Summer in Florence : Estate a Firenze
Summer in Florence is full of things to do, and "Ferragosto" (the tradition of taking off the last two weeks of August and closing everything down*) is not as extreme as it can be (or used to be) in other Italian cities, since so many tourist focused businesses stay open now to cater to the clientele that visits this time of year.
Besides the obvious visiting of churches and museums, which usually afford a cool interior on hotter days, here are some ideas for summer days and nights in Florence:
- Estate Fiesolana is a month's long music festival held every year in Fiesole. Easily accessible from the #7 bus, this is a great event for music lovers. Check out their website for details and tickets, and also their Facebook and Instagram accounts.
- Wander through the Boboli Gardens: Escape the summer heat by visiting the beautiful Boboli Gardens. Located behind the Pitti Palace, these historic gardens feature stunning sculptures, fountains, and manicured landscapes. You can find shade in the gardens and grottos, and usually some solitude.
- Climb to Piazzale Michelangelo: If it isn't too hot, walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo for breathtaking panoramic views of Florence. It's especially magical during sunset, providing a perfect backdrop for memorable photos. Nearby is San Miniato al Monte, an amazing church with a cool dark interior and crypt, as well as surrounding gardens with shady trails.
- Visit the Oltrarno District: Cross the Ponte Vecchio (or most any) bridge and explore the Oltrarno. This neighborhood is known for its bohemian atmosphere, artisan workshops, and charming streets. Visit Santo Spirito Church (the piazza there can offer some shade and has a fountain to help cool you off) and the Pitti Palace while you're there.
- Indulge in Gelato (a no brainer!): Cool down with delicious gelato from Florence's numerous gelaterias - some of our personal favorites are Perchè No (Facebook), Gelateria dei Neri, GROM, and of course the classic, old school Vivoli, near Piazza Santa Croce (they also have excellent coffee and pastries).
- Take a day trip: You can also head outside of Florence on a day trip to nearby towns like Pistoia, Lucca, or even all the way to the seaside and Pisa by train or bus. A great place to visit on a hot summer day is the Grotta del Vento or Wind Cave, north of Lucca.
(* there is more to Ferragosto than what is mentioned above of course but that is another article)