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 – Lights Festival

In the last few years the Green Light Festival has illuminated Florence’s city centre. Ancient architecture meets contemporary visual expression during a month-long 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 it’s on from 8th December to 7th January 2023.

⇒ 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 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 18th of November and lasts until 17th December 2023 (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 of December 2023 for the occasion of the Immacolata feast known as “Fierucola”. Among other things there promises to be delicious organic food and handmade art-crafts.

Piazza Ognissanti hosts the Christmas Fierucola (little fair) on 17th December 2023, with local artisans selling their creations.

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 2023 – Contemporary Art Exhibitions

For those interested in contemporary art, Palazzo Strozzi hosts a great expo dedicated to Anish Kapoor “Untrue Unreal”, the artist who has revolutionised the notion of sculpture in contemporary art (Palazzo Strozzi, from October 2023 to 4th February 2024 => see official site).

A great exhibit dedicated to the ‘father of the art Nouveau’ of Alphonse Mucha is held at the Innocenti Museum. Iconic images from the Belle Époque. (from October 2023 to 7th April 2024). It’s the perfect opportunity to visit the intriguing Innocenti Museum, that reveals a side of Florentine history that not many know.

The handsome Palazzo Medici Riccardi, the first residence of the Medici family hosts an exhibit dedicated to Italian futurist artist Fortunato Depero (from September 2023 to 28th January 2024).

More Amazing Experiences in Florence this December

FLORENCE EYE! => This year the Panoramic Wheel in Florence is located at Piazzale Vittorio Veneto, at the Cascine, the Park along the Arno – from 10th December 2023 to 10th June 2024. It promises incredible views, an unforgettable way to experience the city!

SKATING RINK => At Florence Christmas Village, in the area of the Panoramic Wheel at Cascine Park, you’ll find the largest skating rink in Italy – over 1300 square meters! – open from 10th December 2023 to 15th January 2024. It’s about 30 minute walk from the Ponte Vecchio, and close to the Tram stops: Cascine or Paolo Uccello stops.

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

=> Top 10 Art Museums to visit in Florence

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.

=> 5 Magical Places to Visit in Tuscany at Christmas