Hi everyone and welcome to this month’s edition of “The Florentine”. Jeanne and I would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays! Christmas in Florence is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. There are so many events and special exhibits all over the city that the only thing you will be worrying about is a lack of time. The Mercato di San Lorenzo is packed with holiday shoppers and all the upscale shops have their windows decorated as if they were scenes from a play. The weather is still very mild, as of this writing it's still in the lower 60's! Another cool thing is the resurgence of the Christmas holiday markets that have been very popular in Germany, Switzerland and Vienna. Well, let's get to it...,
Disney Live! 3 Fairy Tales live in Florence- November 25-29 - This year Disney Live is touring Italy and performing three classic fairy tales, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. These classic fairy tales are entertaining for adults as well as children. So whether you are a child or just a child at heart, Disney’s amazing live performances will leave you with an unforgettable experience. The performances will be held at Florence's Nelson Mandela Forum. For more information click the link below:
Musica in Maschera: La Boheme - December 23 - The La Lirica di Venezia choir and orchestra perform Puccini's timeless classic La Bohème. This masterpiece was first premiered in Turin on February 1, 1896 at the Teatro Regio and conducted by the maestro Arturo Toscanini. Since then, La Bohème has become a staple of every opera house's repertoire and one of the most performed operas worldwide. You will be enthralled by the orchestration of Stefano Romani and Silvia Casarin Rizzolo and the choir by Emanuele Giannino. For more information and reservations click the link below:
Chistmas in Florence - I can’t think of anywhere that I would rather spend Christmas than Florence. It is pure magic. The city is filled with delightful sights, sounds and aromas. Let’s not forget the stores! Florence is usually filled with wonderful merchandise year long, but the special holiday displays of sweets in the pasticerrias, the presents and gorgeous clothing are taken to a new level during the holidays. It's an event in itself to just walk the streets and look in all the colorful shop windows. The city is ablaze with thousands of holiday lights, there is not an inch of this town that is not decorated for the holidays.
The "Christmas in Florence" Committee, works tirelessly to create this special sight, beginning at the end of November. The streets, the squares, and the palazzi all take on an incredible holiday glow. It is absolutely breathtaking. All of the churches in the town have ornate displays, including added floral decorations. There are many concerts featuring holiday music, some take place in concert halls but the most moving ones are held in the churches. Ballet season is in full swing, and there are many performances held throughout November and December. Museums and art galleries feature special exhibits and displays for the holidays. The list of special events at this time of year is nearly endless; in fact, there is an abundance of riches for visitors to enjoy.
One of the most unique holiday events are the Christmas markets. Originating in Germany, Christmas markets have spread all over Europe and visitors can now enjoy Christmas markets in Firenze! A special market was held in the Piazza Santa Croce that was very much like the German markets; in fact, it was called the Mercato di Natale di Heidelberg. If you plan to be in Florence at the end of November, through most of December, you must schedule a little time to look into this amazing market.Mercato di Natale della Croce Rossa Italiana, is a Christmas market sponsored by the Italian Red Cross and takes place on December 11 – 13. The market is located right alongside of the Arno river. Of course, the San Lorenzo market is open and bustling throughout the holiday season. Florentines flock to the beautiful outdoor market in search of the perfect Christmas gift. The Mercato Centrale food market is well stocked for the holidays and packed with specialties that you will only find during Christmas and New Years. If you haven't been there at this time of year, please don't miss it.
New Year's Eve Gala Concert: Golden Opera – New Years Eve - The Golden Opera is the most amazing concert held anywhere. Three acts will be performed together from the most popular Italian operas (Rigoletto, La Traviata and La Bohème) together for the first time. The best singers, orchestra, chorus and professional musicians perform together to make this extraordinary night one you will always remember. You will be pampered in the luxurious setting of the Teatro Auditorium Al Duomo, located in the historical centre of Florence. The combination of the world class music and wonderfully handcrafted costumes will make an unforgettable evening to bring in the New Year. For more information and tickets click the link below:
Well, that’s it for this month. We wish everyone a safe and joyous holiday season. As mentioned above, Christmas in Florence is an experience that you will never forget and if you start planning your trip early it doesn't have to be expensive either. There’s tons of detailed information on our site that will help you plan the perfect trip. If you need any help planning your trip or just have a question that you need answered, feel free to contact us. Thanks for subscribing to “The Florentine” and we’ll see you next month.
Glenn and Jeanne
Festivals & Events:
Maggio Musicale Fiorentino- "Musical May"- Italy's oldest and most prestigious music festival.
Calcio Storico- A wild, almost modern day gladiatorial contest between two teams combining rugby, soccer and wrestling. Held annually between June 24-28.
Estate Fiesolana- "Summer in Fiesole" - Nearby Fiesole comes alive with a variety of dance, music and theater performances in their amazing ancient Roman theater. Events run through September.
Florence Dance Festival - International dance companies perform in the cities most beautiful outdoor locations, such as Piazzale Michelangelo and the Boboli Gardens.
International Antique Show - Held in mid-September in uneven years.
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