Storytellers at the Todo Modo bookshop in Florence

I may not be religious, but I totally worship the Todo Modo bookshop in Florence for its beautiful interior design, central location - a ten-minute walk from the station and Ponte Vecchio - and the cafè hidden among shelves and plants hanging from the roof. UqBar serves some of the best lunches to be had in Florence - especially for people who'd love to forego the usual Tuscan fare for a delicious miso soup.

But Todo Modo does another thing well. The shelf-filled spaces in the back can be turned into a small theatre which makes for a great event space among all the books. I had my Across the Big Blue Sea book presentation there and was back last month for a Storytellers night - the first event of a great new series.  

Linda and Steve, the team from the The Beehive Hostel in Rome have decided to take their storytellers nights to Florence, and Todo Modo has agreed to host them. Whether residents or just travelling through, English speakers will have great fun at these once-monthly evenings. 

Six to eight people tell a short story (around 10. minutes each) that loosely connects to a topic decided beforehand on the storytellers Facebook group. For more background information about the night, watch The Florentine's interview with Linda and Steve in the video above. 

Also, the woman in the striped shirt who looks slightly stressed and keeps gesturing wildly... that would be me. I guess it's a good thing I emigrated to Italy (they arrest you for stuff like this in Switzerland). To my excuse - my adrenalin-induced state was connected to a good cause: I was promoting the artisan book bags the Crunelab refugee project produces for Across the Big Blue Sea (and you'll better order one from them right now or I'll start gesticulating again). 

Via dei Fossi 15r, Florence
Every first Saturday of the month at 7pm. Come early to browse the books and pick a glass of Italian vino from the great wine list (most from small biodynamic or organic estates). 

Not in town? You might be able to catch the storytellers in Rome. Every second or third Saturday of the month (check the Facebook group for the exact dates). In the warm season, the event takes place in the Beehive's enchanted garden in the centre of Rome, right next to the Roma Termini station.

'Across the Big Blue Sea' & the book satchels made by the Crunelab refugee project
Buy my book about a refugee home in Tuscany and the book bags here

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