Summer is booming as we take to rooftops and the riverside to beat the heat while sipping a Spritz. Here’s our guide to Florence’s hottest hangouts this summer.
The Lodge opened last summer and is repeating its success this year. Nestled near piazzale Michelangelo, next to Giuseppe Poggi’s famous ramps, this swanky hotspot boasts gorgeous views over Florence. The food is up there too with Nikkei bites carefully prepared by chef Andrea Magnelli at the restaurant, while mixology rules the roost at Jungle cocktail bar, served alongside street food inspired by Peru and Mexico. A summer night at The Lodge wouldn’t be complete with live music and DJ sets, which vary daily. There’s even an exclusive club, open by reservation only, for unforgettable evenings helmed by live performers and leading DJs. As they say on the website, “every night at The Lodge is The Night”. We’d tend to agree.
Villa Vittoria bursts with summer joy not far from Santa Maria Novella train station and opposite the Fortezza da Basso. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 8pm onwards, head to this sleek spot for quality cuisine in the form of The Vivi Drunch, a take on brunch meets dinner, starting with a five-dish aperitivo and followed by a pasta or meat course. The well-made drinks vary from six different Spritzes, classic cocktails and signature blends such as the gin-based Trevi, whereas the wine list offers something for everyone, especially where bubbles are concerned. Villa Vittoria goes one step further with its shisha experience in a range of flavours. Entertainment rounds up summer nights by the Fortezza with book presentations, live performances and a resident DJ.
Parkarno is new for Summer 2022 along lungarno Aldo Moro. Open Tuesday to Friday from 8pm onwards, book ahead for a platter of cured meats, bruschetta and fried treats washed down with a cocktail or glass of wine for 16 euro per person. It’s a cute experience as colourful cushions and picnic blankets are scattered on the grass at sunset and live music is playing in the background. Vegan and vegetarian options are available.
Fuoribordo is a chic, relaxing summer space near TuscanyHall along via Fabrizio De Andrè. Covering a vast area by the river awash with greenery and upcycled furnishings, expect fun activities, good wines, top mixology and lovely plates with six food corners serving pizza, burgers, burritos, poke, tartare and chicken bites. Fun comes in the form of mini golf and billiards. Open daily until September from 7pm to 2am.
Molo Firenze has upped its summer game this year with an even bigger surface area along lungarno Colombo. The successful formula remains the same: top street food, culture and children’s entertainment. The caterers for 2022 include panini from BonoBono, gelato from Vivaldi, poke from Poke Pop, seafood from Il Polpaio and pizza from Simbiosi. Pop over for Capoeira lessons on Mondays, yoga on Tuesdays and children’s workshops RainbowLab on Thursday, as well aperiplogging to clean up the river on June 15 and 29.
A leafy hideaway near Porta Romana, Serre Torrigiani Bistrot is under new management this year at same venue (via Gusciana 27). With weekday dinners as well as lunch on weekends, your taste buds will thank you for trying head chef Elvis Dos Santos’ well thought-out menu. We recommend starting with an aperitivo in the Tarterughe garden (named as such for their resident tortoises!) with one of the signature cocktails, and moving on to the Orti for a digestivo after dinner to experience every inch of this secret garden. Florentine favourites: tagliolino al gambero pasta and the passione e basilico cocktail made by head bartender, Lapo Scacciati. Open evenings from 5pm-2am and weekends 12pm-2am.
La Toraia sul Lungarno is a meat lovers’ paradise along lungarno del Tempio with Chianina burgers straight from the Tuscan farm. Opt for a cheeseburger or hot dog with a side of just fried chips. There’s more than burgers, however, due to the daily culture programming, with book launches, talks and live music as well as power yoga, puppets for kids, dance nights and tarot readings.
Another riverside favourite, Habana 500 Firenze has always stood out from the crowd with its genuine Cuban soul, as recognized by receiving the official stamp of approval from the Embassy of Cuba in Italy. Opened in 2019 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Havana, Cuban culture can be embraced in the cultural and culinary offering. Most Florentines come here for the top-drawer mojitos, salsa classes and sunset on the Arno. Who can blame them? Open daily.
Giardino dell’ArteCultura remains a firm favourite with families due to its all-day informal style, child-friendly events, and affordable food and drinks menu. There’s something on most days, often with a focus on sustainability, from painting workshops to dance classes, yoga and live music. Open daily 10am-midnight.
Anconella Garden continues to delight with its simple summer joy on Florence’s south side. There’s live music most nights, which goes hand in hand with aperitivo, dinner and after-dinner drinks in via di Villamagna 39/D, in addition to refreshing food cooked by Alexandro Sala.