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The Florentine, Issue #001 -- April in Florence
March 25, 2009

Hello and welcome to “The Florentine”, your monthly newsletter about everything happening in Florence. April is usually a busy month in Florence and this year is no exception. Easter celebrations, the International Artisan Fair, the Firenze Tango Festival and Bob Dylan’s concert in the Nelson Mandela Forum are the highlights this year. Here is a brief description of each event and all the important information:

1) Scoppio del Carro Festival (April 12) - Scoppio del Carro or “explosion of the cart” is a longtime Easter tradition in Florence. The festival begins with an ornate wooden cart being pulled by a pair of oxen decorated with beautiful flowers. The cart is led into the Piazza del Duomo by soldiers, flag bearers and musicians. As the procession reaches the Duomo, a “colombina’, or dove shaped rocket comes flying out of the Duomo and ignites the fireworks covered cart. The cart erupts into an amazing pyrotechnics show that is visually stunning and unbelievably loud. The tradition behind the ceremony goes back to the First Crusade and Pazzino de’ Pazzi, a Florentine warrior, who was the first man over the wall in the siege of Jerusalem in 1099. For his courage Pazzi was given three shards from the Holy Sepulcher, shards that were subsequently used to start the annual “holy fire” during Easter week. By the middle ages the fire had turned in to a cart and has remained that way to this day. Procession begins at 10 am with the explosion taking place at 11am.

2) Bob Dylan in concert (April 18) – Author, poet and musical legend Bob Dylan will be performing his “Neverending Tour” in the Nelson Mandela Forum. This will be one of only three shows held in Italy and will span the vast repertoire of his 40 year career. The Nelson Mandela Forum is located in the center of the city, only 160 yards from the train station (Campo di Marte).

3) The Firenze Tango Festival (April 23) – The Firenze Tango Festival is in its 7th year and takes place from April 23- April 26. The festival features the best dancers from the international stage and allows you to take lessons in many different tango styles. The main night is Friday April 24 where dancers will perform “Colores de Tango” on the stage of the Sachall Theater. Upon completion of the show the theater will be converted into 1312 foot dance floor where you can dance till the early morning hours.

4) International Artisan Fair (April 25-May 3) – The 73rd annual International Artisan Fair is back again this April. One of the largest fairs of its kind, the Artisan Fair is a great place to meet local craftspeople, interior designers and furniture makers from around Europe. To make it easy to find what you are looking for, the exhibitions are divided into different areas; interior design, jewelry, furniture etc. The designers and vendors are definitely on the cutting edge of design. The fair takes place at the Fortezza da Bosso and hours are 10am -11pm

Well, that’s it for now. Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter and keep an eye out next month for a new edition of “The Florentine”. Visit our website, for more information about the beauty of Florence.

Ciao, Glenn and Jeanne

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