Piazza Santo Spirito

20s and up / All Ages / All Types / Artists / Bohemian / Cafés / Casual / Conversational / Diverse / Groups / Jazz / Laid back / Landmark / Live Band / Live Entertainment / Live Music / Locals / Musicians / Outdoor Activity / Park / People Watching / Performance / Pizza / Sandwiches / Sightseeing / Square / Street Performers / Students / Tourists
Piazza Santo Spirito A charming square with lots of personality – and refreshingly removed from the main tourist areas – Piazza Santo Spirito is a popular hangout for Italians of all ages. Florence Italy 43.766637 11.247388
4.03 12
Piazza Santo Spirito - Landmark | Outdoor Activity | Park | Square in Florence.
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Party Earth Review A charming square with lots of personality – and refreshingly removed from the main tourist areas – Piazza Santo Spirito is a popular hangout for Italians of all ages. What differentiates this square from others in the... ... read full review

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  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Piazza Santo Spirito Review

The Scene

A charming square with lots of personality – and refreshingly removed from the main tourist areas – Piazza Santo Spirito is a popular hangout for Italians of all ages.

A charming square with lots of personality – and refreshingly removed from the main tourist areas – Piazza Santo Spirito is a popular hangout for Italians of all ages.

What differentiates this square from others in the city is the more bohemian crowd it attracts and that generally gathers on the steps of the basilica to enjoy gelato, pizza, and some good conversation among friends.

Adding to the laid-back atmosphere are the wandering street musicians who entertain the passersby and get together for spontaneous jam sessions and performances.

Café culture is also alive and well in Santo Spirito, as evidenced by the numerous cozy cafés and bars that surround the square and offer a diverse selection of food and beverages.

And if visitors prefer strolling to lounging, Piazza Santo Spirito is also home to a lovely park full of towering old trees and featuring a marble stage and an octagonal fountain that gently flows throughout the evening.

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Tip from Jonah:

The Chinese market off the southwest corner of the square sells beer and wine at great prices! Pick up some refreshments there before finding the perfect lounging spot in the square.

  • Crowd

    Artistic and bohemian types and international students, early 20s+.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Live music most nights, tends to be light and jazzy.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Several nearby bars, cafés, and eateries serve sandwiches, pizza, and gelato.

  • Prices

    Varies depending on venue.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code


  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Any summer evening.

Piazza Santo Spirito User Reviews

Average rating:
Taste of Real Florence
MATTHEW C. Aug 22, 2013
Sure, the area around Piazza Santa Croce is a happening spot by night with its plethora of bars and high student population. Yes, the Duomo is a nice area due to its proximity to most of the major nightclubs in the city. Ok, Piazzale Michelangelo has breathtaking views of the city. But if you want to see what Florence is really like, away from the throngs of tour groups and money-belts, you must venture to the little square across the Arno river called Piazza Santo Spirito. Better at night when the scores of Italian and foreign students adorn the steps of the church, Piazza Santo Spirito captures the essence of Italian life. The Piazza has a life on to its own. Not to mention, the restaurants, cafes, and bars here are some of the best in the city. Want the best pizza in town? Go to Gusta Pizza. How about a fabulous aperitivo? Calibra or Pop Cafe are the places to go. Hip bar like you would find in NYC? Volume is calling your name. Delicious restaurant? Borgo Antico. However, one of the most fun things to do is just grab a few bottles of wine before and sit on the steps, drinking it with friends, chatting another beautiful day in Florence that has passed by, and watching calm, yet warm night scene of Piazza Santo Spirito, its charming character, seduce you like it has done to so many before. One night in Piazza Santo Spirito is required for all those who are visiting and/or living in Florence. The tourist menus at restaurants and hip hop playing nightclubs can wait.
Escape the Tourists and Spend the Day in Piazza Santo Spirito
Alexa D. Jun 27, 2013
Piazza Santo Spirito has it all. During the day go for a visit inside of the Chiesa di Santo Spirito, one of Florence’s best-kept secrets. The church is fairly plain on the outside but the beautiful frescoes inside are well worth the visit. After stopping to admire the church, grab a seat outside and have un café at one of the many cafés in the piazza; my favorite is Volume. At night the square comes alive with young locals who enjoy the many bars located in the area. See more at: http://www.studyabroadspotlight.com/blog/top-10-florence/#sthash.6Fgs3OQJ.dpuf
Hidden Gem
Cody P. May 18, 2013
I was fortunate enough to spend three months studying in Florence. Where were my classes held but in Piazza Santo Spirito. This little square on the far side of the Arno River from the city center and I became well acquainted, more so than many of my fellow students to be quite honest (my morning class hours were longer therefore I had less time to wander before afternoon sessions). It is unlike other squares I experienced in the city. Less touristy, yet many shop owners still speak moderate English. But beyond that fact, it makes one feel as if they are a part of Italian culture. Tiny coffee shops are spread throughout the square (yes, it is literally a square). In the center is a quaint little fountain with a few benches and trees that provide moderate shade from the hot sun. The Osteria and Trattoria that bear the squares name are also quite delicious, if a bit pricey (for dinner anyway). One can choose to eat outdoors or in depending on the weather but either choice welcomes a more "Italian" feel than other restaurants that reside towards the center, more touristy areas. The square is also in an ideal location if one wishes to wander. The surrounding maze of side streets leads to all sorts of interesting shops, bakeries, food stands, etc - including my favorite breakfast place right around the corner from the Osteria! Although the square may be difficult to find, I recommend walking through and enjoying a meal on a sunny day (or a rainy one, as I had many and they were just as fun!). The evenings, the coffee shops turn into aperitifs and a drink before wandering on the town is always welcome! Enjoy Firenze
Escape the Tourists
Danny d. Apr 4, 2013
Just on the other side of the Arno is the quiet Piazza Santo Spirito. If you are looking for a less touristic part of the city, look no further. Here in the Piazza you can get a small sense of true Florentine lifestyle as you listen to the locals jabber in Italian and watch their kids or dogs run around the square. Also in the evening, you may be lucky enough to find some live music in the center of the square.
Emilia G. Jan 13, 2013
I try and find places that aren't swarmed with American college students. I want to use my Italian, meet locals, and Piazza Santo Spirito is the place. It is a relaxed but fun vibe, a number of bars and restaurants. It's also not uncommon for people to be entertaining themselves on the steps of the church- a must do for an evening in Florence! Definitely check out Volume on a Friday or Saturday night.
nice square
Sam R. Dec 13, 2012
I always get this one mixed up with the Croce square across the river but this one’s the cooler one. The people here are more relaxed. Its a nice blend of tourists and young Italians, and the Italian men aren’t as creepy here, they’re more interested in having a good evening than trying to pull the foreign girls. There are some nice bars on this square and its nice as a place to pass the evening. Its also nice to sit on the church steps and watch the locals play music and chat. I don’t speak Italian but its easy to tell what they’re saying coz they use their hands a lot.
Awesome Piazza
Tara R. Dec 6, 2012
I sing the praises of this Piazza to anyone who will listen. There's a panini shop next to Santo Spirito that makes cheap, mouthwatering paninis, there’s a café/ bar that I spent almost every weekend when I was in Florence, there’s a selection of sketchy characters, study abroads, and local Italians at the university who give the Piazza an unpretentious, laid-back feel. There are almost always musicians playing on the steps in front of the church, and there are always people drinking wine out of bottled containers in the center of the piazza. I love this place.
Fun area with great restaurant options
Claire M. Dec 4, 2012
Some of my favorite restaurants are in the area, and it's a great nighttime environment especially on warm summer nights when a movie is playing outside. It's a better spot in the warmer months because of all the outdoor seating from restaurants and the church steps, but the piazza stays pretty lively even when the temperature starts to drop. The area is a great place to start your night by grabbing dinner, then hanging out on the church steps with a bottle of wine before heading down to Dolce Vita or across the river for a livelier bar and club scene.
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