Women’s associations in Florence

Not just for International Women’s Day on March 8

Mary Gray
March 2, 2016 - 16:44

Every year on March 8, the men of Florence hand out mimosas to the women in their families, friend group or, well, field of vision. This gesture of solidarity is sweet, but the Festa della Donna celebrations can admittedly feel forced as earning recognition at other times of the year can prove difficult for the "fairer sex". These local organizations dedicate themselves to donne year-round, and their missions and identities are as varied as those of Florence’s women.



Biblioteca Femminista - Associazione Fiesolana 2b




Nestled in the former Libreria delle Donne, the new Biblioteca Femminista is part bookshop, part cultural centre. The welcoming space in via Fiesolana 2b holds gender-centric meetings and workshops, self-awareness initiatives, writing courses, and much more. The bookstore is open on Thursdays from 9:30am to 1pm and 3:30 to 6:30pm or by appointment.








This intercultural, multilingual women’s association helps foreign-born women find their footing in Italy. Working with healthcare professionals, university professors, and linguistic and cultural mediators, the association provides training on topics linked to racial and gender-based discrimination and violence and challenges related to multiculturalism. Women can go to Nosotras’ help desks in Florence, Lastra a Signa, Scandicci and Empoli to get legal assistance and practical information to ease their transitions to Italy.




Alessandra Contini Bonacossi Association




Directly affiliated with the Archivio di Stato, the Alessandra Contini Bonacossi Association: Archive for Women’s Memory and Writing focuses on exploring women’s identities through their relationship with writing. On a practical level, the group seeks to map out the archival materials available in Florence and throughout Tuscany, while also developing archives of more recent writing by women.

More info



Firenze in Rosa




Florence’s ‘dragon ladies’ are a team of breast cancer survivors aimed at keeping everyday life ‘active, fulfilling and fun’ after conquering the ultimate fight. Launched in February 2006 and backed by the Lega Italiana Contro i Tumori – LILT Florence, Firenze in Rosa is a dragon-boat racing group with regular practices on the Arno and participation in competitions at a global level; in summer 2018, they organized the first European edition of the IBCPC Participatory Dragon Boat Festival, a global event held under the auspices of the International Breast Cancer Paddlers' Commission. 

No current website; check out the 2018 IBCPC website for contacts and a look at their past work



Expat Women in Florence

A social organization and support network aimed at English-speaking women from around the world, Expat Women in Florence hosts monthly gatherings at varied venues around town, offers networking and volunteer opportunities, and provides a useful communication portal via its email newsletter. To join the mailing list, write to [email protected]

Facebook page




Firenze Moms4Moms

Established in 2004, Firenze Moms4Moms is a go-to on- and offline community for English-speaking mothers in Florence and Tuscany. In addition to hosting in-person meetups, playgroups and parents’ nights out, the group has a website, blog and Facebook page with useful resources and tips for both brand-new arrivals and veterans. A particularly noteworthy blog feature is the Florence Birth Stories series, which spotlights varied experiences of international moms, from natural home births to different Florentine hospitals.








This Florentine association works tirelessly—at the local and national levels—to provide resources and refuge to women and children who have experienced domestic violence. Volunteers are always needed.




ArciLesbica Firenze




ArciLesbica is a national non-profit association founded in 1996, promoting visibility and civil rights for LGBTQ singles and couples. Although headquartered in Bologna, a Florence chapter remains active. 




Advancing Women Artists Foundation

Founded by the late Jane Fortune, The Florentine's former culture editor, AWA is an American not-for-profit aimed at bringing works by forgotten women artists of Florence to a broader audience. Many masterpieces are hidden away in the deposits of Florence’s museums in urgent need of restoration. AWA works to identify, restore and then exhibit these pieces in Italy and throughout the world. Most recently, on March 2, AWA hosted a Wikipedia editing marathon at Syracuse University aimed at documenting the lives and careers of under-recognized women artists.



American International League of Florence (AILO)

A charitable organization founded in 1975, the American International League of Florence is composed of women from all over the world. Part of FAWCO (Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas), AILO’s mission is to contribute to community well-being through social assistance programs and charity fundraising in the city and throughout the province of Florence, while also cultivating friendship between Italians and its members. The league is perhaps best known for its annual Christmas Bazaar held in December, which raises money for regional charities and always offers an impressive spread of seasonal treats, household items, books, clothes, accessories and much more.




Non Una di Meno

Ph. Valeria Ranolo

Non Una di Meno is a grassroots group of activists fighting for gender equality and against oppression and marginalization in all forms. Past high-profile events the group has organized have included a march against rape culture in September 2017 and a demonstration for women's rights on International Women's Day 2019.




Article updated on March 8, 2019

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