Good morning and Happy Sunday!
Wherever you are, after a crazy week, it is a pleasure to enjoy some time off with your families, baking your favorite recipe, binge watching the latest tv shows or simply checking the comfort of your couch!!
There is not much traveling yet so we have plenty of time saved from it to dedicate to ourselves and our loved ones. As much as we have been all tested from this long run, the essence of spending more time not always running around has its own precious taste. Well tell me!! I distracted just a bit and I found myself getting ready for Gabriele' trip to college (not even mentioning the fact that he is 6'2" and I need a step ladder when I want to hug him)!!
I cannot say I am not enjoying this winter in Palm Beach, the weather is so nice that I must say is not easy to picture yourself anywhere else (well aside in Florence with my whole family).
Speaking of which...February in Florence always fills my mind with thoughts of strolls around the atmospheric streets, seeking out the best seasonal treats like "Schiacciata alla Fiorentina", "Frittelle" and "Cenci", warming pasticcerie with the head-spinning scents of freshly baked goods.
While that may not be possible for many (check out www.visittuscany.com for the recipes!) there are still plenty of ways to connect with the city we love, with virtual visits galore.
The world’s oldest drawing academy, "Accademia delle Arti del Disegno", will be (virtually) opened up to us in a rare opportunity to see the spaces that are usually closed to the public. Taking place on The Florentine’s YouTube channel at 6.30pm CET on February 5th, AADFI president Cristina Acidini will be in conversation with Advancing Women Artists Director, Linda Falcone, revealing the secrets of the Academy that saw some of the greats like Michelangelo and Bronzino pass through.
The "Accademia della Crusca" allows us to virtual visit the renowned Italian language academy with free visits that will take place until October, giving us plenty of chances to tune in.
An expert linguist will guide us through the historic site founded in 1583, with tours in Italian, English and French. Get to grips with the history of the alluring language as the academy’s headquarters with their magnificent gardens and library bring joy to language-lovers.
Speaking of love, we can’t forget that Valentine’s Day is on the calendar also! Ever-so slightly ahead of the day itself (and really, why wait until February 14 to celebrate "Amore"?!), the "Uffizi Gallery" is offering half price entry to you and your loved one on February 2nd in honor of the famous wedding between Agnolo Doni and Maddalena Strozzi in 1503, subject of works by Michelangelo and Raphael.
Not able to take advantage of the offer? Not to worry, their social channels will feature a love-sonnet spoken over stunning works of art with plenty more planned for the days leading to Valentine’s day itself as love-filled posts blossom on the Uffizi’s social channels.
Furthermore the "Black History Month Florence" is an annual cultural highlight. The 6th edition of the 4-week festival that highlights African Diasporic communities in Florence and Italy takes the theme "Ostinato", a musical-term meaning a phrase or motif that’s repeated over which improvisation takes place.
There’s always an impressive array of readings, lectures and exhibitions in a steady stream throughout the month, many of which will be held online.
While "Carnevale" will undoubtedly be a more subdued affair this year, you may still spot some dramatic costumes about the place!
Feel free to don a more elaborate face mask: seeing as we need to wear them anyway you may as well make them fabulous!
With traditional Tuscan treats and endless culture to enjoy, there’s plenty of Florentine fabulousness to fill the chilly evenings of February even from the comfort of your couch!
With love, yours....