A Free Evening in Florence

Ponte Vecchio at Sunset
Embrace the beloved Italian tradition of passeggiata in Florence, a leisurely evening walk that takes place all over the country. From small villages to big cities, Italians take to the streets to socialize and stroll after work. It’s the best time of day to experience local life and enjoy an Aperitivo as the sun sets over Florence. Begin in the heart of the historic city center at Piazza del Duomo and walk along Via Calzaiuoli towards the Arno River. Take a stroll through the famous Piazza Della Signoria toward Ponte Vecchio. Walk along the riverbank to get a close-up of the historic bridge. It’s usually very busy at this time of day, so we recommend crossing the Ponte alle Grazie bridge instead and admiring Ponte Vecchio from afar. 

On the other side of the river, enjoy a short walk up to a lesser-known viewpoint looking out over the city near the famous Piazzale Michelangelo. From here, you'll spot iconic buildings in the Florence skyline, most prominently the Duomo. It's an idyllic place to relax and take some beautiful photos. Afterward, walk down to the Rose Garden just below the Piazzale Michelangelo. This small and immaculately kept area has hundreds of different roses, lemon trees, and even a Japanese garden, Florence’s twin city, Kyoto, donated.

During this evening walk and exploration, you'll pass through Piazza Signoria. The square is filled with statues, including Cosimo I on horseback, Neptune, and Perseus holding Medusa's head. Stop for an Aperitivo at Rivoire, one of the city’s classiest grand cafés. Enjoy an elegant, expertly crafted pre-dinner Negroni in an unbeatable setting. It’s located in the heart of Piazza della Signoria, with intimate outdoor tables facing Palazzo Vecchio. Their classic cocktails are some of the best in town.

Other Points of Interest:
  • Giotto's Bell Tower is in Piazza del Duomo. Although not as stunning as its famed counterpart (Duomo Cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore), the Campanile di Giotto tower climb still offers an awe-inspiring view of Florence. It's also a less challenging climb than the Duomo. 

  • Just before the Ponte alle Grazie is Gelateria de’ Neri, one of the most traditional ice cream shops in Florence that visitors flock to for a taste of the famous dessert. They have a great selection of authentic gelato, and we recommend trying these unique flavors: ricotta with figs, rose and gorgonzola, and pure dark chocolate.

  • The Church of San Miniato al Monte sits on the same hill as Piazzale Michelangelo and is a lesser-known viewpoint looking out over the beautiful Rose Garden and city.
Read more about unique and interesting activities in Florence.