There is a thing that will never change: Florence is a wonderful city and it will always surprise you any time you go. The most important thing to do is to see Florence not just once, but several times, better for at least 3 or 4 days. Visiting Florence during a big event allows you to meet more Florentine people, like during the White Night or New Year’s Eve in the main squares. Here are 10 selected events during the year, in chronological order, but remember that there are many more out there that are probably worthy of mention. Here is a list with 10 events in chronological order:
- The Procession of the Magi (Epiphany - 6 January) is a tradition that dates back to the fifteenth century. During the morning, there is a solemn procession in Renaissance costumes through the streets of Florence to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany, which recalls the journey made by the Magi to pay homage to the Infant Jesus. The Magi dressed in magnificent costumes accompanied by the Procession of the Republic of Florence take a route that starts in Piazza Pitti, passes through the ancient streets and ends in Piazza del Duomo; inside the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore the Magi offer gifts to the image of the Infant Jesus, while the Opera del Duomo distributes presents to the children. There are also special openings and guided tours of Palazzo Medici Riccardi and especially of the Chapel of the Magi with the famous fresco of Benozzo Gozzoli.
- Another lesser known reenactment of Florence is the Feast in honor of Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, the Palatine Electress, the last member of the great Florentine family. She was the one who left the priceless heritage of the Medici to the city (18 February).
- The bursting of the cart (Easter Sunday) is probably one of the most famous and crowded festivals of Florence. It is also one of the oldest traditions; in fact, the ceremony takes place since 1101! The ritual has not altered over the years: a richly decorated cart which dates to the 18th century is hauled by oxen from Porta al Prato to the cathedral square. With a special mechanism hundreds of multicoloured fireworks positioned on the cart go off, accompanied by cracks and whistles.
- The International Handicrafts Trade Fair is one of the largest exhibitions of handicraft products in Italy. At the Fortezza da Basso, near the station of Santa Maria Novella, you can find national and international exhibitors (April 24 – May 1st).
- One of the most appreciated events by the Florentines is the White Night. Throughout the day until dawn, outdoor performances, exhibitions, concerts and special openings at the museums are scheduled. (April - May)
- An event that has had increasing success in recent years is the Festival del Gelato. Not surprisingly, the ice cream was invented in Florence by Bernardo Buontalenti! (month of May).
- The feast of the Florentines occurs on the day of the city's patron saint, St. John the Baptist. The program of June 24 is always full and together with the final of the Calcio Storico in Piazza Santa Croce don’t miss the fireworks from Piazzale Michelangelo.
- Wine Town is another thing not to be missed, with hundreds of events including wine tastings in prestigious locations such as ancient palaces and courtyards of historic homes.
- The Christmas Market in Piazza Santa Croce (Weihnachtsmarkt) takes place during the Christmas season and it is a great excuse to see the city with Chrsitmas lights. (month of December)
- Finally, the celebration for New Year's Eve. Every year the New Year's Eve party is held in 5 different squares with concerts from pop to classical, funk and gospel music.
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