Begin the new year with a bang: the world’s acrobatic superstars are coming to Florence for ALIS Christmas Gala, a series of five circus-themed shows presented by Le Cirque World’s Top Performers. Inspired by the surreal and dreamlike qualities of 19th century literature, and in particular of Alice in Wonderland, the show features aerial and on-the-ground numbers with acrobats, jugglers, tightrope walkers and more. With a colorful cast comprising 28 members (and no animals in sight), ALIS will feature Cirque du Soleil’s cream of the crop, along with stars from contemporary circus companies across the globe. Worth watching is the team’s youngest member, 19-year-old Asia Tromler, an Italy native who plays the show’s titular character. Tickets start at 27.50 euro. Showtimes: 8.30pm January 4-6, 11am & 4pm January 7. For more information, call 055.6504112.
The boys are back in town! Per January tradition, the premier menswear trade fair Pitti Immagine Uomo returns to the Fortezza da Basso for four days of (sealed-off-to-the-public) fashion. But there's plenty of fun to be had outside the Fortezza, from parties and people-watching to lectures and exhibitions. One of the highlights will take place at fashion institute Polimoda, fresh off its December All Stars party. The school's Rendez-vous series at Villa Favard will host Dylan Jones, editor-in-chief of British GQ and chairman of London Fashion Week Men's (10.30am, January 10, registration required). Sign up for TF's free weekly newsletter here and you'll receive a complete guide to all things Pitti courtesy of our fashion writer Amelia Éclectique. For more information, see the Pitti Immagine website.
Florence caps off the Christmas season with appropriate pomp and circumstance on January 6, the Feast Day of the Epiphany. The Cavalcata dei Magi re-enacts the story of the Three Wise Men's star-led journey to the newborn Jesus, in which they brought him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Costuming for the procession is elaborate, with the three kings' threads designed after those in Benozzo Gozzoli's Procession of the Magi fresco in Palazzo Medici Riccardi. Joining the Magi are several of Florence's feast-day fixtures: you'll spot the city's historic court and the Bandierai degli Uffizi, among other groups. The ritual kicks off at around 2pm outside Palazzo Pitti, with the procession then winding its way through the city center, ultimately ending up in piazza del Duomo around 3pm. For more on the history of this lavish procession, see this archived article from TF columnist Deirdre Pirro.
Florence’s monuments and squares get an illuminated makeover for the holiday season with the return of F-LIGHT Firenze Light Festival. After sundown daily, Florence’s facades, bridges and basilicas—San Lorenzo, Santo Spirito, the Porcellino market and Palazzo Medici Riccardi, among others—become a canvas for colorful projections and poignant messages. This year’s theme is Frontiere, or “borders”, with many of the installations aiming to raise awareness of the global refugee crisis. For the full program, see the website, and check out our guide to the highlights here.
The Obihall’s very own winter wonderland is open every day to keep cold-weather boredom at bay. Firenze Winter Park features two separate ice skating rinks (“Master” for big kids and adults, and “River” for little ones and first-time skaters). Feeling adventurous? Try your hand at “Ice Stock,” a quirky bowling-curling combo sport, suitable for both children and adults. When you need a time-out from the chilly activities, indulge in a warm cup of mulled wine, or head for the food stands managed by favorite street food eateries PescePane, Panino Tondo and La Toraia. For more information, see the website.