Top winter events in Tuscany

2015 edition

Mary Gray
December 3, 2015 - 15:00

The holiday season in Tuscany may mean never-ending Nativity scenes and Babbi Natale by the dozen, but this year, there are plenty of things to do that are a little out of the ordinary. Check out some of the winter highlights across the region.




#PRATO/Prato Festival

December 22–31

Various venues in Prato


Just as the threat of that late-December dead zone looms, Prato will launch a full program of concerts, Christmas events and even a coffee festival to keep things interesting. Headline music events will include a David Bowie tribute performance by enigmatic musician Andrea Chimenti, scheduled for the winter solstice (December 22, 9.30pm, Teatro Mestasio) and a free New Year’s Eve concert from the Piazza Vittorio Orchestra (December 31, 11.30pm, piazza del Comune). Stay warm and energized as it’s out with the old year and in with the new: from December 29–31, piazza del Comune will host the  Pausa Caffe’ Festival, offering free samples of top coffees from five continents. See the full program on the festival website.





LumièreDecember 5–6Piazza del Duomo and downtown San Gimignano

Let there be light! San Gimignano brightens up in early December for a special visual and performance arts festival built around the concepts of light and shadow. Expect eye-catching projections on some of the town’s most famous façades; an enchanted night forest for children in piazza Sant’Agostino; a ‘magic lantern’ in piazza delle Erbe; light drawing and other live art performances; and a Lux Navitas concert (December 6, 7pm). View the full program of flourescent festivities here.



#TUSCANY/Cantine Aperte

December 5–6

Wineries around Tuscany


Looking for your plans for the big ponte weekend in December? Over 20 wineries scattered throughout the region will take part in a Christmas-themed version of Cantine Aperte, the well-known wine event organized by Movimento Turismo del Vino Toscana. Enjoy Christmas activities, guided visits and seasonal sips in a variety of wineries, stretching from the Chianti Classico area to the Val d’Orcia. For this edition, Cantine Aperte has a family-friendly focus, so you can even tote the kids along while you taste: take them along for cooking lessons and themed creative workshops. View the full program and a list of participating wineries on MTV Toscana's website.






#SANGIMIGNANO/Franco Fontana: Full Color

Until January 6, 2016

Raffaele De Grada Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, San Gimignano


Get an unlikely dose of contemporary art in the ‘Manhattan of the Middle Ages’ as San Gimignano hosts Franco Fontana: Full Color. There’s no better way to brighten up the dreary winter mood than with a low-season visit to one of Tuscany’s most trafficked towns, currently taking on a new hue with this vibrant photography exhibition. Renowned at the international level,  Italian photographer Fontana is known for his hyper-realistic landscapes that seem suspended in time, and, of course, for his highly saturated colors. This retrospective brings together 130 of his most telling works, taken across decades and multiple continents. Learn more on the exhibition website.



#AREZZO/Painted Cinema Until February 7, 2016

Casa Museo Ivan Bruschi, Corso Italia 14, Arezzo


Film buffs will flock to this pop-tastic exhibition at the Casa Museo Ivan Bruschi, which takes visitors back to a glamorous golden age of Italian and international cinema. Painted Cinemacollects the original works of Livornese artist Carlantonio Longi (1921–1980), a painter, illustrator and poster designer who drew some of the film world’s most memorable movie posters and advertisements. Some of his most high-profile works were for Luchino Visconti’s Senso, Federico Fellini’s The White Sheik and Victor Fleming’s The Wizard of Oz.  Texts from art historian Bruno Santi complement the collection. The show is open from 10am–1pm and 2–6pm every day except Monday.



#SIENA/Felice Tagliaferri

Until January 10, 2016

Santa Maria della Scala, Siena


In The Church of Art, blind sculptor Felice Tagliaferri presents audiences with a selection of works designed to be experienced through touch and not just sight. The show is doubly effective in that it encourages visitors to reflect on how they perceive and process information, while also making art accessible for the blind and visually impaired. Though it comprises just twelve works, most of which were sculpted in Carrara marble, the show touches on several different themes, with a particular focus on maternity and spirituality. Entry is free for residents in the province of Siena.  For more information and opening times, see Santa Maria della Scala's website.




#MUGELLO/Mugello’s Got Talent

December 28, 9pm

Teatro Corsini, Barberino di Mugello


Get your microphones out and your costumes on: Barberino di Mugello is hosting the fourth edition of Mugello’s Got Talent, a quirky and widely attended community show spotlighting the range of strange and wonderful skills spread throughout the area. The stage welcomes dancers, singers, poets and the usual talent show standards, but it’s also open to performers in more particular genres. Participation is free: to sign up, write to [email protected] and follow the Facebook page Mugello’s Got Talent for updates. For pre-ticket sales, call 3385091492.




#FUCECCHIO/Christmas in Fucecchio

Until January 6, 2016

Historic center of Fucecchio


Fucecchio is hosting a month-long celebration that’s far more than your average Christmas market. Not limited to Santa Clauses, sleighs and shopping, the village will host several not-so-standard concerts and parades, including a ‘Sounds of New Orleans’ show (December 13, 4.30pm) through the historic center. Take part in a series of gourmet dinners and aperitivi, markets for adults and children, magic shows, films, carolling outings and more. View the full program here.


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