Are you coming to Florence for the holidays? We listed a few tips about how to spend the days and what to do in the Renaissance city for Christmas!
Go Shopping For Christmas Gift
Florence is a world’s shopping capital. In its historic center, there are endless amounts of goods, from leather bags from local markets to high-end designer label suits and gowns. Shopping in Florence is a pleasure regardless of budget or taste, but it’s even more pleasant at Christmas time.
In fact, as tourists get fewer and fewer for the winter season, artisans get more and more chatty, which is the ultimate occasion to learn more about the city and its tradition. And don’t worry: all the shops, restaurants and museums are open!
Strolling down the street is fun and interesting as you get to look at the many decorated colorful windows and admire the many glowing streetlights installed for the occasion. If you are really lucky, there could even be a dusting of snow…it can really be magical!
Our tip: stop to recharge your energy and enjoy a nice hot chocolate or a good coffee in one of the many local cafeterias along the small alleys.
Explore Christmas Markets
Every year many Christmas markets animate the city center and are embellished by the stunning surrounding monuments and squares of Florence.
The most famous of all is the Weihnachtsmarkt German Market in front of the church of the vast Piazza Santa Croce. Filled with stalls selling decorations for the tree and the house, Christmas sweets, mulled wine(to warm you up), Italian and international food, it is the best place to visit during the holidays.
Our tip: although it is a Christmas market, the Weihnachtsmarkt usually starts early in the month and ends a few days before Christmas, that’s why you should check the Florence tourism website to be sure to find it once in Florence.
Attend the Christmas Eve Mass in the Duomo
If you are planning to visit the stunning Cathedral of Florence, also called the Duomo, there is no better time than during the winter holidays. An incredible unique occasion to experience an Italian Christmas atmosphere is attending the tradition majestic Christmas Eve Mass, held in the church.
Our tip: arrive early because the church gets really crowded!
Go see the nativity scene
Every year, Santa Maria del Fiore displays a nativity scene – presepe – in the Dome square.
This scene is very peculiar since it was made by a local artist with local materials. There is not another like it, however, keep in mind that Italy has a long tradition of cribs and nativity scenes so, at this time of the year, you can see manger scenes in most churches and even in many shops!
Our tip: purchase your own presepe to bring home at a Christmas market!
Watch the Nutcracker ballet
Every year on December 23rd, Teatro della Pergola, one of the most important theaters in Florence, hosts a production of The Nutcracker, one of the most famous ballets in the world. Some advice: book the tickets in advance, as they tend to sell out quickly.
Our tip: reserve tickets for the special performance by the Moscow Ballet.
Babbo Running Firenze
The Babbo Running Firenze will take place on December 15, this year. This fun sports made it to its 9th edition!
It is a short 5 km free run where all the participants wear Santa Claus costumes.
The run will raise funds for charities. The starting point is Piazza SS Annunziata, then it will cross all of the city center.
Our tip: even if you don’t take part in the run, it is so much fun to look all those Santa running around Florence!