The Florentine’s guide to F-LIGHT Festival 2017

What to see for Florence’s video-mapping festival

Harry Jacobs Lim
December 14, 2017 - 11:28

Following the success of previous editions, Florence lights it up this winter with “F-Light”. On until January 7, 2018 and scattered across 15 different locations, the Light Festival displays the city’s monuments and piazzas in a new light. Filled to the brim with video-mapping, projections, light games, artistic installation and educational activities, this year’s theme is the word frontier.


In Florence, the artists have taken this concept and expanded on it in magical ways, using the theme literally and physically but also extending to the abstract, representing anything from new scientific landscapes to cultural, social or even geo-political ideas. On the other hand, respect and sentimentality of past events and remnants yet to be discovered are similarly depicted.






The Florentine Tour of F-Light


There is no better place to start than the Ponte Vecchio with the return of video mapping. After the 2015 and 2016 renditions, which were photographed by tens of thousands of people, the famous bridge has become a canvas for Florence, sparking reflection on the theme of borders and migration by focusing attention on the global refugee crisis. This installation was made with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and designed by the IED – Istituto Europeo di Design. 

Daily from 6pm to midnight.






Stroll over to the Oltrarno to take in the façade of Santo Spirito, lit up with projections from an open call competition. Over 200 participants submitted their compositions on the theme of frontier, from 15 Florentine institutions ranging from kindergartens to elderly homes with the participants ranging from 8 months to 100 years old. The project was put together by the IED, in collaboration with The Fake Factory.

Daily from 6pm to midnight.






Following the river towards Ponte alle Grazie, you come across the special lighting along lungarno Diaz on the façade of the Chamber of Commerce. This exhibition stands on the other side of the frontier since it poses as a natural stage of reflection on major economic themes. Video mapping on the façade next to piazza Mentana recalls the history of Florence’s Chamber of Commerce through a cascade of letters and numbers, from its historic origins into the future. The show here is on until January 11, 2018, when the headquarters is set to reveal its fully renovated facilities and digitised records.

Daily from 6pm to midnight.






Practically around the corner stands the Torre di Arnolfo, enlightened by the UN’s 17 global objectives for sustainable development. The frontier of this instalment is the horizon of responsibility—the year 2030—when the goals should be met, putting an end to poverty and hunger, stopping global warming, reducing human pressure on nature and guaranteeing prosperity and peace. With the attention-grabbing Florentine light on the city’s most visible monument, we can all strive towards a brighter future.

Daily from 6pm to 1am.





In the Mercato del Porcellino, which you will find by following via Vacchereccia, three artists display their works beneath the famous market’s vaults. The Loggia del Porcellino, renowned for the bronze pig most tourists want to touch, is a multi-faceted investigation on the metamorphosis of light. It uses various techniques to trap and position light, giving it a unique form. This multi-installation contains works by Yannis Kraniditios, RaumZeitPiraten and Jose Angelino.

Daily from 8:30pm to midnight.





On the other side of the Duomo, Palazzo Medici Riccardi contains a display in the Michelozzo courtyard. Vaunting seven bright rays of light that shine on mirrors laid the ground, “Limen”, the installation’s name, is Latin for “threshold” as well as “beginning”. Thanks to special sensors, the visitor becomes the protagonist of the installation by interacting with the movement of the light beams.

Daily from 6 to 10pm.





The Basilica of San Lorenzo stands close by and it has become a canvas of an extraordinary narrative: a short, silent fairytale, where past and present coexist. The protagonists are giant whales and airships in an idealised and distant north alongside birds, animals, insects, buildings, landscapes and footprints.

Daily from 6pm to midnight.





Also in the San Lorenzo neighbourhood is the Mercato Centrale, dressed in an arresting lighting installation on its façade with a colourful “curtain” of lights inside the market building. Striking, theatrical and elegant – even comparable with the fabulous lighting display at La Rinascente in piazza della Repubblica.






Also continuing in this rendition of the festival is a respect for the city’s towers and gateways. Special lightings of the Torre di San Niccolò, Porta al Prato, Porta Romana and Torre della Zecca bath these strong edifices in warm light.







Now a tradition with F-Light, the City of Florence reveals new permanent lighting to one of the city’s monuments. This year, the new lighting system, provided by SILFI S.p.A., of the loggia of the Sant’Ambrogio market and the Church of Sant’Ambrogio will be inaugurated on December 19, at 6pm.


Now a tradition with F-Light, the City of Florence reveals new permanent lighting at one of the monuments. Silfi spa, after having given a new lighting system to the Loggia del Pesce and the Basilica of Santa Croce, this year, during the Festival, will inaugurate the new lights of the Church of Sant’Ambrogio and of the loggia of the Sant’Ambrogio Market.


For more information, see the official website


more articles