A part of getting to know any city is finding out what it does when the rest of the world is sleeping. Here are some tips and my favorite spots in Florence for entertainment, libation, and general nighttime merry making.
There are a ton of places in the city to go. Some have more Italians and some have more Americans. Unless you speak Italian it can be hard at the posh Italian places but there are some great spots where both tourists and Italians go and enjoy themselves.
Oh also, there is something wonderful in Italy called Aperativo. Learn this word. This is the genius idea that bars should provide snacks for their paying customers. Only sometimes these “snacks” are full-on meals. Once Americans caught wind of this phenomenon they quickly learned that they could drink what they would otherwise, while eating for free. Since this often meant bars had to provide more and more food they have either stopped all together or started charging for it. But the charge can be minimal so it is still really worth it!
Now onto my favorite spots…
Art Bar, Via del Moro 4r. This place has great drinks. Massive fruit filled cocktails. Slightly girly? Yes. But who cares? It is small and quaint and good for a night of actual talking instead of yelling over loud music. Go for happy hour to save $.
Eby’s, 5r via dell’Oriuolo (his street exits off of the back of the Duomo). This was the first place I went to in Florence and has remained one of my favorites. It is run by this wonderful man named Eby who makes the best fresh fruit drinks you will ever have (they are worth the wait – as he is usually the only one there making them).
Rex Bar, (Via Fiesolana 25r). The best drinks and atmosphere in town if you ask me. Plus it is ever so slightly hidden so it gets a good mix of tourists and Italians. Go early so you can actually sit and enjoy the decor. The aperativo is not the best in town but it is still free! They often have live music and it can get very packed.
Yab, (via Sassetti 5r)-probably the biggest “club” in Florence city center. I am not a huge fan but if you like to dance and don’t have access to a car this is where you should go. One night a week is usually devoted to hip hop/American music.
Angie’s Pub, Via dei Neri 35r. Laid back pub environment. During the summers they take over the street and put tables outside so you can enjoy the warm nights. It is also right next to Gelateria Neri so late night snacks are available.
Moyo, Via dei Benci 23r. Great aperativo and decent environment. Also, they have a super “American” style brunch and huge coffees to cure the next day hang over.