Just over the Arno river is a little-known treasure for the international crowd that I bet isn’t in your Florence tour book. It’s a little place to sustain your vacation’s quest for culture while adding a contemporary twist to your day. I speak of the Florence International Theatre Company (FITC).
International theater in Florence
The FITC, founded in 2005 by actress Bari Hochwald, is where the local art universe celebrates international theater. The company offers a full range of world-class shows ranging from adaptations of the classics to poetry productions to one-man puppetry.
Most performances take place at the Teatro di Cestello—a quaint theater located in Piazza Cestello in Florence’s Oltrarno neighborhood—where a friendly English-speaking staff will welcome you to the evening’s performance. There is also a bar for those wishing to loosen up before or (and) after the show.
This year the theater also launched its own contribution to the Florence nightlife scene with “Late Night with FITC: Teatro Per Nottambuli.” These one-hour theater pieces start around 11:30 PM, following the evening’s main production and offer the spectator a unique experience in late night entertainment. It’s a perfect event for after dinner. Ticket prices are €12 (€10 for students).
Where to Go After the Show
Regardless of which performance you attend, you will be in need of liquid materials afterward to kick back and discuss. Not to worry, there is no need to go far, as super-cool La Libreria Café La Cité is located just a few streets away.
This bookshop café by day/bistro bar by night is set in a two-story loft held up by book stacks and scattered with wooden tables, retro chairs and couches. You’ll find a mixed crowd of students, artists, and locals overflowing onto the street outside to catch a cigarette (all bars in Italy are now non-smoking). Live music ranging from folk to tango can be heard almost any night, so be sure to check the website to see what’s on. Drinks are affordable, starting at €4, and the bar is open until early morning.