Ah the arrival of August. For me, it conjures up the image of streets empty of Italians (for th most part) in Florence and a slower vibe. The holidays surrounding Ferragosto, the 15th, being the time when most locals are away on beach holidays or in the mountains as the summer exodus reaches it peak in a land where it definitely used to be too hot to work during this time period.
This summer, we’ve been hit by a pretty brutal heat wave, and its effects are being felt across the boot. In Rome, they are seriously considering water rationing for up to eight hours a day after the second hottest (and driest) spring in 60 years. Lake Bracciano, the source of the city’s water is drying up. Mayor Raggi together with ACEA, the city controlled water utility is trying to come up with a solution that does not drastically cut water for 8 valuable hours, but they have started in closing many of Rome’s iconic fountains.
Florence hasn’t been hit by such rumors, however it has been stinking hot and after looking at the weather forecast with temperatures looking to soar in the 100’s, it’s likely to be an “unfun” August to be in Florence. Every the optimist, I will come up with my list of personal suggestions on what to do locally which will publish in a few days and I will be right there with you. After extensive traveling earlier this year, my plans are to become a house hermit during the day, leaving only for gelato and walks with the dog, with hopefully a few cool escapes around the countryside.
In honor of helping us all enjoy summer in Florence, here are a list of restaurants, divided by neighborhood, open during this period that I actually like. I called many of them personally this week or sent emails to get the inside scoop on hours, so let’s hope they stay true to their word. If you want to save everything to your phone, you will find a handy google map and a few links to like-minded posts across Italy. If you prefer to hold a piece of paper, click on the green share button on the top and bottom of each post and search through the options for the “Print-friendly” option where you can print this post for your trip.
Looking for a list of bars I adore in the city? Check out this [updated] list including a few new standout stars.
Other articles you mind find useful the next month if you plan on heading to Rome in August.
- Katie Parla’s trusted list of 2017 restaurant openings and this one, you’ll want to bookmark.
- August roundup of 100 restaurants that will be open in the Eternal City (in Italian) by local experts Tavola Romane.
- A list of cool sweet treats in Rome by Elizabeth Minchilli.
- An extensive Rome app by An American in Rome with 200 recommendations on where to go, eat and see in the Eternal City. At the moment it is only available for iPhone users but look out for an android version coming soon.
Piazza della Repubblica/Piazza Signoria Area
- Irene Firenze, this classy, contemporary bistrot is always one of the top choices on my lists for lunch or dinner in the central hub of the city. First off, for the seasonal and fresh menu conjured up by culinary greats Fulvio Pierangelini and Giovanni Cosmai, but also because they make a damn good cocktail (I’m partial for the “Irene spritz” at th moment. Go for the amberjack tuna crudo on a bed of himalayan salt. Open on the daily for both lunch, dinner and in-between. Piazza della Repubblica, 7, 50123 Firenze. Reservations, Phone: 055 273 5891.
- Serre Torrigiani in Piazzetta, Florence’s newest urban garden lies in perfect juxtaposition with the city’s cultural monuments. A vibrant free courtyard, just steps away from Orsanmichele church and museum. You’ll spot wooden signs that invite you to step down a tiny little street, barely wider than a breath. Here you’ll discover outdoor tables, a wooden food stand serving fresh options for lunch (panini, salads, rosè wine). It feels a world away from the busy streets heaving with group tours just beside. They also offer free WiFi. Open all of August, 10am-midnight. Address: Piazza dei tre re. Check out their August events/readings too!
- Briscola, a trendy pizzeria that looks almost like a cafeteria but is essentially a hotspot for Italian youngsters. Their pizza is more than satisfying, plus a stone’s throw from piazza della repubblica. Open daily, 12-3pm, 7-11pm. address: Via del Campidoglio, 8 R, 50123 Firenze. Phone +39 055 238 1990.
- La Bussola, a contemporary bistro in the heart of the city, they are known for their pizza and various arrays of Italian favorites. I love the atmosphere as did my family when they were in town. Though service can be hit or miss. They are open all of August. Open daily 12-3:30pm, 6-11pm. address: Via Porta Rossa, 58r, 50123 Firenze. Call +39 055 293376.
- Buca Lapi, tucked away close to the Duomo or “queen” of this city, people head to this true Tuscan elegant spot, apparently the oldest restaurant in town, for their famous Florentine steak. I gave them a call and they are closed until the 15th of August, then open for the rest of the month, so make your reservations in advance. address: Via del Trebbio, 1r, 50123 Firenze. Call +39 055213768. Open Monday-Saturday 7-10:30pm.
Oltrarno neighborhood, from Pitti Palace to San Frediano.
- Osteria della Enoteca: My favorite place to bring people for their first meal in Florence for a selection of superb Tuscan fresh pastas, a sumptious steak menu and as always, one of the best wine lists in town. You must try Shannon’s homemade amari (after-dinner liquors, my favorite infusion is with bay leaf.) They will remain open this August for dinner Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday from 7pm, lunch only from Fri-Sun, 12-3:30pm. Tel: + 39 055 228 6018.
- Momio Firenze. This new spot is making Via Pisana great again and its not just because of their eggs benedict. A British-style eatery with an international dinner menu, this is a wonderful place for coffee and cowering in the morning, a lovely brunch or a innovative dinner in a place that has been lovingly curated by Nadia & Marco. This August they will be closed from August 12-22nd otherwise open Tuesday 9am-8:30pm, Wed-Friday 9am-11pm, Saturday and Sunday 10-11pm, closed Mondays. address: Via Pisana 9c, Florence, Italy.
- Il Santo Bevitore, this popular spot located on via di santo spirito features an ever-changing menu that treats Tuscna food like its creative inspiration. I always go for their interesting cheese plates. It’s almost always crowded so recommendations are highly recommended. They are closed from the 12th to the 21st and they reopen the evening of the 21st. Open 12-2:30, 7:30-11:30pm. Via di Santo Spirito, 64/66, reservations: tel +39 055 211264. firstname.lastname@example.org, website.
- Enoteca Pitti Gola, when it comes to quality wine bars in the city, this is my absolute favorite. They don’t need to shout their greatness from Florence’s rooftops, they have a pretty respected following who already knows them. You can come for a drink (I love their Franciacorta options, they seek out smaller producers) or for dinner. Reservations highly recommended as they only have seven tables. Outside seating also available.
- Osteria Santo Spirito – this simple, popular trattoria on the corner of the Sant’Agostino and the square is a favorite of my family (zucchini and parmesan risotto) and after a good last experience there, I do recommend it as a fun place for lunch or dinner. They will be open for dinner all of August and I haven’t quite figured out if they are open on Ferragosto. Call ahead and make a reservation. address: Piazza Santo Spirito, 16/R.
- Santarosa Bistrot. This has long been a personal favorite of mine for coffee, a spritz, club sandwiches and fresh pastas for lunch. They are open all day which is really nice and it lies adjacent to a public park which means you could ideally have your meal under a tree should you so wish. They are closed this August between the 12th and the 15th. address: Lungarno di Santa Rosa, 50142 Firenze FI. Open 8am-12am.
- Gelateria della Passera –I could hardly leave out my gelato local, this small place has served its fair amount of gelato and is the brilliant brainchild of a woman, One Miss Cinzia Otri. I love that she uses coffee from the next door caffe degli artigiani and my favorite flavor of all time here has to be the la Crema ai sette profumi (creme of seven flavors) which is my go-to gusto after dinner. address: via dello Sprone 16, Firenze
- Le Volpe e L’Uva, another favorite wine bar hidden behind Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in the city, in a quaint little square on the Oltrarno side of town. Ciro and the rest of the staff are very knowledgeable about wines and openly support local, small producers. The terrace does get popular the summer so call and book ahead. Open all of August, 11am-9pm, everyday but Sunday. address: Piazza dei Rossi, 1R, 50125 Firenze FI. Call +39 055 2398132.
- L’Brindellone, my go-to spot for authentic Tuscan eats did me a huge favor and decided to remain open for the month. While the decor is decidedly “no frills” this spot is wonderful for larger groups who want to dive into some local cuisine while not breaking the bank. I’m a fan of their tagliata and ribollita (a typical Tuscan dish). They are also open for lunch with a cheap (10€ menu). Open all of August, Tue – Sun from 12:30-2:30pm. 7:30 – 11pm. address: Piazza Piattellina, 10, 50124 Firenze. Phone +39 055 217879.
- Il Carduccio, my favorite organic restaurant for lunch is constantly impressing me with their variety in healthy cuisine. The space, however small, is quite pretty, with just a few tables offering curious diners the chance to try some farm-to-table organic goodies from a local farm. Everything is seasonal and fresh, go for a spiraled zucchini salad with goat cheese or one of their daily-changing crostini with hummus. Closed this August on the 15th and 16th. address: Sdrucciolo de’ Pitti, 10, 50125 Firenze. +39 055 238 2070. Open 8am-7pm Monday-Saturday. Sunday 10-4:30pm.
- Osteria Tripperia Il Magazzino Ristorante, just around the corner from our house is the cutest piazza in the city, it’s not just me being biased, you’d be hard pressed to meet anyone who doesn’t smile when they think of piazza della passera (for a variety of reasons). When it comes to authentic Tuscan food, this is your spot, don’t be scared to go for offal! The polpette di lampredotto are what they are known best for. Open daily 12-3pm, 7:30-11pm. Piazza della Passera, 2-3, 50125 Firenze, For reservations phone: 055 215969. -Sat 12:15-2:30pm, 7:10-10:45pm. Sundays closed, Monday open 7:10-10:45pm. address: Piazza Torquato Tasso, 14r, 50124 Firenze. Call +39 055 225197.
- La Sorbettiera, look on any credible list of top gelateria of Florence and you’ll find them on their list. Not because they paid anyone off, but because their gelato truly is some of the best you can get in Tuscany. I was personally won over by their salted caramel. They are open all of August except the 15th/16th. Open 12:30pm-12am. Sunday: 11AM–1PM, 3PM–12AM. address: Piazza Torquato Tasso, 11/red, 50124 Firenze
- Alla Vecchia Bettola, you’d think I was obsessed with piazza tasso, but you would be right. I adore this humble quarter, a place so rich in great food and still not truly discovered. Alla Vecchia Bettola is a popular spot across the square, they offer terrace seating and a Tuscan menu. If you’re into pork, try their version served with figs. They are closed for the week of Ferragosto (the 15th). Otherwise open Tues-Sat, 12-2:30pm, 7-10:30pm. address: 34r Via Luigi Ariosto, 50124, Florence, Italy. Call +39
- Vivanda, a small organic restaurant close to piazza di santo spirito and piazza carmine, I often come here for the healthy lunch menu, a steal at 10€. They offer options for vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diets. They will be closed in August from the 14th to the 21st. Otherwise open Mon-Saturday 12-3pm, 6pm – 12am. address: Via Santa Monaca, 7, 50124 Firenze. Phone: +39 055 238 1208
- Ristorante Trattoria Angiolino, an Oltrarno trattoria that serves delicious home cooking in my local neighborhood. I like the atmosphere and the fact that they can accomodate bigger groups. Open all of August. Open daily 12:30-3:30pm, 7-11pm. address: Via di Santo Spirito, 36 R, Firenze. Phone: +39 055 239 8976
- Berbere, a contemporary pizza and beer bistro close to piazza carmine. I would consider it less pizza and more “flatbread”, but I do enjoy the place and they have some interesting craft beers on tap. Perhaps closed on August 15th. Monday-Thur’s 7pm-12am. Fri-Sun 12:30-2:30pm, 7:30-12am. Call ahead. address: Piazza de’ Nerli, 1, 50124 Firenze. Phone: +39 055 238 2946
- Ditta Artigianale, coffee bar enthusiasts like myself are pleased to note that yes your caffeine is safe this August. Both Ditta’s will remain open which means my supply of cold brew with coconut milk can continue. Open 8-12am, on weekends they open at 9am. Praise jesus. address: Via dello Sprone, 3/5/R, 50125 Firenze.
Buonerìa: a wonderful spot to enjoy true Neapolitan pizza in Florence. It’s a great place to head to after a dip in the Pavoniere pool in Cascine, they have space for large groups and a nice beer garden. Pizza is really nice too, they are open all of August and on Ferragosto (yay!). address: Via del Fosso Macinante, 4. 12:30-3pm, 7:30pm-late.
- Club Culinario Toscana da Osvaldo, in Santa Croce, you’d expect the only things to be open are mediocre aperitivo joints and dubious restaurants. Luckily Club Culinario is staying open. Go for their cacioricotta cheese. Open 12-3pm, 6-12:30am. Piazza dei Peruzzi, 3R, 50122 Firenze
- Ditta Artigianale, yes this is the original location of Francesco Sanape’s brilliant cafe. Located on a constantly busy street in the heart of the historical center. You an also enjoy the free WIFI here too. Via dei Neri, 32/R, 50122 Firenze.
- Torcicoda, one part restaurant, pizzeria and trattoria, it can seem like they’re a tad confused or perhaps trying to bank on being “it all.” However, I am a huge fan of their pizza and luckily for you guys (and well.. me too) it happens to be open all of August. Monday closed, every other day 12-3pm, 7-11pm. address: Via Torta, 5/red, 50122 Firenze. Call +39 055 2654329.
- Arà è SUD, where you can find a corner of Sicily in the center of Renaissance Florence. They provide a nice offering of Southern Italian treats (pasta alla norma) and Sicilian wines in a cute location near Santa Croce, close to Verde theater. This August they will be closed from the 8th to the 16th, otherwise open 12-11pm, closed Tuesdays. Address: Via della Vigna Vecchia, 4, 50122 Firenze. Call +39 328 611 7029.
- The Fishing Lab Alle Murate, street food and smaller options. is that you will dine with historical frescoes and over Roman ruins. What I like about this place is the half-portion options which means you can try more, plus it’s the kind of place that you can come at 4pm and order a meal. Try the frittura. address: Via del Proconsolo, 16r, 50122 Firenze. Call +39 055 240618. Open daily, 10am-12am.
- Il Locale, a fancier option in the Santa Croce neighborhood, here you can get a drink or dine in a building that dates back to the 1200’s “Palazzo Tornaquinci”, truly a spectacular location that trespasses centuries of history in Florence. Their cocktails are some of the best in town and their fresh pasta is truly delicious. They also offer valet service for customers. Opens at 7pm for all of August. address: Via delle Seggiole, 12. Call +39 0559067188.
- Acquacotta, I discovered this place during a failed attempt to eat at the overrated La Giostra restaurant nearby. Thankfully we tried it out because it remains a favorite of mine to this day. Simple Tuscan food with a little twist, I like the comely atmosphere and decent prices. Highly recommend the pigeon (yes I said pigeon) and don’t leave without trying dessert. address: Via dei Pilastri, 51-R, 50121 Firenze. Closed Mondays, Open 12:30-11pm. Call +39 055 242907.
Santa Maria Novella
- Braciere Malatesta, a newly-refurbished bar and grill on via nazionale 36r is open all of august and is one of the cutest newcomers in town. They manage to combine a modern design with traditional Tuscan cuisine. Here you’ll find fresh pasta, pizza, vegetarian options and grilled meats. Book a spot in the open courtyard. Open 12-10:30pm. Call +39 055 215164.
- Trattoria 13 gobbi, I consider this spot to be a real find even if you’ll find yourself dining amongst other tourists. Which honestly, people should really get used to as places like this are popular for good reason. I come here for the steak “tagliata.” Open all of August. 12-3pm, 7-11pm. Via del Porcellana, 9R, Firenze, Call +39 055 284015
- Vivo Restaurant, The city’s hottest new seafood restaurant promises a daily catch from the Tuscan coast (Orbetello), here you can slurp (or scoop) out fresh oysters, dine on raw red shrimp or ask for the pasta dish of the day. I’m a huge fan, while the place itself tends to be a bit modern for my tastes with a very noisy interior, the food more than makes up for the rest. Open August, except Ferragosto, the 15th. Open 12-2:30pm, 7:30-11pm. address: Largo Pietro Annigoni, 9. Call +39 333 182 4183.
- Santarpia, arguably the best pizza place in town run by pizzaiuolo Giovanni Santarpia, it’s namesake, is open this August and I couldn’t be more excited. Try their margherita gialla and burrata and tartufo concoctions Open every day but Monday 7:30pm-12am. address: Largo Pietro Annigoni, 9.
- Gilda Bistrot in piazza ghiberti, the heart of Sant’Ambrogio is one of my favorite places to take people. It’s very much like eating in someone’s quirky living room, the tables covered in lace, the colorful cups more like goblets. Food changes daily and you can expect an array of interesting pasta dishes and delicious desserts They are closed from August 11th to the 20th. Otherwise open Mon-Sat 12-3pm, 7-11pm. address: Piazza Lorenzo Ghiberti, 40-red, 50122 Firenze. Call 055 234 3885
- La Luna pizzeria, just talking about this place makes me smile. While the pizza isn’t the best in town, you have Santarpia to thank for that, they do serve a decent pie and offer gluten-free options. Perfect for a casual night-out with friends. address: Via Gioberti Vincenzo, 93, Firenze, reservations, call +39 055 663810. Open 12-3pm, 7-12am.
- Caffetteria Piansa Gilberti. One of the most notable coffee shops in the Beccaria area, this is the place to find single origin espresso with a story and passionate coffee-experts, not to mention a light lunch menu. Address: Via Gilberti 51/r Open 7:30am-7:30pm.
San Lorenzo neighborhood
- Mercato San Lorenzo: “Primo Piano” the good thing about the market is that it never closes, at least not the primo piano. In San Lorenzo, it has been nothing short of a success story, a gourmet Italian food market which Eataly over on via martelli couldn’t seem to manage to do. Despite the weird temperature balance inside (hot in summer, cold in winter) and crowds, it still remains a place that isn’t just wheelchair accessible, but literally has something for everyone. Pizza, fresh pasta, seafood, meat plates, cheese, vegan burgers, lampredotto, wine bar, gelato etc. Open 10am-1pm daily. address. Via dell’Ariento.
- La Ménagère, one part restaurant, one part bar, one part cafe with free WIFI, one part flower shop, one part jazz club. Yes a lot happens simultaneously in this cool concept spot in San Lorenzo but you won’t find a more instagrammable location in Florence. While I am not a fan of their food so much, I love the cafe section, and the desserts too. address: Via de’ Ginori, 8, 50123 Firenze. Open 7am-2am.
- My Sugar geleteria, yes gelato is officially a food group and I could hardly write about what’s open in August without mentioning the majority of my diet during this period, sweet Italian gelato. Owners Alberto Bati and sister Deborah are some of the most passionate, hard-working gelato artisans you’ll ever meet. Wonderful sorbet (get the melon!) options as well. Open 1pm-10:30pm. address: Via de’Ginori, 49/red, 50123 Firenze, Phone: 393 069 6042.
San Niccolo neighborhood
- Beppe Fioraia, one of the few places where you can dine al fresco in a pretty garden in the center of Florence. It’s just off the main road that runs from San Niccolo to Piazzale Michelangelo, you’ll find Beppe tucked away in the entrance to a local park. They are well-known for their enormous tagliere (meat & cheese boards) and pizza. Call ahead to book a spot in the garden, reservations essential. Closed from August 14th to the 20th. address: Via dell’Erta Canina, 6r, 50125 Firenze. 12:30 – 2:30, 7:30pm-12am daily. Call +39 055 234 7681.
- Easy Living, the Arno beach (and cover photo of this post) is a cool spot for a sundowner cocktail overlooking the River Arno by the tower San Niccolo (which is open during the summer to club!). While I’ll be frank and say I wasn’t impressed by their food, they do offer aperitivo and lighter dinner options. You stay more for the view. address: Piazza Giuseppe Poggi, Florence, Italy. 10am-1:30pm.
Just outside of Florence (but still worthy of a taxi)
- Trattoria “da Burde”, When one thinks of sticking to traditions when it comes to Tuscan food, likely they have visiteda place just outside of Florence — Da Burde, the brainchild of Andrea and Paolo Gori. A culinary institution since 1901, here you can dig into mouth-watering dishes like bistecca alla fiorentina, il peposo, il cacciucco, il baccalà alla livornese, l’acquacotta alla maremmana and much more. address: Via Pistoiese, 6/R, 50145 Firenze. +39 Tel. 055/317206. Open for lunch and dinner on weekdays, Saturday lunch only, Closed Sundays.
- Ristorante 588 at Borgo i Vicelli, this recent find an easy 25 minute drive from Florence in the comune di Bagno a Ripoli made me a very happy woman. An outside eatery set in the backdrop of a quaint Tuscan agriturismo, we dined poolside, enjoying an array of farm-to-table delights. This is the kind of place that doesn’t make you wear flow tops to hide bloat, Chef Andrea’s menu was light and memorable — imagine an array of vegetables with a soft tomato broth, or the most perfect had-moon ravioli stuffed with fresh mozzarella cheese and topped with a basil leaf so fragrant Bocelli would have teared up. All teamed with interesting extra-virgin olive oils, just ask! My advice is to call ahead as they often host weddings and events here. address: Via Roma, 588 – 50012 Bagno a Ripoli, , Tel: +39 055 699003.