Big Night Out: Florence
Want to cut it on the dance floor? Then you'd better dress to impress
Sunday 03 August 2003
Florence's nightlife fizzes into action around 10pm. Expect everything from Seventies and Eighties revival to house and trance. If clubbing is not your scene, there are plenty of stylish restaurants and gentle disco bars. Most venues are within walking distance and the busiest area is south of the river in Oltrano. For listings, see Firenze Spettacolo.
Sample top Tuscan wines at Le Volpi e L'Uva, Piazza dei Rossi 1r. Astor Caffe, Piazza Duomo, is a contemporary chrome-and-glass affair. Latino music and cocktails are on the menu at Caracao, Via de'Ginori 10r. The cool crowd drops into Dolce Vita, Piazza del Carmine. Don't forget, dress to impress.
Foodies have fun in Florence devouring traditional and creative Tuscan treats. Osteria dei Benci, Via de'Benci 13r (00 39 055 235 4923), in a brick-vaulted space, serves delicious buffalo mozzarella, basil and beef tomatoes, and tagliolini with pesto. Around £15. Florentines flock to Cibreo, Via de'Macci 118r (00 39 055 234 1100), which has a non-bookable trattoria and a much more expensive panelled restaurant. About £35. For a blow-out meal book at Enoteca Pinchiorri, Via Ghibellina 87 (00 39 055 242 777), which boasts two Michelin stars. In a Renaissance palace near Santa Croce, this is jacket-and-tie territory. Dishes such as monkfish risotto, sautéed rabbit, and dark chocolate and banana tart are to die for. About £90.
Take in a classical concert at Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino at Teatro Comunale, Corso Italia 16. For programme details and ticket booking before you leave home, contact Liaisons Abroad (020-7376 4020; www.liaisonsabroad.com).
One of the coolest clubs is Maramao, Via dei Macci 79r. Go armed with bags of attitude to get past the snooty bouncers. For a tropical theme head for Central Park, Via Fosso Macinante 2. Meccano, Viale degli Olmi 1, is one big house party on several dancefloors Everyone looks perfect at Nobody's Perfect, the Saturday night club at Tenax, Via Parese 46.
Stave off early morning hunger pangs at Porto di Mare, off Piazza Santa Croce, an all-night pasta and pizza joint. For a sugar rush, just follow your nose to the Laboratorio di Pasticceria, Via dei Neri, a bakery.
Amble along the banks of the Arno, bum about in the Boboli Gardens or admire the view from Piazzale Michelangiolo.
Italian Journeys (020-7370 6002; www.italianjourneys.com) offers three nights' b&b at Hotel Villa La Massa from £612 per person, based on two sharing, including flights and car hire.
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