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
Florence’s Christmas Tree in front of the 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 (from 8th December 2019 to 6th January 2020) 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.

⇒ Planning a trip to Florence? Check out all of Florence’s unmissable sights!

⇒ See the most Beautiful Churches to visit in Florence.

december in florence
Ponte Vecchio during the F-Light Festival

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. This year it starts on the 23rd of November and lasts until 22nd December 2019 (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 7th, 8th of December 2019 for the occasion of the Immacolata feast known as “Fierucola”. Among other things there promises to be delicious organic food and handmade art-crafts.

Feeling the festive atmosphere? Find out why Tuscany is truly special at Christmas, including the best places to visit and delicious sweet treats!

Explore Florence with a local guide with this Fascinating Florence Walking Tour: learn about Florence’s Medieval and Renaissance eras, hear all the fascinating stories behind the historic attractions, visit the city’s magnificent squares!

things to do in Tuscany at Christmas
Christmas Market in Santa Croce

December 2019 events – Art, Music and more

For those interested in 20th century art, Palazzo Medici Riccardi hosts an exhibition dedicated to Giorgio De Chirico (31st October 2019 – 18th February 2020), one of the greatest Italian painters of the Novecento, famous for his surrealist works.

It’s the perfect opportunity to visit the handsome Palazzo Medici Riccardi, the first residence of the Medici family at the time of their rise into power in the Florentine Republic.

Palazzo Strozzi features a major exhibit featuring Natalia Goncharova (from 28th September 2019 to 12th January 2020). The exhibition explores the artist’s unconventional life and career, presenting her rich and multifaceted works, with masterpieces from major international collections by celebrated artists including Gauguin, Matisse, Picasso and Boccioni. (see official site)

If it’s music you’re passionate about, check out the concert held in the Sala Paradiso of the Opera del Duomo Museum (13th December 2019) – 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!

6 Top things to do in Florence at Christmastime.

=> December in Tuscany: best events & Weather

Meet Pietro Aretino at the Uffizi in Florence

The Uffizi Gallery dedicated an exhibit to Pietro Aretino (1492–1556) famous around Europe for his insolent literary attacks on the powerful. Paintings, sculptures, tapestries, miniatures and printed books reconstruct the fascinating world in which he lived. (from 27th November 2019 to 1st March 2020).

Aretino lived in the very heart of the “Modern Manner”, to use the term coined by Giorgio Vasari in his Lives of the Artists published in 1550 and 1568. The exhibition is broken down into five sections illustrating the main events in Aretino’s life and the succession of scenarios stretching from his early days in Arezzo and Perugia to his arrival at the papal court in Rome and to his move to northern Italy, first to Mantua and finally to Venice. (Uffizi Gallery site)

Weather in December in Florence

Temperatures vary from 3/4 degrees Celsius (27 F) to a max of 10/12 (50/53F) degrees. It can be a wet month, averaging 9 days of rain.

Florence is usually less cold, while out in the countryside temperatures feel colder (especially at night).

Suns rises at 7:30am – Sunset 16:40pm

=> School Holidays in Italy start on 23rd December and run up until 6th January, so expect many Italian tourists during these two weeks.