August 15 is one of the most popular and biggest holidays in Italy. Known as Ferragosto, which literally translates as ‘holiday in August’, this day originates from Roman times when the first Emperor, Augusto decided to establish a day off in the middle of the hottest month.
Expect most businesses to be closed and most cities to be deserted as most Italians will be at the beach or escapiing the heat in the mountains. If you decide to go to the beach on the 15th August, be prepared to get wet as it is also a tradition to throw buckets of water over anyone in close proximity – of course this is most popular with the kids and teenagers but beware if you happen to be in the path of a water-fight! Whatever your plans this Ferragosto, if you do happen to find yourself in Florence, you will have plenty of choices of things to do and see!
In Florence, most of the museums will be open and below is a quick quide to the opening hours :
The Uffizi Gallery is open as usual from 8:15am until 6:30pm
Palazzo Vecchio will be open from 9:00am until 11:00pm while The ‘Torre di Arnolfo’ will be open from 9:00am until 9:00pm.
Santa Maria Novella will be open from 12:00pm until 6:30pm
Museo Novecento will be open from 11:00am util 8:00pm.
Forte Belvedere which is currently showing the exhibition ‘Gong’ by Eliseo Mattiacci will be open from 10:00 – 20:00 but you must book prior to arrival.
The Bardini museum will be closed for the Ferragosto holiday.
There are also a number of musical events and concerts to be enjoyed in Florence. At the ‘Giardino dell’Orticultura there will be a concert by the Alyen Roy Band which is a mix of jazz, swing, bossa nova and fusion. The show starts at 7:00pm. San Salvi park will also be hosting a concert by quartet ‘Banditaliana’ founded in 1992 by organist Ricardo Tesi. Bookings are recommended. You can also enjoy a dj set and aperitivo at the ‘Spiaggia sull’Arno / River Urban Beach, on the banks of the river Arno in front of Piazza Poggi.