Summer is in full swing in Florence. The old centre is alive with an atmosphere like no other: yes, strolling around Renaissance buildings and monuments under the Tuscan sun is definitely an once-in-a-lifetime experience. But if you have been living in town for a while, you will know that it can get all too crowded. If you can’t make it to the coast, here’s a list of escape places to stay “cool for the summer” while living like a local. Eat your heart out, heat!
Renai National Park
Campo di Marte weekly market
Not far from the home of Fiorentina football club, the Artemio Franchi stadium, this superbly stocked market is easily reachable by public transportation. Stock up on fresh fruit and veggies, meat and fish, cheese, pasta and basically everything you’ll ever need to prepare a full-on Tuscan meal. Neither big nor fancy like San Lorenzo or Sant’Ambrogio markets, here you find locals doing their daily shopping: from household products to fresh finocchiona slices, and even vintage designer clothes for cheap prices.
Viale Manfredo Fanti / Viale Maratona
The Green Store Pub
If you’d like to enjoy un po’ di aria fresca (fresh air) while drinking a beer with friends, this is the perfect choice. Although its official name is The Green Store Pub, we all call it “La Guerrina” because this area was used for military training purposes back in 1865. (The locals referred to the manoeuvres as
“le guerrine”.) It is a budget-friendly pub pumped with craft beers, cocktails and late-night snacks.
Viale Malta, 1/r
Tuesday–Sunday, 12 noon–2am
In Italy, summer is gelato. There is no shortage of gelaterie in Florence, but the quality differs dramatically from shop to shop. Gelateria Cavini is a family-run business, which opened in 1926. It boasts a fabulous variety of flavours, made from fresh ingredients and a drizzling of love. Plus, it’s cheap and friendly (prices start at 2 euro). Sit outside and study the
Piazza delle Cure, 19-23 r
Renai Natural Park
Parco Renai is a protected WWF nature reserve near Signa, 15 minutes by car from Florence. It features swimming pools for adults and kids as well as mini golf, a cocktail bar, restaurant, pizzeria, and even a beauty parlor. Head here in July and August to dive into watersports, activities for children, DJ sets and more. A top place to cozy on down, sip a cocktail and sunbathe with friends after a long week in the big city.
Via dei Renai, Signa 50058