upcoming events: march 2015

March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, so the old saying goes (very old, apparently–The Guardian says it dates back to the 17th century!). Luckily for us, this month never lets up on free activities to welcome the start of spring. I don’t know about you, but after this winter I’ll gladly take my locally grown sunshine with a heaping side of gratuito.

So in Italy, marzo comes in like a marzocco and just keeps on roaring? Why not.

Panel by Pontormo for the Mint Wagon

Panel by Pontormo for the Mint Wagon

#DomenicalMuseo | March 1

Hopefully you already have each month’s first Sunday marked on your calendar as “obligatory amazing museum visit day.” As we’ve said before (and seemingly can’t stop talking about), all state museums and archeological sites are open to the public free of charge on the first Sunday of the month. For a full list what to visit in Florence and throughout Italy on these days, visit here. This month, we suggest stopping by Palazzo Vecchio to see Pontormo’s chariot panels a final time–they’re only up until March 7th!

A peek at one of the off-site locations for last year's Fuori di Taste

A peek at one of the off-site locations for last year’s Fuori di Taste

Fuori di Taste | March 7-9

Taste is Florence’s annual tribute to “good eating and good living.” Unfortunately, this celebration of excellence often costs a pretty penny. But that’s why we’re here to talk about Fuori di Taste, the city-centered series of events that complement the larger show at the Fortezza. Pop-up events galore will be happening around town, and best yet, a few aperitivi and lectures are fully free to attend. Comb through this calendar of events to plot our your culinary plan of attack. Buon appetito

"A smile and a mimosa" by Claudia Stritof on Flickr

“A smile and a mimosa” by Claudia Stritof on Flickr

Festa della Donna | March 8

While you’re out and about getting your feast on this Saturday, you might notice there are mimosas (bright yellow flowers) everywhere you turn. Each year since 1945, Italy has celebrated International Women’s Day, which draws attention to women’s rights locally and globally. At a time when women are still advocating for equal treatment, this day highlights 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 mimosas. Better than a flower, though, is that women enjoy free entry to Florence’s civic museums today. So go on with your art-loving selves, ladies! Florence has got you covered.

Detail of Madonna di casa Pazzi by Andrea del Castagno, 1443

Detail of Madonna di casa Pazzi by Andrea del Castagno, 1443

Free Tours of the Contini Bonacossi Collection at the Uffizi | Wednesdays until March 25

A real spring special. We haven’t mentioned the Contini Bonacossi Collection since December 2013, which gives you a hint as to how often an opportunity like this pops up. Wednesdays in March, guests can take free guided tours of this collection, usually closed to the public, in the museum’s satellite palazzo, just behind the main museum on via Lambertesca.

From the Uffizi: The collection of Alessandro Contini Bonacossi ranks among the most important established themselves in the twentieth century. The state has been able to acquire a part in 1969 and purchased by the Uffizi Gallery. It is fifty works exhibited in some environments specially prepared and located between via Lambertesca and fuss Baroncelli. You can admire furniture, ceramics and masterpieces of European painting and sculpture from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century, with works by Andrea del Castagno, Giovanni Bellini, Jerome Savoldo, El Greek, Bernini, Velasquez and Goya.

Tours are scheduled at 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Wednesdays; reservations are required. For contact info, meeting locations and group suggestions, visit here.

Spring in Florence by Giuseppe on Flickr

Spring in Florence by Giuseppe on Flickr

FAI Spring Days | March 21 & 22

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!), maximize your planning time by visiting here and entering your email. FAI will then alert you as soon as this year’s openings are posted.

And that’s our month. Time to leave winter behind us and make the most of what’s to come!

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