Others may be mourning the end of summer, but I am a superfan of September. I have always welcomed the leafy breezes and anticipated with full nerd-status the start of a new school year. That autumn love continues to this day, especially in Florence. Cooler temps and a bunch of fall festivals (check out the calendar!) make this season one of the best in and around the city. I’m thinking you’ll be a September fan, too, by the time the month is through. Enjoy!
European Day of Jewish Culture | September 6
Hot off the heels of this summer’s Balagan Cafe, Florence has been chosen as the “lead city” for the European Day of Jewish Culture. The event celebrates the historic and artistic contributions of the Jewish community across Italy, but will be specially commemorated with a number of events in Florence over the upcoming week. Talks, concerts and more will all speak to this year’s theme, “Bridges and Crossings,” building to an event at Palazzo Vecchio on Sunday night that will explore the “architectural traces” of Jewish life throughout Florentine history. Read up in this program for more details on each of these interesting events.
Festa della Rificolona | September 7
Starting around nightfall, a parade of lit lanterns will wind its way through the city and end in Piazza Santissima Annunziata. The walk honors the tradition of farmers who used to make the trek to Florence from the countryside to sell their wares in the city. At the finale, many children, lovingly observed by their parents, set their lanterns on fire and shoot spitballs at passersby. That’s our kind of festival! For more of what to expect at this darling of an event, Hannah has a full recap here.
Nativity of Mary | September 8
The first foundation stone of Santa Maria del Fiore was laid on this day, on Mary’s birthday, in 1296. In celebration of both events, Florentine residents can visit the Baptistry for free today! The Grande Museo del Duomo will also keep regular hours for the public. Then, in the evening, the final installment of 2015’s Or Flos Colende will be a special concert for the holiday, featuring the “Music of Dante’s Comedy,” in recognition of the 750th anniversary of his birth. A full lineup of activities centering around the Duomo? There’s no better day or way to cozy up to Florence’s crown jewel (and favorite lady).
Music in Markets | Saturday Nights in September (and October)
This is (at least!) the third installment of Mercati in musica, but the first we’ve heard of it. Well, better late than never, because it sounds like an amazing way to spend a Saturday night. At 9 p.m. each evening, musicians will perform pieces under the logge of Florence’s historic markets. So you can wind down every week under the stars, taking in a new musical experience at a different historic setting. For each night’s location and lineup, take a peek at the program here.
European Heritage Day | September 20
Can we all give it up for European Heritage Day? This event brings night-museuming (yes, let’s make it a verb) to some of our favorite places, all for the cost of a lone euro. Sure, that’s not free, but for the chance to explore the Uffizi, San Marco and Palazzo Davanzati after nightfall, we’d gladly hand over a euro or two. Plus, there will be even more spaces that will be open for free that get a lot less tourist love: Museo dell’Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Villa medicea di Cerreto Guidi and Petraiabeside, and the Cenacolo di Andrea del Sarto. A visit to any of those spots would make for a one-of-a-kind night out. Evening admission hours and reservation information (not required, but available) can be found here.
Another major event that happens each September? Heaps of study abroad students descend on the city for what is sure to be an incredible semester ahead. For any Italy newbies that are ready to explore Florence but aren’t sure where to start, we recommend heading here first. Good luck, be safe, have fun and learn Italian!