To all our American readers, Happy 4th of July! We’re busy celebrating stateside, but, as per usual, Florence needs no specific reason to celebrate the start of summer. Instead, the city’s calendar is already packed with activities of all types to fit every interest. Here are five, but make sure to check the calendar for even more, including interactive theater experiences at Palazzo Strozzi, concerts at Casa Buonarroti, and yoga in the Horticultural Garden (thanks to Georgette for the tip!).
Free Entrance to State Museums | July 6 (continuing monthly)
Perhaps most exciting announcement is that from July 1st on, all state museums will be open to the public for free on the first Sunday of every month! It’s part of a broader change that eliminates discounts on admission for different age groups. To soften the blow, however, there will be more opportunities to check out your favorite historical sites for free and extended late-night hours on Fridays for certain museums. In addition to free Sundays, there will also be two “Night at the Museum” dates a year (up from one), when entrance costs only 1 euro. For all the details, visit here.
Apriti Cinema | July 7-31
This event is basically our version of Christmas in July, in that it elicits sheer joy in our hearts. This charming, quirky, open-air movie series returns to Piazza Santissima Annunziata for its third go. Flicks are screened at 9:30 p.m. for 25 nights straight. Pop your own popcorn and head to the square for some interesting films and summer fun. The program is forthcoming, so stay tuned here for the latest news.
Estate Fiorentina | All Month (through September)
From special interactive exhibits to live music and theater, the city’s yearly tribute to summer seems to be rocking a decidedly artistic slant this time around. The “syllabus” categorizes events by interest and breaks them down according to location. Most events are held in open-air centers and many are free to the public; check here for the rundown of all the exciting things happening.
Archeological Nights | All Month
Reasons why we’re excited (again) 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 stay open late night with special tours and displays to take you even further back in time (Etruscans, we’re looking at you); and 2. we rarely see a program with so many different museums, locations, and events that have “Ingresso: gratuito” listed after them (not all, but many, are free). So channel your inner Indiana Jones, hop a bus to the surrounding Florentine hills after the sun sets (and the temperature drops), and dig deep into the history of the surrounding area! Check out all the events here.
Balagan Cafe at the Synagogue | Thursdays in July (through September 4)
We know this list started out strong, but perhaps we’ve saved the best for last, as this event was the crown jewel of Florence’s summer calendar last year. Every Thursday, the Florentine Jewish community welcomes the public to the Synagogue for a cultural event and aperitivo (kosher of course!) in the Synagogue garden. Known as Balagan Cafe, visitors enjoy free entry, live concerts, and cultural events in addition to guided tours of the property from those who know it best. Food and drink is available for purchase but not required. The activities start at 7 p.m. and continue into the night. For each Thursday’s specific lineup, visit here.
Ok, we’re off to celebrate the FREE in freedom! Because it’s a wonderful thing to be free to make terrible, terrible jokes. Buon weekend!