So when the sun sets in Florence and the museums close, you’ll want to know what to do in Florence at night. This lively city features a myriad of exciting pubs, cafés, and patios where you can have an aperitivo. There are quite a few interesting sites to uncover across the metropolis.
Here are the 18 top things to do in Florence at night:
Walk Along the Arno River
You can walk, run and/or cycle on the other side of the Arno river which can be a nice way to pass an hour or so. You can take the loop route from Ponte Alle Grazie if you aren’t in sporting attire. The three-kilometre route can take 45 minutes to get around. This route takes you through Ponte Amerigo Vespucci and can be an excellent way to mingle with local Florentines. If you feel like getting a bite to eat with the view of the Arno, then the Easy living terrace restaurant is the number one place to go, with great food with a great view.
Tip- Parco Delle Cascine is huge and has blind spots that can be shady at times if you aren’t familiar with the locality so it’s a good idea to avoid this park in the evening, you can surely visit the park in the morning for a much brighter experience.
Head Over to the San Frediano Neighbourhood
The San Frediano Neighbourhood is very lively in the evening hours where you can have a jolly good time. There are lots of bars, cafes and restaurants, some of which you can find on the very street you are walking on.
This neighbourhood has been deemed one of the 10 coolest neighbourhoods in the world by Lonely Planet in 2017. Have an aperitivo and go around the streets and explore the bars and cafes. You will find people from all age groups here having a great time mingling together.
Get a Gelato
Experience the Italian delicacy of gelato, right in the heart of the city where it originated. An Italian vacation is all about absorbing the art and architecture of the city and this experience can be even better with a gelato in your hands.
Roaming the streets of Florence can be a bit goofy with a gelato in your hand but it’s so much fun to do. Some of the must-try flavours of gelato that you should definitely try are buontalenti – buontalenti, ricotta e fichi – ricotta & figs, pistacchio – pistachio, melone – cantaloupe, cocomero – watermelon. These can be easily found in any of the stores selling the delicacy.
Explore Tuscan Cuisine
The Tuscan cuisine is filled with exotic flavours and deserves to be experienced in the city. The best way is to join a cooking class, so you can learn how to cook from an Italian cook and taste the delicious food too! There are plenty of classes available in the city centre where you can learn to cook all the special Italian dishes and desserts.
Another great way to try the local food is by joining a food tour. You can find plenty of curated food tours around Florence. It’s like cafe hopping but somebody else does all the planning for you, all you do is sit back, relax and enjoy the whole experience. For a foodie, this can be the go-to thing to do. Even if you aren’t a foodie this just might let you visit cafes and eat food that isn’t famous but brings out the best of Florence.
Go for a Sunset Aperitivo or Try Some Tuscan Wines
You can spend your evening treating yourself to an aperitivos or to a Tuscan wine tasting. You can reserve a table with a view to enjoy your drinks. It can be a little on the pricey side but the whole experience is totally worth the splurge. The view and the drink go hand in hand, no better way to enjoy the sunset in Florence. Normally places serve finger food with the aperitivos and you can always go for the option of apericena which is aperitivos with dinner.
The fine vineyards that surround Florence serve up some of the most amazing wines and you can taste these wines at any of the wine bars in the city. Make sure to try the famous Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti, Super Tuscans, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. You can also try some of the lesser-known but equally great wines such as the Morellino di Scansano and Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
Spend the Evening at Piazzale Michelangelo
One of the most touristy things to do in Florence is the walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo. It is going to be really crowded in the evening as well, so if you want a quiet moment you may not get it here. If you are up for it, the hike to the top of Piazzale Michelangelo can be a workout but if you don’t feel like it, you can always take the bus to the top.
Sunset is probably the best time to visit Piazzale Michelangelo and while exploring the Piazzale Michelangelo, you can stop by the Terrazza Michelangelo and grab a cocktail at this intimate cocktail bar. A perfect place for couples to enjoy. The setting sun and the intimate setting of the location just make it a perfect place.
Hike up to San Miniato al Monte Before Sunset
If Piazzale Michelangelo is too crowded for you, you can walk up the hill to San Miniato al Monte and get an even more exquisite view of Florence. At the top, you can hear the monks chanting the prayers and it’s an experience of its own. You can time your walk accordingly and be there to experience this and if you reach before closing, you can also explore the church.
There is no denying that when it comes to a view the higher the better. In this case, Piazzale Michelangelo might offer a better view, but you will need to go the extra mile. San Miniato al Monte is definitely easier to get to and offers the best probable view of the Florentine sunset.
Explore the Markets of Florence
If you are a sucker for high-end Italian designer clothes, Via De Tornabuoni is the place for you to explore. If not Italian, you will find various other international fashion houses to choose from. You can stroll down this street even after the shops are closed because the street is still worth visiting.
There is a completely different side of the Florentine markets that you can visit to get your shopping done with amazing discounts. If you would like to pick up a souvenir from the Florentine market, it is better if you reach there in the early evening just before closing time to get better discounts. These can be the ideal places to buy leather bags and jackets which can be an expensive investment. But here you will get great quality products at reasonable prices and shopping in outdoor markets is always a fun experience.
Even if you don’t want to buy something expensive, you can always get yourself little things like belts and wallets. The Florentine markets won’t disappoint you that’s for sure.
Enjoy a Tuscan Meal in a Lively Piazza
If you want to have a very picturesque dinner, sitting outdoors with fantastic ambience and lights then you should definitely visit Piazza Della Passera and via del Pavone. If you aren’t an outdoor eater and want a cosy and comfortable meal inside a fancy Italian restaurant, you can find them here as well.
Having a Tuscan meal is an experience in itself, from choosing the dishes to filling up on amazing food, the whole experience is something not to be missed. You can also book shows at the opera that serve dinner, mix and match to enjoy the best of both worlds.
And if you like some live music with your dinner, then NOF is the place to be in Florence, with some delightful live music it serves great food as well.
Climb to the Top of the Duomo
Normally during summer, the sun sets after the attractions close but during winter the Duomo is the best place to enjoy the view of the sunset. Climbing the Duomo is a very natural daytime activity for any tourist to do when in Florence but climbing the 463 stairs at night is a completely different experience. At night the city of Florence shines bright and the view from the Duomo is mesmerising. You can also check out the frescoes that line the inside of the dome.
You can even climb the bell tower next to the Duomo. The bell tower has 400 steps with platforms in between for you to rest when you rise up. If you have heart problems or are claustrophobic, this activity is not recommended for you as there are no elevators and the space at the top is very narrow.
The view from the cupola is astounding and if you want to experience the view from the cupola then you will have to book tickets in advance.
Stroll Across Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio is an iconic Florentine spot to visit during the day, the hustle and bustle of the people shopping from the shops is a scene to behold and an experience in itself. But as the day ends and the sun starts to set, people gather at the Ponte Vecchio to witness the sunset and it is an amazing sight.
At night after the shops are boarded up, you’ll find buskers and musicians playing tunes on the streets. It can be crowded but the atmosphere is just incredible. The closed traditional wooden doors that line the bridge look extremely aesthetic and are rightfully accompanied by the lights on either side. A walk across can really be the highlight of your night in Florence.
Book an Evening Museum Tour
You can combine aperitivos with museums by taking an evening tour of the most iconic museums of Florence. You can visit the Accademia where you can admire the statue of David, the Uffizi Galleries which can be elegant and calm, and the Palazzo Vecchio where you can see the map room and Michelangelo’s genius of victory without the crowds.
Palazzo Strozzi on the other hand houses modern exhibits in contrast to all the renaissance art. The incorporation of drinks into the tours of iconic museums and art displays adds a layer of sophistication to it that can enhance your experience of the masterpieces put on display.
See a Movie at the Cinema
The Odeon Firenze, located off Piazza Della Signoria, is the most aesthetically compelling cinema you might ever visit. The theatre was built in 1922 and was intended to be a luxury hotel before being converted into a cinema. There, you can watch current films as well as reruns of classics and international films.
The setting and interiors of the cinema give you the impression that you are watching a movie right back when motion pictures first became a worldwide phenomenon, an experience of its own kind.
Look for Street Art by Clet
Clet is probably Florence’s most famous street artist. The French artist has found his home in Florence. He imbibes his art into the street signs of the city and they often tend to have political undertones to them. The inculcation of the art into the signs is done so immaculately and creatively that they have gained international attention from people all around the world and can be on your list of things to see while in Florence.
If you want to go looking for his art, you can download an app from his website that lets you know the pinpoint of all his art projects around the city.
Relax at Piazza Signoria
Piazza Signoria is probably one of the best places in Florence to sit and relax. You can enjoy the view of the Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Vecchio while you sit and relax. Check out the artwork on display around the piazza along with musical entertainment provided by the many buskers performing their pieces.
The ambience is just too delightful and you will definitely have an amazing and relaxing time here. The immaculate vibe of music, art and architecture just sets the mood right and makes it one of the best places to relax in Florence.
The myth about Porcellino-the bronze hog says that if you rub the nose of the Porcellino, your return to Florence is guaranteed. The Porcellino is located in the middle of Mercato Nuovo and is generally very crowded but a visit to it after closing time can ensure your time at the Porcellino crowd free. You may even get the statue all to yourself. It is one of the small details that people tend to overlook but is a very fun and goofy thing to do, following the local lore and tradition.
Learn About Florence’s Dark Legends on a Walking Tour
When it comes to exploring a city like Florence which has a vividly shaded past and you can stumble onto things that you never expect to normally see.
You can take the famous legends of Florence tour that takes you on a journey around the parts of the city that are usually unexplored at night. The guided tour tells you all about the old and dark parts of Florence’s history along with ghost stories and other shady things about Florence, untold tales that you won’t get anywhere else.
Toast to the Night in a Bar or a Nightclub
For a different kind of fun cultural experience, you can drop into any of the city’s pubs and bars.
One such bar is Rasputin which is a unique cocktail bar that requires you to follow a trail of cryptic messages that lead to an old shrine-like building which you enter by giving a password at the door. It is something out of a spooky movie with old art on the walls and cocktails to complement the ambience.
If you like a bar that is more on the casual side then Harry’s bar is the place for you. This bar has a long-standing history of serving multitudes of tourists that visit Florence and can be an amazing spot to spend a night out drinking and making conversation with friends and family or other Florentine bargoers.
If you want to be intellectually stimulated and also be eco-friendly while doing so, La Murata is the place for you to go. This once monastery turned prison and is now a cafe can be a pleasure in multiple senses at one go. Eat some delicious food while engaging or spectating a myriad of cultural phenomena like fine arts, exhibitions, debates and much more. The whole place believes big time in reusing things so by spending your time here you are actually partaking in saving the environment.
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