Events, concerts and shows for Christmas in Florence
It’s Christmas time, in Florence there is a special festive atmosphere, with lights, and lighting that decorate the streets. Tradition is deeply felt and the festivities in Florence have a special characteristic that reflects the city. It is in fact, elegant and discreet, never excessive and yet warm and fascinating as the shops decorated with special decorations and objects, the bright streets and the coming and going of people.
Firenze Light Festival. A welcome novelty is the Festival Firenze Light, the Festival of Lights that, up until January 8, will light the most significant monuments and squares with games of light, projections and video-mapping. The leitmotif of the whole event is the theme of the Frontiers; not just borders but also spaces that can be crossed as a beam of light can – There are workshops and shows such as “Giorgio Vasari. The Hall of the Five Hundred in a new light ” (Italian title: Giorgio Vasari. Il Salone dei Cinquecento sotto una nuova luce) with paths lit by torch lights allowing us to imagine living in past centuries.
The places chosen for the projections of lights are the Ponte Vecchio: a canvas on which to project images on the theme of migration. Other locations are in Piazza Santo Spirito or Palazzo Medici Riccardi.
Tradition: Christmas tree and Nativity scene. In Piazza Duomo stands the wonderful Christmas tree with its thousand lights that recall the Nordic traditions with the hope that a light of peace can be lit in the world. The Nativity Scene is set up in Piazza Duomo as well, and, in its simplicity, takes back to Gospel images. The word for Nativity in Italian is Presepe. It comes from the Latin praesepe or praesepium that means enclosure, sheepfold, which is the place where the crib is usually located. It is the manger where, according to the Gospel of St. Luke, the child was laid down.
The nativity scene set up in Piazza Duomo is simple and adequate for that atmosphere of inner serenity, as the spirit of Christmas should be. The statues of the characters are made of Impruneta terracotta and renew a tradition, according to which, it was Saint Francis in Greccio in 1233 who, for the first time, depicted the nativity. It will remain staged until the day of the Epiphany on January 6, when the Christmas period will end with the spectacular and unmissable ride of the Three Wise Men a true spectacle that recalls the famous painting by Benozzo Gozzoli at Palazzo Medici Riccardi.
Christmas in Florence is sweet. Panforte is indispensable. This sweet with a very aromatic taste, with a round shape, is like its name suggests “forte” (strong), that is, robust and very stuffed, with hazelnut almonds, candied fruit and honey. A taste that brings us back to the Middle Ages, and that has come down to us. The panforte packages are very popular, both those of historical brands and the artisanal ones. Furthermore, there are the Ricciarelli. The name recalls Ricciarello della Gherardesca who, once returned from Turkey where he had fought in the Crusades, brought these oriental sweets to his fief. A delicate dough made with almond flour, egg white and powder sugar, shaped into small lozenges. These are also found in every pastry, bakery and specialized store.
Winter Village. Over the Christmas period, especially if you are with children or you want to have fun and try at least once to ice skate, in a truly Christmas atmosphere in Florence, there are ice skating rinks. A double jump, the swan’s flight, too difficult? Then simply try to slip on the ice. Why not, where? In Piazza della Libertà where a very popular structure is set up or at the Winter Village at the Obi Hall, with two skating rinks. Adored by both adults and children alike, it is an original idea to spend a special afternoon.