During the hot and sticky summer days in Florence , one might be tempted to bolt close the shutters and retreat into the darkness or seek out the cool blast of air conditioning. However, there are a number of watering holes dotted around the city that offer some of the best coffee and cocktails in Florence to its well deserving patrons in a shaded setting. These cafes and bars are hidden away in gardens and piazzettas, and only have direct sunlight for a small fraction of the day. A welcome treat for any local or traveler in the know who pulls up a chair.
Not only do these spots offer a brief escape from the mid-day heat, but due to their somewhat discreet locations, offer a great refuge from the heaving crowds of the city’s high season.
Ditta Artigianale, Via Sprone
Ditta, as I affectionately call it, is the place to drink coffee in Florence. There are dozens of places that whip up a great brew or have stunning views to pair with their cup, but Ditta Artigianale is an artisan coffee shop with a very modern vibe.
Their slick cafe on Via Sprone is nothing but clean lines and pops of colour with the aroma of coffee filling the air. Cool down with one of their delicious iced coffees and hit the outdoor terrace to the back of the cafe.
Too warm outside? Stay in their air conditioned cafe and people-watch to your heart’s content. You’ll see a true slice of Italian life, locals coming in for an espresso at the bar, fashionable outfits and cute pooches. Also a specialist gin bar, Ditta Artigianale is a great spot to hit up anytime of the day.
There is nowhere better than amblé to escape the hot days of Florence. Hidden away in a piazzetta you wouldn’t even know is there, and surrounded by tall buildings, this little spot only gets sun when it is directly overhead. Not far from the Ponte Vecchio, amble serves up cocktails (€7), spritz (€5) and light bites with a smile.
This hidden hipster haven is not just a place to get a drink, you can buy the furniture there, too; everything from the chair you sit on to the glasses you drink from. The vibe in amble couldn’t be more relaxed, so take a book or a friend and while away the day with a good read or a great conversation. Closed Mondays.
Serre Torrigiani in Piazzetta
Open only during the summer, Serre Torrigiani is a welcome addition to Florence Centrico. Access to the courtyard is through little alleyways from Piazza Repubblica, Via Orsanmichele and Via Dei Calzaiuoli. This super cool pop-up bar serves sandwiches and light bites, cocktails (€7), artisan beer and generous measures of prosecco (€4).
Resting in an urban garden with free WiFi and umbrella covered seats, this place is a super cool hideaway that’s just a quick dash during those overcrowded periods. Whether visiting the Palazzo Vecchio, the Santa Maria del Fiore or the il Duomo (as it’s affectionately called), or you’re simply strolling through the Porcellino market off Piazza Repubblica, Serre Torrigiani is a central and easy place to drop in for a relaxing and much needed rest.