Florence Ferragosto Food, Music & Museum Events 2021

Foccaccia topped with bresaola, arugula and burrata is one of the offerings on the menu at the Artecultura garden

The Ferragosto summer vacation period, which is in honor of the Assumption of Mary on August 15, is the official break between Easter and Christmas in Italy.  The holiday, does however, offer exhibitions, outdoor events and dining for those still in town.  Below is what’s going on.


In Florence’s city center, the exhibition American Art 1961 – 2001, with works on loan from the Walker Art Center of Minneapolis, is open daily from 10 am to 8 pm, Thursday until 11 pm; admission: €13.  See article here.


A ‘Green Pass’ issued in an EU member country or a vaccine pass from U.S., UK, Canada, Japan and Israel (in the case of the U.S, the CDC card) must be displayed at the entrance of a museum or church to be allowed to go in.

While the Cathedral will be closed to guests on August 15, the Cupola (open from 12:45 to 5:30 pm), the Bell Tower (8:15 am – 7:45 pm), the Baptistery (11:15 am – 6 pm) and the Cathedral Museum (Museo dell’Opera del Duomo: 10:15 am – 5 pm) can be visited by making a reservation.

The basilica of Santa Croce will have limited hours: the complex is accessible from 1 – 5:30 pm only.

Florence’s city-run museums will all be open on Ferragosto.  These include: Palazzo Vecchio (9 am – 7 pm); the Bardini Museum (11 am – 5 pm); the Novecento Museum of 20th & 21st Century Art (11 am – 5 pm); the Brancacci Chapel (1 – 5 pm);  the Romano Antiquities Foundation (1 – 5 pm); Forte Belvedere (10 am – 9 pm, free admission), and the Church of Santa Maria Novella (12 noon – 5 pm).


Le Pavoniere in the Cascine park is offering night pool hours from 8 pm to midnight; entrance at 8 pm (€25) comprises a dinner with food served from the barbecue and beverages, those arriving at 9:30 pm can opt for a drink along with a cool dip in the pool (€15).  Reservations required by calling 3921724859 sending an email to info@lepavoniere.it.

Click here for the 2021 guide to public pools in Florence.


Artecultura Garden, via Vittorio Emanuele II, 4

Through September, Florence’s Horticulture Garden transforms into an art and cultural space. Located beyond Piazza della Libertà, the Artecultura Garden (“Giardino dell’ArteCultura”) presents music, art, theater, food and fitness activities.

The park’s shaded oasis provides the perfect spot for family and friends to enjoy free entertainment and activities all summer long. From workshops to concerts, there’s something for all ages.

Adults can enjoy free live concerts throughout August’s summer music series. The most notable will be the tenth edition of “Tuttapposto a Ferragosto.” Ferragosto, a series of musical performances dedicated to local bands during the Ferragosto holiday weekend up through August 22. From 8 pm onwards, the rhythms of local artists and bands – such as Francesco Birardi and the “Contrabanda, the Pink Floyd Tribute Band and “Disperati Erotici” – will entertain the audience.

Saturday, August 14 will bring rock and blues presented by the SlimeCello Urban Blues Band, followed by a performance of jazz, bossa nova and swing on August 15 courtesy of the Talking Ties.  Both concerts will take place from 8 to 10 pm.

For the full list of further upcoming bands/artists, visit Artecultura’s website.

In addition to activities, the ArteCultura Garden serves food and beverages to be enjoyed from 10 am to midnight. Pizza, panini and salads, as well as snacks and cocktails can all be enjoyed at the convenience of the Garden’s Café.

For more information, visit ArteCultura’s Facebook Page

Now, we’ll travel across the Arno River for this edition’s second summer spot location.

Anconella Garden, via Villamagna 39/d

Located in southern Florence, the Anconella Garden presents a full summer schedule of shows, live music, children’s initiatives and open-air cinema. The outdoor venue provides a refreshing twist to summer in the busy city.

Surrounded by the greenery of Anconella Park, the summer stage will encapsulate the likings of both theater and cinema. August’s schedule features five nights of “Theater in the Park,” sponsored by APS Echoes, and five nights of “Cinema in the Park,” sponsored by the Anémic Association.  Admission to all events is free.

Theater fanatics will be able to enjoy five shows, each starting at 9 pm and varying in styles. The schedule includes anything from theatrical performances to poetry readings.

The list of performances includes Uomini e corpi” (Aug. 18), “Vicolo cieco” (Aug. 25) and “A teatro ancora” (Aug. 31). For full descriptions, visit Anconella Garden’s Facebook Page.

An evening highlighting Tuscan folk songs, entitled “Tambarella” is scheduled for August 14, interpreted by Alessandro Giobbi starting at 9 pm.  The music comprises 19th century pieces to the popular works of mid-20th century Florentine singer/songwriter Odoardo Spadaro.

Sunday’s Ferragosto show will be dedicated to Latin American music, including Cuban rhythms, played by Contra Banda (9:30 pm).

A visit to the Anconella Garden is not complete without a taste of the summer refreshments. Every day, the Anconella Garden Restaurant is open from 4 pm onwards for snacks, dinners and aperitifs accompanied by hummus, guacamole and tacos. For summer dishes, try the classic gourmet pizza, fried fish, spaghetti and clams or burgers. For drinks, try the low-alcohol Spritz line, featuring Violet Spritz, with violet syrup, the Apple Spritz, with apple, cucumber and elderberry juice, and the Rose Spritz. To make a reservation, call 375 6502010. 

San Salvi Park, via San Salvi 12

Across from the Anconella Garden, Riccardo Tesi and his Banditaliana will be giving their popular annual Ferragosto concert at San Salvi on August 15 (9:30 pm; admission €15, reservations required via Whatsapp 335 6270739 or sending an email to info@chille.it). (rachel pellegrino/additional reporting by rosanna cirigliano)