This past Wednesday was the Notte Bianca in Florence, named the white night in Italian, an annual event. Starting in the evening, it is marked with late museum openings, free admission at some museums and outdoor exhibitions and performing arts. A few friends and I made dinner reservations and headed out to check out the festivities afterwards. We ate in the Santo Spirito neighborhood, and ended up at a small gallery nearby to check out an opening first up… a giant skull composed of hoses.
Just goes to show that modern art does exist in Florence! From there we walked towards the Ponte Vecchio, catching an outdoor video display as well as contemplating indulging in cotton candy… though eventually we opted for gelato.
There were tons of people out on the streets and we stopped by Palazzo Vecchio before heading towards Santa Croce. The square was packed out, even though not much was going on in the actual piazza.
We ended up in Santa Croce where we did a (albeit very small and short) hay bale maze and then split up for the night shortly thereafter. Overall it was a good night, though I have to say we didn’t actually end up doing that much associated with Notte Bianca– it was more of a good excuse to get together. If I had to do it over again, I’d do dinner a different night and explore earlier, thus giving us time to hit a concert or something. But it was fun– if you are in Florence it’s definitely worth checking it out because you can get into places for free! This year it was held on April 30, but that could potentially change, so just keep an eye out late April.
So with that I will leave you with…
Recommendations for Notte Bianca in Florence
-Have a late lunch or just grab a panino while you are out; don’t spend the time on dinner.
-Schedules only appeared day-of, but they had a map attached and were really helpful once we got them… late. So go seek one out early!
-Start out around 7-8 PM and have a look at the schedule online in advance. A lot of events run concurrently; there is a good chunk of performances that start between 9 and 10 PM and you can’t be in two places at once! It helps to look at the schedule in advance so you know when things close. For example, many museums close around midnight, but Palazzo Vecchio was open until 6 AM the next day– go there last.