Nightlife in Florence part 2: Pubs, live music, cocktail and wine bars.

My list of nightlife venues in Florence could not be fully realized without options for chill wine bars and live music venues especially since, like me – many people are past the clubbing phase and just want a fun place to go out and have a few drinks {I love moscow mules!}.

Luckily there really is a variety of local places for people of any age – from chill beer halls to trendy rooftop bars (as long as the city of Florence is fervantly trying to close them down). My own going-out personality seems to be pretty lively considering Florence is so very walkable and drinks are pretty affordable here. Italians don’t have the kind of ‘lets get drunk’ culture as we do in the states, but instead prefer to savor one or two cocktails on a night out [but also we must remember that wine with dinner is also the norm].

I am always on the lookout for a hip new place to have fun and unwind after a long week. Please let me know if I missed anything on this list by commenting :).

Cocktail Bars:

  • The Cocktail bar close to the Duomo on the same street as Paperback Exchange serves an exceptional Moscow Mule and classic drinks in a gorgeous ambiance, this is a recent (2014) find for me and I love it! Vai delle Oche 15R, 50122 Firenze.

  • Looking for a sophisticated location & the clientele to match? Head over to the historic Harry’s Bar located on the lungarno (next to the river on Lungarno Vespucci, 22r | Tel. +39 055 23 96 700) where they have been serving up negroni’s for over 50 years in style. Expect a more mature patron.
  • Looking for a dive bar that serves awesome cocktails, you won’t find better than Bar argentina near piazza beccaria, Via della Mattonaia 67R. Not only is the bartender cute, the drinks are awesome and I can really appreciate a place that you really can have fun in a no-frills ambience.
  • Terrazza Bardini is a perfect place to grab aperitivo and a cocktail with a stunning panoramic view. Located near Forte Belvedere, it is a slightly pricier place but absolutely worth a visit.
  • For a swanky rooftop cocktail bar, visit Hotel Continental next to the entrance of Ponte Vecchio, vicolo dell’oro 6r. Think new age music, really good cocktails, panoramic view, and… of course expensive. Older crowd.
  • For an even swankier bar try the Westin Excelsior in Piazza d’Ognissanti, 3. Mixed crowd and pricey.
  • Since I am on the fancy hotel bar kick right now, the Four Seasons hotel in Florence (via Borgo Pinti, 99)has some pretty amazing cocktails, in fact watch the bar one making one here.. Thursdays they have live Jazz music.
  • Negroni bar on via dei Renai 17/r – Firenze is frequented by Italians looking to have a drink with aperitivo after work. Located on the other side of the river not far from Ponte alle Grazie, this locale is named after it’s famous Florentine cocktail “il negroni” , which is a mix of gin, red vermouth and bitters. The drink I don’t love so much while the bar is nice, if not a little small. 25yrs and up
  • Right next to Negroni and pretty similar in style and aperitivo, is Zoe bar.Via dei Renai, 13, 50125 Firenze. They also serve lunch and it’s pretty good!  They also make a great mojito in my experience. 25 years and up
  • Caffe Sant’AmbrogioPiazza Sant’ Ambrogio. A meeting spot for many locals and students alike, this is pretty much the center of this happening little piazza. It’s more of a wine bar than a cocktail bar but it conveys the same message and you can hang out inside or grab a drink and sit on the steps of the Ambrogio church. Crowd tends to me mid-range, 20’s-40’s.
  • Moyo, via dei benci 23. Close to Lochness lounge, this place is open for breakfast, lunch, aperitivo and then a cocktail bar after. I honestly prefer it more of lunch and sometimes aperitivo since at night its way too crowded, hot and awkward indoor space. For a drink I’d rather go to Lochness.
  • Oibo, via dei benci 53, another very “Moyo-type” local. They also offer aperitivo which isn’t bad. It’s nice but honestly way too crowded most of the time and their drinks are just ok and cost around 8 euros, go for a glass of wine or a beer instead. It’s is in the general piazza santa croce area.
  • Dolce Vita is located in Piazza delle Carmine in the oltrarno area of Florence is popular with older crowds. I am a fan of their mojito!
  • Mayday bar – cool bar in the center close to the Duomo where you can find fusion drinks like pear, ginger & vodka. address: Via Dante Alighieri 16, 50122 Firenze. Tel: 055 2381290 website. http://www.maydayclub.it
  • New Hangout calledFUK – Florence unpopular Cafe (yes that really is the name! Pigiama party this wednesday at 10pm, come in costume and recieve a free vin brulee. ( by santa croce) address: Via Giuseppe Verdi 19 /r 50122.  Florence. TEL: 349 647 7671
  • Why not have a cocktail and then..go for a swim. Seriously you can! At Le Pavoniere, a pool during the day and cocktail-bar restaurant and.. still a pool at night. I had my birthday here last year ;). Located on Via della Catena 2, 50144 Florence, Italy. One thing I have to say is that unlike last year, apericena does not include a dip in the pool. The price for aperitivo happens to be 15 euros ( expensive ) and just a night swim costs 10 euros. Yeah.. and they now have bouncers reminiscent of “Flo”. It’s too expensive unless you JUST do the swim, in my opinion. Why of why do businesses in Florence makes these mistakes. overcharge people and yes, they will remember.
  • Girasol located in parterre (piazza della liberta) is a recent discovery and I LOVED it. Open just for the summer, drinks are 5 euros a cocktail (try the strawberry daquiri) and they have different music every night. On Thursdays, it’s latin american and we all danced the night away last time.
  • Surf Ventura is a hidden away cocktail bar (very casual) with one of a kind cocktails. And I really mean one of a kind! This place is awesome, unique, with basically no menu and close to Piazza ferucci, check out my post in insidersabroad about it.
  • Backstage, new bar on Via Fiesolana 8 with live music and 5 euro cocktails.

One of Surf Ventura’s famous concoctions, made with papaya

  • Rex is a really awesome bar worth a visit even if its sort of on a hidden street in the center. Just think hipster, comfy couches, affordable  and very popular on the weekends. Via fiesolana 23-35r. Great pina coladas.
  • I just devoted an entire blog post to Art Bar  after having a great time there the other night. You MUST order the fruit cocktail, and they have a happy hour (before 9pm) when the drinks are 6 euros instead of their usual 9. The owners are masters at decorating your drink! Via del Moro, 4-red
  • Bella Blue, is located in the campo di marte area of town is a great place to get a drink and enjoy aperitivo (Italian happy hour). Very laid back, comfy and the perfect place to enjoy a conversation and some yummy food with a friend. I like theur spritzes.
  • A private club ( you just have to get the membership card, which is easy) called Montecarla is located in the Oltrarno on Via de’ Bardi 2, Firenze. This place is very particular with leaopard print everywhere, great cocktails and lots of plants.  A must-see!
  • If your near Piazza della Repubblica, stop by Slowly bar to flirt with the barman and get a really good cocktail. Imagine blackberry mojitos, chocolate martinis, passion-fruit, they have some quality drinks. Via Porta Rossa, 63. Older crowd.

Wine bars:

  • Sei divino is undoutablly one of my favorite wine bars in Flornce. Located on Borgo Ognissanti, 42, 50125 Firenze, Italy, this place is the perfect stop for any wino looking for a refuge in Florence. I recommend buying a bottle and sharing with a few friends, their cocktails are also pretty good.
  • Sweet Wine Bar is off the beaten path and close to Piazza Ferrucci. They have an excellent wine list and really good food, you can come here for a drink or to eat, highly recommend it. address: via di Ripoli 8/10r, 50100 Florence, Italy, Phone 0556587051 / 333-3276248.
  • A great place for a glass of pinot grigio in the oltrarno is Rifrullo. Popular among aperitivo fans and groups of Italian. They have a great closed outdoor area upstairs and a fireplace. Via di San Niccolò, 55r 50125 Florence, Italy, 055 2008155. They also do brunch every Sunday for 20 euros, buffet style.
  • Across from Rifrullo, always in San Niccolo area, is Enoteca Bevovino, where they sometimes have live music, outdoor tables and some really good wine, after all that’s why you go. Via di San Niccolò, 59 50125 Florence, Italy, 055 2001709.
  • Of course THE WINE bar that obviously deserves a mention due to their famous name, and pretty great antipasto plate is Frescobaldi Wine bar near piazza signoria. Via dei Magazzini, 2, Florence 055 284724.
  • If your near the Ponte Vecchio, also try Le Volpe e l”uva which is pretty famous and has foi gras, salame and cheese plates and a great wine selection. Piazza dei rossi, 1 50125 – Firenze (FI). I love the hidden location, it’s very romantic.
  • Directly in front of Palazzo Pitti is Pitti Gola e Cantina, tiny inside but also a good wine selection. Piazza de’ Pitti, 16 50125 Florence, Italy 055 212704.
  • For those on a budget try All’Antico Vinaio on the historical Via de’ Neri 65. This is a place we often go to begin the night in the center of Florence. Pick up a glass and pour the wine yourself, it’s all on the honor system (roughly 2-3 euros per glass), yummy crostini and paninos.
  • I also really like Enoteca dei Macci, very casual and cheap prices, I love their prosecco. Via dei macci, 98/r. They also do aperitivo.
  • Hidden away in a small beautiful piazza near Palazzo Pitti is Caffe degli Artigiani in Piazza della Passera. This place is perfect for a prosecco, snacks, spritz and people watching. There is also a great geleteria in that same piazza.

Pubs in Florence

  • Young Florentines’ love Williams pub located on Via Antonio Magliabechi, 7-red 50122 Florence, Italy 055 263 8357. It is a rather large pub and they also have outdoor patio seating and cider.
  • Public House 27, quirky name and cool pub with happy hour everyday until 9:30pm. Located on Via Palazzuolo, 27, Tel: 339/3022330.
  • A new place to have a beer is the BHS ( appropriately names Beer house club on Corso dei Tintori 34/r near Piazza Santa Croce). You need a tessera-membership card  (cheap) which lasts for one year . Note that their beer is a 100% artisan product so this place is definitely worth a visit and gains some points in my book. They also offer snacks and beer tasting courses, which is dangerous ;)
  • The first Irish pub to open in Florence was the Fiddler’s Elbow in Piazza Santa Maria Novella which is still a regular haunt amongst expats. They have satellite tv and offer Guinness, Harp, Kilkenny, Becks, Warsteiner, and my favorite.. Strongbow cider.
  • For a beer during the day, stop by Mostodolce on Via Nazionale, 114 for some artisan locally made beer. They also have a location in Prato.
  • Another Irish pub and consequentially very popular with students is Lion’s Fountain on Borgo degli Albizi, 34. People tend to grab a beer and stand outside in the Piazza with their friends. They also have bagels for breakfast.
  • There is a German pub that serves food and beer located near Piazza della Liberta called Braumeister. It’s really nice inside, spacious and they have a large beer list. It’s definitely worth a visit. Via madonna della tosse, 12/r
  • A chain of pubs called Old Stove are located near some of the main piazza’s in Florence, namely Piazza della repubblica, piazza della signoria and piazza duomo. Popular with tourists and students.
  • One of my favorite pubs is located near Piazza Ferucci, called James Joyce and usually filled with Italians. address : Lungarno Benvenuto Cellini, 1. They have a large outdoor beer garden as well as a cozy interior. Perfect for catching up with friends.
  • Red Garter is the oldest American bar in Italy (opened in 1962) and is a huge hit with the english speaking students and tourists. They also offer beer pong, a restaurant and often have live-music- cover bands. Via dei Benci 33-35r.
Outdoor-Live Music

  • Las Palmas located in Piazza Ghiberti is a great place to go to during the summer for aperitivo, drinks and just to hang out and listen to some live music. Only open from April 28-September 9th. They also have a seafood restaurant.
  • An oasis from the crowded center (still IN the center) is Le Murate, which is an artistic meet-up, aperitivo live-music bar in Piazza delle Murate. I really like it there since the place itself has an interesting history (the area and restaurant nearby actually used to be a prison).
  • Easy living, the lungarno “beach”located near Piazza Poggi,  returns this year for the summer season open during the for sun tanning and during the night as a cultural meet up for young people. A neat outdoor space with a huge maxi-screen showcasing this year’s Olympics and European football championships, live music, cinema, bar, you will see a lot of locals :)
  • RARI Firenze, new outdoor restaurant turned disco-dance pub located near Piazza Ferrucci (lungarno ferrucci 24 to be exact). This place is great!
  • Off bar by the Fortezza di Basso, at the lago dei cigni. Cool outdoor wine bar with live music on alone viale filippo strozzi.
  • Piazza Tasso – there is a great mojito bar located in this piazza. Seriously go there, and find the wooden bar outside and order yourself the BEST mojito in Florence ;-). Ok, well for an outdoor bar anyway.

If I missed anything, let me know. I didn’t add places that I have never been to or just didn’t feel worth mentioning. I hope this gives people visiting or living in Florence a better idea of the various bars and pub around town. Enjoy!

Sipping my new favorite cocktail – the Moscow Mule with Yelp community manager Kristina!


There are 9 comments

Add yours
  1. Sarah

    Great list! You’ve got to check out Angie’s Pub on Via de Neri if you haven’t been already – great Sangria and a very unique, artsy atmosphere. Highly recommend it!!

    • ggnitaly84

      I’ve been there a few times, it is really cute. The music was a little loud for my tastes ( not really conducive for conversation but you gotta love the location aka via dei neri!)

  2. Eric

    Is there an area or neighborhood to stay in you’d recommend that is walking distance to several wine bars, pubs, and cocktail lounges?

    • ggnitaly84

      The entirety of Florence is quite walkable so I am very sure that if you are in the historical center you will be fine. I would look to stay in the San Niccolo, Santo Spirito or Santa Croce areas of town.

  3. Jacqueline Mariani

    Hi. Great post. I’m an older transplant (single female near 60) and one of the few things I miss about home is the having a drink and listening to live blues/jazz, or a place that plays good classic rock. I noticed in one of your other posts that you mentioned the Four Seasons (jazz on Thursdays), but if you know of anything new that has opened up that might be of interest to someone my age, please do post. Love your site; it is extremely interesting and informative!!

    • Laura

      Hi Jacquline, I’m your age and status and will be in Florence for 3 months this winter. I bet we have similar interests. Would love to chat. Thanks! Laura

  4. gerald

    Hi am in Florence for this weekend 2-4 Oct. Anywhere I can go with my girlfriend and her brother that you might say is distinctly Florence? Cocktails/wine bar or even a club is fine. But prefreabbly somewhere with reasonable prices and easily walkable from the centre?. Saw the post on Rari will be checking it out! Your posts have been very informative thanks!

  5. Liv

    There’s a place called Jazz Club that’s on Via Nuova de Caccini. It’s kind of hidden but a really cool spot. Lots of Italians but also a bit of an international vibe. There’s a cover with a drink, at least on weekends. They have live music and it’s not your stuffy jazz club. The two times I have gone there was a dj after the band who played The Beatles, Rolling Stones, and other really fun classic rock songs. There’s also BeBop, which is known for it’s Beatles cover band nights on Tuesdays. As a student, I had a decent time on Tuesdays, but it’s MUCH more enjoyable when the place isn’t packed to the brim. One band, I think called the Rolling Johnny’s plays lots of blues tunes.

Post a new comment