Festivities, Holidays and Traditions in Florence
EpiphanyThis festivity takes place on the 6th of January, and it commemorates the arrival of the Three Wise Men (or the three kings) in Bethlehem. It is also the celebration of “La Befana”, the Italian traditional day of the gift giving, a woman similar tha the Santa Claus’ figure, who gives sweets to the good children and coal to the bad ones. For the celebration of the Epiphany, Italians organize the Cavalcade of the Three Kings (like in other European countries like Spain), on the afternoon of the 6h of January, a parade with people wearing Renaissance costumes, starting at the Palazzo Pitti.
CarnevaleThe Carnival in Florence offers a large parade which goes through all the city, usually with a style very oriented to the Renaissance ages, with riders on horses, music bands and dancers. The city council together with the citizens organize the whole event every year, which goes from Piazza Ognissanti, goes to Lugarno Vespucci, Lugarno Corsini, via Tornabuoni, via Strozzi, Piazza della Repubblica, Roma, Piazza Duoma and via Calzaiuoli, ending in Piazza della Signoria, where the winners wearing the most original costumes will receive their prizes. It takes place in February, always depending on every year’s dates.
Scoppio del CarroA very traditional event in Florence, Scoppio del Carro (which means “explosion of the art”), has more than 400 years of tradition. It takes place on the Easter Sunday, a procession starts at 10 in the morning and the explosion with fireworks start one hour after. It is for free and you can find it at Piazza del Duomo.
Maggio Musicale FlorentinoThe May Music Festival is basically a group of classical music concerts and recitals, opera and ballet in various spots of Florence. It takes place from late April until June and it is recommended to purchase the tickets online in advance to make sure you can go.
Patron Saint Feast Day – Calcio StoricoAmazing fireworks exploding on 24th June to conclude the St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of Florence. There is a historical football match in the afternoon, Calcio Storico, played in Piazza Santa Croce, after a parade through the city centre from Piazza Santa Maria Novella to Piazza Santa Croce. This match commemorates a game played by a soldier trapped in the city in 1530, and it is played by teams from four neighbourhoods of the city: Santa Croce, Santo Spirito, Santa Maria Novella and San Giovanni, played while wearing 16th century costumes.
Festa di San LorenzoTaking place on 10th of August in Piazza San Lorenzo, you’ll find a live music and free lasagna and watermelon feast in Florence. It all begins at 19h with a celebration and the food is served after a while.