Quote/Unquote: Racism in Florence

In a scathing article about Italy’s behaviour towards the first black, african, female senator, the Florentine spoke with Mark Abouzeid about Racism in Italy:

“Italian natives are not the only ones with the race problem, however. Florence-based Lebanese-American photojournalist Mark Abouzeid, who has worked closely with immigrants here, says we’re all guilty. ‘Even we stranieri have a stratified view of the community,’ he argues. ‘Florentines and the majority of transplants to Florence are xenophobic, afraid of “different.” Continue reading

Florence remembers the flood

As has happened any time waters have rise significantly since the Great Flood of 1966, Florentines lined the river Arno to capture the power of the flood waters on iPhone, Cameras and even GoPros!

This short video by Mark Abouzeid gives you a sense of why this time feels different…why there may just be real cause for worry…or the state of emergency that civil authorities are getting preparing to handle.”

UCI Road World Championships in Florence | Day 1

Day 1 | Omega Pharma Quickstep won the Elite Men’s Team Time Trial by a mere 0.81 seconds.


The team set a time of 1:04:16.81 for the  57.2km course.

Tom Steels (directeur sportif of Omega Pharma Quick Step): “Was this a revenge for the Tour de France? No, but we know how it feels like to lose at the very last minute. Our athletes  have been amazing, they won on character rather than on force”

 Tony Martin (Omega Pharma Quick Step): “Hearing that Orika overtook us worked like a wake up call, Tom really pushed us to do out best. In the end there were only four of us left, but in the city centre, with all those turns, it was probably better. What will happen on Wednesday? Now I know the course, I’m more self confident. My rivals? Cancellara and Wiggins above all”

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The 2013 UCI Road World Championships are taking place in Florence, Tuscany, Italy, between 22 and 29 September 2013.

The Championships consist of 12 events for elite, under-23 and junior cyclists. It is the 86th Road World Championships, the 13th in Italy and the first time that the event will take place in Tuscany. The finish of the different events is in Florence. The near towns of Lucca, Montecatini Terme and Pistoia will host the start of the events.

Taste temptations in Sicily

Down a small alley off the main pedestrian drag, lies an orgasm of fish waiting for the next reveler.


Bouquet of fishI will admit that I do like to eat fish! This may not seem like much of a declaration to most but let me add that few of my friends have ever seen me order seafood in a restaurant. The reason is simple…I like fish so much that unless it is fresh caught and expertly cooked…I would rather avoid it.

The sad truth is that even by the sea, you often cannot find a truly fresh and delicious fish meal. Experiments in nouvelle fish cuisine leave me flat while basic fish fair can be quite bland. Only a truly expert chef can balance the tightrope between imagination and simplicity when it comes to fish.

This is all true unless you happen to be next to me as I write this sitting under refined umbrellas watching the passing fashion parade of the local teenagers as your fixation with your neighbors appetizer selection becomes embarrassing. Continue reading

Anti-Immigrant Attacks Spur Florence Artists to Action

Henry Ridgwell of VOA News recently visited the city to interview Mark Abouzeid on his work to combat racism.


The Italian city of Florence is known for its art and beauty. Its immigrant community is less well known. But following a series of racist attacks on African migrants in Florence, a group of artists is highlighting the contribution of foreigners to Florentine culture, past and present.

From Voice of America:

FLORENCE — The Italian city of Florence is known for its art and beauty. Its immigrant community is less well known. But following a series of attacks on African migrants in Florence, a group of artists is highlighting the contribution of foreigners to Florentine culture, past and present.

With its stunning architecture and countless galleries, Florence has long been at the heart of Western art.  It is the birthplace of the Renaissance, the flowering of Western artistic endeavor that began in the 14th century.

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Rising Hostelities?

 An ex-convent school in Florence’s Oltrarno artisan district is bringing a hailstorm of art, music and theater to cold, winter nights.


This year's model...cocktail style.Florence’s winters are notoriously cold: humidity from the Arno River makes even moderate temperatures seem arctic; the city’s famous aperitivo culture gives way to warm dinners at friends’ homes; and walking traffic becomes as rare as parking spots or empty taxis.

Not withstanding the non ending economic crisis that has battered Italy’s hospitality industry for half a decade, it remains a masochistic endeavor to open a new night spot in Florence at the height of the winter doldrums. Yet, this is exactly what the owners of Hostel Tasso have done and to great success.  Romina Diaz with her partner Lorenzo opened New Year’s Eve to a packed house. Since then, crowds outside are regularly turned away by midnight for capacity reasons.

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New Photobook: The History of Florence’s Artisan District

Mark Abouzeid collaborated with reknowned anthropologist, Anna Rastrelli, to realize a history of Florence’s Oltarno.


Il Palazzo Capponi

Gli Ori

The large format, coffee table book includes over 100 photos from Abouzeid as well as never before seen historical reprints.

“What follows if the history of Palazzo Capponi embedded in the history of Florence itself.  The story of this one building encompasses the stories of the family that built it and used it, and of the quartiere of Santo Spirito, where it is located.  The story begins long ago, with the foundation of the city.”

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