Road Visions: Late Nights in Florence – Hanging Out Backstage

Backstage - Florence, Italy

The crowd at Backstage in Florence, Italy was electric. (.GIF – D.Hixon)

Hot Spot
Backstage, Florence Italy, 05/18/13

My wife and I were stumbling back to our rented loft after a too good meal in Florence. It was maybe midnight, and as we walked in the shadows of the Duomo a second wind stirred within us. The night prior I spotted what looked to be an interesting little club on Via Fiesolana, just around the corner from where we were staying at the J & J Hotel. So in the interest of obtaining a nightcap and some adventure we dove head first into the Firenze nightlife.

Hot Spot's Setlist.

Hot Spot’s Setlist for the night.

The club, Backstage, was very small – maybe half as large as the Lizard Lounge, and it was loud, sweaty, and packed with beautiful Tuscan 20 and 30 somethings. I felt like Hemingway’s Jack Barnes in The Sun Also Rises, living the expatriate life far away from home, getting lost in an exotic night.

Hot Spot was the band on “stage” – and I say “stage” because there was no stage. The band was on the level with the crowd that was dancing emphatically around them, spilling just a little on their amps, as a large overflow drank and partied outside on the street of Via Fiesolana. The revelers were smoking too many cigarettes, speaking loud and passionate Italian – the most gorgeous and trilly of languages – while the house band, Hot Spot, urged them to continue, playing a mix of English and Italian Jazz Standards. The night was sweaty, neon hazed, and fun as all hell. Hot Spot’s guitarist was particularity adept, sitting as he played, seemingly oblivious to the madness he controlled. I thanked him multiple times in the worst Italian he’s probably ever heard, but he smiled back and shook my hand.

We got back to our loft sometime between 3:30-4:00am with a noticeable lean, and slept in maybe a little too late – but it was worth it, and I’m glad we dove in for a quick Firenze dip.

Un milione di grazie.

D. Hixon

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