For music lovers and boogie aficionados, there’s a plethora of spots, old and new, that open during the summer months. Most of these places offer more than just tunes and good vibes. With free yoga classes, delicious street food and even a skate park popping up, it’s set to be a scorcher.
THE MUSICAL ONE
This bar/stage location in the Fortezza da Basso gardens is a Florentine summer staple with residents having hung out here for a decade. This year’s addition involves a revamped weekly calendar, a Monday film night, TueSTAGE live music, Wednesday dub and reggae, Thursday DJ set and Friday musical aperitivo, while
Saturday night’s Blu sends dance and disco tunes down the viali and Sunday being a more paired-down affair serving up delectable street food treats.
Off Bar – Lago dei Cigni, piazzale Oriana Fallaci, Florence
THE SKATING ONE
An outdoor space by the city’s registry office, this arena-shaped area is hosting live gigs, vintage markets, street food and even a skate ramp. In view of skateboarding’s inclusion in Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics, the ramp encourages newcomers to the sport as well as providing children’s skateboarding lessons from Rust&Bones. There will also be botanic workshops for kids who want to learn about plants and the environment. Open every day from 11am to midnight, aside from jazz, blues and swing, Florence’s best DJs will grace the decks.
Parterre Firenze, piazza della Libertà 12, Florence
THE HILLTOP ONE
Up at Villa Strozzi’s park, this pavilion-style building plays host to all kinds of events this summer. With a room for events and concerts, an amphitheatre for theatrical performances and film projections, and a garden with an outdoor bar and seating area, stay tuned to La Limonaia Strozzi’s FB page for updates on their calendar. On Monday evenings, free yoga classes take place on the lawn and, on Sundays, an outdoor lunch means you can
escape the city heat in culinary company.
La Limonaia, via Pisana 77, Florence
THE RIVERSIDE ONE
Il Molo returns to the banks of the Arno this summer under the leadership of Daniele Palladini, the brains behind historic bar Rex. Head to the lungarno lounge for live music, DJ sets, talks, children’s activities, theatre and gyrokinesis, or just a drink while watching the nutria. This year’s food stands include Elban octopus, organic pizza, Florentine street food (including the popular Italian Tapas – see below) and hand-churned gelato. The themed weekly events programme is organized in partnership with IED Firenze, LABA Firenze and the city’s association of architects: digital media (Monday), contemporary art (Tuesday), food (Wednesday) and Florence and the Arno (Thursday).
Il Molo, lungarno Colombo 27, Florence
THE GREEN ONE
A cool solution to a hot summer, this villa location is a stone’s throw from the Fortezza and has a chock-a calendar of multi-music genre aperitivos as well as the possibility of renting it as a private venue for your summer events. Eco-sustainability is at the centre of Villa Vittoria’s ethos. Using ethically sourced ingredients and biodegradable cutlery, the food court has a wide-ranging menu and bookable tables. Open Thursday to Monday 7pm-3am.
Villa Vittoria, viale Filippo Strozzi 2, Florence
THE SUBURBAN ONE
La Montagnola is Coverciano’s new summer hotspot, organizing four months of family fun, sport, theatre, film, food and art. Designed to promote the public gardens between via Salvi Cristiani, via Gabriele D’Annunzio and via Augusto Novelli, relax at the Monday film nights, Wednesday’s Kindergarten workshops and Friday jazz, soul and funk performances. The green-fingered can get their hands dirty by potting at Piccoli Orti Urbani, while the nearby Polisportiva US Affrico is on hand for sports and Il Poderaccio – Accademia Cinofila Fiorentina ASD offers dog befriending for little ones.
La Montagnola, Giardino di Via Salvi Cristiani, Florence
THE HIP OUT-OF-TOWN ONE
Hot from the success of Prato’s In Sant’Orsola secret garden, Consorzio Santa Trinita is repeating the trend with another little-known summer location in the textile town. An unexpected nightspot vaunting an Alice in Wonderland vibe, In San Domenico lights up a church’s cloister dotted with fabric seats, while the lawn is lined with locally made blankets for evening picnics. Pick up food through a well-oiled arrangement with the city’s top eateries, while swaying to the summer beats of DJ sets. Open Tuesday to Friday until August 2.
In San Domenico, piazza San Domenico, Prato
THE FANCY ONE
Florence’s five-star luxury hotel just became even more international with the opening of Asian gastrobar Magnolia. Japanese chef Haruo Ichikawa delights guests and non-residents with flawless fusion fare, such as seaweed salad with oriental dressing (16 euro), miso-marinated black cod (46 euro), and exceptional sashimi and sushi (starting at 14 euro for 8 pieces) washed down with superbly selected sake in the unparalleled setting of the Gherardesca gardens. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 5-11pm.
Magnolia, Four Seasons Hotel Florence, via Capponi 54, Florence
THE CUBAN ONE
Celebrating the 500th anniversary since the founding of Havana, this riverside hangout brings a Caribbean vibe to the city’s west side. Take the opportunity to go sailing along the river or stay on the banks and enjoy the complimentary Latin dance classes (Mondays and Thursdays), live concerts (Tuesdays and Saturdays) and DJ sets (daily). Plus, every night there’s a live video link with the Cuban capital.
Habana 500, lungarno Pecori Giraldi, Florence
THE TAPAS ONE
The Santo Spirito remains a haunt for hot Florentine nights with its outdoor space for a taste of the Oltrarno and inner courtyard for a romantic dinner. Order grazing boards consisting of pickles, artisan cheeses and Tuscan cured meats or opt for something more substantial from the kitchen (we love the mini burgers and the lampredotto sushi. For the summer, Italian Tapas has also opened on the banks of the Arno at Molo Firenze (see above)
Italian Tapas, via Sant’Agostino 11R, Florence