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Best Gyms and Healthy Eateries in Florence, Italy

Updated: Mar 9

Jogging on the arno in Florence, Italy

Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, is a feast for the eyes and soul. With its stunning architecture, world-class museums, and delectable cuisine, it's easy to get swept away by the cultural and culinary delights. However, for fitness enthusiasts, maintaining a workout routine while traveling can be a challenge. Fear not, fellow gym enthusiasts and health-conscious explorers! This guide I put together is here to help you navigate the world of gyms, studios, and clean eating options in Florence. My favorite is running up to San Minato and climbing the steps like I'm Rocky! Anyway, here are some great choices.

Florence Fitness Gym

Image courtesy of Florence Fitness

Finding Your Perfect Florence Gym:

Florence offers a diverse range of gyms, catering to different budgets and workout preferences. Here's a breakdown of some popular options:

Virgin Active Firenze

Image courtesy of Virgin Active Firenze

Cost Considerations:

Prices vary depending on the gym, membership type, and duration. Day passes are generally available, but expect to pay more than a monthly membership fee. Many gyms offer introductory offers or free trials, so do your research and compare before committing.

Language Barrier:

While English is becoming increasingly common in Florence, it's not universally spoken. Many gyms offer staff or trainers who speak English, but brushing up on basic Italian fitness phrases (such as "acqua" for water or "quanto costa?" for "how much does it cost?") can be helpful.

Breaking a Sweat Florentine-Style:

Once you've chosen your gym, explore the range of workout options available. Here are some uniquely Florentine fitness experiences to consider:

  • Outdoor Boot Camp:  Several companies offer boot camps in the beautiful Boboli Gardens or along the Arno River. Imagine getting your heart pumping with stunning views as your backdrop!

  • Running Tours: Lace up your running shoes and explore Florence with a guided running tour. These tours combine sightseeing with a healthy dose of exercise.

  • Cycling:  Rent a bike and explore the city's historic center or take a scenic ride through the Tuscan countryside.

Mercato Centrale Firenze

Fueling Your Florentine Adventures:

After a challenging workout, it's time to refuel your body. Thankfully, Florence offers a variety of healthy and delicious options:

  • Mercato Centrale:  This bustling market is a treasure trove of fresh, local produce. Stock up on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to create nutritious meals in your apartment.

  • Bioerderie:  Scattered throughout the city, these organic food stores offer a wide selection of healthy snacks, supplements, and prepared meals.

  • Juice Bars:  For a quick and refreshing pick-me-up, check out one of Florence's many juice bars. Choose from a variety of fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, and healthy acai bowls.

Clean Eating Spots in Florence:

Finding restaurants that cater to clean eating preferences can be challenging, but here are some great picks in Florence:

  • Cibò Mercato:  This trendy spot offers a farm-to-table menu with seasonal ingredients. Choose from creative salads, grain bowls, and vegetarian and vegan dishes.

  • Mercato Centrale - Testaccio 1:  Don't be fooled by the name - this stall inside the Mercato Centrale focuses on healthy and delicious fast food. They offer fresh salads, poke bowls, and gluten-free options.

  • Salad House:  As the name suggests, this restaurant is all about salads. Customize your own bowl with a wide variety of fresh ingredients or choose from their pre-designed salads.

  • Flower Burger: This vegetarian and vegan burger joint offers a delicious and healthy twist on classic American favorites. Burgers are made with plant-based patties, and the menu boasts an array of healthy sides.

  • Gusto 粥 (Zhōu): This modern Asian eatery serves healthy and flavorful dishes, focusing on fresh ingredients and innovative cooking techniques. Try their brown rice bowls with grilled proteins or colorful vegetable stir-fries.

  • Manifattura Centrale:  This restaurant inside the Mercato Centrale offers a casual yet sophisticated dining experience. They feature an extensive menu with healthy options like grilled fish, roasted vegetables, and whole-grain pastas.

  • The Rooster Firenze: It stands out in Florence for its health-focused menu, offering a delightful range of options like nutrient-packed salads, smoothie bowls, and fresh juices. Catering to various dietary needs with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free choices, it combines wholesome eating with a cozy atmosphere, making it the go-to spot for both locals and visitors seeking a nutritious meal in a charming setting. 🍃

Rooster Cafe Firenze

Tips for Eating Clean on the Go:

Staying on track with your eating habits during a trip can be tricky. Here are some helpful tips for navigating healthy dining in Florence:

  • Start with a Healthy Breakfast: Fuel your day with a protein-rich and fiber-filled breakfast. Look for yogurt with fruit and granola, eggs with whole-wheat toast, or a smoothie made with fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • Be Smart About Snacks: Pack healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, or whole-grain bars to avoid getting hangry and reaching for unhealthy options.

  • Portion Control: Florence is renowned for its hearty meals. Be mindful of portion sizes and don't hesitate to share dishes or ask for a doggy bag to avoid overeating.

  • Embrace the Appetizers: Florentine appetizers, known as "antipasti," are often a mix of vegetables, cured meats, and cheeses. Focus on the lighter options like grilled vegetables, marinated artichokes, or bean salads.

  • Don't Fear Pasta:  Pasta can be part of a healthy diet when paired with lean proteins and vegetables. Opt for whole-wheat pasta dishes with simple sauces like pomodoro (tomato) or pesto and skip creamy or cheesy options.

  • Ask Questions:  Don't be afraid to ask your waiter or waitress about ingredient information. Many restaurants are happy to modify dishes to accommodate dietary restrictions.

Riding bicycles in Florence

Beyond the Gym: Keeping Active in Florence:

Florence offers many ways to stay active outside of the gym. Here are some ideas to incorporate movement into your sightseeing:

  • Walking Tours: Immerse yourself in the city's history and culture by joining a walking tour. Florence is a pedestrian-friendly city, making exploring on foot a great way to stay active and see the sights.

  • Stairway to Heaven:  Challenge yourself with a climb up Piazzale Michelangelo for breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

  • Museums on the Move:  Many museums, like the Uffizi Gallery or the Palazzo Vecchio, are vast and require a fair amount of walking. Treat your museum visit as a workout while appreciating the art.

  • Boat Tour on the Arno River:  Enjoy a scenic river cruise while still getting some fresh air. Some boat tours offer options with rowing, adding a touch of exercise to your sightseeing experience.

Staying Hydrated:

Florence's climate can be warm and sunny, especially during the summer months. Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining energy levels and overall health. Carry a reusable water bottle with you and refill it regularly throughout the day. Many cafes and restaurants in Florence will gladly refill your water bottle for free.

Making the Most of Your Fitness-Focused Florentine Adventure:

By combining workouts at a local gym or participating in outdoor activities with healthy and delicious meals, you can maintain your fitness routine while enjoying all that Florence has to offer. Embrace the beauty of the city, indulge in the local culture, and come back home feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to conquer your next fitness goal.

City of Florence Italy

Bonus Tips:

  • Pack comfortable workout clothes and shoes.

  • Download a fitness app with bodyweight exercises you can do anywhere.

  • Take advantage of free hotel gyms (if available).

  • Join a group fitness class to meet fellow travelers and get a taste of the local fitness scene.

  • Don't be afraid to experiment - try a new type of workout class or activity you wouldn't typically do at home.

Remember, staying healthy while traveling is all about balance. Enjoy the delicious food, explore the breathtaking sights, and prioritize activities that make you feel good. We hope this article about the best Gyms and Healthy Eateries in Florence will give you a good foundation of where to go when visiting. With a little planning from this and some helpful tips from the locals, your Florentine adventure can be both enriching and fitness-focused!


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