Florence, Italy is by far one of the most magical and beautiful cities in the world and millions and millions of visitors agree. It’s the birthplace of the Renaissance and home to unforgettable landmarks, museums, monuments, art, culture and food!
If you have never visited Florence or have been many times, the Christmas season is not to be missed. The streets are festively decorated and shopkeepers take pride in their window dressings. Christmas markets abound, full of unique and precious gifts to buy for yourself or for loved ones and chestnuts are roasting on an open fire but this time—they are everywhere!
Living like a local in Florence means experiencing all that it has to offer at this time of the year. There are fewer tourists (although there are always people visiting Florence), the weather is milder and there are many cultural activities to take part in. The festivities start in early December.
If you are looking for furnishings, food and wine, the festivities for you start at the Christmas markets all around Florence. The largest one is located in Piazza Santa Croce. There’s a combination of vendors and somewhat of a German theme—you know that means–warm wine! Of course, you can always find the leather goods Florence is famous for—bags, gloves, book binders, notebooks, etc. You can also negotiate your prices with better success given the fact that Florence has fewer tourists at this time of the year.
If you are interested in visiting museums, the Uffizi Gallery is open throughout the Christmas season except on Christmas and New Year’s day.
If instead you are looking for a spiritual experience, Christmas Eve Mass is held by the Cardinal of Florence at midnight in the Duomo of Florence, while the vigil prayers start earlier, around 11 pm.
For New Year’s Eve, you can celebrate in the main squares of the city and attend one of the concerts. In the Piazza della Signoria, for example, there’s usually a classical music concert while in the Piazzale Michelangelo, a pop concert on New Year’s Eve.
Living like a local, there’s plenty to see and do during the holidays in Florence. Some wineries are open and other well-known cities such as Siena and Arezzo also have festive decorations and holiday markets. These make for very enjoyable day trips.
We look forward to hosting you during one of our experiences where you will learn to live like a local in all seasons! Happy holidays from A Toast to Travel!