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Labour day in Italy

I've just received this email:

Hi! We're two Belgians just about to visit Florence for the first time & very much looking forward to it!! For some reason I keep ending up on your blog pages :-) and I must say I find them very interesting! But there is a subject I am so anxious to hear about that I'll just write you to see if you will do a blog on it as well, and when it may appear: The first of May we have Labour day coinciding with Ascension day!! To believe all info I find on the internet, everything is closed and the city is as dead on this day. (?) I'm not buying this however :-) There must be some feasting and/or events and/or processions or something that must be well known to anyone within Florence except the silly tourists ;-) There must be something going on on a festive day like that? So I'm holding my breath for your blog on this :-) so we may perhaps join in the fun!! Greetz, Saskia & Peter

First of all, thanks for writing to me. Well.. I have to say that also in Italy we do have Labour day on the 1st of May and.. everthing is closed! As you say: the city is dead!
I'm sorry. In Florence even the public bus transportation (ATAF) doesn't work on the first of May.
I don't know if there are any events or celebrations on that day. Normally florentine go to the seaside during the spring break (we have a long holiday from 25th of April until the 4th of May). But you can enjoy the city, the exhibitions, (museums are often closed), the gardens.
You can visit:
- the China exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi.
ART the International Handicraft fair at Fortezza da Basso. A shop-window of innovating ideas and projects for professionals working in this field, and for consumers, whose tastes and needs are continuously changing. It's a trade show, with over 700 exhibitors. From April 25 till 4 May, 2008 at Fortezza da Basso. Access: open to public, tickets are sold at the entrance. Admission ticket € 5.00. Timing: 10.00 - 23.00 More info>>

- the Fattori exhibition

Not far from Fattori show (check if it's open) you can admire the beautiful panorama of Florence from Forte Belvedere.


Nelli said...

I' ve just discovered that on the 1st of May there will be a big flea market at Cascine Park. Prices are soft.

FF said...

OH DEAR. I am so disappointed, because I'll be going to Florence for 1 night on the 1st of May.

I just want to go to the outlet mall, do you think it'll be open on the next day?


Nelli said...

I've just called the Barberino Outlet: they told me they are open on the 25th of April and they are closed on the 1st of May.
on the other days normal opening hourse.

ciao :)

FF said...


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