November and December are special months in Florence! As the weather cools down everyone starts to get ready for winter and the holidays. Lights will go up in the streets, all the high end shops start displaying their Christmas windows and so much more happens in this incredible city.
If you are planning to stay here during this time here are our favorite things we recommend you to do and of course foods that you must try! Remember to keep in mind that on Christmas day shops, museums, and almost anything else might be closed. We Italians are still very traditional and we always want to spend Christmas day with our family and our friends.
On December 24th museums and shops will be open but for a shorter period of time and will close around 6pm. Make sure that if you plan to have a nice dinner on Christmas eve you reserve a table! On Christmas day plan to walk around Firenze and enjoy all the sights.
Taking in midnight Mass at Florence’s Duomo
Why not try to go to midnight Mass. To get a good seat try get there early!
Sightseeing in Florence over Christmas
If you haven’t already been, go overlook the city of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo.
Browsing all of Florence’s beautiful Christmas markets
There are a couple Christmas markets we recommend you to go visit. There is the Florence Noel which is a Christmas extravaganza! It is held at Stazione Leopolda in Florence with an entrance fee of 8 euros. There is continuous snowfall at the Advent Village. You can find there some great crafts, decorations, food, furniture, a Village of Chocolate and many more events and Christmas shopping. You can also go and visit “La Casa di Babbo Natale”. Florence Noel starts November 9th and ends January 6th and is open Monday to Thursday between 3 pm and 10 pm, and Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am-10 pm For more info you may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another great Christmas market we definitely recommend is the Weihnachtsmarkt! It is a traditional German market that takes place in Piazza Santa Croce. Piazza Santa Croce turns into a traditional market every year from the end of November to mid December and guess what; the market comes directly from Heidelberg, Germany! You must go and try some delicious foods like bratwurst and spiced fruit cake and check out some German Christmas gifts.
Foods to try during the christmas season
Zampone or Cotechino – Zampone is similar to the salami/sausage family but it is a bit more in your face! It is actually the pigs lower leg (but in a sausage form!). This flavorful sausage is typically served over lentils especially at New Years!
Panforte and Panettone – Panforte is strictly very Tuscan. It originates from Siena and Panforte translates to ‘strong bread’, thanks to the strong spices used in it. The consistency of panforte is much like fruitcake. Panettone, on the other hand, is a fluffy, delightful, sweet bread from Milan that is a staple in every Italian home for the holidays. Try either one of these and we guarantee you will be satisfied.
Castagnaccio – Castagnaccio is a chestnut cake! Usually include herbs such as rosemary and fennel to balance out the raisins and dried fruit.