Whoa! Three posts in under a week? We hope we’re not coming on too strong, but there is a lot to celebrate these days. We kicked off summer with our signature villa crawl and announced our return trip to Florence; now, we’re getting ready to bust out our red, white and blue for 4th of July in the states. Of course, we wouldn’t dare leave our expat friends without something to do abroad as we barbecue it up here. So ladies and gents, here is your go-to guide for the next 30 days. Enjoy!
*Side note: Today is the first round of the Palio in Siena! If you’re reading this, you most likely didn’t hop on an early morning train to catch the race, so head to a local pub instead to check out the action. If you miss both, no worries; round two is August 16th, when we’ll cover the event in more depth.
Estate Fiorentina | All Month
If you were under the impression that July in Florence would have nothing free to offer, you’d be in good company but sorely mistaken (guilty as charged). Just as I started to feel the first nervous jitters about how to fill this month’s event post, I stumbled upon this website. I should have trusted that Firenze is one of the few places as magical in real life as it is in my head, knowing that the city takes every opportunity to create incredible experiences for minimal funds. Plus, they made Florence look like E.T.; how could we not be impressed? From special fairs and markets to live music and theater, there’s little chance of being bored this month. One of our favorite free activities offered? Apriti Cinema, the open-air movie series held in Piazza Santissima Annunziata. The flicks are screened nightly at 9:30 p.m. starting July 8. But this great event is just a small piece of the whole good-time picture; be sure to plot your summer schedule using this handy calendar.
O Flos Colende | July 3
“O flos colende” (oh venerable flower) is the opening line for the Gregorian chant dedicated to San Zanobi, the beloved first bishop of Florence that miraculously brought more than a few persons back from the dead. The phrase is also the name for a free ongoing series of sacred music preformed in the Duomo until September. Even Florence’s old pros will agree it’s a whole new way to experience Santa Maria del Fiore; this nighttime concert doesn’t start until 9:15 p.m., which means you can expect haunting Gregorian chants and classical music under the shadows of Brunelleschi’s dome. And as the Duomo has been as much a civic center as a place of worship, persons from different backgrounds participate in and influence each concert. In July, the focus is on The Baptistery of Florence through the Centuries, with music by a number of Italian composers spanning centuries, from 1582 – 1969. For full details, click here.
Summer at Palazzo Strozzi | All Month
Summer in the city is often hot and crowded; as tourist season comes into full swing, it can be hard to find a place of refuge. Enter Palazzo Strozzi, who’s upping the ante from the usual second Thursday shindig to a full-month affair. Their schedule is packed with live music at Caffè Giacosa, ballet in the courtyard, special children’s story-time evenings every Wednesday, and extended exhibition hours. Plus, this month’s Thursday at the Square (July 11th) will feature a creative activity for kids and groovy blues tunes by Above the Tree. Click here for the full July schedule.
Archeological Nights | All Month
Reasons why we’re excited about Archeological Nights in Florence: 1. just when you think you might be tiring of the Renaissance (not that it would ever happen!), museums switch things up with special tours and displays to take you even further back in time (Etruscans, we’re looking at you); and 2. we’ve never seen a program listing so many different museums, locations, and events with “Ingresso: gratuito” after them. So channel your inner Indiana Jones, hop a bus to the Florentine hills once the sun sets (and the temperature drops), and dig deep into the history of the surrounding area.
Whelp, now we’re jealous that there are so many fresh (and free) opportunities ripe for the taking this month. We’ll go console ourselves with some apple pie and baseball. Ciao for now!