In this indeterminate twilight zone of pandemic living, I was walking home one evening when realization suddenly dawned that the Christmas lights had been switched on. Bright, beautiful, joyful! Two days of remote work interspersed with an afternoon in the office meant I’d somehow missed seeing the illuminated baubles being hoisted into the sky down my street. The exact same thing occurred after watching the new Wes Anderson flick (how gorgeous is that film about an expat magazine based in Paris, not unlike The Florentine!) at our beloved Cinema Odeon in mid-November. Released from the mind-bending movie, the unexpected appearance of the dazzling light show on the façade of the Rinascente department store made me grin during a wander around piazza della Repubblica. The preening in via de’ Tornabuoni is a different animal, of course, as the labourers even appeared to have the luxury of time in prepping the high-end decorations, lavishly dripping with gold. My favourite lights so far? The graceful zigzag of single-strand twinkle that stretches beside the nine arches of the Loggia del Pesce, down via Pietrapiana, along borgo La Croce to piazza Beccaria. Florence is unfurling all its festive magic, as captured in our December cover photo by Jessica Fradono, aka @thedishstance, and in Jack Bach’s article about the anticipation leading up to the holidays.