Four Good Reasons to Try Oltrarno
Artisan: Handmade items are a specialty of Florence and many artisan workshops can be found in the Oltrarno. From leather goods, to mosaics, not only are there great buying opportunities in the Oltrarno, sometimes you can see the work in the process of being made. Seeing the attention and detail that goes into the work is not only interesting, but shows how much time and effort goes into each piece. Buying products from the people who physically made them is a unique experience that fosters a deeper connection with the products of the city as well as the people. It’s a great way to learn about the work that goes into these items as well as meet Italian artisan’s and learn about the traditions and history associated with their craftsmanship. Even with a language barrier the passion of these artists comes through, so strike up a conversation!
Food/Apertivo: Apertivo is typical in Florence and usually occurs between 7-9p.m. It consists of small appetizers and drinks before dinner and is a fun social gathering. The Oltrarno has many bars that serve apertivo in a setting perfect to meet with friends after a day exploring the neighborhood. Apertivo is a relaxing and enjoyable way to immerse yourself into Italian culture and meet new people!
Coffee: With all the small streets and interesting shops, its inevitable your day in the Oltrarno we’ll require a coffee break. Step in for a café to re-energize in one of the many inviting bars. If you want to truly be Italian, try not to order a cappuccino after the morning and stick to an espresso.
Museums: One of the most notable and extensive museums in the Oltrarno is Palazzo Pitti. Open to the public, it houses various artworks and furniture pieces as well as the Boboli Gardens. Spending a day inside the Palace shows how luxurious life was like for the Medici’s and the importance of their commissioned artwork. The quarters in the Oltrarno are home to many churches that are rich in history and artistic qualities. If art, architecture, and history is what you want to admire there are plenty of options in the Oltrarno. Whether you’d rather stumble upon a church in Santo Spirito or take a guided tour through the Bardini, you’re sure to have a captivating experience.