We all know the words to that famous Christmas tune, “It’s beginning to look a lot like…”? Yup, CHRISTMAS. You’ve probably just started to set up your own Christmas decorations, and maybe you’ve heard a Christmas song or two on the radio. All I Want For Christmas Is You, the (Mariah Carey version obviously), is always a classic. Thank goodness it’s that time of year again, the time to get down to business on what to do during this glorious month of December.
First of all, let’s talk about the Christmas market first, shall we? The Weihnachtsmarkt is the traditional German Christmas market located in Piazza Santa Croce, open from 10am-10pm starting 2nd December and running to the 20th. The entire piazza is filled with wooden stalls selling both German and Italian foods including hot wine, bratwurst, and panettone. It doesn’t stop there, though! This will also be the place for you to spend most (or all) of your money on beautifully made Christmas decorations and presents for your loved ones. Just go ahead and take our money already!!
Once your arms are full of presents and your stomach is full of strudel and wine, take a stroll down any of the beautifully lit streets, and feel yourself transform into your 7 year old self. It’s virtually impossible to be anything but completely happy while walking under strings of sparkling lights and stars. And if you thought it couldn’t get any better, however, you’d be wrong. On December 8th, the Italian national holiday of the Immaculate Conception, the Duomo lights up their very own Christmas Tree in the Piazza in a grand ceremony. If all of this doesn’t put you in the Christmas spirit, we just don’t know what will!
Finally, let’s talk about Christmas Day. If you’re lucky enough to be here on Christmas Day, you can attend the Midnight Mass at the Duomo, a truly once in a lifetime experience for anyone who doesn’t live in Florence all year round. It’s recommended that you get in line around 10:30, because it is a first come- first serve type of deal. If that’s a little too late for you, the Duomo also gives mass on Christmas Day, complete with Gregorian chants. As for Christmas dinner, most family-owned restaurants are closed on Christmas Day, so it’s important to find an open one and make reservations in advance to ensure your place.
Whilst L’Osteria di Giovanni will be closed this year for Christmas and Boxing Day, we will be open the whole of December, so you might want to come along after your Christmas shopping at Santa Croce and indulge!
Now go forth, and spread Christmas cheer in this beautiful city during this beautiful time of year. Merry Christmas!!