Florence by night

Itineraries under the stars

Georgette Jupe-Pradier
July 12, 2012

While the days are long and the nights warm, as work and studies slow down, it's time to catch up with friends and have a glass of prosecco. Because it's not (yet) illegal to drink outdoors, on summer nights, patrons at many local haunts spill out onto the sidewalks and into nearby squares while sipping their spritzes. As these night-out itineraries suggest, no matter what area of Florence you are in, there's a place to relax and enjoy some enchanting music with a date or a dance with friends under the stars.





Known best for its fabulous food market and great restaurants, the area surrounding Sant'Ambrogio is the quintessential place to meet up with friends. Gather a group and grab a cocktail with fresh fruit at Caffe Letterario Le Murate (preferably after dinner as the aperitivo is not remarkable). Formerly a prison, Le Murate is now a center for cultural events, live music and outdoor cinema. If you prefer a more romantic location for two, follow the example of the locals and sip a glass of pinot grigio at one of Florence's most popular wine bars, Caffe Sant' Ambrogio (see TF 156), located in the piazza Sant'Ambrogio. Whether on a date or with a group, head to Las Palmas, the outdoor bar and restaurant in piazza Ghiberti. Enjoy the drink, il negroni, as dance, cinema and live music, including jazz and classical, fill this open air piazza each night to September 9 (see www.laspalmasfirenze.it).





Discover hidden wine bars and perfect escapes for an evening aperitif. One idea for a date starts off in the beautiful and hidden piazza della Passera, steps from the Palazzo Pitti, sipping a spritz and people watching before heading over to enjoy a performance at the annual opera festival in the Boboli gardens (see www.festivalopera.it, which includes various sites for festival events, as well as the Boboli). Through mid-September, friends seeking a ‘beach' escape should look no further than the Arno's banks: Easy Living returns this summer as the day and night hangout for young people, and the maxi screen there is perfect for watching the Olympic Games. For a ‘Sex and the City' night out, start with a cocktail at the famous Terrazza Bardini on Costa San Giorgio before heading off to dance the night away at Dance Club Flo, located near piazzale Michelangelo. The cocktails are pricey, but the entry is free (no cover) and the view of the city spectacular.





On a sweltering summer night, escape to Le Pavoniere in Cascine Park. A little farther from the center but completely accessible with the tramvia, this public pool turns into a trendy cocktail bar and restaurant at night where for the price of aperitivo, a swim is included. For a night to remember, head to Fiesole to experience Estate Fiesolana, an annual festival of theater, music, dance and cinema set in the ancient Roman amphitheater (see www.estatefiesolana.it; until July 31).


Georgette Jupe is in her 20s and has lived in the land of pasta, Dante and intrusive future Italian mothers-in-law since 2007. Dozens of jobs later, she still takes pleasure in making up new names when placing reservations. Her passions are travel, wine, language and culture.



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