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Mayday Club

the bar

The history of Mayday Club

The beginning ...

It’s the summer of 2001. Florence is sweltering in the grip of a stifling heatwave, but in Fiesole, above the sultry plain, a cool breeze swirls gently around the Roman amphitheatre, unknowingly carrying with it the seeds of a new idea…two guys have a dream…There they are, in a garage on the hillside, surrounded by relics from another era: the era of the telegraph, of radio waves, of receivers & transmitters…We’ll hear more about those later. With a craftsman’s touch they are busy planing, cutting, polishing, lovingly following the grain of the wood…Unbeknown to you, dear reader, it was in that workshop that Mayday began to germinate & thrive, as hopes were nurtured…And thus, ten years ago, Mayday came to be.

Mayday, or MaydayMayday, as many passing underneath its sign say, or mmday to the loyalest of the regulars.


After the dots, its essence as in three swift dashes ---

Florence, jewel of the Renaissance.  Some say that the Florentines have been resting on their laurels since those times, but try talking to the characters in this story. Florence is a small city, full of concealed  treasures. Delve into it, and its riches will be unfurled before you, delights to be savoured, allowed to linger on the palate.

At Mayday you’ll find the distilled essence of  the alchemist’s magic, musical and liquid. It’s not so much a club, more a sanctum of skills, where everything, even the beer, bears the consummate touch of the artist. Choice natural delicacies are served; nothing for the mass market here.  Selected organic products are teased apart and merged anew, in expertly calibrated combinations that strike the right note just for you. With the hands of a demigod our barman transmutes blueberries into a Sweet Dream,  beneficial Japanese green tea into a Martini...

Connoisseurs of hops and malt will find unfiltered, unpasteurised beers brewed from local barley and wheat, following age-old English techniques. Quench your thirst with deep draughts flecked with creamy foam, like stars against the velvet night...

Our knowledgeable staff will guide you on a journey of discovery to new horizons of taste. Ordering a drink at Mayday is a geographical as well as an Epicurean experience, a voyage around the world, albeit a stationary one.

You cast off from the purest of springs, tasting exclusive French vodka, ply to cold Scottish waters to sip the smoothest of whiskys, then drop anchor in tropical seas to quaff  the best Bay Rums. When he chooses, the Captain opens the galley and offers you gargantuan sandwiches bursting with traditional Tuscan flavours.


Now the form ...

A radio beacon at 16r Via Dante beams out steadily and constantly, inviting wayfarers from far and near. Its light attracts the curious, and guides all homewards after a memorable visit.
It is this radio beacon which shines forth on our story. It is our point of departure and of arrival. Here the wheel comes full circle.

The history of radio is our theme, from the first broadcasts to high design cathode ray tubes. In Mayday you find radios from past times, times which are very much alive for us. Radios from the thirties as well as black and white photographs whose subjects could have inspired the Brothers Alinari, bear witness to bygone days.

The interior of Mayday is thick with vintage memorabilia. When you think you have seen it all and your earliest childhood  recollections have been evoked, don’t forget one more thing: cast your gaze up to the ceiling. You’ll be amazed at how many radios are hanging there, illuminated by a soft light that makes Mayday seem like a theatre where every member of the audience can take the stage and be tempted to play the lead. Everyone can make a contribution. Attention to detail is the hallmark of Mayday: indeed, there is a multitude of details everywhere. Nothing is left to chance. How could Marco, our alchemist, fail to be captivated by the thousands of flasks and valves suggesting ever-new permutations and combinations, notes inspiring wonderous inventions...

The music every evening is unique. Remixed sound tracks provide an accompaniment that ripples into every corner and cocoons you; it’s  for you to follow the melodies into the farthest nooks and crannies. The atmosphere is friendly and convivial, fostering new ideas and enthusiasms. It’s a crucible of talent where people spend time together, make plans, or just have fun.

Mayday hosts artists’ installations and exhibitions, some permanent. Every artist who has come here has left a trace of his passage, for this is a place of cultural interaction. The premises are also a venue for personal showings and collections from emerging artists. Deep in the innermost recesses of the club designs for living and wearing take shape, seeds that will grow and express the spirit of Mayday.

Mayday is an open laboratory in continuous evolution, inviting new projects, throbbing with inspiration and creativity.
And here, dear reader, our story begins...

our roots

The history and traditions of Florence are where we find our inspiration...

The Apothecary

They were, and are, the true alchemists with extraordinary wisdom in an industry so fascinating, special, and mysterious. In the apothecary's shop you can find spices, herbs, extracts, essential oils, essences, food, chemicals, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, dyes and more. The apothecary lies somewhere between a pharmacist, a grocer, a distiller, a perfumer and a winemaker, all-in-one. Wonderfully, this tradition still continues in Florence today.


Arts and Crafts Guilds

In medieval cities craftsmen created the guild system by forming associations organized by trade. Textile workers, masons, carpenters, carvers, glass workers and dyers united in the pursuit and defense of common goals. Each guild controlled secrets of traditionally imparted knowledge and technology, the "arts" or "mysteries" of their crafts. Independent studios were run by master craftsmen who took on apprentices to learn and work a specific trade. The guild system is given much credit for the extraordinary economic growth that allowed Florence to become one of the richest and most powerful city in medieval Europe.

cocktail school

Are you looking to add an exciting twist to your Florence vacation? Try one of our many cocktail classes for a super Tuscan experience! Spend an afternoon learning to mix like a Italian master in a beautiful cocktail lounge in the heart of Florence's historic center. Our fun, hands-on courses are great for anyone looking to expand their cocktail mixing repertoire, from the amateur enthusiast to professional bartenders. No matter your level, your experience with master mixologist Marco Arduino will be rich in cocktail history, technique and the science of balancing flavor combinations. During the class you will use premium quality liqueurs, Tuscan grown juices, fresh fruit, herbs and spices. Classes are two hours long for groups of 1 to 4 people. The perfect gift for a cocktail lover or anyone looking for a unique experience in Florence.


Courses

Masterclass in mixology

Step behind the bar to learn cocktail crafting basics, tools of the trade and how to select the best liquors and ingredients. Then move on to mastering 4 cocktails of your choice, from the Italian classics to Prohibition favorites and all the legend and lore that accompany them!

  • Aromatizing
  • How to flavor liqueurs with anything from flowers to bacon!
  • Essential Oils and Tinctures
  • Explanations for the extraction of essential food oils. Production and explanation of how to use a water-alcohol based tinctures.
  • New Machinery
  • Explanation of the latest generation of machines that work in the absence of oxygen 65°-70° application and evaporation.

Infusion courses

  • The distiller
  • Instruction on the various stages of infusion, syrup construction, cutting and condensing the liquor with rest periods.
  • Vermouth
  • Description of use of various wines for production. Alcoholic gradation table for cutting to 15-18%. Instructions for infusion times and temperatures.
  • Cold Infusions
  • Learn the art of cold extraction of flavors and colors of various substances.

Our products

Organic fruits juices and marmalades crafted by these strict standards. 100% attention to quality, integrity, fruits and vegetables CCPB-certified organic, operator controlled AE37. Latest generation bottling equipment works in a vacuum, without altering the organoleptic properties or the natural aromas.

  • 100% of the pressed fruit has no added sugar.
  • Macrobiotic Juices thickened with rice malt, pectin, or raga raga.
  • All fruits are grown and matured on the plant for maximum natural sugars.
  • Evaporated marmalades are vacuum sealed at 65°-70°.
  • Only natural sweeteners, stevia sweetener without calories, sugar, agave, even pure maple syrup are used.
  • Fruit juices and purees contain 42% to 100% Tuscan grown fruit and natural spring water. Other products include Ambrosia, lemon and honey wine, other medieval wines, vermouth with infusions of various herbs and fruits and a variety of liqueurs.

around us

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where we are


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Mayday Club
Via Dante Alighieri 16r
50122 Florence
Tel (+39) 055 2381290

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