Chestnuts roast in the crisp winter air. Strands of twinkling lights dance from palazzo to palazzo overhead. Pop-up shops display artisanal ornaments and cafe windows invite us inside to warm our fingers around a steaming cup of cioccolata calda. Florence kills it at Christmas. For these compulsive walkers, the best way to enjoy the city all dressed up for the season is by taking listless strolls through the streets. However, this month, Florence is surprising us with gifts all December-long that we simply cannot turn down.
So bundle up! This year, Christmas in Florence is more enticing than ever. If you’re stranded across the sea, the dreamy photos of our very talented friend and Florence local, Birgitte Brøndsted of A Dusty Olive Green, will have you lost in a Florentine Christmas fantasy in no time!
Weihnachtsmarkt | December 2 – 20
If you take part in only one Christmas event this December, make it a visit to the Weihnachtsmarkt. The German Christmas market in Piazza Santa Croce features over 50 stalls resembling cozy log cabins. Craftsmen, bakers, chefs, and brewers travel from across Europe to share (and sell) a little Christmas cheer. Grab a warm ciambella and stroll the market, taking in the scents and sounds of the season. And don’t worry, no one will make you pronounce Weihnachtsmarkt.
AILO Christmas Bazaar| December 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Le Pagliere, viale Machiavelli 24
Get a jump on your holiday shopping at the AILO Christmas Bazaar. Every year, the American International League Onlus of Florence, a charitable organization, hosts an epic Christmas Bazaar as their capstone fundraising event. Shop, donate, and even take the little ones for a visit to Santa. Happen to be a homesick American? Cheeseburgers and homemade brownies featured at the Bazaar will make for a perfect lunch break.
Christmas Tree Lighting | December 8, 5 p.m.
While I like to kick off my Christmas on November 1 (hey, what’s wrong with extending my favorite season a touch?) Italy declares an official start to the season on December 8 – the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The national holiday gives Italians the chance to officially deck the halls. As the sun begins to set, head to Piazza del Duomo for the lighting of the city’s largest Christmas tree. After, join Florentines in the most epic of evening strolls. Churches keep doors open late tonight, inviting passersby in to show off their Nativity scenes. (Italian churches have an unspoken competition when it comes to pimping out baby Jesus’ crib.)
Natale è l’Oltrarno | December 8 – January 6
As if the Oltrarno wasn’t charming enough, they are bringing their Christmas A-game this year. Stands featuring Christmas crafts, food and drink will spread Christmas cheer in Piazze Santo Spirito, San Niccolò and San Frediano this season from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
Christmas Karaoke with Yelp | December 10, 10 p.m.
Ok, I am so into this one. Yelp Firenze is hosting a night of Christmas Karaoke at Melabevo. Start tuning up on your go-to Christmas carol now for this night of festive revelry!
MercaMercantino Tour | December 13
As we have boasted before, the Mercato Centrale may or may not be the best thing to ever happen to the budget-conscious foodie. While we typically try to keep our events cost-free (or optional) we believe the 15 € price tag on the Leonardo Romanelli guided tour of the Mercato and wine tasting is a bang for your buck…or euro. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
For more events this December and beyond, keep an eye on the Florence for Free Calendar.
Happy holidays friends, family and followers. We hope the magic of our favorite city this December will fill your season with Joy whether you’re strolling through the twinkling streets of Florence or your favorite Florence hashtag on Instagram.