May 1: What to Do in Florence and Surroundings?

Wednesday is May 1 and International Labor Day so most everything is closed as everyone takes a well deserved rest off… but if you’re visiting Florence and Tuscany, you’re likely wondering what you can do. The Uffizi and Accademia galleries will be closed but don’t despair, there is still plenty of other places you can visit.

Actually, this is the perfect occasion to visit some of those spots that are less well known even if not less fascinating, such as the Medici villas just outside of Florence (such as the one in the photo above, the Villa La Petraia).

Those that prefer to remain within the city’s boundaries can head to Piazza della Signoria around 3.30pm to watch the Trofeo Marzocco, where groups of flag-throwers from all over Italy will be competing against each other for the Marzocco trophy. The fascinating competition should end around 5.30pm with the declaration of the winning team.

Last day of the traditional Flower Exhibition in the Giardino dell’Orticoltura, here you can also visit the ancient Tepidarium just restored.

If you wish to visit a museum, these are the ones that are open on May 1*:

  • Last Supper of S. Salvi (8.15-13.50)
  • Archeological Museum (8.30-19)
  • Palazzo Davanzati Museum(8.15-13.50)
  • Bargello Museum – (8.15-16.50, reservations required)
  • Boboli Gardens (8.15-18.30)
  • Opificio delle Pietre Dure (8.15-19.30)
  • S. Maria Novella Museum (9-17.30)
  • Palazzo Vecchio (9-24) and the Arnolfo tower (9-21)
  • Museo dei Ragazzi of Palazzo Vecchio (9-17)
  • Casa Buonarroti (10-17)
  • Casa di Dante (10-18)
  • Opera del Duomo Museum (9-19.30)
  • Palazzo Strozzi, with its exhibition “The Spring of the Renaissance” (9-20)
  • Galileo Museum (9.30-18)

The Galileo Museum offers also guided visits (in italian) to the collections at 10, 12pm and 330pm. Reservation needed by calling the number 055 265311.
The Medici villas near Florence which are open (we highly suggest visiting them!)*:

  • Medici Villa of Castello (only the garden can be visited, between 8.15-18.30) – you can read what to see in questo articolo dedicato
  • Medici Villa of Poggio a Caiano (8.15-18.30)
  • Medici Villa La Petraia (8.15-18.30) – learn more about the villa in this article
  • Medici Villa at Cerreto Guidi (8.15-19)

Another idea…

On Wednesday May 1 from 10 to 6pm the splendid Medicean Park of Pratolino in Vaglia will also be open (read about the park here).
The Medici villa within is not open to the public but the lark park that surrounds it is and so a walk around the estate is beautiful and relaxing. The large open meadows are ideal for letting children run around and play as well as for a picnic surrounded by the green and flowers of spring. Entrance is free. At 4pm there will be a puppet show of the tale “Little Red Riding Hood” for all kids.

* list has been published by the Florence APT office

About Cristina Romeo

Born in Florence at the end of the fabulous '70s, Cristina has always lived in the famous "cradle of the Renaissance". She's in love with her homeland, but also enjoys traveling and discovering new places. Cristina is mum to a lovely little girl, to whom she hopes to pass on all the passion and love of our precious, wonderful Tuscany.