The magic of Christmas in Florence
All the Christmas spots you shouldn’t miss
Florence is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, and it’s wonderful to visit at any time of year, but the enchantment that imbues it at Christmas time is like nothing else. The city streets are brimming with Christmas decorations, the monuments are illuminated and the squares become the unmissable setting for artisan Christmas markets. This year Via de’ Tornabuoni, the most magical street of all, is lit up by a cascade of more than 80,000 LED lights and baubles of gold and silver, and there’s a 4-metre high fountain of lights and a glittering tree 8 metres tall, the perfect spot for a Christmas selfie.
As well as the fabulous shopping street, home to top Florentine and international brands, Via Strozzi and Via dei Pescioni have the same lighting scheme as Via de’ Tornabuoni. But that’s not all! As ever, from 8 December the Christmas spirit comes to Piazza Duomo, where adults and children alike can marvel at the decorated fir tree waiting in the lee of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto’s Campanile and the Baptistery to astonish both locals and visitors. From the same date, and also in Piazza Duomo, the porch of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore will host the Opera Santa Maria del Fiore nativity scene, depicting the Nativity with life-sized and hand-made terracotta figures. Still on 8 December, the traditional Fierucola dell’Immacolata in Piazza Santo Spirito is an exceptional display of rural handcrafts. Courtesy of F-Light, from 8 December to 9 January the city’s major monuments will be illuminated with artistic installations, projections and light effects to add to the picturesque atmosphere of the historic town centre.
Meanwhile, in Piazza Santa Croce, the German Christmas market - the Weihnachtsmarkt - is back until 19 December, with over 50 stalls in classic wooden huts, bringing the typical aromas and flavours of Christmas to Florence in the form of artisan products and traditional foods from all over Europe. Making the mood even more delightful are the Christmas lights of La Rinascente, illuminating Piazza della Repubblica and turning us all into children again.