upcoming events: march 2014

Yikes, March came up fast! We’ll spare you the small talk and get right to the heart of this month: carnivals, love for women and fathers, a foodie heaven, and the cure for cabin fever. It’s all coming your way, right now. Get excited.

Luna Park at Cascine by PhotoCarletto

Luna Park at Cascine by PhotoCarletto

Carnival at Cascine Park | March 1-2, 4

Venice it’s not, but Florence is still pulling together something great for local kiddos who want to celebrate Carnevale. Jugglers, acrobats, magicians and more will line Cascine Park from 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. There are walkways and pavilions filled with entertaining workshops, tasty food carts, and even a few clowns. Safe to say there’s something to keep both adults and tikes happy. If you can’t make it this weekend, the carnival will also be open on Fat Tuesday, March 4, from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. For all the details, visit here.

Lemons in Boboli by mojosmom

Lemons in Boboli by mojosmom

Limonaia Open at Boboli Gardens | Wednesdays in March

This is a rare chance to view the Boboli citrus collection before the plants are dispersed throughout the gardens for the rest of the year. Why, might you ask, should you care about a bunch of citrus trees? Well first, because they’re down-right beautiful and smell good to boot. But most importantly, each of the plants in the limonaia is descended from a Medici cultivar. From our friends at Italy Magazine: “They include such rare varieties as the Citrus aurantium Canaliculata, introduced in Florence by Francesco I, or the Citrus aurantium bizzarria, which Ferdinando II used to enrich the collection at Boboli. They have a remarkable historic and botanical value.”

The collection features lemons, grapefruits, limes, oranges and more. Entry to Boboli isn’t free for everyone, but once you’re in, access to the limonaia is free – but only on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. For more details and dates, click here.

Mimosa Flower by checcastef

Mimosa Flower by checcastef

Festa della Donna | March 8

Each year since 1945, Italy has celebrated International Women’s Day, drawing attention to women’s rights locally and globally. At a time when women are still advocating for equal treatment, it’s nice to take a day to celebrate their both their grand achievements and everyday contributions. As a “thank you for all you do,” expect to see men giving their mothers, daughters and friends handfuls of bright yellow flowers (mimosas). Even better, today women enjoy free entry to Florence’s civic museums, the Torre di Arnolfo and the Brancacci Chapel! Here’s how to secure reservations.

This year, our old pals at Syracuse University in Florence are also hosting something ultra cool to celebrate the day. On Friday, March 7 from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., anyone is welcome to participate in their “Women Artists and Wikipedia Editing Marathon.” Visitors are encouraged to adopt a female artist and flush out her Wikipedia page, with hopes of increasing visibility for women often ignored by history. So grab your laptop and pull up a chair next to scholars, art historians, students and more – all will be working together to get this important job done. Both English and Italian entries are accepted, and admission is free. If you can’t make it to SUF, email linda@advancingwomenartists.org and she’ll give you an artist you can work on at home. 

…We wish we could be there to help, SUF! Fueled by snacks from Elia’s Bar, of course.

Fuori di Taste, part of Taste by Pitti immagine

Fuori di Taste, part of Taste by Pitti immagine

Fuori di Taste | March 8-10

It’s hard to be a foodie on a budget. Most high-end meals are well out of our price range, but that doesn’t mean our taste buds are any less sophisticated! For those caught in a similar dilemma, may we introduce you to Fuori di Taste? It’s the city-centered series of events to complement Taste, the large food show happening at the Fortezza. Entry to Taste certainly isn’t free, and, to be honest, neither are most of the meals hosted by Fuori di Taste. But they are doing something great by hosting lectures about food and tastings around the city, some of which are fully gratuito. Comb through this calendar of events to plot our your plan of attack. Buon appetito!

Giovanni di Ser Giovanni Guidi, "Triumph of Fame," detail from a round chest, mid-15th c. Palazzo Davanzati, Florence by Francis Fletcher

Giovanni di Ser Giovanni Guidi, “Triumph of Fame,” detail from a round chest, mid-15th c. Palazzo Davanzati, Florence by Francis Fletcher

Feast of St. Joseph’s & Fathers’ Day (Italy) | March 19

Time to show some love for the wisest man in the house, dear old dad. In honor of Jesus’ earthly father, dads of all types take center stage today. Traditionally, Italians celebrate with bonfires, Lenten feasts, and pageants – so keep your eyes peeled for those free historical reenactments Florentines are so fond of. Now’s also the time to indulge in a zeppola (an Italian pastry typically eaten on this feast day).

Coinciding with this event is a special afternoon at Palazzo Davanzati. In addition to its regular hours, the museum will open from 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., with free entry for visitors to the first, second and third floors of the museum. Interested parties can even make reservations to take one of two guided visits of the third floor and terrace. So maybe you should plan to take dad to a long lunch before surprising him with a visit to Davanzati? Any details you might need to plan your visit are here.

Flowers in Florence by MrWooderson

Flowers in Florence by MrWooderson

FAI Spring Days | March 22-23

Here’s your cure for that twinge of cabin fever you’re feeling: each spring, the Italian Environment Fund (FAI) offers free admission to 700 heritage sites across Italy – some of which are otherwise closed to the public. If that number slightly overwhelms you (as it does us – so many free things to see at once!), we recommend downloading their app, which will tell you where the nearest open attraction is based on your currently location. Stay tuned here for a full list of openings, where they’ll be announced on March 11th.

With so many awesome events lined up this month, we’re hoping for nothing but sunshine over the next 30 days. Ciao!

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