florence events: august 2015

We know this summer has seemed hotter than ever, so we don’t blame anyone for escaping to the seaside for ferie. But for those of you that will be in town, we’ve gathered a list of happenings that will help you stay cool and explore the (somewhat) deserted city streets over the next few weeks. And if you’ve turned nocturnal to avoid the heat, this list is heavy on the evening activities. Enjoy!

A view from the Bardini Gardens by Deborah Guber

A view from the Bardini Gardens by Deborah Guber

#DomenicalMuseo | August 2

Ok, a museum in the summer might not be the first place you’d think of to “stay cool” or be “deserted.” Nevertheless, this Sunday could be a great time to pop in a place you maybe haven’t yet visited–the Bardini, perhaps?–for shade from the sun and a gorgeous garden to boot. Of course, you’re not limited to the smaller museums, as almost all will be open for free today. For a full list what to visit in Florence and throughout Italy, click here.

From bar to the beach at Easy Living

From bar to the beach at Easy Living

Easy Living / Spiaggia sull’Arno | All Month

Thanks to Easy Living, you don’t need a train ticket to make it to the beach. Simply head down to the south side of the Arno for a sandy spot of spiaggia in the shadow of the San Niccolo tower. It may not be Cinque Terre, but it is an excellent hangout that is committed to bringing the Florence community together during these hot summer days. For instance, there’s free beach yoga every Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday there is live music playing at the bar during sunset hours. There are even bowling and bocce lanes perfect for aperitivo hour. Plus, they often host free concerts, themed parties and movie nights throughout the summer. To keep up to date on all the action, visit the website or follow Easy Living on Facebook.

Florence Synagogue at night by Juan Ramón Jiménez

Florence Synagogue at night by Juan Ramón Jiménez

Balagan Cafe | Thursdays, August 6 & 27

It’s no secret that this has been one of our favorite summer happenings for three summers now. On select Thursdays throughout the season, the Florentine Jewish community welcomes the public to the Synagogue for a cultural event and apericena (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. This month, there will be a concert by Gabriele Coen, Stefano Saletti and Lisa Natoli on August 6th, and “Banda Sudden” will be preformed on August 27th. For all the details, visit here.

Festivities outside San Lorenzo via Ex Urbe

Festivities outside San Lorenzo via Ex Urbe

Feast Day of San Lorenzo | August 10th

San Lorenzo was a beloved martyr with a legendary personality, so each year, a crowd gathers around his church to honor him with dancing, free concerts, and–perhaps the best part–free lasagna and watermelon. There will be festivities happening over the course of the day, but things really get rocking around 7 p.m. outside the saint’s namesake church. Remarkably, this feast day also always coincides with the Perseids meteor shower, and the show of shooting stars is famously known as “San Lorenzo’s tears.” So once you’ve had your fill of free cocomero, head to a rooftop terrace, grassy knoll or open space and simply look up. Not too bad for a Monday, eh?

Cosimo I de' Medici as Augustus by Vincenzo Danti, c. 1570, Bargello

Cosimo I de’ Medici as Augustus by Vincenzo Danti, c. 1570, Bargello

Ferragosto / Feast of the Assumption | August 15th

Ah, the heart of the month–Ferragosto. What was once a period of rest and feel-good games for the people of Rome (hosted by Emperor Augustus, hence the name) has turned into the height of vacation season for today’s Italy. Add on the fact that it is also a Catholic holiday, celebrating Mary being taken body and soul into heaven, and you have the recipe for a fully vacationing country. Expect many shops and restaurants (outside of the tourist haunts) to be closed, and instead take a cue from the locals–plan your own special happening for this weekend. Last year, we gave you some recommendations for how to celebrate in and around the city. But thanks to the heat this year (as we mentioned at the outset), we’re thinking you, too, might want to hop a train and head out of town. Expect travel to be hectic and crowded, but you’ll feel better once you get to where you’re going.  Any beach will do, or perhaps even a bike ride around Lucca’s city walls would be a good change of pace.

While summer in Florence can sometimes feel too hot to handle, it’s important to still remind yourself of where you are–if you’re lucky enough to be in Florence, you’re lucky enough! We hope these events will help you stay cool and still have fun this month. Ciao, friends!

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