When a month kicks off with a long weekend, you know it’s the start of something good. June begins with an extended “hello summer!” with Festa della Repubblica falling on a Tuesday, and continues on with free summer parties, cultural events and fireworks in the weeks ahead. Some are covered below, and even more will be added to the calendar throughout the month. Enjoy them all, friends.
“Human” by Antony Gormley at Forte di Belvedere | Until September 27
We’ve heard nothing but great things about Gormley’s show currently up at the Forte di Belvedere. Using the entire space to install over 100 figures–some personal body casts, others the artist’s signature “blockworks”–Gormley examines how humans interact with and manipulate the world around them. From Gormley’s site:
Overlooking Florence, a city that typifies an urban ideal, this site offers a place in which to consider how architecture serves to shelter, protect and dominate people and space…As the installation infiltrates the spaces and places of the Forte, a dialogue between anatomy and architecture evolves.
This means that viewers can explore the expanse of the Forte and find new forms that challenge their perception of the space and panoramas around them. The show is open every day except Mondays (with free entry!) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you’d like to know a bit more about the show before going, we recommend checking out arttrav’s coverage of it here.
Festa della Repubblica | June 2
Put your Italian pride pants on! Each June 2nd, the country celebrates the founding of the Italian republic in 1946 following World War II. You should expect to find some businesses and offices closed, but there is likely to be a special mass in the Duomo, followed by a historical procession and other events throughout the rest of the day.
MTV Awards | June 14
Here’s an even that qualifies as a true summer spectacular. MTV Italia will take over Cascine Park starting at 8 p.m. Dance the night away to performances by J-Ax, Max Pezzali, Marco Mengoni, Fedez, Malika Ayane, Nek, Annalisa, Lorenzo Strawberry, Michielin and Francesca Feder Feder feat.Lyse. Then, the music doesn’t stop with the end of the ceremony–Pink Is Punk and Ema Stokholma & Andre Delogu will keep spirits high with an after-party kicking off at 11 p.m. The entire event is free! Just get there early enough to claim your dancing spot. For all the details, visit here.
Lo Gnomone | June 8, 12, 20, 25
The Duomo’s gnomon, an astronomical instrument installed by Paolo Dal Pozzo Toscanelli in 1475, will come close to capturing the summer solstice throughout the month of June, particularly on the 20th. Visitors to Santa Maria del Fiore at 12:30 p.m. will witness the sun passing through a bronze plate in the cathedral’s dome, casting a bright circle that fits almost perfectly within the marble circle built into the Duomo’s floor. It was used to measure the position of the sun in the sky throughout the year. For a much better explanation of the history and science involved, plus official event information, click here.
Feast Day of St. John the Baptist & Calcio Storico Finals | June 24
This event deserves an entire post to itself – and Hannah has it here! Highlights include men fighting in a historic game on a transformed Piazza Santa Croce covered in sand, historical parades of epic proportions, and fireworks shot off from Piazzale Michelangelo. Considering St. John the Baptist is the patron saint of Florence, it’s safe to say the city goes all-out for this celebration. Have a look for yourself at Hannah’s evidence as to why this might be one of the very best days of the year.
The free parade starts around 4 p.m., the Calcio Storico final (tickets required) starts at 5 p.m., and fireworks go off around 10 p.m. If you’d like to pay for tickets to the Calcio Storico games (qualifying rounds for the finals are played on June 13 & 14), visit here.
O Flos Colende | June 11 & 24
“O flos colende” (oh venerable flower) is the opening line for the Gregorian chant dedicated to San Zanobi, the beloved first bishop of Florence that miraculously brought more than a few persons back from the dead. The phrase is also the name for a free ongoing series of sacred music preformed annually in the Duomo. This June, we’re treated to two events: the first is more typical of the program, held at 9:15 p.m., where the darkness only adds to the dramatic effect. Then, on June 24th, there will be a special musical mass held at 10:30 a.m. as part of the San Giovanni celebrations. Find all the details about the music and more in the program.
Sculpture Currently Updating | June 25
Check out this exhibition opening of a special partnership between Palazzo Strozzi and Masters students from the European Institute of Design (IED)! Inspired by the current shows at the Strozzi and Strozzina, the students have curated a sculpture exhibit that explores themes about sculpture’s existence over time. It opens at IED at 6 p.m. and then at ZAP at 8 p.m., where Florentine curator Daria Filardo and art educator and mediator Martino Margheri from Palazzo Strozzi will make introductory remarks. For more information, see this press release.
Is this year flying by, or is it just us? All the more reason not to miss any of these great happenings around town. Have fun!