Ahh, June! The official start of summer. The days are longer this month than any other (well, for us Northern Hemisphere folk), meaning there are more hours in every day to keep exploring our beautiful city. Here’s your next installment of the top free things you could do to wile away the upcoming weeks. Check out our calendar for more free finds for June and the rest of the year.
Florence’s Terraces | All Month
From June 1 until September 30, those in the know are in for an exceptional treat. You are free to waltz into a number of different hotels and head for their elaborate terraces. Each will offer an incredible view of Florence that normally you might have to cough up a high number of euros to see. Simply tell the doorman you’re there for the terrazza and wave your camera as you head in. Then snap your best shot from the top and submit it to the official Facebook page to participate in their photo contest. Vistas, prizes, and bragging rights await! Visit here for a full list of participating spaces.
Amico Museo Open Houses | June 1 & 2
First the hotels, now the palazzi! This weekend only, famous family palaces will open their doors for public exploration throughout Tuscany, thanks to the Amico Museo program. Called the “Houses of Memory,” take your time wandering the halls of major Florentine bigwigs like the Bardini, the (Michelangelo) Buonarroti, and even the Casa Dante. But the fun isn’t limited only to Florence; over 50 houses across Tuscany will invite you in (including Leonardo’s childhood house in Vinci!). For all participating Case della memoria, click here.
Festa della Repubblica | June 2
Put your Italian pride pants on! Each June 2nd, the country celebrates the founding of the Italian republic in 1946 following World War II. You should expect to find some businesses and offices closed, but there will be a special mass starting at 9 a.m. in the Duomo, followed by special events throughout the rest of the day. For the full listing, click here.
Free Museum Sundays | June 9
Have you STILL not taken advantage of free museum Sundays? Well they will be suspended in July and August, so this is your last shot for awhile to sneak into some of Florence’s greatest monuments without reaching into your pockets. Anyone with Un Bacione di Firenze card enjoys free entry to the Palazzo Vecchio, the Stefano Bardini Museum, the Fondazione Salvatore Romano Museum, the Santa Maria Novella Museum, and the Brancacci Chapel at Santa Maria del Carmine; click here for the details.
Another FFF favorite, but with an extra bit of information we were just made privy to. The second Thursday of each month, Strozzi takes full advantage of its galleries and courtyard to celebrate all things art. In the open-air atrium there is often an unplugged concert free to enjoy with inspired cocktails close by. Guests also are treated to free entrance to CCC from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. But the extra kicker we just realized? If you’ve been ogling the show on the Piano Nobile (The Spring of the Renaissance – how appropriate!) but have yet to cough up the funds for a ticket, during that same window tickets are buy one, get one free. So grab a friend and revel in your discounted entry – that gives you just enough funds for a pre-show libation!
Lo Gnomone | June 21
On June 21, the Duomo’s gnomon, an astronomical instrument installed by Paolo Dal Pozzo Toscanelli in 1475, will (somewhat) capture the summer solstice. The first 150 people to fill Santa Maria del Fiore will be able to witness the sun passing through a bronze plate in the cathedral’s dome, casting a bright circle that fits perfectly within the marble circle built into the Duomo’s floor. It was used to measure the position of the sun in the sky throughout the year, but only on this day will it fall directly in line with the Cathedral floor. For a much better explanation of the history and science involved, visit here. For official event information, click here.
Feast Day of St. John the Baptist | June 24
This event deserves an entire post to itself – and Hannah has it here! Highlights include men practically fighting to the death on a transformed Piazza Santa Croce covered in sand, historical parades of epic proportions, and fireworks shot off from Piazzale Michelangelo. Considering St. John the Baptist is the patron saint of Florence, it’s safe to say the city goes all-out for this celebration. Have a look for yourself at Hannah’s evidence as to why this might be one of the very best days of the year. For more information on tickets to the Calcio Storico game, click here.
…So get out there before the heat and the tourists take over the city! Until next month!