I think I speak for most people in Florence when I say that I wouldn’t mind at all if this warm late summer weather sticks around for a while. We were cheated out of spring this year, and while I’m glad to not be frying eggs on the sidewalk anymore, I’m completely fine with my fall jackets staying in the closet for a bit longer.
Here are my six suggestions for hanging onto Summer in Florence while it lasts (fingers crossed):
One thing I love about warm weather in Italy is the excuse to have Caffè Shakerato on a regular basis. While in Starbucks Land (aka The Rest of the World) everyone rejoices at the arrival of the Pumpkin Spice Latte in Autumn, I eagarly await summertime when it’s socially acceptable here in Italy to indulge in a Caffè Shakerato. As long as the coats and scarves are away Italians take their serious dose of caffè and shake it up a little (get it?).
Pictured is a beautiful and lovingly-decorated example from Volume in Piazza Santo Spirito. You can order a Caffè Shakerato at any bar, and remember that they will add sugar unless you specify that you would like it without. Personally I always ask for “poco zucchero” because I’m picky like that.
City life is generally a little lacking in the green department. When I was growing up I used to relax by going out to the backyard and reading a book, but apartment living doesn’t exactly allow for that, and sometimes I miss it.
Florence as a city as seen from the main streets seems like it’s sorely lacking in green spaces, but they do exist. You just have to look behind the palazzo walls. In reality there are lots of gardens, but most of them are private courtyards. In the summer months some of these private courtyards have public opening hours.
Pictured above is the Garden of Palazzo Vivarelli, something I stumbled on when I moved to the Sant’ Ambrogio/Santa Croce neighborhood last year. It’s open from April to September on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10am to 6pm. It has one entrance on Via delle Conce, and one on Via Ghibellina.
Of course there are also a few public areas you can go to if you’re missing the feel of grass, like the Cascine park (great for runners) and the Giardino dell’Orticultura (entrance Via Vittorio Emanuele 4)
Many of the special Summer Events and exhibitions run until the end of September. One of my favorites is the Aperitivo ad Arte,
where for about €15 (prices vary by museum) you can have a drink and buffet in the Uffizi, Bargello, or Accademia. I think it’s amazing that you can have an experience like this in Florence’s most famous museums, and I always love an opportunity to experience the city’s art in the evening hours. For one thing I’m not working so it’s actually possible for me to go, and there’s the added bonus that there are very few tourists, so you can really feel like a local insider.
Ok, so if we’re being honest it’s not that we stop eating gelato in the winter, but it’s just better with the warm weather! I’m officially prescribing one gelato a day to anyone suffering from end-of-summer blues.
Pictured above is Yogurt and Strawberry from La Strega Nociola on Via de Bardi. Other great Gelaterias to try out: Gelateria de Neri on Via de Neri, Grom on Via del Campanile, and Vivoli on Via dell Isola delle Stinche.
I could copy-paste the first two sentences that I wrote about gelato and pretty much just substitute spritz for gelato. There’s never a BAD season to have a spritz, but it just goes so nicely with sunshine! A bubbly refreshing spritz is perfect for outdoor summertime aperitivo, so I suggest that anyone in Florence take advantage of the rest of September to enjoy them as often as possible. Soon the sun will start going down even earlier, and while that won’t make us give up aperitivo, it will mean that we won’t be having it under the sun. If you want to make one at home, follow this simple Spritz Recipe
Speaking of which, I suggest that for the rest of September we also move aperitvo an hour earlier, so that we can pretend the sun ISN’T going down at 7:30. Call it Summerdrink Savings if you will.
Last but not least, for the rest of September I’m going to enjoy just walking around Florence. Even if it’s just my walk to work or to run errands, I love that with this beautiful weather I can enjoy these parts of my everyday routine. In a few months I’ll be hoofing it as fast as possible with half my face in a scarf, and probably won’t stop to take as many pictures like this.
For the rest of September make a point to take a walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo, the Oltrarno, the Cascine Park, or anywhere else – just because. And while you’re out, don’t forget to stop for a caffè shakerato, gelato, or a spritz!