Thinking about holidays, heading for Florence over Christmas is probably the best moment you can choose to visit the Italian town of the Renaissance.
Christmas is a magical moment for visitors arriving in Florence.
The twinkling atmosphere in Florence begins in early December, as in many Italian cities. From first days of December until these of January, Italians use to turn on their Christmas tree’s lights and decorate their homes, to welcome traditionally the Nativity.
Storekeepers start to decorate their shop windows, adorning the whole city.
If Florence and its magical ambience could be probably become your next destination, let’s take a look at these proposals!
A dip into the historic tradition
You should definitely not miss the huge Christmas tree in Florence’s historical center, which is set up on 8thDecember, surrounded by a big ceremony in “Piazza del Duomo”. This place represents an icon of the city of Florence. It is one of Italy’s most visited landmarks!
Have you ever wondered why Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance? If you are a first-timer, you will get the answers going to visit Florentine museums, which (surely!) are an historic symbol of the whole Nation.
The good news: you can admire the paintings and sculptures more intimately because during the holiday season Florence’s acclaimed museums are a bit less crowded.
If you are interested in a cultural and artistic tour, the organization “Florence for you” – you can check it out on the web – arranges tours around the whole city, to discover the remote corners where the Renaissance was born.
Of course, Florence itself is an open-air museum, too. If you decide to go there, you will enjoy a close encounter with this fascinating city, through a walking along a lightened Ponte Vecchio, or an amazing view from Piazzale Michelangelo, and a visit to “Santa Maria del Fiore” Cathedral, Pitti Palace or “Piazza della Signoria”. I am sure you will not forget it!
Another truly Florentine Christmas experience is heading to the Duomo for midnight Mass in Italian on Christmas Eve! But keep in mind that, outside of the hours when Mass is being held, Florence’s churches are mainly closed on Christmas Day.
A particular way to discover the city?
A typical Vespa rides around the city! Just feel the air on your face surrounded by light displays and twinkling holiday decorations. Amazing.
Shopping never fails
Christmas’ markets and the craft bright activities liven up the festive season. This is an opportunity to catch, looking around for gift-ideas or just wondering through the stalls during the typical festivities of Florence.
For sure in Florence you will enjoy browse among beautiful Christmas markets; here I mentioned some of them you should not miss!
The biggest Christmas market in Florence is located in Piazza Santa Croce, and generally lasts from the end of November to the last days before Christmas. Built with the typical small wooden houses, according to Northern Europe tradition (after all, Santa Claus does live in Finland’s Lapland!), it offers different items: from food products to small furniture and Christmas decorations. It hosts foreign exhibitors, but Italian as well.
Around the Basilica of San Lorenzo, I think you should not miss what may be the bigger market in the city: the Central Market.
A huge market of stalls, both indoor and outdoor, is in Piazza Sant’Ambrogio. There you will discover clothing items or foodstuff, definitely anything you desire!
I think a walk through different neighborhoods of the historical center, looking for different local shops, is amazing! As a good shopping lover here you will find many smaller Christmas markets. You can discover alone that in addition to the monuments and places marked on the handbooks, there is much more J
Once you are ready to find something to get warm, if you are a pleasure lover o simply a curious of taste, you definitely should try a tasty tour around the wineries of Chianti looking for the perfect aroma for your palate! Some guides will show you the way of taste. In my opinion, it is a shame you can commit!
Italians just wanna have…lunch!
Christmas is such a special and sacred event for Italian families. Organize a big lunch with family members is traditionally a must. Pay attention because a traditional Italian menu could blow your belt buckle off!
The table, typically covered by a special and ancient tablecloth, is lined with appetizers and nibbles, to be consumed over a glass of celebratory prosecco.
If you have the chance to eat in a restaurant on Christmas, you will taste such a yummy Italian starters (hams, salamis, cheeses and plump olives) accompanied by Tuscan bread, until a variety of roast meats and finally pastries.
#TouriPills: Make always a previous reservation if you would like go to lunch in a restaurant during Christmas days. At the end of the meal, have a piece of cake, an espresso coffee and a little dose of happiness.
If there is anything you really need to eat in Italy during Christmas holidays, is Italian “Pandoro” (golden bread), Tuscan ice cream, and “Schiacciata fiorentina”, a typical cake stuffed with chocolate or white cream.
For an absolutely rustic and local atmosphere, I find cooking classes at “Jul’s Kitchen” very nice. A private driver can take you in a traditional private country house, between Siena and Florence, where the class, in English language, will be held. The discovering of genuine flavors will be a mood you will definitely love.
Have you ever been on a Christmas trip before? Which cities would you recommend? Any cool things to do in Florence to add?