Mid-August festivities in Florence

“Ferragosto” is the August 15th holiday for the Assumption of Mary. For Italians this day is the epitome of summer, when everything comes to a halt and everyone goes on vacation. In years gone by you couldn’t find anything open on Ferragosto. Italian cities seemed paralyzed. Happily, things have changed and now many places plan activities for August 15th, for tourists and those staying at home alike.

This goes for Florence too, which is putting on many events.

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Those vacationing in Florence will be happy to know that not only are Florence’s main museums open, but the Uffizi, the Accademia, the Bargello and the Medici chapels have special extended hours until 9:00 pm.

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One of the most charming events planned is a sandcastle building contest (now in its 4th year) at the beach on the Arno’s bank by the Easy Living summer venue. From 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

At the San Lorenzo market, a folk event called “Ferragusto” is planned with food specialties, music and Naples-themed exhibitions.

If you want a little fresh air and a bit of music, check out the Giardino dell’Orticoltura’s “Ferragosto Tuttaposto”, an evening of live music with a trio performing fusion, swing, bossanova and contemporary jazz. The park includes a kiosk serving happy hour food and drinks.

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In neighboring Prato, the Palazzo Pretorio will be open, offering two tickets for the price of one for entrance to this museum with major works by Donatello, Filippo and Filippino Lippi and other Italian masters. And after 9 pm, go to the watermelon festival for everyone in Piazza del Comune.

Last but not least… don’t miss the Watermelon Party at Forte Belvedere!

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English translation by Miriam Hurley

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