Best Christmas and New Year events in Florence and Tuscany

December 2014-January 2015

Catriona Miller
November 6, 2014

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas... but if you’re not feeling festive yet, you will be once you see what Florence and Tuscany have in store to put you in a merry mood! From charity markets to the ballet, Christmas concerts to snow tubing, you’ll be spending less time at home and more time out and about!

 

FAIRS AND MARKETS

 

German Christmas Market

The tradition ‘Weihnachstsmarkt’ is back with Glühwein, bratwurst, pretzels and more. The little wooden huts fill the piazza, bringing a slice of German Christmas to Florence

Dec 3-21, 10am-8pm, piazza Santa Croce, Florence

 

British Institute Christmas Fair

Books, crafts including silk scarves, homemade foods and hot tea and cake. Raffle with prizes: Christmas hamper from Fortnum and Mason and decorated boxes from Anne Hepper

December 4, from 3pm, Harold Acton Library, The British Institute of Florence, Lungarno Guicciardini 15, www.britishinstitute.it

 

Emergency Christmas Shop

Dec 6-24, via De’ Ginori 14, Florence, http://natale.emergency.it/001/005/015/016/Firenze.html

 

The Immaculate Conception

Two-day fair with crafts and food

Dec 7-8, 9am-8pm, piazza SS.Annunziata, Florence, www.lafierucola.org

 

AILO Christmas Bazaar

The American International League of Florence, or AILO, hosts its annual charity Christmas Bazaar, which has a distinctly American feel -you can enjoy foods such as brownies, hamburgers, jams and pickles -making it one of a kind in the city. There will be a raffle with prizes announced at 2.30pm

Dec 8, 10am-5pm, Le Pagliere (ex Scuderie Reali), viale Machiavelli 24, Florence www.ailoflorence.org

 

Natale in Fortezza

Browse the many stalls in search of the perfect gift and taste some Christmas treats. Children enjoy a games corner and can meet Santa Claus!

Dec 11-14, Fortezza da Basso, Florence, www.nataleinfortezza.it

 

Mercato Nataleperfile

Charity Christmas market raising money for FILE (Fondazione Italiana di Leniterapia ONLUS): the charitable association which assists terminally ill patients and their families. Stalls ranging from vintage clothing to jewellery, books to food

Dec 12-14, Palazzo Corsini, Via di Parione 11, Florence, www.leniterapia.it

 

Unusual Market

Christmas edition of the market

Dec 13-14, 12noon-10pm, Tasso Hostel Hotel, via Villani 15, Florence, http://theflr.net/unusualmarket

 

Christmas Concert

The Schola Cantorum F. Landini and the orchestra V. Galilei perform Handel’s Messiah

Dec 13-14, 9pm, Basilica di Santa Trinita, Florence, www.scuolamusicafiesole.it

 

Fierucola di Natale

Dec 21, 9am-7pm, piazza Santo Spirito, Florence, www.lafierucola.org

 

AT THE THEATRE

 

The Snowman

Taken from the book by Raymond Briggs: live reading (in Italian) accompanied by music

Dec 6, 4.30pm, Teatro Verdi, via Ghibellina 99, Florence, www.teatroverdionline.it

 

Swan Lake

Tchaikovsky’s ballet

Dec 8, 4.45 & 8.45pm, Teatro Verdi, via Ghibellina 99, Florence, www.teatroverdionline.it

 

 

Tristan and Isolde

Ballet performances of Giselle, ou les Wilis and Tristan and Isolde

Dec 28/30& Jan 4, 2015, Florence Opera House, piazza Vittorio Gui, Florence, www.operadifirenze.it

 

Family Rock Show

Christmas Rock show, rock dance for little ones, rock fairy tales, family photos (rock theme), snacks for the children

Dec 21, 3.30pm, Obihall, via Fabrizio De Andrè, Florence, www.obihall.it

 

The Nutcracker

The Royal Moscow Ballet Company The Crown of Russian Ballet, perform Tchaikovsky’s ballet

Jan 2, 2015, 8.45pm, Teatro Verdi, via Ghibellina 99, Florence, www.teatroverdionline.it

 

 

Christmas at the Pergola

The Pergola Theatre in Florence has a programme of various Christmas shows (some for children), all in Italian: A Christmas Carol, The Little Prince, Peter Pan and more

Dec 8-Jan 6, 2015, Pergola Theatre, via della Pergola  12/32, Florence, www.fondazioneteatrodellapergola.it

 

 

CONCERTS & CONFERENCES

 

As we deck the halls, music also fills the air. From carolling to classical concerts, warm up your vocal chords with some mulled wine, or simply savour a cup or two as you enjoy the music to your ears at the various performances.

 

Carolling around Oltrarno followed by mince pies and Glühwein

Singing Christmas Carols while walking around the Oltrarno. Free, everyone welcome

Dec 14, 6pm, meet at St Mark's Church, via Maggio 16, Florence, www.stmarksitaly.com, administrator@stmarksitaly.com

 

Glenn Miller Orchestra

The jazz big band, known for its unique jazz sound, takes to the stage to perform a swinging Christmas concert

Dec 15, 8.45pm, Teatro Verdi, via Ghibellina 99, Florence, www.teatroverdionline.it 

 

Christmas comes but once a year

Series of Christmas readings and musical excerpts from British Institute staff and members

Dec 17, 6pm, Harold Acton Library, Lungarno Guicciardini 9, Florence, www.britishinstitute.it

 

Christmas Concert

Concert from the new talent, pianist Alessandro Tosi: pieces from Haydn, Ravel and Debussy. Free entry

Dec 21, 10.30am, Aula Magna Nuovo Entrance, Careggi Hospital, Largo Brambilla 3, Florence, www.agimusfirenze.it

 

Concerto di Natale

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino orchestra and choir perform Federico Maria Sarelli’s piece, Dixit ominus in D major, followed by Vivaldi’s Gloria

Dec 23, 8.30pm, Florence Opera House, piazza Vittorio Gui, Florence, www.operadifirenze.it

 

Natale Insieme

Concert from the Melograno Children’s Choir

Dec 23, 9pm, Obihall, via Fabrizio De Andrè, Florence, www.obihall.it

 

Christmas Concert

Classical Christmas medley. Directed by Daniele Rustioni, music from Beethoven’s Leonore no.3 op.72, Brahms’s variations to a theme by Haydn, op.56 and Dvorak’s Symphony no.9, op.95

Dec 24, 5pm, Teatro Verdi, via Ghibellina 99, Florence, www.teatroverdionline.it

 

Opera at St Mark’s

Christmas and New Year concerts, all at 8.30pm. See http://concertoclassico.blogspot.it for more information.

December 25: La Bohème

December 26: Madame Butterfly

December 27: La Traviata

December 28: Figaro's Marriage

December 29: Carmen

 

Concerts and events at St James’ church

 

December 13: Children’s Lending Library Christmas party, 4-6pm. Only for members of the library. You can join at the door

December 16: Concert from Trini Massie & The Sound of Gospel Singers, sponsored by Lucrezia's One Voice Assosciation, 9.15pm 

December 17: Fiesole Music School, Children’s Chorus, 6pm

December 20: Charity concert organised by Assos.Tumori Tosana, 9pm

 

 

ACTIVITIES

 

Let there be light!

Florence’s Christmas tree is lit up at 5pm. Just before, there will be a flag throwing show from the Bandierai degli Uffizi

5pm (flag throwing a little before), piazza del Duomo, Florence

 

Ph. credit @saraligutti, Instagram 

Tuscan Winter Park

Bundle up and enjoy skiing, ice skating and tobogganing on the banks of the Arno. After schussing down the piste or executing tow loops on the ice rink, indulge in some après-ski at the bars or enjoy a hearty meal at the restaurant.

Until March 1, 2015, Obihall, Lungarno Aldo Moro, Florence, www.firenzewinterpark.it

 

Ice skating at Parterre

The ice rink is back until January 6

Until Jan 6, 2015, piazza della Libertà, Florence, T 335/6749849

 

Ho ho ho on the Arno

The Florence rowing club wish everyone a very merry Christmas with Santa Claus, who will float down the Arno in a boat, from Ponte Santa Trinita to Ponte alle Grazie at noon. Special Olympics at the Uffizi will also be underway

12noon, Arno River between Ponte Santa Trinita and Ponte alle Grazie, T 055/2381010, www.canottierifirenze.it

 

Terre di Presepi

Covering over 60km, from Pisa to Florence, explore the many beautiful and artistic Nativity scenes

Until Jan 11, 2015, various locations in Tuscany, http://terredipresepi.blogspot.it

 

RELIGIOUS SERVICES (in English)

 

St James’ American Church, via B. Rucellai 9, Florence, http://stjames.it

 

Advent Lessons and Carols

Dec 14, 11am Advent Lessons and Carols. There will be a free Parish lunch in the Undercroft. Everyone is welcome. 

  Sunday 21 December: Decorating the church for Christmas after the 11am Eucharist.

  Wednesday December 24: 6pm - Christmas Pageant and Parish Eucharist

 11pm- Midnight Mass

  Thursday December 25: 11am Eucharist.

The church office will be closed from December 26 to January 7, 2015

 

St Mark’s English Church, via Maggio 16, Florence,  www.stmarksitaly.com

 

Nine Lessons and Carols followed by mince pies and Glühwein

Dec 21, 6pm, St Mark’s English Church, via Maggio 16, Florence

 

Midnight Mass

Dec 24, 11.30pm, St Mark’s English Church, via Maggio 16, Florence

Solemn High Mass of the Nativity

Dec 25, 10.30am (there will be no 9.30am service on Christmas Day), St Mark’s English Church, via Maggio 16, Florence

 

SPECIAL MUSEUM OPENINGS

Several of Florence's museums will have extra special openings or revised hours during the holiday season. 

 

Accademia Gallery

January 5, 8:15am–6:50pm; via Ricasoli 60, Florence

 

Anthropology section at the Natural History Museum

December 15 to January 31, 9:30am–5pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 10am–5pm; closed Wednesdays; via del Proconsolo 12, Florence

 

Bargello Museum

December 26, 8:15am–9pm; December 27 to January 6, 8:15am–5pm (closed January 1 and 5); via del Proconsolo 4, Florence

 

Medici Chapels

December 26 to January 6, 8:15am–4:50pm; piazza Madonna degli Aldobrandini 6, Florence

 

Uffizi Gallery

January 5, 8:15am–6:50pm; piazzale degli Uffizi 6, Florence

 

 

OUT OF TOWN

 

MARKETS

 

Christmas Craft Market

Dec 8, piazza Mino, Fiesole, www.comune.fiesole.fi.it

 

Marradi Market

Christmas craft markets, meet Santa and the elves, gospel choirs, bubble shows and more

Dec 7 & 14, 10-3.30pm, historic centre of Marradi, http://theflr.net/marradimarket

 

The Magic of Advent

Christmas markets, crafts, food, live music and Santa Claus!

Dec 7, 8, 14, 21, Palazzuolo sul Senio, Alto Mugello, www.magieavvento.blogspot.it

 

Christmas craft market

Dec 12-14/ 19-20, piazza Matteotti, Scandicci, www.comune.scandicci.fi.it

 

Natale in Piazza

Craft and antique market and a chance to meet Father Christmas

Dec 19-23, piazza San Francesco, Prato, www.comune.prato.it

 

Christmas Market

Dec 23-24, piazza Mino, Fiesole, www.comune.fiesole.fi.it

 

Christmas Craft Market

Dec 20-21, piazza Vittorio Veneto, Calenzano, www.comune.calenzano.fi.it  

 

'Christmas Snowflakes' Winter market

Dec 7-8, Historic Centre, Firenzuola, www.mugellotoscana.it

 

Waiting for Christmas

Market in Greve in Chianti, Dec 8/13/14, Piazza Matteotti, www.comune.greve-in-chianti.fi.it

 

Father Christmas's workshop

Christmas festival for children with elves, magic, circus acts, workshops, a puppet theatre and face painting

Dec 19-22, 10-8pm, Cattedrale ex-Breda, via Sandro Pertini, Pistoia, www.lafabbricadibabbonatale.it

 

Santa Claus's village

Meet Santa and enjoy many other Christmas treats. The special train, the 'Polar Express,' takes children and adults around the streets of the village

Until Dec 26, Chianciano Terme, http://www.paesedibabbonatale.it

 

Christmas Village

Wooden houses selling decorations and Christmas treats fill the streets. For children, a pony ranch and Santa's farm

Until Jam 6, 2015, streets in the town centre, www.nataleamontepulciano.it

 

Santa's House

Visit Santa in his house, meet the elves, take part in workshops, a circus school and much more

Until Jan 6, 2015, Castello delle Terme Tamerici, Montecatini Terme, www.lacasadibabbonatale.it

 

Christmas Fair

Lucca’s main piazza hosts an ice rink, carousel and stalls and in piazza San Michele, the traditional Christmas market returns, with more than fifty stands: crafts, food, wine, decorations, toys and more.

Until Jan 6/9, 2015, piazza Nepoleone and piazza Sa Michele, Lucca

 

NATIVITY

 

 

Live Nativity re-enactment

Dec 24, in piazza del Popolo, Montespertoli, www.comune.montespertoli.fi.it

 

1000 Nativity Scenes for Palazzuolo

Dec 8-Jan 6, 2015, Historic centre, Palazzuolo sul Senio. Prizes will be awarded, in January, for the top three Nativity Scenes, http://www.magieavvento.blogspot.it  

 

ICE SKATING

 

Ice rink in Firenzuola

Dec 6-Jan 5, 2015, Piazza Don Stefano Casini, Firenzuola, www.mugellotoscana.it

 

Ice rink in Scandicci

Dec 6-Jan 11, 2015, piazza Matteotti, Scandicci, www.comune.scandicci.fi.it  

 

Ice rink in Lucca

Dec 7-Jan 6, 2015, piazza Napoleone, Lucca, www.regioni-italiane.com/natale-lucca.htm

 

MUSIC & CONCERTS

 

Gospel Choir

The Pilgrims perform their Christmas concert

Dec 16, 9.15pm, Teatro Giotto, Borgo San Lorenzo, www.pilgrims.it

 

 

 

What's on in the NEW YEAR?

 

Opera at St Mark’s

Operas begins at 8.30pm. See http://concertoclassico.blogspot.it for more information.

 

December 31: The Merry Widow with buffet (104€)

January 2, 2015  La Traviata

January 3, 2015 La Bohème

January 4, 2015 Carmen

 

 

St. Vincent: New Year special film screening

Special New Year's Night: film, then spumante and panettone

Odeon Cinehall, piazza Strozzi, T 055214068, www.odeonfirenze.com | SHOWS 10.10pm

 

New Year show

Dec 31, 10pm, Teatro Lumiere, via di Ripoli 231, Florence, www.teatrolumiere.it

 

New Year in the piazza

Various musical events and more in the piazzas in Florence to celebrate New Year

Dec 31, various piazzas in the centre of Florence, www.comune.firenze.it

 

New Year's Day Concert

Viennese Music: waltzes and polkas

Jan 1, 5pm, Teatro Verdi, via Ghibellina 99, Florence, www.teatroverdionline.it

 

New Year's Day Concert

Orchestra from the Fiesole music school perform

11.30am, Florence Opera House, piazza Vittorio Gui, Florence, T 055/597851, email info@scuolamusica.fiesole.fi.it

 

Florence Gospel Choir School

Love and Devotion Gospel seminar, concert on Sunday Jan 4, 9pm

Jan 2-4, 2015, Teatro Lumiere, via di Ripoli 231, Florence, www.teatrolumiere.it

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