Yikes, it’s November! Who let that happen?
Well, I guess we can’t complain too much, as November is host month to one of our favorite holidays, Thanksgiving. This particular Thanksgiving, we’ll be bursting with gratitude to be spending it in not one but two of our favorite cities–Florence and Rome! That’s right, we’re headed back to Italy for a much-needed visit. So this month we’ll cram our calendars full of any event that’s got a gratuito next to it. Luckily November never disappoints, as happenings start to ramp up for the holiday season ahead. As always, some of our favorites follow and more are listed on the calendar.
November, you are too, too good to us. I’m sorry I ever cringed at your arrival.
Palazzo Strozzi Contemporaneo | Now-November 16th
Let’s start things off in a big way with an attraction that makes our art-loving hearts race. The courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi is getting not one but three (!) makeovers in the upcoming months. On display now until November 16th is Franco Menicagli’s A chi non piace guardare il cielo?. Well, guilty as charged, Franco. Stand with the rest of the crowd and look up to get the full effect of what the piece asks–the artist is giving you full blessing to keep your head in the clouds (at least for a few minutes). This installation is the first of a series, which will continue with more site-specific artwork by Kinkaleri (November 20th-December 8th), Bianco-Valence (December 11th-January 25th) and then a final special happening in the Strozzina by CHERYL on January 15th. Find out much more about the artists, pieces and viewings here.
Domenica del Fiorentino | November 9
Residents of Florence, it’s your day to gloat! Today’s the day locals take back their museums and sites from the tourist throngs to enjoy free entry all Sunday long. We’ve written all about it here. This month also includes special visits to the Misericordia Museum and an exciting look at the Franco Menicagli installation at Palazzo Strozzi we just discussed. As is usually the trick with free Sundays, reservations are required in advance for much of the fun stuff. To make sure you secure your place, visit here for all the details.
Japanese Festival at Limonaia di Villa Strozzi | November 14th-16th
Cultures (quite beautifully) collide at the annual Japanese Festival, which–to our joy–offers free entry! Try your hand at calligraphy and origami, enjoy the visual delights of Japanese dance and karate, then sample what is sure to be excellent food and drink–all while strolling Villa Strozzi’s lovely limonaia. Open each day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; click here for more information.
Stibbert Veste Vintage | November 15 & 16
From one limonaia to another, this event certainly sounds like a hipster’s dream come true. Hosted by Yelp Firenze, you’re invited to comb racks of vintage threads, accessories and more at the beautiful Limonaia Stibbert. Plus, from 7 p.m. until midnight on Saturday you can enjoy aperitivo and live music to be followed by an after-party with DJSet. On Sunday night from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., guests can partake in another aperitivo and another appearance by DJSet. Shopping, live music, hip atmosphere, free entry…this one is a don’t miss. (Thanks to Georgette for the tip!)
Firenze Marathon & Spectator Contest | November 30th
Crowds will snake their way past the city’s top monuments for this year’s 31st running of the Florence Marathon. Even if you didn’t think to bring your running shoes to Florence (or aren’t up for a leisurely 26.2-mile stroll), we’re convinced cheering on from the sidelines will still max out your endorphins without fully taxing your form. Seems the event’s organizers agree–this year, they’re starting the “Firenze Marathon Clap Contest.” Groups of no more than 10 are encouraged to spread out along the route and amp up cheers using any means necessary–music, costumes, street performances, acting, “or really any kind of artistic display.” The announcement is strangely vague on prizes, rules or structure (thanks, Italy!); nonetheless, it sounds like it’s time to break out your best Beyoncé moves and head towards a sidewalk near you. More details here.
Time to go pack our bags. See you soon, Florence! Non vediamo l’ora.