Florence always puts on a radiant show in December. From the Christmas atmosphere on the streets, to the glittering shop windows and sparkling decorations around the city centre. But there’s much more than just twinkly christmas lights to enjoy. During the month of December a very special show illuminates Florence’s landmarks, and the Christmas market will bring a festive air to Piazza S. Croce.
December in Florence is about lights, festivity, music and art. It’s a time when you see the city as you never have before; beautifully illuminated and buzzing with the magic of Christmas. The great show starts on the 8th of December, when the gigantic Christmas tree is lit in Piazza del Duomo.
December in Florence – F-Lights Festival
This year the F-Light Festival returns to Florence’s city centre. Here ancient architecture meets contemporary visual expression during a month-long (8 December -7 January) festival that every year shows Florence in a different light.
Landmarks like the Ponte Vecchio, Santo Spirito Church, and the Porcellino Loggia become the unlikely settings for video mapping, light projections and various visual trickery. Illuminated images appear as if by magic on the Medieval silhouette of the Old Bridge. The river Arno is flooded with colours, and the ancient facades of the churches come alive with lights, brilliant colours and shapes. This year’s theme is “Frontiers”, with specific installations devoted to the refugee crisis.
Planning a trip to Florence? Check out all of Florence’s unmissable sights!
Christmas Market in Piazza Santa Croce
Every December the fabulous Santa Croce square hosts a lively Christmas Market, with stalls selling various art crafts, candles, sweets and Christmas themed decorations from Italy and abroad. It starts on the 28th November and lasts until 18th December 2017 (10am-10pm).
This is a more traditional event, inspired by country values. Hosting a traditional market, it will be held in Piazza S.S. Annunziata on the 8th, 9th and10th December for the occasion of the Immacolata feast known as “Fierucola”. Among other things there promises to be delicious organic food and handmade art-crafts, but if you miss it don’t worry, it will reappear in Piazza Santo Spirito on the 17th December.
Feeling the festive atmosphere? Find out why Tuscany is truly special at Christmas, including the best places to visit and delicious sweet treats!
December 2017 events – Art, Music and more
Florence is a city that lives through its art, and there’s something for everyone to get excited about throughout the year. This winter the main exhibitions are in Palazzo Strozzi. The venue hosts an exhibit dedicated to Florentine art in the 16th century “Il Cinquecento a Firenze” with some late Renaissance masterpieces, and an exhibit dedicated to the architectural avantgarde “Utopie Radicali” (20/10/2017-21/01/2018).
In the Uffizi you’ll find portraits by Cranach of Luther and other protagonists of the Reformation (on the occasion of its 500th anniversary) and an exhibit dedicated to the vast and eclectic collection of Leopoldo de’ Medici.
For those interested in contemporary art, Palazzo Medici Riccardi explores the world of street artist Keith Haring (25/10/2017-6/2/2018). If it’s music you’re passionate about, check out the concert held in the Sala Paradiso of the Opera del Duomo Museum (14/12/2017) – booking is essential (see official site), as there is limited seating.
If you’re travelling to Italy this season, discover all the reasons why you’ll love Tuscany in Winter!
Discover a very special library in Florence
This season the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana is holding an exhibit of Leonardo Bruni’s manuscripts (13/10/2017 – 18/01/2018). As an important Florentine humanist scholar, the exhibit promises to be a fascinating one.
However the Laurentian library is a sight in itself, designed and partly built by Michelangelo. This library originated as a private collection of the Medici family, great patrons of the art that collected classics and humanist texts.
The entrance to the Biblioteca Laurenziana is through the cloister of the San Lorenzo Church.