So you’re a yogi in Florence. Your days are spent admiring masterpieces of the Renaissance, roaming the character-filled streets, lounging in charming piazzas, and, of course, getting your fill of gelato. Your trip is perfect with the exception of one not-so-minor detail. With everything else covered you’re left with one big question — where to do yoga in Florence?
If only you could practice in a place that had as much character as the rest of the city. If only you could practice in a place that made you feel even more connected to the history and culture that you’re immersed in. If only you could practice in a place that was as peaceful as it was welcoming. Guess what? You can.
A place that meets all of these criteria in fact exists — you will find your yoga haven at It’s Yoga Firenze.
Located in a 600-year-old palazzo, boasting beautiful hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, enormous arched windows, and a kind staff, It’s Yoga Firenze provides an atmosphere perfectly fitting of its location. You’ll find it in the Oltrarno quarter of Florence, between Ponte Vecchio and Ponte alle Grazie on Via dei Bardi (see just below for a map and instructions showing you just how to get there).
This was our studio of choice during our 5 week stay in Florence spring 2015, and we’re happy to share a little information about our experience with you.
About the Classes
The yoga practiced at It’s Yoga Firenze is a variation of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga called Rocket, and with a name like that you can probably surmise that the flow of these classes is quick (but not too quick). Some classes are taught in English, and most are taught in Italian.
Helpful Italian Yoga Vocabulary
If you find yourself in one of the classes mainly taught in Italian, or if you’d like to learn a couple new words, these Italian yoga vocabulary words may be useful:
|avanti – forward||giu – down|
|sinistra – left||destra – right|
|espira – exhale||respira – breathe|
|guarda – look||insieme – together|
|la testa – head||gli occhi – eyes|
|le gambe – legs||i bracci – arms|
|i piedi – feet||il cuore – the heart|
|la palma – palm||le dita – fingers|
I know it may seem daunting to go to a class where the pace may be faster than what you’re used to, and more so if the class may be taught in a foreign language, but just hang with me for a minute.
Don’t speak Italian? That’s okay. The instructors speak English, and will give directions in English if they sense you need a little help. It’s also fairly easy to gauge what’s going on if you’ve had any previous experience with Ashtanga yoga.
Beyond that, I found it fun to learn some new yoga-related Italian vocabulary words while practicing. 🙂
Afraid of the pace? Don’t be. For me, it takes a class or two in a new studio to find my rhythm and it was no different here.
We attended the Modified Primary Series, and after going through the sequence the first class I felt completely good to go the next time round. And the pace was fun!
The studio can accommodate up to 30 people per class, although we never had more than about 20 people in any of the classes we participated in.
|Changing rooms||Yes||Ladies, you have a changing room to yourselves. For gentlemen, your changing room is more of a hallway behind a curtain. A little funny, but it works and Kevin didn’t mind.|
|Shower||Not Really||One of the two bathrooms has a shower, however it does not appear to be readily useable.|
|Mats||Yes||Couldn’t fit your mat in your suitcase? No problem. There are mats available to borrow, at no extra cost, for every class. You just have to wipe your mat down with the provided lavender cleanser after class. Alternatively, mats are sold here for $25.|
|Blocks, Straps, and Blankets||Yes||Yup, all are available for use during class.|
If you’re only in Florence for a short period of time, you can go for one class at a time for 15 Euro each.
On the other hand, if your trip is extended, you can sign up for an unlimited month. The normal price for one month of unlimited yoga is 90 Euro; however, if you’re a student you can receive a discount that brings the cost down to 80 Euro.
For the monthly cost, 20 Euro goes towards a required membership card. With the membership card you will also receive a keyring tag with a barcode. You’ll need to scan your tag at the front desk before each class.
A Few Tips for Your First Class
By nature of being in a 600-year-old palazzo, a few things are different with this studio compared to those I’ve frequented in the United States. With my experience in mind, here are a few tips for your first day:
1. Getting into the studio
The studio is located at 21 Via dei Bardi. If you’re staying in the main city, I think the easiest way to get to the studio is to make your way to Ponte alle Grazie to cross the Arno. If you take this route you miss all of the foot traffic from Ponte Vecchio and will generally arrive faster.
From Ponte alle Grazie you just walk straight for a couple hundred yards, turn right on Via dei Bardi, and walk another couple hundred yards. The studio will be on your left.
2. Upon Arrival
When you arrive at the building you will see it is guarded by a fabulous, giant wooden door, and you have to ring up to the studio to be let in. Just press the button next to the “It’s Yoga” tag and wait until you hear the door unlock.
Prepare to be floored when you enter and view a large open courtyard within the airy edifice. Proceed up the stairs to the right. The studio is on the first landing, and the door will be on your right.
3. Getting Your Membership Card
Plan on arriving around 20 minutes early if you need to get your membership card. You’ll need to fill out a few pieces of paperwork and pay to complete the process.
4. Getting settled
Don’t forget to scan your membership tag on the way in!
Plan on arriving around 10-15 minutes early so you can get a mat and have your choice of your space for the day. My favorite spot to post up is on the wall opposite the windows, which has the two main benefits of getting a view of outside plus an accessible wall for support if I feel like practicing headstands.
If you’re coming out of the changing room, mats are located in the far right corner of the studio. Grab one, grab a place, and relax!
5. After Class
Now that you’re in your peaceful post-yoga state, the only thing left to do is to spritz a sponge with the lavender cleaning solution (located just above the mats on a shelf), wipe down your mat, return it to the stack, and be on your way to a great day around Florence.
Final Recommendation: Go here. If your stay is short, just drop in and pay per class. If you’re staying for a month or more, go for the unlimited membership.
I hope you’ve found some useful information in this article. Please feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions, or if you discover any other places to do yoga in Florence. Namaste!