Thursday, 27 June 2013

Evening drinks at Florence Museums - "Aperitivo ad Arte"

Last year a number of the top museums in Florence stayed open late on certain summer evenings and offered a glass of wine and a snack buffet along with a close-up view of some of their famous works of art. I reviewed the Palazzo Davanzati cocktail evenings with enthusiasm. Evening drinks at Florence Museums "Aperitivo ad Arte" has been announced again for summer 2013, starting with three museums, the Uffizi, the Bargello and, new this year, the Accademia, including the tribuna where the statue of David is displayed. If you'll be in Florence this year, try not to miss these wonderful occasions! They're a chance to see some great art in a very enjoyable ambiance. What better way to pass a summer evening in Florence?

Evening drinks at Florence museums
The Palazzo Vecchio seen from the Uffizi aperitivo
on the terrace above the Loggia dei Lanzi.
The Galleria dell’Accademia Aperitivo ad Arte takes place every Wednesday from 7-10 pm, from 5 June until 25 September. The exhibition areas that will be open are the Gallery of Prisons with the Tribuna of David. The aperitivo will be offered in the flowered courtyard of the Galleria.

The Uffizi Gallery Aperitivo ad Arte takes place every Thursday from 7-10 pm, from 6 June until 26 September. The Sale del Cinquecento, including works by Raphael, Bronzino, Allori, Vasari, Andrea del Sarto, Rosso Fiorentino and Pontormo will be open. The aperitivo will be offered on the terrace above the Loggia dei Lanzi.

The Bargello Aperitivo ad Arte takes place every Tuesday from 7-10 pm, from 6 August to 24 September. The Sala di Michelangelo, Rinascimento, and the Sala di Donatello will be open. The aperitivo will be offered in the courtyard of Museum. There will also be performances by the Compagnia delle Seggiole about the secrets of the Bargello and its role during the course of seven centuries of Florentine history.

Aperitivo ad Arte Firenze
Aperitivo ad Arte Firenze

Tickets cost €15 and should be reserved (no reservation fee), by calling 055 29 48 83.
 

If you are an ATAF card holder, you are entitled to a 30% discount!

STOP PRESS! The Florence Baptistry will also be open during the evening for three nights a week during summer 2013.

"NON-COCKTAIL" LATE OPENINGS: The Uffizi and the Accademia are open until 10 pm (last entry probably 9.35 pm) on Tuesdays.

Vacation accommodation in Tuscany
www.bella-toscana.com
Author: Anna Maria Baldini

All content copyright © ammonet Italian Web Site Promotion 2013. All rights reserved.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Enchanting Tuscany - it's in the details. Tuscan vernacular art in cast iron, carved wood and sculpted stone

Every visitor to Tuscany experiences the power of fine architecture and paintings on the grand scale, but let's not forget the endless enchanting details of Tuscan vernacular art that reflect the love of fine workmanship that has characterised Tuscany since at least the end of the Dark Age. Among the most prolific and accessible anonymous works of art in Tuscany are those in cast iron, carved wood and sculpted stone. And the age of the digital camera makes these miniature masterpieces all the more accessible since many of them are in locations often too high to be seen other than by means of a zoom lens. Not all of course - door knockers and door wood carvings are right there to be observed close up by those with a sharp eye for detail.
Tuscany door knocker
Tuscan art deco door-knocker
Tuscany door wood carving
Exquisite door wood-carving

Vernacular stone carving is often less visible since so much of it is the quirky and humorous production of the mediaeval artisans who turned out decorated capitals and pilastres by the thousands. When visiting any of the numerous romanesque churches that dot the Tuscany countryside, look high up both inside and outside and the chances are you will see some fascinating and completely unique stone carving, possibly from the hand of a workman a thousand years gone.

Stone carving at Villa Viganamaggio
Stone carving at Villa Viganamaggio
Carved capital at the Abbey of Santa Mustiola
Capital at the Abbey of Santa Mustiola
As you will no doubt notice, Tuscany is a very "stony" region and stone or stone-faced buildings outnumber those made entirely of brick, with wooden buildings being almost non-existent. It turns out that workable stone is quite common so, not surprisingly, stone carving embellishes buildings magnificent and humble throughout the area. Workable wood is for the most part imported from elsewhere but skilled wood carving has been a part of Tuscan art since the Renaissance and earlier when the Gothic art of fine woodcarving was introduced from Flanders.
Carved capital at the Abbey of Sant' Antimo
Capital at the Abbey of Sant' Antimo
Mediaeval stonework at Borgo di Vagli hamlet
Stonework at Borgo di Vagli hamlet
Cast iron decorative elements became extremely popular in the late Victorian and art deco periods and continue to be right up to the present day. Wrought iron work is also extremely common in Tuscany and is most commonly visible in the form of iron grills over windows. Wrought iron bedsteads, candelabra and chandeliers are typical of "Tuscan country style". The streets of Sienna are particularly well-endowed with wrought and cast iron decorations, including lamp supports and flag holders.
Cast iron door sign Sienna
Cast iron shop sign in Sienna
All of these details contribute to the charm of Tuscan cities, towns and villages. They repay attention!

More about what to see in Tuscany.

More about Borgo di Vagli.

My recommended vacation rentals in Tuscany.

Tuscany Toscana
Don't forget to visit Elena Spolaor's
Travel Guide!

Up-to-date news on what to see and where to stay in Chianti and all of Tuscany & Umbria.

Chianti Travel Guide

Author: Anna Maria Baldini

All content copyright © ammonet Italian Web Site Promotion 2013 - 2014. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Famous Tuscan butchers Falorni in Greve in Chianti and Cecchini in Panzano in Chianti

In ancient times, meaning before WWII, most of the contadini in Tuscany ate meat only once a week, mostly in the form of a selection of salumi. For the remainder of the week they ate ribollita in winter and panzanella in summer - both dishes being based on Tuscan bread and Tuscan olive oil with the addition of whatever fresh vegetables were available. In fact, that's how it's been for the past thousand years, at the very least. Nowadays, the meat-based dishes of Tuscan cuisine are much more prominent and famous, and as a consequence so are some wonderful Tuscan butchers shops (macellerie). In this post, I will say something about just two among many, the famous Tuscan butchers Falorni in Greve in Chianti and Cecchini in Panzano in Chianti.

Antica Macelleria Falorni Greve in Chianti
Antica Macelleria Falorni in Greve in Chianti
Antica Macelleria Falorni, located on Piazza Matteotti of Greve in Chianti, claims to be the oldest butchers shop (macelleria) in Italy. The shop was founded by Gio Batta in 1729. Today Antica Macelleria Falorni is run by the eighth generation, brothers Lorenzo and Stefano Bencistà, related by marriage to the founding family. Along with fresh meat, Falorni sells a fine range of salami, prosciutto and other prepared meats and in fact the company has a large production that is sold throughout Italy and abroad. When you visit Greve in Chianti, be sure to drop in to look at the amazing display of Tuscan meat specialities on show at Macelleria Falorni, taste some samples if they're on offer and, of course, buy some great food!

Dario Cecchini in his butchers shop in Panzano in Chianti
Dario Cecchini in his butchers shop in Panzano in Chianti

Macellaria Cecchini, located ten minutes drive away in Panzano in Chianti, is entirely different in style from Macellaria Falorini. Macellaria Cecchini is, simply, Dario Cecchini, the mad butcher of Panzano. Cecchini specialises in prepared meats, one could almost say, anything other than salumi. And in contrast to the export-oriented business of Falorni, Cecchini has entered the restaurant trade in a very original way, particularly in his Panzano restaurant Solociccia. Dario Cecchini very often serves in his shop and welcomes visitors, even those just coming to look. While the display of meat products is amazing, you're basically coming to see Dario perform - and of course to buy some excellent eats.

Dario Cecchini is famous as a promoter of bistecca alla fiorentina and both of these butchers shops sell excellent cuts of beef suitable for grilling.

More about Piazza Matteotti in Greve in Chianti.

More about Macellaria Cecchini in Panzano in Chianti.

More about bistecca alla fiorentina.

More about Tuscan culinary specialities.

More about places to stay in Chianti.

Tuscany Toscana
Don't forget to visit Elena Spolaor's
Travel Guide!

Up-to-date news on what to see and where to stay in Chianti and all of Tuscany & Umbria.

Chianti Travel Guide

Author: Anna Maria Baldini

All content copyright © ammonet Web Site Promotion 2013. All rights reserved.