I am back!!! This is "My Bella Firenze" and it feels good to be back in the Fall season were the weather cannot be better! Walking the streets of Florence, the many voices of tourists and the happy snapping of the city's renowned monuments is a joy to hear, the streets were quiet for too long!
I left the Hamptons and the Woodbury Atelier few weeks back, the season is changing rapidly there and it is getting chiller, perfect weather for a new leather jacket!! While people are slowly gearing up in NY in Palm Beach the weather has been particularly nice, few rains mostly at night and most important the Ateliers setup for the new season are moving ahead on Worth Avenue. Yes you red correctly, two Ateliers for this season, not only the main location at 214 Worth Avenue (the former Cartier store) but also the new addition on 226 Worth Avenue (former Raptis Rare books) that will be full of.....well surprise for you all.
Back to Florence, fall is finally feeling fully upon us! Some might be saying “at long last”, while others might not be quite ready to cast off the summer sunshine just yet. Either way, there’s plenty to look forward to this month as the leaves fall, a dazzling array of colors gives the landscape their annual makeover, and seasonal culinary delights fill our kitchens. Florence’s cultural calendar is, as always, packed to the brim and there’s plenty of news from our favorite city at this beautiful time of year.
First, a cultural update: Michelangelo’s much-loved masterpiece, the Pietà, has been recently restored to the delight of art lovers everywhere. The magnificent work was discovered to have actually been carved from Seravezza marble from the Medici quarries, and not from Carrara as had been believed to date. Housed at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, the restoration was possible thanks to the Friends of Florence non-profit foundation, bringing back the sculpture’s incredible beauty.
Two in particular of the many exciting new exhibitions this month grabbed my attention: works by British artist Jenny Saville will be on display at several points around the city until February 20, 2022, including Palazzo Vecchio and Museo Novecento. Uniquely blending the figurative and the abstract, the historical and the contemporary, these images will definitely make an impact in the city’s art scene. Equally, you don’t want to miss the Jeff Koons exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi! Titled Shine, the works will be on display until January 30, 2022. The American contemporary artist never fails to intrigue and some of his most famous works will fill the hallowed halls of the palazzo.
As for this month’s festivals, I’m fascinated by the Eredità delle Donne line-up; a series of female-focused events that sees contributions by many leading figures from all walks of life. Street artists Lediesis, Laike and Ale Senso have an exhibition as part of the programme and I can’t wait to check it out!
Another novelty in the city is the urban beehive established at the San Miniato al Monte basilica by two female American entrepreneurs known as ‘Lady Ripple’. Their ‘Bee the Ripple Association’ works to promote biodiversity in nature, and the urban beehive is now set up at one of the city’s most well-known monuments with its façade replicating the 12th century basilica.
In fall, olive oil is celebrated more than ever as its harvest means fresh deliciousness to be enjoyed with traditional Tuscan cuisine. Hand-picking olives at a Tuscan grove is one of the most idyllic experiences to be enjoyed in the region, with all the secrets of the centuries-year old ‘green gold’ right at your fingertips. Once you have the "Olio Nuovo" in your hands, it’s time to put it to good use.
One hearty dish that’s ideal for the slightly cooler evenings is "Fagioli all’uccelletto (stewed beans with sausages)", an iconic Tuscan dish. It’s made by heating a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan with cloves of garlic, then adding sage leaves, cannellini beans, tomato paste, and salt and pepper until you have a gloriously steaming stew. Then, pop in pork sausages and allow to cook. Serve with traditional Tuscan bread and drizzle on as much extra virgin olive oil as you’d like!
I hope you have a wonderful October!