This annual event of the first pressing of Olive Oil from the town of Reggello is a great opportunity to get the full flavor of the spicy, green and gold Tuscan olive oil (our favorite!). And of course it is all for sale. For years they had set up in Piazza Santa Croce - but the info on their website has the festival taking place this weekend in Reggello (about a 45 minute drive for the center of Florence). If you have a car, I highly recommend it!
Here is a message from the Mayor of Reggello:
La Rassegna dell'Olio di Reggello, giunta all'onorevole traguardo della quarantunesima edizione, rappresenta un momento importante nella vita della nostra comunità.
Con l'anticipazione della data abbiamo voluto infatti segnare nuovamente,(come fu pensata in origine) l'inizio vero della campagna olearia.
L'olio è il prodotto di maggior pregio che la nostra terra produce. L'olio è simbolo del nostro territorio, abbellito dal colore verdastro degli olivi sui terrazzamenti delle nostre colline; è il veicolo per trasmettere la qualità della nostra agricoltura e l'eccellenza del nostro territorio.
La purezza chimica e organolettica del nostro olio trova le sue radici nella sapienza e nel lavoro della nostra gente che coltiva l'olivo da tempo immemore e che continua a farlo, pur tra tante difficoltà,ancora oggi.
Venire a Reggello ad assaggiare l'olio nuovo, sarà il miglior veicolo per trasmettere , attraverso il suo gusto unico e la sua bontà, la bellezza di un territorio e al tempo stesso la saggezza di un popolo che ancora sa privilegiare la qualità, il gusto del buono, il piacere del bello.
Dott. Cristiano Benucci
Here are some photos from the "Fiera della Ceramica", in Piazza Santissima Annunziata. This is an annual event that usually takes place the first weekend of October and is organized by the Arte della Ceramica. It is a wonderful market with so much unique work by a wide variety of European ceramists, along with some food local vendors and entertainment. Highly recommended!
I have highlighted the work of German artist Heiner Bauer above. Heiner was always one of my favorite artists at this event year after year, but I am afraid to say that he passed away sometime in 2012.
There are also some amazing pieces by Stefano Innocenti among many others.
Here is the second part of the amateur video, The Cradle of the Renaissance:
Here is an entertaining tourist video of a visit to Florence, Part 1. While the scholarship may be a bit brief I applaud the effort - nice job:
You will also see him eat a tripe sandwich - the cart is in Piazza Cimatori right in the center of town, and actually my favorite place for bollito (boiled beef sandwich).
Started in 1221, Santa Maria Novella is chronologically the oldest great basilica in Florence. It was designed by two Dominican friars, Fra Sisto Fiorentino and Fra Ristoro da Campi. Further work on the basilica continued on commission from Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai who asked Leone Battista Alberti to complete the magnificent façade. The structure is a good example of humanist architecture, with proportion and classically-inspired detailing creating a balance with the pre-existing medieval part of the façade.Santa Maria Novella.
There has been a church on the site of San Lorenzo since 393, making it one of the oldest churches in Florence. The church as it appears now, however, is the result of a renovation begun in 1421 by Giovanni di Bicci de'Medici, who commissioned a new design for the church from Filippo Brunelleschi. This began a relationship between the Medici family and San Lorenzo that lasted for more than a century. The family lavished money on the church with a variety of projects, including the Medici Chapel.
Continue reading San Lorenzo.
The Church of San Frediano in Cestello is located in the Oltrarno section of Florence. The unfinished façade faces the Arno (with the Piazza del Cestello between the church and the river) and the rear of the church runs along Borgo San Frediano.
(Click the image below for a slide show)
Poggio a Caiano is a former Medici villa at the foot of the Albano hills. It is on record as being the only surviving architectural structure commissioned by Lorenzo the Magnificent, and became a favorite of his that was used by the family dynasty for centuries. It was also one of the favored summer residences of the grand duchess of Tuscany Elisa Baciocchi Buonaparte, Napoleon's sister, and the possible site of her affair with Nicolò Paganini, who gave concerts in the Villa's theater. It was eventually a summer residence of King Victor Emmanuele II before being turned over to the state.Continue reading Medici Villa at Poggio a Caiano.
ATAF is the local bus company in Florence - their ubiquitous orange buses (and some are now red too) are everywhere - some are big, some are small, some run on natural gas, and some run on electricity. From their website:
"ATAF, Azienda Trasporti Area Fiorentina, represents a consortium of nine municipalities: Bagno a Ripoli, Calenzano, Campi Bisenzio, Fiesole, Florence, Impruneta, Scandicci, Sesto Fiorentino, and Vaglia, that cover a total territorial surface area of 538 square km with a population of about 600,000 residents."Continue reading ATAF - Local Florence Bus Company.
Up until 1750 Florence began the civic year not in accordance with the modern solar calendar on January 1st, but on March 25th, marking the start of the year from the religious feast of the Incarnation (which also - surely not by coincidence - is near the first day of spring).
There is a plaque in the Loggia dei Lanzi commemorating the event:Florentine New Year.