Established in 2008 - By Francesca Papi, Private Tour Guide of Florence



Best places to see Florence San Giovanni Fireworks

Florence San Giovanni Fireworks

The best places to see Florence San Giovanni fireworks

The best places to see Florence San Giovanni fireworks

The origins of Florence San Giovanni holiday

The San Giovanni holiday has ancient origins. Once nobles and lords donated large candles to the cathedral to celebrate Florence’s patron saint. As the city and its lords became more powerful, the candles became richer and more and more beautiful. Some were destined for the Baptistery, others were sold and the money was used for the church.
Even today, on the morning of June 24, a small parade of citizens, including the mayor and other officials, leave Palazzo Vecchio and symbolically carry a large candle to donate to the patron of the candles in the baptistery. Here Florence’s bishop celebrates high mass (at 10:30). The long day of celebration of Florence’s patron saint ends with a gigantic fireworks display. The fireworks are set off between 10 and 11 p.m. from Piazzale Michelangelo, the ideal place so that the fireworks can be seen from all over.

The best places to watch Florence San Giovanni fireworks

One of the most frequented places to see Florence’s San Giovanni fireworks is undoubtedly the Arno beach. The Florentine word for fireworks is “fohi”, which comes from fuoco, the Italian word for fire. Since we Florentines have a hard time pronouncing the “c” in words, it becomes an “h” and makes us easily recognizable! Everyone in the rest of the country makes fun of us for it. Anyway, from the beach you can see the San Giovanni “fohi” as you stick your feet in the sand and relax on a beach blanket, with the Torre San Niccolò as the backdrop. The Arno’s banks are the most crowded place on the night of June the 24th. This is in fact the place to see the reflection of the fireworks on the river. If you want a guaranteed breathtaking view, find a place on Ponte Santa Trinita so you can see them go off over Ponte Vecchio.

Lesser known places to see Florence San Giovanni fireworks

Anyone who’s looking for an exclusive place to see the fireworks will be spoiled for choice. There are many beautiful luxury hotel terraces from which to enjoy the show. You can watch them while sipping cocktails and enjoying a candlelight dinner! Some of fantastic terraces are at the Grand Hotel Baglioni, Plaza Lucchesi, and the Westin Excelsior.
Orti del Parnaso Garden is the best solution for watching the fireworks for those who don’t love crowds. It’s at the highest point of the Giardino dell’Orticultura, Florence’s Horticulture Garden. You’ll enjoy a fabulous panoramic view with the cathedral’s dome in the background and the lighted Roster Tepidarium in a beautiful part of the city that’s ignored by tourists.
Another quiet place is Fiesole. The panoramic view of Florence from the hill of Saint Francis is romantic and ideal for enjoying the “fohi fiorentini”.

By |June 21st, 2018|Eventi, Exhibitions|0 Comments

The Florence Experiment: science and art at Palazzo Strozzi

The Florence Experiment

The Florence Experiment (courtesy of Palazzo Strozzi)Palazzo Strozzi is hosting The Florence Experiment from April 19 until August 26. The experiment unites art and science by studying the interaction between plants and humans through two monumental slides. It’s a new site-specific project by the artist Carsten Höller and the scientist Stefano Mancuso, and curated by Arturo Galansino. They give visitors the chance to slide 20 meters down from the palace’s second floor loggia to the courtyard. There is also a lab for analyzing data in the “Strozzina” [basement of Palazzo Strozzi].

Höller and Mancuso

Carsten Höller is famous for his deliberation of the relationship between art, science and technology. Stefano Mancuso, founder of plant neurobiology, studies plant intelligence. He analyzes them as complex beings endowed with extraordinary sensitivity. The plants might be able to communicate with the outside through chemical composites and perceive and emit. The Florence Experiment proposes a consideration of the relationship between humans and plants. Palazzo Strozzi thus becomes a scientific and artistic space for the communicative and emotional abilities of all living beings.

Two big slides in the Palazzo Strozzi courtyard

The first part of the project is made up of the two big slides in the courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi (The Florence Experiment). Every week a random number of visitors go down the slide carrying a bean plant. Afterwards, the plant is delivered to a team of scientists who analyze its photosynthetic parameters and the molecules it emitted in reaction to the slide. Results are compared with plants that slid down alone, and others that did not go down the slide.

The air of fear and fun

The second part of the experiment is called “Plant Decision-Making Based on Human Smell of Fear and Joy”.  Two cinema theaters are used. A horror film plays in one and comedy film shorts in the other. The visitor’s fear or joy releases different chemical compounds into the air. Through two vacuum ducts, these compounds are transported onto the facade of the palace. Here they can influence the growth of the wisteria plants positioned on the palace in a Y shape. The “air of fear” is released from one arm of the Y, while “the air of joy” is released from the other.

The Florence Experiment: how and where

The Florence Experiment is open every day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Thursday to 11 p.m. until August 26 at Palazzo Strozzi. To participate to the project it is necessary to read and accept the warnings in the ticket office and available online at this link. The minimum age is 6, minimum height between 130 and 195 cm, and weight below 120 kg. Signed approval from an adult is necessary for children under 14.

By |June 18th, 2018|Events in Florence, Exhibitions, Home|0 Comments

Fantastic Florence presents Divina Bellezza at Palazzo Strozzi

Divina Bellezza (Devine Beauty) was one the most interesting exhibits of the year organized by Palazzo Strozzi Foundation. The subject of the exhibition, as the title says, was sacred art between XIXth and XXth century: Van Gogh, Chagall, Fontana, Guttuso, Picasso, and may others. Sacred art in that period, that was much less religious than before (think of Napoleon and the abolition of the Church’s privileges for example) interested many artists, who decided to show their religious feeling in various ways. Never forget that sacred art gave the possibility to these artists to paint nudes and investigate the human body with no embarrassment. The Biblical tales got combined with the birth of Freud’s psychoanalysis (Edvard Munch), with the condemn of Nazism (Otto Dix), the pain for the Jewish persecution (Marc Chagall) or the personal tragedy leading to suicide (Vincent Van Gogh).
Palazzo Strozzi Foundation is the most active institution in Florence taking care of the city’s cultural life. We are really eager now to see the next one, about Kandinsky and Pollock, in collaboration with the Guggenheim Foundations of New York and Venice. Stay tuned!

By |January 28th, 2016|Eventi, Events in Florence, Exhibitions, Home, Videos|0 Comments