Good morning and Happy Monday!
Springtime is finally almost upon us; the air is filling with the sweet scents of nature and the landscape is turning a thousand shades of color.
The last month has been very busy here in Palm Beach, the vaccination effects are slowly coming along and more people are finally strolling Worth Avenue after many months of consciousness and for many complete lockdown. Well it is not time to get too chilled, we will keep wearing our masks and keep following the common safety practice that led all of us over the last 12 months. Never doubt the science, after all.
I am not traveling yet back to Italy, so I have some extra time where between a post and a zoom wardrobing session I enjoyed to register my first podcast!! Well I must say, I survived it thanks to Lisa and Cathy and their exquisite podcast "The View in Your Mirror", so if you like to spend 45 minutes with us simply click here.
Things begin to warm up and more sunshine is hopefully to be expected, spreading some of its positive rays as we set our sights towards what the season might bring and the longer daylight hours that stretch out before us.
First, a little check in with Florence and some news from the Renaissance city. On Friday it was announced that cinemas, theaters and museums will open their doors once again from March 27, dependent on whether Tuscany will be in yellow-zone status, giving many residents something to strive towards!
Other news is that the much-loved Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistery of Saint John) that straddles Piazza del Duomo and Piazza San Giovanni is getting a meticulous uplift organized by Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore. Four sides of the internal walls of the Florence Baptistery have already been restored, with the remaining four to be completed by the end of 2021.
Many exciting discoveries have emerged from the works including the original technique used in the parietal mosaics and traces of gold leaf on one of the capitals of the matroneum.
Notable figures baptized in the historic site include Dante Alighieri, with ongoing celebrations of his 700th anniversary this month including an unmissable online six-week guided reading of his great masterpiece, the Divine Comedy, led by expert guide Alexandra Lawrence and hosted by The British Institute of Florence (www.britishinstitute.it).
March also sees Dantedì take place on March 25, the day dedicated to the Supreme poet that will be marked by several events including a documentary exhibition hosted by the Accademia della Crusca, the renowned institute dedicated to Italian language research, that will explore the relationships between La Crusca and Dante. The full Dante line-up can be found at www.700dantefirenze.it.
Other exciting and inspiring news I came across recently is that the admirable Andrea Bocelli Foundation has recently opened its new headquarters in the historic Palazzo San Firenze. The opening coincides with the foundation’s 10-year anniversary of supporting people and communities all around the world. With an education laboratory called the ABF GlobaLAB, workshops, talks and cultural events are due to be held in the space, with a focus on educational tools for inclusion and engaging youths ages 16 to 25 but with programming for younger children also in the works, all with the aim of using music and culture to help youth engage and grow.
Women’s day on March 8 is when Italians can be seen gifting bouquets of yellow mimosa flowers to their beloved ladies, a tradition that’s still popular today.
Fathers are celebrated this month too with Festa del Papà on March 19, or as they say in Tuscany, Festa del Babbo, taking place on the day dedicated to Saint Joseph. Mark the occasion with the seasonal treat of "Frittelle", fried dough and rice balls covered in sugar – simply delicious!
There’s even a festival dedicated to this delectable treat, taking place at San Donato in Collina on March 19. Unfortunately none of us will be able to participate (well my parents yes, they live 2 min away!!) so if you like to challenge yourself in the kitchen here the recipe!!
If you’re missing Florence and seeking a connection to " My Bella Firenze", grab a glass of your best Chianti and source a typically Tuscan cheese such as "Marzolino", named after the month of March (marzo) as it was traditionally produced during this month. It’s also said to have been a favorite of Michelangelo! Other wines that pair well with this sheeps cheese are Brunello and Nobile di Montepulciano.
And on that note, I hope your March will bring plenty of flowers and sunshine.
With love, yours....