Florence Festival: San Giovanni Battista, Patron Saint of Florence

Florence’s patron saint is no less than St John the Baptist – San Giovanni Battista – and with June 24 being the feast day of St John the Baptist, Florence is set to go all out with celebrations.

This year marks the 2nd Festa della Cultura San Giovanni_Battista, a cultural festival organised by i Buontalenti group, with the patronage of the Comune di Firenze, Provincia di Firenze, British Institute of Florence, Rete Toscana Classica, The Florentine newspaper and the Consulate General of the United States of America in Florence, Italy. Below is a list of events set to take place in Florence from Friday, 21st-Wednesday 25th June.

On Saturday, 22 June another kind of event for the slightly more energetic amongst us is the St. John’s Evening Run. This year marks the 74th year of the second oldest race in Italy. There is the standard 10 km run (for those who think running 10 kms on a Saturday night  is ‘standard’) and a lighter 4 km non-competitive Family Walking. Runners will take to the streets of Florence’s historic center starting from the Piazza Duomo (in front of Florence’s Cathedral) meeting at 7pm for a 9pm start. Florence Marathon and the Municipality of Florence are the event organisers.

Events of the 2nd Festa della Cultura San Giovanni Battista, Firenze 2013 – i Buontalenti

Friday, 21st June

10.00am-1.00pm – Conference: ‘Preparing the Way II: the representation of John the Baptist’,  at the British Institute of Florence, Lungarno Guicciardini, 9.

10.00am-6.30pm – Exhibition: ‘Il passato è il presente’: sacred art exhibition featuring contemporary pieces by a selection of local artists including Helen Bayley, Antonio Ciccone, Alessandro Vannini, Carline Jervis and more, at the British Institute (as above).

2.00pm-4.00pm –  Symposium: ‘The Way Forward’ – arts practitioners and the public will be invited to develop ideas together at British Institute (as above).

7.30pm – Concerts: ‘Dolcissimo Sospiro – Cantare e Sonare nel primo Seicento’ – Florentine Baroque music together with soprano Claudia Conese and three msuicians from Modo Antiquo.

Saturday, 22nd June

3.00pm – ‘Celebrate Florence: San Giovanni Battisti’ – a unique walking tour of Florence focused on St John the Baptist, Florence’s patron saint. 15 euro per person plus 5 euro Baptistery entrance.

Monday, 24th June (Feast Day of San Giovanni Battista)

10.00pm – fireworks presented by the Società San Giovanni Battista.

Tuesday, 25th June

9.00pm – Concerts: ‘A Voice in the Wilderness’ – organ concert with Maestro Robin Walker playing baroque music composed by Florentines and others. Donations will be accepted to go towards the restoration fo the 1558 Zefferini organ. This cultural event is being held at the Badia Fiorentina on Via del Proconsolo.

I Buontalent is an initiative founded by five colleagues in Florence to enable collaboration on inter-disciplinary cultural endeavours bridging historical subjects and contemporary presentation. The group organise exhibitions, concerts, lectures, gastronomic and viticultural events, as well as providing a unique platform for creative artists, scholars and writers, as well as liaison with cultural institutions, public administration, festivals, museums and churches.

Visit http://www.johnhoenig.com/JH/San_Giovanni_Battista.html for more information.


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