Nightclubs & Entertainment
Frequented by university students and tourists from all corners of the globe as well as Fashion and Design professionals and a historical tradition of actors, singers and musicians, Florence has always been a vibrant, bustling city.
In spite of the fact that Florentines detest travelling by car due to the many traffic restrictions, a lack of parking spaces and the high fines handed out by the city administration, it seems they can’t resist going into town to meet friends for an aperitif or for a meal.
On Saturday afternoons one of the most popular routes runs from Via del Corso to Borgo La Croce or as far as Piazza Beccarla. This is the best way to cut through the heart of Florence among the many shops, boutiques, restaurants and taverns that provide a constant series of emotions and temptations.
The San Nicolò area near the Ponte Vecchio, between the Arno and Piazzale Michelangelo, is one of Florence’s most popular areas. Slightly off the beaten track, it is awash with small restaurants and establishments that are open until the early morning.
On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in particular, the Lungarni – or riverside establishments – fill with people of all ages who, especially in summer, love meeting up with friends for drinks along the banks of the River Arno, which is a hive of pubs and wine bars.
In Florence you will also find many historic cafés, like the “caffè concerto” where intellectuals and artists would meet during the early 1900s and form important cultural movements such as the Macchiaioli or Futurist movements.
Piazza della Repubblica, Piazza della Signoria, Via Cavour and Via de' Tornabuoni are the areas where the most important historical cafès can still be found, such as Paskowsky, Caffè Giubbe Rosse, Procacci or Rivoire.
It was precisely in one of these historical Florentine locales in 1919, the Caffè Casoni in via de' Tornabuoni, that the famous Negroni cocktail was conceived by Count Camillo Negroni, whose usual drink was “an Americano with a bit of gin”.
There are many pubs and wine bars in the main city centre squares and around the Cathedral which are ideal for a cold beer or a glass of Chianti, accompanied by a variety of appetizers, such as the famous Tuscan crostini with liver pâté or excellent salami and cheeses. Everything is obviously served with unsalted Tuscan bread.
At the heart of Tuscan culinary tradition, Florence has a wide variety of lunch or dinner options.
There are plenty of trattorias where you can savour the simplest local dishes, while lovers of street food will find stands everywhere serving tasty traditional Florentine fare such as tripe and lampredotto (a particular type of tripe typical of Florence) sandwiches, which are not for the faint hearted.
It should not be overlooked that even “humble” trattorias serve the classic fiorentina, the traditional grilled Chianina T-bone steak.
There is no shortage of pizzerias, some of which are very exclusive, such as the Via Vai in via Pisana, and of restaurants that serve traditional Tuscan coastal cuisine.
In addition to simple and traditional cuisine, which is always guaranteed to satisfy the palate with its authenticity, Florence is also the home of sophisticated gourmet dining par excellence, with more than its fair share of top notch restaurants.
Three such restaurants are the Enoteca Pinchiorri in via Ghibellina or Rossini, regarded as gourmet temples, or the Japanese restaurant Momoyama.
Florence comes alive at night with a myriad clubs, discos, lounge bars and music venues for all genres of live music.
“Happy Hours” have also caught on in Florence, and most participating establishments serve food until late.
Truly fascinating gourmet and cultural events are often organised, such as Firenze - Terrazza con vista (Firenze – A Roof with a view), an event that sees hotels, restaurants, public buildings and even private homes allow participants to enjoy an aperitif or even a four-course meal on the city’s most beautiful terraces while admiring breathtaking Florentine landscapes from above.
The Teatro del Sale often organises various genres of performance after its buffet dinners, including concerts, cabaret or theatre. However, seats are limited, and guests must have a valid membership card. If you intend to stay in Florence for a few days, it may the perfect opportunity to spend a unique evening.
Tenax and Central Park are the most popular night clubs for young people and university students, while the Club Montecarla is famous for its Thursday evening themed parties and its kitsch, surreal atmosphere.