Florence Chapter

The Florence Chapter of Friends of Florence is active throughout the year and organizes projects, educational programs and lectures, youth programs, visits to restoration sites, unique dinners, and other events. Participants include families from many corners of the globe presently living in both the city and region of Florence.

The Florence Chapter is co-chaired by Alison Gilligan and Kate Collins-Manetti. For more information about the chapter or its events, please contact Alison or Kate.

Past events include:

  • May 2015 - A guided tour of Villa Medicea Poggio Imperiale, including the newly renovated "Chinese Museum," followed by an aperitivo in the Sala Bianca, where 14-year old Mozart performed in 1770 during his only appearance in Florence.
  • April 2015 - Our third annual Easter Egg Hunt took place at New York University's Villa La Pietra, benefiting the Boboli Garden Restoration for Children. Please click here to view images of the event.
  • March 2015: The 2nd annual children’s interactive art & art history class with art historian Lina Martinez. The 2015 event took place at the Botticelli Room at the Uffizi.
  • March 2015 - Friends of Florence's 2nd annual event with Taste Florence: A Tasting Tour of Tuscan Food & Wines, featuring a balsamic vinegar tasting, regional white & red wines, and many delicious local delicacies (aperitivo rinforzato) at Golden View Open Bar, near the Ponte Vecchio.
  • December 2014 - The Chapter's annual Holiday Dinner took place at Palazzo Capponi.
  • October 2014 - A private visit to the Uffizi Gallery Drawing Department to view their exceptional collection with the director of the department, Marzia Faietti, followed by a wine tasting at Palazzo Gondi.
  • May 2014 - Robert Edsel, a Founding Trustee of Friends of Florence, spoke at the Accademia to celebrate the Italian publication of his book Saving Italy. The presentation was followed by a book signing in the Accademia's bookstore. Please click here to view images of the event.
  • April 2014 - Our second annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Torrigiani Gardens, benefiting the Boboli Garden Restoration for Children. Please click here to view images of the event.
  • March 2014 - Children's Special Visit to the Accademia Gallery. The visit included an art class with Lina Martinez. Please click here to view images of the event.
  • March 2014 - Taste of Tuscany with Toni Mazzaglia, owner of Taste Florence. This event took place at Enoteca Alessi (Via delle Oche, 27-31r, Florence) and featured an overview and tasting of some of the wonderful foods and wines from our region, including balsamic vinegars, Pecorino cheeses and toppings, salumi, crostini, sweets, chocolates, and wines. Please click here to view images of the event.
  • Rocky Ruggiero led a special visit for children and families to view the restoration project for the Fra Angelico Crucifixion with Saints in the Sala Capitolare of San Marco.
  • Our annual Holiday Dinner: Elaine Ruffolo and Gary Radke led a private, after-hours tour of the Bargello Museum, followed by aperitivo and dinner at the Palazzo Gondi.
  • Friends of Florence lecture in partnership with Stanford University entitled Machiavelli: A Renaissance Man, presented by Professor Bill Cook & author Ross King.
  • Introduction to Dante for Young Friends of Florence. Professor Bill Cook lead a fascinating overview of Dante and his life in Florence for young adults ages 12-16.
  • The four-day Friends of Florence program, The Age of Dante and Giotto, led by Ross King and Bill Cook. More information and the itinerary may be found here.
  • A special private wine tasting in the Palazzo Antinori as guests of the Marchesi Antinori.
  • Members of the Florence Chapter, invited by Marchese Antinori, visited the family's new winery and museum, Bargino Antinori, for a tour and wine tasting.