The best bar is in fact a bridge

written by Tiana Kai
Ponte Vecchio at night

Do you remember some crazy places where you’ve had a drink? When I was a student in Florence back in 2002 I had a few bridge drinking incidents. Let’s be clear, not binge drinking, but bridge drinking.

Meaning my boyfriend at the time, husband, ex and I would get a bottle of wine and head to a bridge on the Arno River, jump the 2-3 foot wall and sit over the triangular ledge. It was semi private, different and fun to do when a spot was available.

Now that I’m back living in Florence I need to remind myself of getting on that ledge more often instead of always drinking at a wine bar. It’s the perfect spot when the weather is amazing (day or night) and the view of Ponte Vecchio doesn’t suck.

Ponte Vecchio in Florence

With my girls Amber and Danni

I recently had friends in town and I really wanted to show them something a bit different and just chill. After dinner at Il Magazzino we ordered some drinks to-go across at Caffè degli Artigiani. Us ladies got a round of Spritz Aperols and the guys got god only knows what.

Side note: Il Magazzino and Caffè degli Artigiani are in Piazza della Passera—one of my favorite piazzas ever and the smallest in Florence. A must go!  The restaurant serves tripe, lampredotto and tongue. Florentine’s love to eat cow stomach and all that goodness. The bar is cute and perfect for an aperitivo!

Ponte Vecchio and a Spritz Aperol

So, now what to do at midnight with drinks in our hands?! Head to a bridge and hang out, of course. We took a really short walk and ended up on Ponte Santa Trinita, the closest bridge west of Ponte Vecchio… with that view! If you go to a restaurant over the Arno your Spritz will be more than 5€. 😉

This was the ultimate way to end a night. There was enough space on the ledge for all six of us to hang out without any chance of taking an accidental dive into the not-so-clean Arno.

Drinking by Ponte Vecchio in Florence

This is something that I have to remember to do more often. It’s great for a picnic or just as a place to drink cocktails and wine!

It’s a better view than any restaurant and no cover charge! Hm… maybe I should start managing these ledges and charge a euro a head, or more.

Where is the weirdest place you’ve had drinks?

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Kaley August 19, 2013 at 6:10 pm

That looks really fun!!

Tiana Kai August 19, 2013 at 6:21 pm

It was one of the best nights I’ve had in a while. Just hanging out with a priceless view, can’t beat that!

Whitney Richelle August 19, 2013 at 6:57 pm

My fav spot, too! But the more cautious are always grilling me about how it’s dangerous and there’s a fine. Babies! 😉

Tiana Kai August 19, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Babies! I’ll play dumb American tourist if anything. 🙂

Sasha November 5, 2013 at 4:23 am

Hi Tiana, how is life in Florence from a resident, who is originally from another country? Do you find it is hard to live there without speaking Italian? 🙂

Tiana Kai November 5, 2013 at 11:53 am

Hi Sasha, some people speak English, but you should definitely learn Italian as it will make moving here, living here and getting paperwork done a lot easier.

The girls at my gym don’t speak any English, most bars don’t unless you are downtown and limited language gives your a limited amount of people you can be real friends with. Plus learning Italian is what moving here is all about. 😉

Do you live in Florence now?

Sasha November 7, 2013 at 8:56 am

Hi Tiana, I am living in Hong Kong currently. But one day I may move to Florence. Did you learn your Italian after moving there? It should be easier learning Italian when you are in Italy, right? As you have the environment. I tried to learn in HK, but not really working. =]

Tiana Kai November 8, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I am sure Italian is a lot easier than learning any version of Chinese, so you should be ok! Yes, it always helps to get some foundation before you move to any country with a different language. Maybe you can take a little language course when you get here and try to speak it often to get good habit of it. Keep in touch with the move and good luck!!

Forza Viola! November 8, 2013 at 11:18 pm

I went google-looking for an image of the triangle abutments of Ponte Santa Trinita to explain the idea to a colleague from Morocco who is going to visit next week. I was overjoyed with finding your post entitled, “The best bar is in fact a bridge”. I studied in Florence in 1994 (Gonzaga) and carry all of it with me to this day. It’s the lightest luggage I have.

Tiana Kai November 10, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Wonderful to hear! Thank you for googling and stumbling upon this post and my blog! Send this link to your friend, I am sure they can recreate this night too. The views from any bridge in Florence is always so magical, and well appreciated with a Spritz! 😉

Best Florence Restaurants, Eat like a Tuscan! May 7, 2014 at 11:00 pm

[…] literally, then grab a to-go drink or bottle and sit along the river…and maybe hop over the Santa Trinita bridge. Don’t get fined though, look natural and […]

Sarah Ng June 30, 2014 at 5:10 am

Hi, I am headed to Florence for studies in about a month and I was looking it up when I came across your blog. Could you by any chance give a detailed description on how to “jump a bridge”? I know it might sound sort of a silly question but my country doesn’t have these sorts of structures so the process isn’t something familiar to me.
I’d like to visit the spot you mention in this post you see 🙂

Tiana Kai June 30, 2014 at 11:09 am

You sit on the wall (it’s not that high from the sidewalk) and turn your body and leap onto the below structure (this is a larger drop). I recommend passing by the bridge and seeing if it’s something you first feel comfortable doing. Have a great study abroad! Keep in mind you may get fined, although I don’t know the fine and if they really care as there seems to always be someone on the bridge.

Top Spots To Kiss in Florence December 30, 2014 at 10:45 am

[…] This bridge has a direct view of Ponte Vecchio and is a killer bridge where you and your crush can make out to the fluorescent sunset hues. If you feel even more adventurous then pop over onto the triangular ledge, just don’t get caught! […]


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