The Best Live Music Nightlife in Florence, Italy

Posted on August 31, 2011

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The club scene dominates Florence, Italy, but for students abroad who are seeking something different, you can also find great live music. Check out these recommendations for great local spots that offer a variety of music and great atmospheres. If you are a big music fan, we’ll also point out some larger venues in case you want to catch a concert while you’re in Europe.

By Kelly Bisbee

In a city where everything is in walking distance, you can pick out a café, club or venue playing the type of music you like and be there in no time. Florence has a little bit of everything to offer, here is a breakdown of some of the different places to check out organized by genre.

Jazz

Jazz music is particularly popular with Florentines, and there is a great jazz scene throughout the city. If you are looking for live improv and killer solos, try heading to:

  • The Jazz Club
    With live jazz every night of the week, The Jazz Club is one of the locals’ favorites. Most tourists know nothing about it, so it offers an authentic scene with different groups hitting the stage each night for the jam sessions. The musicians hit the stage around 22:30 nightly, and the  €8 membership fee for students will get you in the door for the entire year.
    Address: Via Nuova di Caccini 3 – Google Maps
    Website: www.jazzclubfirenze.comPhone: 055 2479700
  • Pinocchio Jazz Club
    An upscale joint located in Oltrarno (across the Arno), the Pinocchio Jazz Club is another local favorite.  Its owners are committed to showcasing Italian musicians and artists, but they feature musicians and genres from around the world. Tickets cost about €10, and call ahead on weekends to reserve a spot. However, be on the look out for deals, since The Club holds free or reduced cost nights for American students.
    Address: Viale le Giannotti 13 – Google Maps
    Website: www.pinocchiojazz.it
    Phone: 055 683388
  • Caffè la Torre
    Another favorite local joint for jazz music, but also has blues and latin nights! The great part about Caffe la Torre is that they are famous for their apertivo [link to article on aperitivos]! Located in Oltrarno, it is a good spot to enjoy the music and have some delicious snacks late into the night.
    Address: Lungarno Cellini 65/r – Google Maps
    Phone: 055-680-643

Café Music

Lots of cafés around the city feature live music at night. Even better, most of them have an aperitivo to enjoy while the house or feature band plays!

  • Libreria Café La Cité
    One of my personal favorites in Florence, La Cité provides a cool, relaxed atmosphere. During the day, the staff plays eclectic music, and the café is a popular place for students of all nationalities to study. At night, the café transforms into a lounge, offering an aperitivo on Tuesdays and Thursdays with different bands playing each night from the house jazz band, to folk, to swing, and  more.
    Address: Borgo San Frediano 20/r – Google Maps
    Website: www.lacitelibreria.info
    Phone: 055 210387
  • Il Chiodo Fisso Club
    A truly unique experience, Chiodo Fisso is the home of local singer and legend Andrea Ardia. The medieval vaults that were once a wine-cellar have been converted into the welcoming and intimate venue it is today. Visit to hear Andrea Ardia’s originals as well as classic Italian favorites. The hours are not completely stable, so make sure to call ahead of time.
    Address: Via Dante Alighieri, 16 – Google Maps
    Phone: 344 3646088
  • Café Delux
    Make a note to head to Café Deluxeé if you are a serious fan of live music. This spot is known for their eclectic line up of artists, from indie rock, to funk, experimental music, alternative rock, live DJs, and even orchestras! You will never know what kind of music to expect, but be ready to be impressed.
    Address: Piazza dell’Indipendenza – Google Maps
    Website: http://www.cafedeluxee.com/home.html
    Phone: 055 48 5749

Cover Bands

Florence has a pretty healthy cover band scene; from American hits to all-time classics, Florentine musicians will make you feel like it’s a party in the USA!

  • Be Bop Live Music
    While this underground music club holds different bands each night, the real hit of the club is The Beatles cover band that plays every Tuesday. Playing classics from the Fab Five, the band on Tuesdays night was a favorite of mine, but they are not a secret: a hoard of American students show up for each concert. Call ahead to reserve a table for Tuesday night, and be sure to check out the calendar of events for more bands.
    Address: Via dei Servi 76 – Google Maps
    Website: http://www.myspace.com/bebopflorence
    Phone: 055 295230
  • Dolce Zucchero
    Dolce Zucchero provides more covers of recent, popular American music. It is a nightclub more than anything else, but it is still a great place to hear live music earlier in night before being transformed into a discoteca.
    Address: Via dei Pandolfini 36-38/rGoogle Maps
    Phone: 055 2477894

Club Live Music

Some of the best music in town is found in popular clubs throughout the city. Most places feature at least one night of live music and here are some of the favorites among students and locals.

  • Loonies
    Known for its great live music scene, Loonies is quite popular among the locals and the students that can find this underground nightclub! The rock and roll music on weekend nights brings in quite a large crowd, so get there early.
    Address: Piazza Republica – Google Maps
  • Otel
    Otel is a club and restaurant and one of the most unique spots in Florence. Every night they offer a dinner show, starting around 22:00, featuring favorite artists and the club dance troupe. Truly a show not to be missed! On the weekends, stay after the show for live music and dancing in the Club that lasts until the early morning hours.
    Address: Via Generale Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa, 9 – Google Maps
    Website: www.otelvariete.com
    Phone: 055 650791
  • Astor Café & Club
    During the day, Astor is a popular cafe, and at night it becomes one of the liveliest clubs in the city. Not only is Astor one of the most popular student clubs in Florence, but it has a magnificent location, right next to the Duomo. Enjoy hits from the house DJ each night and special featured live artists each week.
    Address: Piazza Duomo, 20/r – Google Maps
    Website: www.astorcafe.com
    Phone: 055 2399318
  • Stazione Leopolda
    Once Florence’s train station before Santa Maria Novella, Stazione Leopolda is now home to one of the most famous music venues in the city. In September, it hosts Nextech, a festival of electronic music. Otherwise, it provides a great lineup of rock, pop, classical, and DJs, as well as the fashion shows and art exhibits throughout the year.
    Address:
    Vialle Fratelli Roselli 5 – Google Maps
    Website: www.stazione-leopolda.com
  • Universale Firenze
    A favorite spots of students, whether Italian or international, Universale Firenze features live music weekly. Their house, latin, and jazz live music happenings are famous around town; check out their schedule of events online.
    Address: Via Pisana 77/r – Google Maps
    Website: www.universalefirenze.it
  • Jaragua
    In the mood for Caribbean music and dancing? Jaragua is the best tropical dance club in Florence that even features dance lessons at the beginning of the night! Once you learn a few moves, spend the night dancing to the live band.
    Address:
    Via dell’Erta Canina 12 – Google Maps
    Website: www.jaragua.it
    Phone: 005 2343600

Concert Venues

Looking for larger concerts in Florence? There are several venues that you should check out the calendar of events:

  • Tenax Club
    A large venue outside of the center of Florence, Tenax Club hosts concerts for international stars. Their website, Facebook, and Twitter will advertise their live events. Typically, Tenax is the location where Italians go to escape the flood of American students, but that means it’s a short taxi ride away.
    Address: Via Pratese, 46 – Google Maps
    Website: www.tenax.org
    Phone: 055 308160
  • Auditorium Flog
    Another major venue for band concerts, Flog is also slightly outside of city center. Though not as big as Tenax, it still provides some great international and Italian bands and musicians. Check their event listings on their website, Facebook, or Twitter.
    Address: Volta dei Mercanti 24 – Google Maps
    Website: www.flog.it
    Phone: 055 490437

Others

  • Box Office
    The Box Office of Florence provides tickets to all of the classical and high-end cultural and musical events throughout the city, including the symphonies and special seasonal events. Heading to the theatre for a night of classical music could be the perfect setting for a romantic date night in Florence!
    Address: Via Luigi Alamanni 39Google Maps
    Website: www.boxol.it
    Phone: 055 210804
  • Amici della Musica
    As one of the sponsors of many venues and musical events throughout the city, it is definitely worth checking out Amici della Musica to find excellent “hidden” concerts!
    Address: Via Pier Capponi 4 – Google Maps
    Website: www.amicimusica.fi.it
    Phone: 055 607440
  • Local Street Musicians
    Great music can be found is right on the streets of Florence! Local musicians, as well as many students, serenade the piazzas. Head to Piazza Republica any night of the week to find someone jamming out. Piazza Michelangelo is another favorite, and between the music and the view, it is worth the hike. The Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Signoria, and Piazza Santa Croce are other favorites for musicians. Take a stroll through the streets and see what you find!

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