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.

Itineraries with A Free Evening in Florence

Food & Wine in Italy: Bologna, Florence, Rome - 10 Days

Ten days may not be enough time to see all of Italy, but you should try anyway! Fuel your Colosseum-sized appetite with regional cheese & prosciutto specialties in Bologna, then head to Florence to see art by Michelangelo, Donatello, and Leonardo da Vinci. Take our word and sample the fresh-pressed olive oil and handmade chocolate focaccia, then spend a full day drinking Chinati in Tuscan vineyards and medieval courtyards. End your trip in Rome, where the Vatican City, Roman Forum, and the perfect cup of gelato await. 

Venice, Florence, Amalfi Coast & Rome - 15 Days

Head to Itay for 15 days of adventure and relaxation. Visit world-famous art museums and historic palaces, take a gondola ride in Venice, and explore Tuscany's Chianti wine region. From the cliffside villages and rocky beaches of the Amalfi Coast to the ancient Colosseum in Rome, this itinerary offers the best of Italy's culture for every type of traveler. 

Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, & Venice - 10 Days

Start your trip in Rome and visit the legendary Colosseum. Admire the Sistine Chapel and stroll through the streets of its buzzing nightlife. See Michelangelo's 'David' sculpture in Florence, meander through piazzas and across the famed Ponte Vecchio bridge before exploring the colorful, seaside villages of Cinque Terre. Finish off in Venice, shopping for carnival masks and handblown art.

Florence, Rome, & the Amalfi Coast - 9 Days

This unforgettable Italian getaway takes you through the highlights of this incredible country. Your journey starts in Florence, stroll across the Ponte Vecchio bridge, and admire the architectural wonder of the Duomo before heading down to Rome. Tour the impressive Colosseum and visit the incomparable St. Peter's Basilica before continuing further south to the Amalfi Coast. Finish off your travels lazing on sandy beaches and exploring the colorful villages.