is ignited in the middle of mass and sent on a wire into the cart that is loaded with various fireworks and explosives (and I mean loud explosions that go one for several minutes - and lots of smoke). The quality of the fireworks predicts the fate of Florence for the year - while in the middle ages it was more closely linked to the quality of that year's harvest. If you are in Florence for Easter don't miss this extraordinary event.

The event starts around 10 a.m, with the The "Explosion of The Cart" happening around 11 - make sure you get there early for a good viewing spot! You can also enter the church for the mass, or follow the cart's procession before or after the ceremony.

Palazzo Corsini

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Palazzo Corsini

Palazzo Corsini is a late baroque building, obvious throughout its many architectural details - from the roofs decorated with statues copied from antiquity and terra cotta vases, the ornate rooms and interior grotto, and the main, U-shaped courtyard that opens towards the lungarno and north bank of the Arno.

The two men responsible for Palazzo Corsini were Bartolomeo Corsini (1622-1685), the son of Filippo Corsini and Maria Maddalena Macchiavelli and, Filippo son of Bartolomeo's son (1647-1705) who expanded the portion of the Palazzo that extends towards Ponte Santa Trà­nita.

The construction continued non-stop for 50 years. The magnificent decorations, that were done between 1692 and 1700, belong to one of the finest and most intense moments in Florentine painting. The family commissioned several artists to decorate the noble apartment on the first floor, that includes Galleria Aurora, the Salone, the ballroom and other important rooms with work by Anton Domenico Gabbiani, Alessandro Gherardini and Pier Dandini.

Today the Palazzo is used for many important events and can also be rented for private affairs. The official website: English | Italian

Below is a history of the Palazzo Corsini from the 1905 book "Florentine Palaces, And Their Stories" by Janet Ross - some of the scholarship from that day may have changed since!

Palazzo Corsini
Palazzo Corsini
Palazzo Corsini
Palazzo Corsini
Palazzo Corsini
Palazzo Corsini
Palazzo Corsini

Palazzo Corsini
Via di Parione, 11
50123 Firenze
Italy

Museo Novecento

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Museo Novecento

The Novecento (Twentieth Century) Museum is dedicated to Italian art of the 20th Century and offers a selection of around 300 works, which are located in 15 exhibition areas, in addition to a study room, a cabinet of drawings and prints, and a room for conferences and projections. The museum is located in the ancient Spedale of the Leopoldine in Piazza Santa Maria Novella.

Opening Hours
Summer hours (April 1 to September 30)
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 10:00 to 21:00
Thursday 10:00 to 14:00
Friday 10:00 to 23:00
Saturday - Sunday 10:00 to 21:00

Winter hours (October 1 to March 31)
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 10:00 to 18:00
Thursday 10:00 to 14:00
Friday 10:00 to 21:00
Saturday - Sunday 10:00 to 20:00

Cost of ticket:
Museum: € 8.50 (reduced: € 4 for 18-25 years and> 65 years and college students, free for under 18 years of age and groups of students and their teachers, tour guides and interpreters, people with disabilities and their carers, ICOM members, ICOMOS and ICCROM)

Temporary exhibitions:
€ 4 (reduced: € 2 for 18-25 years and> 65 years and college students, free for under 18 years of age and groups of students and their teachers, tour guides and interpreters, people with disabilities and their carers, members of ICOM, ICOMOS and ICCROM)

Cumulative museum and exhibition: € 10 (concessions € 6)
Annual subscription: € 10
Visits and activities: € 5

Florence Iris Garden

Iris Garden of Florence

The Iris Garden is one of Florence's best hidden secrets, most likely due to the limited time it is open each year. The garden is on a lush hillside accessible from the east side of Piazzale Michelangelo. It makes a great place to get away from crowds and the city for a quiet stroll. The garden belongs to the "Società  Italiana dell'Iris" (the Italian Iris Society), an association that promotes the flower. An international competition is held by them each year for the cultivation of the Iris. Through a combination of flowers a display is created annually that has the color of the iris represented in the coat of arms of Florence.

The garden is only open in May! From the 2nd to the 20th, Monday to Friday from 10 am to 12:30 pm and from 3 pm to 7 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm.

Mostra Internazionale dell'Artigianato

MOSTRA INTERNAZIONALE DELL'ARTIGIANATO
2014 dates: April 24th to May 1st
Forezza da Basso

The "Mostra Internazionale dell'Artigianato" or "International Handicrafts Market" welcomes artisans from all over the world as well Italy. This is a great fair full of hand-made crafts from all over the world - clothing, furniture, carpets, jewelry, silverware, collectibles, gifts, wine & food. It features traditional handmade products that inspired by ethnic and classical history, and a mix of contemporary and classical tastes.

Visiting the Fair
For eight consecutive days, from 10:00 to 23:00, more than 800 exhibitors from all over Italy and 50 foreign countries are waiting for you with their "hand made" creations, live demonstrations, events, performances, and more.

New Features for 2014
New features for 2014 edition of the Fair are: Bellezza e Benessere (Health & Beauty), Garden Art, Centomestieri (A Thousand Trades), and the Tuscan Handicraft Museums.

Mercatale di Firenze

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The Mercatale di Firenze will be held in Piazza Santa Maria Novella on the first Saturday of the month, starting on April 5th, 2014. This market (if I am reading the Italian correctly) is the one that used to take place in both Piazza Repubblica and Piazza Santa Croce once or twice a month (sometimes there would be extra dates around holidays, etc.). There is no market day in August (of course!) but supposedly it will start up again in September and take place all year long.

Lungoungiorno + Fierucola

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These two events are now joined and usually take place on the second Sunday of each month. To stay up to date, visit their website here.

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The "Fierucola" is the traditional event dedicated to nature and organic farming, and the "Lungoungiorno" is an event sponsored by the Foundation of Florence for the Arts and Crafts and entirely dedicated to high quality crafts. Together now it is a great day of art, crafts, food, tours and events.

"Lungoungiorno + Fierucola" takes place at the Vecchio Conventino Space for Arts and Crafts (SAM), on the second Sunday of each month.

Locals and tourists can spend the whole day with the artisans, their art, and the amazing local food. Lungoungiorno + Fierucola is an opportunity to watch artisans at work, hear their stories, and get closer to their crafts and their workshops.