Entertaiment in Florence







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Entertaiment in Florence                      (Back to Florence main information page )                       

Although Florence is quite a small city, it is inundated with visitors, ex-pats and students; this is great news if want to have an evening of raucous fun, or if you prefer to follow more cultural pursuits. Visitors and Florentines alike are impressed by the wealth of entertainment that they find on offer here.

Going to the cinema or the movies has become an increasingly popular pastime since the mid-nineties, and the number of cinemas has increased to meet the needs of the people in Florence, many of the city's multiplexes have been renovated and reopened. This change in the amount of cinemas that exist has created a climate of non-stop cinematography, and fewer cinemas close down during the obligatory Ferie (the Italian summer holidays), which generally last from July until early September. Florentine cinemas are very varied; there are modern one-screen halls, massive multiplexes and small independent cinemas. The Cecchi Gori Group owns the most cinemas in the city and the majority show general releases and (dubbed) American blockbusters, although the Atelier group makes sure that Art house theatre is kept alive. Atelier have 6 cinemas that show good quality independent films and directors and actors will often attend previews' and answer audience' questions. On Wednesdays, prices are reduced to L.8000 and many Florentines will take a trip to the pictures then, and also in December. However, one of the best times to go to the cinema is during the summer; between the months of June and September, you can watch a new release or one of the previous winter's "smashes" in the open air, as you sit beneath the stars. Some of the normal theatres will remain open; many of these have air-conditioning, which is a great way to avoid the humidity of a Florentine summer and above all the mosquitoes! Some of the cinemas in the centro storico e.g. Goldoni and Odeon cinehall, show original language films weekly.

Although there are many more cinemas, compared with the amount of theatres, it is unfair to say that Florence favours the "Big Screen" to the stage. The Florentine theatrical tradition has always been noteworthy, for example, the famous Maggio Musicale Fiorentino attracts many well-known people. The range of productions is very varied too, there are upbeat comedies by Neil Simon at Teatro della Pergola, or more provocative, thought provoking dramas such as A streetcar named desire at Teatro Manzoni. If Shakespeare is more your thing, then the Metastasio Theatre will meet your highbrow needs!

In Florence (and everywhere else) most people want to go out and stay out until late at the weekend; this city has a large number of bars and discos, which people can enjoy any day of the week. For a quiet evening, drinking and chatting late into the night, why not try Il Caff?in Piazza Pitti, or Hemingway close to Chiesa del Carmine. At il Genius you can relax with friends and play board/card games. Zoe, Dolce Vita and Porfirio Rubirosa are a little more crowded and lively, while Caff?Caracol has a Latina vibe. If you are more of a wine lover, then try Pitti Gola or Cantina. Maybe you fancy a pint? Both the William Pub and the Chequers Pub are British in style, (perhaps to meet the needs of the many ex-pats who make their home here!) They sell an infinite number of beers, and snacks accompanied by good music and are populated by Florentine beer lovers and foreigners alike.

Lots of tourists like to check out the clubs and discos when they are on holiday. Florence offers a great variety of nightspots, it is possible to choose from mainstream discos such as Meccan? (where you might meet a V.I.P or two), and the fabulous Andromeda, or more specialist rock bars such as Tenax (popular with many young Italians) and Flog. There are many nightclubs (especially during the summer) with theme nights, where people can dance, listen to music and chat. These include Pongo, which is close to Teatro Verdi and il Lid?on the banks of the Arno, which attracts at least half of the city. Le Vie di Fuga is housed in the ex prisons of Murate, and il Sottosopra disco is between Santo Spirito and il Carmine. The H202 is a very forward thinking club, music here includes rare funk, Afro beat and Brazilian; they even have an Art Space' where the latest exhibitions can be seen. Finally, there is Soul Cities near to the fortress.


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