Aperitivo on the lungarni

Where to sip riverside at sunset.

After winter skies clear and warm weather finally starts to rear its head in the Renaissance city, but also with the wonderful bright days of late summer and early autumn, the preferred unwinding activity city-wide is aperitivo all’aperto, or outdoor happy hours. 

Rooftops and terraces reign supreme, of course, but as any beach bum knows, there’s something particularly special about sipping a drink by a body of water… it just tastes better.

In Florence, there’s no sea to speak of, but the stunning views and colorful cityscape along the Arno River are just as bold and inspiring as the blue Mediterranean itself. (Pro tip: the streets running parallel to the river are known as lungarni, literally “along the Arno”).
Make like a local and get thee to the lungarno when happy hour rolls around: what better way to relax than with a Spritz, a sunset and some socializing?

In the shadow of Palazzo Spini Feroni, home to the flagship Salvatore Ferragamo boutique and its museum, the Foody Farm Firenze (on Lungarno Corsini) is a very popular spot serving delicious gourmet tapas, made up with traditional local ingredients and prepared with original recipes. It’s the place you are looking for if you want to spent some happy moments with your friends, having a hamburger from Chianti, special chicken stripes or a tartare. Sit on the terrace and people-watch as late-afternoon amblers cross over the Ponte Santa Trinita.

Harry’s Bar (lungarno Amerigo Vespucci) kicks the elegance factor up several notches - gents will want to wear a suit and tie here, where aperitivo is a decidedly refined affair.
Around the corner from some of Florence’s glitziest hotels, the world-famous Harry’s was founded in Venice but its Florentine sibling is just as fancy and cocktail list as curated.

For something more laid-back and casual, take a stroll down to the Lungarno del Tempio and just choose the one you prefer! Habana 500 and Il Chiosco il Tempio, very popular among the young people of Florence, La Toraia, for those who want to eat a real Chianina burger, and the Molo: another special place that promotes the same concept of food: choose what you want to eat and sit where you want!

Technically not on the lungarno, but right on the edge of the river itself, you’ll find Signorvino’s terrace (via de’ bardi), which has a better view than any of Lucy Honeychurch’s rooms ever did: you’ll be seated with the Ponte Vecchio in plain view and can marvel at the Uffizi’s architecture - something that tends to go unnoticed when you’re busy moving through the museum - just across the way. 
Signorvino has an extensive wine list and all are for sale; once you’ve emptied your glass(es), soaked in the views and noshed to your heart’s content, pick up a bottle of your favorite poison inside.

Seated at Signorvino, you also may notice a peculiar green patch down on the river: this is the dock of Florence’s Societa’ Canottieri, or rowing club, and you may see members heading out on boats.
Although the Canottieri club is a private organization, you can experience something similar post-aperitivo by partaking in a boat tour on the Arno to close out the day on a calm noteOr, if you really want to pull out all the stops, why not indulge in an aperitivo directly on the boat with a VIP version of the Arno boating experience?

Photo Credits: Alberto Sarrantonio