Things to do in Florence

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Martin Andersen

05 July 2017

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Florence is a city of culture, history and stunning buildings and an eternal metropolis that retains its beauty throughout the year. Regardless of which season you are visiting, or indeed where you’re staying in the city, you’re never far from things to do and see. We’ve collected a few events that take place over the next couple of months and should not be missed if you find yourself staying in this glorious Tuscan gem.

Florence, Italy

Estate al Bargello Summer Festival in July

If you find yourself on holiday in Florence during July, don’t miss out on one of the great open-air performances that are being held in connection to the annual Estate al Bargello Summer Festival. Housed in with the Bargello Museum, the festival is sponsored and supported by a wide range of cultural bodies, and features a host of events including classical music, ballet and theatre, set against the beautiful sculptures that populate the museum. 

Markets in Scarperia in August

On the first Sunday each month, the historic centre of the small town of Scarperia, just outside Florence, transforms into a lively and bustling market. Strike a bargain and discover a wide range of antiques, collectibles, and delicious street food. From Florence, it’s approximately a 30-minute drive north by car or a short train journey along a scenic railroad stretch to San Piero.  

Italian food market

Festa della Rificolona / Paper Lanterns Festival in September

Each year, on the evening of the 6th of September, the streets and piazzas around the Santissima Annunziata Basilica come alive with cheers, lanterns, and lots of great, local produce. The tradition of this local parade arose from peasants from the surrounding rural parts of Tuscany, who would set out for the ba silica on the evening before the birthday of the Virgin Mary, so that they could arrive in time for the celebrations. Today, the parade is led by the cardinal through the streets of Florence, and locals can be seen carrying paper lanterns as well as some of their own produce to the final destination in front of the basilica, which is subsequently transformed into a giant food market. 

Florence at night

Feast of St Reparata in October 

The patron saint of Florence, St Reparata is said to have protected the Florentines during a vicious siege by the Ostrogoths in the 3rd century. The city emerged victoriously and its foundations as a Christian city was cemented. Today, Florence celebrates this legend each year on the 8th of October. Locals dress up in colourful and traditional costumes and parade through the city in a cheerful procession until they reach the Piazza San Giovanni in the centre of town. Here lots of festivities take place, including a footrace and guided tours of St Reparata’s crypt. 

Feast of St Reparata

German Christmas Market in November and December

Starting in mid-November, Florence cultivates the Christmas spirit as early as possible. Markets and lights spring up across the city and for almost 15 years, the centuries-old German Heidelberger Weinachtsmarkt (easier to pronounce after a few glasses of mulled wine) sets up its stalls on the Piazza Santa Croce. Enjoy a wide range of food and items both of local and German origin and pick up a unique Christmas present in among the winding streets of Florence.

Christmas in Florence

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