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The Ultimate Guide to Florence’s Thrilling Nightlife

Updated: Jan 6



Florence Italy Nightlife

Introduction


One of my favorite times is when the sun sets over the rolling Tuscan hills. That's when Florence transforms into a lively playground filled with trendy bars, vibrant nightclubs, and charming wine bars and pubs. Known for its unparalleled art and cuisine scene during the day, Florence comes alive after dark, buzzing with energy well into the early morning hours.


From enjoying craft cocktails along the Arno River to dancing the night away with locals, Florence delivers nonstop entertainment until dawn for those seeking adventure. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know for an epic bar crawl, a romantic evening out, a wild night of clubbing, and more. I am highlighting the top nightlife districts, best bars and clubs by area, events and performances not to miss, and tips for experiencing Florence after hours like a native. Salute!



Florence nightclub DJ's

Florence’s Hotspots for Nightlife


Florence bursts with diverse nightlife options across several energetic districts and neighborhoods buzzing well after midnight. Follow this guide to the top after-dark hotspots.


Piazzas


Historic piazzas (public squares) like Piazza della Signoria, Piazza della Repubblica, and Piazza Santo Spirito host open-air bars and cafes perfect for al fresco wining and dining under the stars with jaw-dropping architecture all around. People fill the piazzas until the wee hours socializing, drinking, and soaking up the city’s magical ambiance.


Ponte Vecchio


The iconic 14th century Ponte Vecchio bridge connecting the Oltrarno district with downtown hosts high-end wine bars directly overlooking the Arno River. Sip world-class vintages as water gently laps below and admiration-worthy landmarks glow.


San Niccolò District/Piazzale Michelangelo


For speakeasy-style nightlife, head across the Arno to Florentine bohemian hub San Niccolò near Piazzale Michelangelo perched high over the city. Find hidden local gems, hipster hangouts, underground clubs, and live music joints to mingle with artsy locals while admiring panoramic views.


Santa Croce Area


The Santa Croce neighborhood contains the top concentration of Irish pubs and English style bars outside of downtown frequented by visitors and expat regulars. The rowdy scene carries on late with international beers, comfort food, live music, karaoke, trivia and sports on tap.



Bartender pouring drinks Florence

Santo Spirito District


Just across the Arno River, Santo Spirito offers an artsy residential vibe with charming wine bars, microbreweries, casual pubs and trendy cocktail lounges crowded with young Florentines relaxing after work well into the night. Piazza Santo Spirito becomes party central during summer months.


Top Nightlife Experiences in Florence

In addition to hopping between wine bars and nightclubs, embrace these quintessential after-dark-in-Florence experiences:


Catch Opera at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Stroll Il Porcellino Market and Mercato Centrale

Bar Crawl Across Ponte Vecchio's Bridge Bars

See Jazz & Live Bands in Oltrarno Wine Bars


Dance at a Rooftop Nightclub Overlooking the Duomo

Pub Crawl Santa Croce’s Irish Bars & Local Dives

Experience Aperitivo Hour with Cocktails & Buffets

Catch a Concert at Nelson Mandela Forum

Club Hop at Marathon Electronic Music Festivals


Best Nightlife by Neighborhood


With so many diverse drinking, dancing and entertainment options across Florence let’s explore by quintessential neighborhood.


Centro Storico (Historic City Center)


As the tourism epicenter, Centro Storico caters to visitors with classy hotel bars, rooftop terraces with unparalleled views, and swanky wine bars for a touch of Italian sophistication. Top picks include:


Hotel Continentale Rooftop - Trendy scenic lounge attracting socialites with DJs and city vistas

Procacci - Historic cafe serving world-famous truffle paninis and Tuscan wines since 1885

Le Volpi e l’Uva - Intimate wine bar known for cheeses, charcuteries & 200+ labels

Gilli Cafe - Historic art nouveau cafe and cocktail bar popular for people watching

Irene Bistro - Sleek and sparkly Arno riverside spot for Aperol spritzes and small plates

• Ritual Club - Basement cocktail bar channeling Miami vibes with exotic drinks and South Beach style



Looking at the Ponte Vecchio bridge at night in Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio


The iconic Medieval bridge connecting downtown to Oltrano hosts wine bars directly over the Arno making for ultra romantic settings. Hotspots include:


SignorVino - Trendy wine bar on the bridge serving 100+ Tuscan wines by the glass

• The Bridge - Classy wine bar on Ponte Vecchio terrace with fine wines and panoramic views

• Story on The Bridge - Intimate craft cocktail nook inside a 13th century Medici home/tower


Oltrano District


Just south of the Arno, Oltrano (literally “beyond Arno”) offers a hipster local scene with hole-in-the-wall wine bars, hidden speak-easies, microbreweries and live music. Top picks include:


Lo Sverso Bar - Jam-packed standing room only joint with 200+ craft beers and punk rock vibes

Il Santino - Tiny wine bar blending funky artworks with quality wines and classic aperitivos

Mad Souls & Spirits - Brick-and-mortar craft cocktail speakeasy vibe with talented mixologists

• KAWA - Buzzy cafe meets nightlife spot with DJs, cocktails, global street food and shisha

• Slowly - Laid-back bar meets bookshop featuring regular acoustic sets and poetry readings

• Club Twenty - Intimate cocktail bar inside a 13th century building with occasional swing dancing

Space Club - Multilevel basement hotspot spanning billiards lounge, electronic club, bar and garden



Santa Croce


Home to the Irish pub scene, the Santa Croce neighborhood across the Arno delivers a rowdy foreigner-friendly sports bar atmosphere late into the night. Pub crawl from:


Lions Fountain Irish Pub - Spacious regional outpost with classic pub grub, live music and sports on screens

The Old Stove Irish Pub - Modern gastro bar with comfort food and international craft brews

I’Brindellone - Lively traditional taverna featuring live music and belting Italian karaoke

The Red Garter which has been around for decades and is a college student favorite. Featuring live DJs and Karaoke.

James Joyce - Cozy Irish pub in a former 15th century convent serving beers, wines and comfort food




Jazz band at the bar called Volume in Santo Spirito area of Florence, Italy

Santo Spirito


For an artsy, young professional vibe head across the Arno to Santo Spirito, home to casual wine bars, eclectic cultural hubs and summer street parties late into the night. Hotspots include:


• Piazza Del Carmine 6 - Creative agency meets bar/bistro/art space on Santo Spirito square

• Casa Dei Libri - Bookstore by day, wine bar by night with frequent live acoustic music

Il Santino Gastronomia - Tiny gourmet deli and wine shop with standup aperitivo service

La Cité - Bookshop/tea room/bar hybrid popular with students and academics

Volume - Trendy bar with quality cocktails, seasonal small plates and rotating craft beers

• Il Girarrosto Toscano - Charming restaurant transitions into a late night wine bar with regular DJ sets


Seasonal Parties & Events

Not-to-Miss


Beyond everyday cafes, bars and clubs, Florence hosts vibrant seasonal events and festivals year-round. Mark your calendar for these nocturnal extravaganzas:


Luminara di San Giovanni Festival (June 16) - Thousands gather to light candles around iconic monuments.


Estate Fiesolana Summer Festival (June-August) - Open air cinema, theater, music at Roman amphitheater in Fiesole overlooking Florence.


ApritiBorgo Italian Street Food Festivals (May-October) - Outdoor street food, music, drinks at various neighborhoods.


La Notte Bianca / White Night Festival (September) - Museums/attractions stay open late with special art/music happenings.


Florence Cocktail Week - Over 150 bars offer unique cocktail tastings and mixology classes.


La Festa di San Giovanni (June 24) - Florence’s patron saint honored with parades, music, general revelry.


NYE Festivities (December 31) - Free concerts, midnight fireworks and partying in Piazza del Duomo.



nightlife at Volume Santo Spirito in Florence, Italy

My Insider Tips for Experiencing Nightlife Like a Local:


Follow these pro tips I've put together for making the most of Florence’s nightlife like an insider:


Navigate by Neighborhood - Centro for upscale, Ponte Vecchio for romance, Oltrano for local vibes, Santa Croce for pubs.


Drink Standing Like a Local - It’s totally acceptable to order at the bar and drink standing, even nice places!


Try “Secondo Tempo” - Bars serve a “second round” of drinks after midnight at slashed prices to keep the party going.


Bar Crawl Around Aperitivo - Have a drink/small plates at multiple spots vs. a full dinner at one.


Eat at Divey Locals Spots - Skip overpriced tourist traps for tiny authentic tavernas and trattorias. Or order a panino at one of Florence's amazing sandwich shops, they're big enough to split.

Don’t Overdress - Florence nights tend towards casual. Ditch the heels and dress comfortably for walking/dancing.


Pregame at Convenience Stores - Grab cheap beer/wine at the corner store before hitting pricey clubs.


Secure Club Guest Lists - RSVP for priority entry and reduced cover charges when clubbing.


Schedule Nap Time - Take a rejuvenating afternoon riposo so you have energy for partying all night.



People gathering for drinks on a Friday night

Fantastic Nightlife Awaits After Dark


While known for world class art and cuisine by day, Florence, Italy bursts with energy at night across its iconic neighborhoods and piazzas. Sip velvety wines along the Arno, mix and mingle with locals over craft cocktails, sing your heart out during rowdy karaoke sessions, dance ‘till dawn at underground nightclubs...the options for after hours revelry seem endless. Follow this guide on the vibrant nightlife scenes not to miss from season to season. Whether seeking a casual pub crawl, a sophisticated wine bar romp or an all-night dance party extravaganza, Florence delivers after-dark magic and memories that will last a lifetime.


So when the Florentine sun sets each evening, a whole other world of nocturnal pleasures opens up. Join the night owls in Italy’s most captivating city after hours. The passionate Florentines know how to work hard and play even harder. As that famous little drink book states, “One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters; that’s our imperative need. So as not to feel Time’s horrible burden that breaks your shoulders and bows you down, you must get drunk without ceasing.” Cent’anni!


"Ultimate Guide to Florence’s Thrilling Nightlife"

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