Many use September as the time to mourn summer. I, on the other hand, always anticipate the leather boots, knit sweaters and cooler temperatures eagerly. “But there’s so much more to do during the summer!” people exclaim. Whelp, don’t start crying just yet, summer lovers. In researching our monthly event series, we found that the start of September packed an event-punch so powerful that we had to dedicate an entire post to the month’s first 8 days. Yes, that’s one week plus a cheat day, and you’re going to need it for this lineup. When you’ve finally recovered from summer’s last hurrah, check back on the calendar to see what unfolds over the remaining weeks of September.
Florence’s Terraces with a View | All Month
A reminder that this is your final chance to play king of the castle (or at least the villa). For the love of social media, you are free until October 4th to waltz into a number of different hotels and head for their elaborate terraces. Then snap your best shot from the top and post it with #tcv2014. Vistas, prizes, and bragging rights await! We’ve got a full write-up on all participating locations here; we recommend clicking through for glimpses of the views alone. Happy panorama hunting!
Balagan Cafe at the Synagogue | Thursday, September 4
I know, I know! We’re a broken record. We promise this is the last time we will attempt to twist your arm about attending Balagan Cafe–because Thursday, September 4th is the last one for the season. Don’t spend all winter wishing you would’ve checked it out! Instead, head to the Synagogue to make some memories that will keep you cheerful even through the impending rainy season. Eek, rainy season–that should be motivation enough to get you out on one of the final nights of summer! The party kicks off at 7 p.m.; click here for more information.
FIRENZE #bikewalk | Saturday, September 6
Friend and fellow Florence blogger @TianaKaiMiami and bike blogger @_Divanoletto are teaming up to organize the Instagram event of the year. We’re talking biking (free bike rental if you’re without wheels), prizes to the tune of Carrera sunglasses and (our favorite) un aperitivo. RSVP here, meet up at 4 p.m. in Piazza Santa Croce and conclude at amblé for complimentary aperitivo and Insta sharing! Just don’t forget that hashtag–#bikewalk.
Free Entrance to State Museums | Sunday, September 7
Another one we’ve mentioned before, but this now-regular freebie still bears repeating. Announced in July, state museums are 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 are also expected to be two “Night at the Museum” dates a year (up from one), when entrance costs only 1 euro. For all the details, visit here.
Festa della Rificolona | Sunday, September 7
After spending the day museum-hopping, we recommend spending the night taking in a historic procession followed by a modern carnival of sorts. A city-center parade of lit paper lanterns ends in Piazza Santissima Annunziata to honor the tradition of farmers who used to make the trek from the countryside to sell their wares in the city. It ends with many children, lovingly observed by their parents, riding sugar highs from eating too much cotton candy, setting their lanterns on fire and shooting spitballs at passersby. That’s our kind of festival. In fact, Hannah wrote an entire post on the happening here.
Celebration of the Nativity of Mary | Monday, September 8
Sure Florence loves St. John the Baptist, but the city is also particularly tied to the Virgin Mary. Not only is the Duomo dedicated to her, but its first foundation stone was laid on Mary’s birthday in 1296. So each September 8th is both a celebration of Mary and of Florence’s most iconic and important space of worship. To commemorate the occasion, Florence doesn’t skimp on the festivities. UPDATE: It has been announced that during this year’s celebrations, Florentine residents can visit the Bottega dell’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for free. The Grande Museo del Duomo will also keep regular hours for the public during the holiday.
The Duomo will be hosting O Flos Colende that evening. Even Florence’s old pros will agree this is a whole new way to experience Santa Maria del Fiore: the 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. For full details, click here.
For all those returning from ferie, we hope the transition from vacation back to work or school is a relatively easy one. For all those fresh off a plane from a far-away land, benvenuti! We hope this list (or this one) helps you hit the ground running. Good luck!