I have to admit, I was apprehensive about writing this column this month. July in Florence is hot and crowded, and there’s not really any excuse for people to host events for free. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by a whole host of happenings that would make me gladly brave the high temperatures and throngs of people in order to participate. It was hard to choose, but our top six events follow, with many more on the calendar–enjoy!
Apriti Cinema | July 1-21
This yearly event is near and dear to our hearts. Hosted in one of our favorite piazzas–Ss. Annunziata–Apriti Cinema transforms the space into an open-air cinema, where every night from now until July 21st films will be enjoyed by whomever can grab a seat. Once the daytime heat lifts, head to this piazza for some cool relief under the stars. For the full lineup of films, visit here.
Summer at the Giardino dell’ArteCultura | July 1-7
Have you been to the Giardino dell’Orticultura yet? If you answer no, don’t fret–now is the best time to experience it for the first time. Every night this week, there will be aperitivi, live music and even events for children in the earlier hours. A visit to this garden is a treat without any special event; this week should prove to be nothing short of fantastic. (Plus, who doesn’t love a good Italian pun?).
By the way, this event falls under a bigger yearly program called Estate Fiorentina. From special fairs and markets to live music and theater, there’s literally something for everyone during the city’s tribute to summer. Most events are held in open-air centers and many are free to the public; check here for the daily rundown of all the exciting things happening.
Festival au Desert | July 2 & 3
Remember that time we gushed about how cool Le Murate is? Well, we owe the Florentine for the tip on the free concerts happening there this Thursday and Friday. We’ll let them explain: “With free concerts featuring an eclectic mix of music along with events and exhibitions, the Festival au Desert brings the world to the Le Murate complex for two days. Among the performers, who hail from all corners of the globe, are French-Senegalese singer Awa Ly and bassist Greg Cohen, known for his work with Tom Waits and John Zorn. An exhibition of photographs by American Shannon Jensen, ‘The Shoes of Those Who Flee,’ explores the struggles of Sudanese refugees.” For all the details, visit here.
U. S. A. Independence Day Party | July 4
As many of our readers are originally from the States, we felt this event was an important one to feature. Because no matter how much you love Florence, sometimes it’s still nice to experience a slice of your homeland abroad. So suit up in your stars and stripes and head to Scandicci for a 4th of July party that will try its best to remind you of home. Jazz, hamburgers and hot dogs are all on the docket, and the crowd is sure to be full of expats. The festivities kick off at 6:30 p.m. in Nuovo Parco Urbano and last until midnight.
Bastille Day Bash | July 14
Another one the Florentine alerted us to, and we figured why not spread the international love this month? Florence’s Institut Francais, the Associazione Borgognissanti and the French Consulate will host a Bastille Day bash, which commemorates the storming of the Bastille in 1789 that kickstarted the French Revolution. Head to Piazza Ognissanti around 8 p.m. for Florence’s best take on the famous annual parade down the Champs-Élysées. Afterwards, stick around for DJs spinning until midnight, plus there will be French favorites (like crepes!) for festive eats. For more information, call 055/2718801.
Archeological Nights | All Month
We know you’ve heard it before, but let us repeat the reasons why we’re always 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 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 haven’t seen a program since #DomenicalMuseo with so many different museums, locations, and events that have “Ingresso: gratuito” listed after them. 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! The specifics can be found here.
To all of our readers from the U.S.A., we hope you enjoy a great holiday weekend, wherever you are. For those of you that aren’t from the States, we invite you to celebrate this weekend like it was a holiday by checking out one (or some!) of these great events. Have fun!
We love your articles and used your suggestions when we were last in Florence. When we were there you could visit the Accademia for free on Thursday evenings in September. Is that still a possibility?
hi terry–love to hear our articles have helped you out! it’s hard to confirm in advance if that same thursday evening opening will happen again, but we know it has happened a few years in a row…so the chances are good it will start again in the fall. we’ll keep our eyes peeled for more info as it comes…