Your Thursday forecast: best events in Florence

Our top picks for November 22-28, 2018

Mary Gray
November 22, 2018 - 11:50

LAILAC/Japanese Festival

11am-8pm, November 23-25

Ippodromo del Visarno, piazzale delle Cascine 29, Florence

Ph. Fulvio Chiari

Japanese cultural association Lailac takes to the Cascine for the 20th edition of the Festival Giapponese, a local event that’s been running, in organizers’ words, since “long before sushi landed in everyone’s mouths.” With more than 40 special guests and over 50 events, the weekend will feature a wide range of arts and crafts demonstrations; martial arts shows; sake tastings; Mangiappone (“Eat Japan”) food booths with finger-licking dishes beyond just sushi and sashimi; origami and calligraphy workshops and more. Early-winter stress got you tied up in knots? Don’t miss the chance to enjoy an ancient-style shiatsu massage.  Admission is 2 euro; current Lailac members enter for free. For more information, see



November 28-December 20

Piazza Santa Croce, Florence

‘Tis (almost) the season to be jolly. When the end of the month rolls around, the German-style holiday market rolls into town. Though Florence’s rendition of Weihnachtsmarkt isn’t quite the Candyland-esque experience you’d find in Cologne or closer to home in Bolzano, it’s nonetheless a charming way to get into a merry and bright kind of mood. Expect sauerkraut and mustardy sausage dogs, stroopwafels and pretzels aplenty: seasonal street foods from beyond Italian borders are always among the market highlights. Wash them down with mulled wine and pick up some early (or last-minute) gifts and knick-knacks at the whimsical wooden booths.




GRATITUDE/A gospel-tinged Thanksgiving

November 24-25

Chiesa Metodista, via de' Benci 9, Florence

If the weekend comes and you haven't had at least one Thanksgiving-induced tryptophan "coma," consider joining the Florence Gospel Fellowship International for their special Thanksgiving weekend events. Saturday evening brings a large group dinner (with reservations required) and Sunday will feature a 6.30pm concert and Christian worship service by the Celebration Gospel Choir with special guest Vonn Washington. To book a place at the table, email [email protected] 




Photo by Andrea Paoletti


Visit the now-open Uffizi show by contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang that inspired Sunday afternoon's spectacular fireworks in piazzale Michelangelo.



See the historic links between Florence and Vienna on full display in the new porcelain exhibition at Palazzo Pitti.




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