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Nightlife in central Italy flourishes in university cities, where international students gather to learn but unsurprisingly are also keen to relax and enjoy a vibrant social life, as such Florence has a good selection of funky clubs and live music. There are many bars, pubs, disco and cafes all providing different variations on entertainment, where through genre of the music or the layout and décor of the location.
A popular area is Oltrarno, which is to the south of the River Arno, or around Piazza della Signoria where you will find there is a substantial number of bars and don’t worry about what time you start as many venues stay open well into the early hours of the following day.
If you are looking for a quieter evening you could always take a stroll around the city to see the monuments and buildings set against the night sky, or take seat at one of the many al fresco bars with outdoor seating simply to watch the world go by.
During the summer you can enjoy open-air concerts at the Fiesolana Estate. Sunset concerts and operatic productions are held at the first century Teatro Romano. You will have to reserve tickets in advance and then head for the verdant, tranquil Fiesole hills, above the city.
Read more on this destination in the AA Essential Guide to Florence & Tuscany.
Recommended evening entertainment in Florence
Auditorium Flog, Via Mercati 24 - This is where the best and most famous jazz and rock musicians come to play in Florence.
Caffe Concerto Paszkowski, Piazza della Repibblica 31-35r - This wonderfully traditional and elegant café, with its marble-topped bar and outside tables, is a favourite haunt of smart Florentines. Come to see and be seen and enjoy perfectly mixed drinks, coffee and a wide range of wines.
Central Park, Via del Fosso Macinate 2 - This is a true house music complex, complete with garden, eight bars, four dance floors, restaurant and a VIP terrace. Italian house dominates but there’s plenty of room for chilling out with lounge core and smooth piano-bar music.
Cinema Goldoni, Via Serragli 109 - The Goldini is one of only three Florentine cinemas to show films in their original language.
Jaragua, Via Erta Canina - Italy’s first exclusively Latino music club is bags of fun and free to get into. The spicy South American food also appeals to the 30 something crowd. For those who don’t know how to dance salsa or meringue, there are lessons available as well as many willing tutors on the dance floor.
Jazz Club, Via Nuova de’Caccini 3 - Drinks and snacks accompany concerts or other musical events most evenings at this historic haunt of Florence’s jazz aficionados.
Maracana, Via Faenza 4 - Six levels, a carnival stage and a party crowd make this club a winner with lovers of all things Brazilian. It’s the place to watch carnival dancers, samba, sip caipirinhas (a cocktail made with lime juice and cachaca, Brazilian sugar cane liquor) and try some enormous churrasco (Brazilian barbequed meats). The bar staff juggle bottles while some of the crowd attempt dance-floor soccer acrobatics.
Pinocchio Live Jazz, Viale Giannotti 13 - Jazz musos will love this place as it attracts some of Italy’s top artists, who can be heard during the clubs annual two-season schedule. Members nod approvingly in this smoky venue while the musicians blow, brush and noodle their instruments into the night.
Rivoire, Piazza Signoria 5r - A beautiful marble interior and tables on Piazza Signoria makes this a compulsory (if expensive) spot for an evening drink or aperitif.
Teatro Comunale, Corso Italia 16 - This is the main venue in Florence for a year round succession of music, opera and ballet.
Teatro Goldoni, Via Santa Maria 12 - This famous old theatre has a capacity for 1,500. It stages opera and ballet productions such as Carmen and Barbablu.