Girl in Florence

A Tuscan Texan immersed in Florentine life

Enjoying the Best of April in Florence. My Personal Suggestions


Despite allergies taking a toll on my health since we’ve been back from Mexico, I have been more excited than ever about what’s to come in Florence. April is set to be a busy month for those in love with the arts, film festival enthusiasts and those seeking about a pleasant Spring atmosphere (one can only hope) with only the occasional rain shower, which of course won’t damper our spirits. Since I’ve been back, I have been overwhelmed with all of the new eatery openings in Florence (check out my “New and Noteworthy” section here) and of course exploring work opportunities and planning our trips for the month: Levanto, Capri and Orvieto, in that order!

Ps. this beautiful sister photo taken on Via Toscanella was taken by my friend and awesome photographer Christine Juette

Suggested posts to check out for this month include

I’m always thrilled to kick off the month with the first Sunday (this month that means April 2nd) offering free openings to state museums around the country. Of course people will want to visit the Giardino Bardini (address: Costa S. Giorgio, 2 – open until 6:30pm) with its full bloom of wisteria offering a purple filter of the panorama of Florence.

Additionally this first weekend there is an open market an easy bus ride from Florence at Fattoria Maiano featuring local artisans and offering a walk in their extensive park (there are food trucks and gelato – this is a very family friendly event) open until 6:30pm.

For those who want to stay in the center instead head to Piazza SS. Annunziata for the fierucola dei legnaioli (wood market) open until sundown (April 1-2nd).

Pottery and art, this looks really fun! This Monday, April 3rd, the Offic Lab will be showcasing pottery produced during the “Roaring Twenties” with particular reference to the life and works of Gio ‘Ponti. The cost of the evening including a handmade ceramic piece and open buffet will be a total of 30 €. Reservations required.

My friend Katja is showcasing her book “Across the Big Blue Sea” at a special book representation on April 4th at Todo Modo Bookshop on Via dei Fossi. It’s a beautiful read about her own personal experience working in an Italian refugee home. Come join the fun, I’ll be there.

Looking to meet some interesting new people in Florence? I always personally enjoy the open-mic night at Tasso Hostel (villa villain 15)  held the first Wednesday at every month. The April edition will take place on the 5th and is open to anyone who wants to share a song, a story or basically anything they’d like to present! Check out the info here.

I’m exciting for Shakespeare week held at the British Institute from April 4-7th, where they will celebrate William Shakespeare (this year’s theme is Richard III) with a week of cultural events open to all members of the Harold Acton Library, existing and new. You can join for a 24 hour membership (6€) or sign up for a longer membership, the full details can be found here.

For my musical friends: every first and third Tuesday of the month there will be a special “Song/Writer Showcase” presenting the original works of musicians and writers (as well as original interpretations of classic tunes). On April 4th local singer-songwriter-guitarist Patti DeRosa will host the first edition at 8:30pm at the Goose Pub on Via delle Oche. More details on how to join the fun here!

Lovers of jazz music, my friends “Jazz and Eggs” will be playing at the Birreria on Borgo La Croce on April 7th from 7-9pm.

Back this month is the exciting Middle East Now film Festival (running from April 4-7th) and it always remains one of my personal favorite film festivals of the year. The festival this year focuses on “Urban middle East” with a special focus on Egypt, the extensive lineup will be shown at Cinema La Compagnia (on via cavour), you can download the full program here. Don’t miss the special events that coincide with the festival, including a photographic exhibit 2Saudi Tales of Love” at Fondazione Studio Marangoni – Via San Zanobi, 32r or a pop-up cooking lesson/dinners with an acclaimed young Iraqi chef with a mission at the Cordnn Bleu cooking school in Florence and elsewhere (more details here). My friend Coral aka the Curious Appetite just wrote this fabulous post with all you need to know about the Middle Eastern cuisine options during the festival.

The 34th edition of an International half marathon is set for April 7th this year (this includes a ‘mere’ 21 kilometers (and some change). The good news is that there is something for everyone. Participants can also choose to do a 5km walk or 10 km non-competitive race (which is still open for registration). My favorite part about this is the kids race “Tommasino Run” which lasts 1,5 km (which is the one that I would be most appropriate for). The race will take place mainly in the historical center, sign up for one of the races here.

Visit a rare gem in Florence (and very underrated) the Stibbert Park where on April 8th there will be a guided visit looking at the symbolism and art throughout the green space. It costs 10€ to join the fun and places sell out quick!

On April 8th/9th at Villa Romana (via sense 68) you can visit a pop-up event “Les Fleurs du Mid” featuring an expose of fashion, vintage clothing for sale, and art in a beautiful space close to Florence. It is organized by Mid which sustains Oxfam Italy, the Italian humanitarian association founded in Tuscany more than 30 years ago and that which today is part of a large international coalition, made up of 15 organizations working in 98 countries to fight the injustice of global poverty. The association will organize a workshop for children on issues of food sustainability and will be there with their own booth. More details can be found here.

I’m psyched for a special exhibit “Woman power” held at the Palazzo Pitti (Andito degli Angiolini room) from now until June 25th featuring 25 works by one of the most important artists of the second half of the 20th century,  the formidable Maria Lassnig. Check out this cool slideshow by The Florentine to get pumped up for the event.

Of course if you’ve visited the city lately, you’ve probably seen the adverts for the latest Palazzo Strozzi exhibit featuring the “electronic Renaissance” work of video artist Bill Viola, which will be running until July. I actually tried to pop into the other day and decided to come back on a non-weekend day when it was hopefully going to be less crowded. One tip, the Palazzo Strozzi has extended opening hours on Thursdays which means you can check out the exhibit until 11pm at night!

I just happened to see on FB this April 9th “Glicine in fiore al Giardino Bardini” offering a special guided visit at 11am of Villa Bardini’s beautiful collection of wisteria plants. I’m sure this is going to sell out fast so make your reservation here. The cost is 7€.

In honor of Easter (let’s be honest, it’s a good a reason as any for another market) the Fierucolina in Piazza Santo Spirito will have a Pasqua theme at its April 16th market. Open until 6:30pm, I always highly recommend this one as it’s the perfect place for people-watching after you’ve gotten a coffee at Volume. Typically this weekend is when the antique market in Cascine would also be on, but I am wondering if Easter means they will move it to another day, in any case, I will keep you posted!

Easter in Florence, Italy will be on April 16th this year, and obviously the biggest celebration happens in the center of Piazza Duomo, an event that dates back 350 years and includes a pretty awesome explosion. These Florentines know how to have fun! Keep in mind that you need to get there early for a nice spot, the procession starts at 10am, explosion at 11am. You can read more about the history about this event on Discover Tuscany.

Now that’s what I call an Easter miracle! Photo by moi!

Be aware that many shops will likely be closed on Easter Sunday and Monday yet the city will surely be crowded with holiday markers. For Easter brunch in the city, I really think the one offered this year by Irene Firenze in Piazza della Repubblica looks amazing (this year they even have a fresh juice nourish corner) and if you have a car, I highly recommend reserving Easter Lunch at Fattoria LaVacchio in Pontassieve, about a 40 minute drive. Everything there is organic, including their wine. I had a wonderful experience there a few year’s ago with Nico and his family.

Yep, the gelato festival is coming back to town the week of the 21-25th and I am as excited as ever to dig into the latest artisanal favorites from some of the top gelaterie in the city. Plus the walk up to the piazzale means that you can deserve a second, third or fourth cup, right?

On April 22nd starts the one of Europe’s biggest arts & crafts fair, the annual Mostra dell’artgianato, this fair has been running since 1931 and is such fun, I really look forward to it every year. My advice is to avoid the weekend crowds and go during the weekdays so you can browse goods from all over the world to yourself. Where? Fortezza da Basso (Viale Strozzi, near station). Official website. It runs this year until May 1st.

How cool is this? On April 22nd you can join a special sunrise bike tour in Florence as part of a special bike festival locally!  The cost for inscription is  10 euros for adults and two euros for kids up to 12 years old, the cost includes the ‘sunrise’ t-shirt. Sign up here. address: Parco Delle Cascine Firenze: Via Jacopo Nardi 13, 50144 Florence, Italy. Meet up time is 5:30am!

Pretty much an institution for the May first ‘Ponte’ weekend is the beautiful flower show “mostra mercato internazionale” held annually at the horticulture garden close to Piazza della Liberta, this year from April 23-May 1st. They always have a wide range of plant species to gawk at and buy, such as giant basil or carnivorous plants (seriously). address: Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 17, 50139 Firenze. event info. 

An important day in Italy is April 25th (also a national holiday), it marks the fall of Mussolini’s Italian Social Republic and the end of the Nazi occupation in Italy in 1945. During WWII there were plenty of resistance factions around the country that sacrificed their lives to give Italy liberty which is why my thoughts are with them during this special day. Typically there are marching bands and parades on this holiday so businesses to be closed (not related to tourism). In Florence, around 5pm, there will an orchestra and ceremony in Piazza della Signoria. Around 3pm, you can head to Piazza Santo Spirito where they will have a series of events and live concerts marking the occasion.

Before I leave this, I will let you all know that I am searching to see what’s on this year for Notte Bianca 2017, otherwise known as “White Night” which is an all-night party the city traditionally hosts on April 30th. When I get some verified info, it will be here on the blog (do let me know if you hear of anything regarding the event!). This is all of the info I see online for now.. Oh how people love to make FB events with no actual info inside of them.. anyway, enjoy April!

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14 Responses

  1. I was thrilled to find your blog this evening….I am an Oklahoma girl traveling to Florence for my first time in late May & early June. I am arriving to attend a art retreat for a week and then on an extended stay my husband is meeting up with me and we will end our trip spending 4 days in Florence. I have contacted my hotel about a possible wine tour while we are in town. (No answer yet) Do you know or could you suggest any companies that you feel certain does a good job? We have been to Napa a couple times and looking forward to visiting wine country while we are there. We are not renting a car while in Italy. Thank You and I look forward to reading more stories about the area on your blog.

    1. Ciao Teresa! It sounds like you have quite an exciting trip coming up. I can definitely advise a wine trip, my go-to recommendation is the great guys of Degustibus who really see out unique wineries. They will also cover the transportation. Thanks for your support!

  2. Hi Georgette, I’ll be in Firenze in May for a couple of days. Would you suggest Giardino delle Rose or Giardino Bardini? Sadly I won’t have time for both. Grazie mille 🙂

    1. I would probably do the rose garden wince it will be in full bloom during that time and it will be FREE to visit. The Bardini is wonderful too thought so whatever you choose, you won’t go wrong!

  3. Thank You so very much for the recommendation! I am going to look into it. One question…when they say “Price half day (adults): 2 pax 130 € each” does 2 pax mean 2 people? I look forward t reading more of your blog! Lots to read and learn. Thank You again! Teresa

    1. You are very welcome! So it looks like the price is 130 per person for two people total :). Good luck with whatever you choose!

  4. Hi Georgette, i’ve been enjoying reading all your great suggestions in your blog- will definitely try out the list of eatery in your other blogs when I visit Firenze this May. Do you happen to know anyone who will offer private (1:1) tour to the Tuscany? I am travelling solo and has been searching if there is any female driver who offer both driving and tour at the same time, so i can enjoy the Tuscany countryside and takes tons of pictures at the same time (yes I am a photographer myself). Thanks so much!!!

  5. Hi Georgette,

    I have just stumbled across your blog today whilst looking for foodie suggestions for our trip in July and found it sooo helpful for your food list of places to visit! I visited Florence last year on a works trip and fell in love, so decided to book again for our mini-honeymoon. Unfortunately due to having children we can only stay for 2 nights but I was wondering if you had a priority list of places to see and places to eat?

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Hello Charlie, I am so thrilled that you enjoy the blog! Obviously I have the list of Eats that I update weekly so you can refer to that but at the moment I am loving Osteria della Enoteca (for pasta and Florentine steak), Santarosa Bistrot (for lunch, great kid-friendly atmosphere), Sergio Gozzi in San Lorenzo for a traditional Tuscan lunch, Ditta ARtigianale (via dello sprone) for coffee and a cocktail, Vivo restaurant for fish and Club Culinario Oswaldo by Santa Croce (a great recommendation by my food writer friend Coral of Curious Appetite), also you have to have gelato! My Sugar on VIa de’Ginori is my personal favorite but on the “eats” page you’ll find a gelato section. Hope that helps!

  6. It’s been nice to read up on Florence ahead of our Honeymoon there after Easter 🙂

    One thing we were thinking of was having a picnic while we’re there – but the only suggestions we’ve had are for places like Boboli Gardens.

    Do you know of any nice picnic spots near central Florence that aren’t quite so formal and manicured?

    If all else fails we’ll just add an extra trip to the Gelato Festival 😀

  7. Hi Georgette. My husband and I are on a sabbatical and just arrived in Florence last week. We are planning on spending our last three months here and have been devouring your blog. We’ve loved the food/drink recommendations and have been making use of Ditta Artigianale almost daily. I also read about your struggles with learning french. We spent the last 6 months in France struggling through the language, so can totally relate.

  8. Hello!
    My niece, in her teens, will be interning in Florence for the summer. She will essentially be by herself and I was wondering if there are any “expat” young adult groups that we could get connected with. She loves books and is studying opera. She is very interested in fashion, traveling, speaks fluent Spanish, and will be learning to speak fluent Italian. Any suggestions?

Georgette Jupe

Welcome to my personal blog by a curious American girl living and working between Zug, Switzerland and Florence, Italy with my husband Nico, our newborn Annabelle and Ginger the beagle. This space is primarily to share about my love for Italy (currently on a 13 year romance) with a fair amount of real talk, practical advice, travel suggestions and adjusting to a new culture (Switzerland). Find me on IG @girlinflorence @girlinzug

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