Summer bank holiday: discover Florence and surroundings

A taste of Tuscany.

1 Aug 2019

Gruppo UNA

This capital of the Tuscan region was the birthplace to the Italian language as we know it and the home of the Renaissance period of art and architecture. Florence is also widely considered the most beautiful city in Italy, a country well-known for its beautiful cities. 

Across the whole of Italy, there are celebrations for Ferragosto and Assumption Day, both of which fall on August 15th, an Italian public holiday. Ferragosto is the national celebration of summer and is when many Italians choose to take their summer break, meaning that shops and businesses might see restricted hours. The religious celebration Assumption Day pays homage to the death of Mary and her ascension to heaven with special local foods and images of Mother Mary carried through the streets.

Both of these holidays see many locals pouring to the piazzas to celebrate and enjoy the sunshine and warm weather – a chance to sit in parks and head to the sea in order to relax. With this piece, we will outline the best ways to experience Florence during August and especially over the bank holiday weekend, with specific mentions of surrounding areas and parts less explored.

Florence Summer activities.

There are many reasons to head to Florence all-year-round, but below you will find some of the best activities and events to attend during the summer season.

When the summer hits and the mercury rises, it might be the best time to cool off while you explore art galleries and museums, and Florence has some of the best in the world. At the top of the list should be the Uffizi gallery, a spectacular palace with a courtyard which contains some of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture, sculpture and art in the world. Pieces include paintings by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael as well as a copy of a masterpiece, Laocoön and His Sons, sculpted by Baccio Bandinelli.

It just wouldn't be a trip to Florence without a tour of the Duomo di Firenze, the cathedral of Florence. This grand structure dominates the Florence skyline, and its facade is constructed from marble in shades of pink, green and white. Florence in August is extremely sunny and the rays reflect off the pristine walls; a truly spectacular sight to behold and one not to miss.

Florence, Duomo

One of the most recognisable images of Florence is that of the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval bridge that runs over the Arno river. This splendid bridge is home to many jewellery and gold sellers who own shops across the length of it. The structure makes for a wonderful walk in the centre of town. If you need to sit down for a refreshment, just behind the bridge is the Easy Living Beach, an urban panoramic beach with views of the Piazza degli Uffizi. Rent a deck chair and relax with a glass of Spritz while you are entertained by theatre productions, music and for the fitness fanatics, evening yoga in the shade of the Tuscan sun.

In the small town of Fiesole, just outside of Florence, a magical festival, 'A Summer Under The Stars', is held all summer long. The festival features theatre productions as well as musical pieces, played in the splendour of an ancient Roman amphitheatre. If you want a slice of true Italian theatre, there can be few better places than ancient architecture under the night sky of Tuscany.

Outside of Florence – the magic of Tuscany.

Holidays in Florence offer a unique experience to explore other towns and cities in the area. Its central location means that by renting a car or easy public transport, you can reach many unique and interesting cities in Tuscany and experience a true slice of central Italy.

Lucca is an extremely handsome Renaissance city filled with history and bursting with amazing architecture and culture. One of the best activities is renting a bicycle and taking a tour of the beautiful city walls before heading to a piazza for an authentic Tuscan meal alongside a glass of local wine.

San Giminiano, Italy

A day trip to San Gimignano, just to the southwest of Florence, is an adventure filled with old town walls, breathtaking panoramic views of Tuscany and sacred churches. The town also has an ancient winemaking tradition and is particularly well-known for its white wine, Vernaccia. If you decide to stay overnight on your trip, Fattoria Santo Stefano is a majestic country estate with private villas and swimming pools, located close to San Gimignano. Gruppo UNA would be happy to welcome you with warm Italian hospitality.

Summer trip to Florence – where to stay.

With Gruppo UNA, a trip to Florence in August is made easy by the beautiful array of accommodation on offer. If you want to stay near the action but still experience the peace and tranquillity of the countryside, the 16th century Villa le Maschere | UNA Esperienze provides 5-star hospitality in the beautiful foothills near Florence. This wellness centre encourages guests to relax in its prestigious grounds, admiring glorious views with sumptuous dining options. 

If a central location is more convenient, UNAHOTELS Vittoria Firenze or Leone Blu Suites | UNA Esperienze offer modern style and elegance with a renowned restaurant and Italian charm. Easily reached by public transport or car, this location offers the best of both worlds – tranquil surroundings, but right in the city.

Make sure to check out more of our articles for inspiration for your trip to Italy!