For some, February means heart-shaped boxes and bouquets of flowers. Ask any Italian, however, and their answer will probably have more to do with Carnevale. Think massive parade floats resembling politicians, people dressed up in zany costumes and your favorite bakery filling its windows with fried and sugary pleasantries. Sounds fun, right? While Venice and Viareggio typically get a lot of carnival hype, Florence also shows its skin and puts on an exciting month of celebrations. Here are some to add to your calendar.
After two years of failed attempts due to the pandemic, Florence is finally able to throw its hat in the ring with its own celebration of Carnevale. A grand parade will march through the city center beginning at piazza Santa Maria Novella and ending at piazza della Signoria on February 11. The affair will fluster the streets with typical masks, sweets and Carnevale veterans such as Arlecchino and Stenterello. This event is free for the whole community to enjoy.
Hard Rock Cafe
Get the party going at the Hard Rock Cafe in proper Carnevale style. On February 16, come dressed in your favorite character or masquerade disguise and be ready to dance the night away. The band 2000’s Rock Party will take the stage and pump up the night with a live music performance to keep everyone on their toes.
Lions Club Firenze Pitti is teaming up with Italian comic book star Diabolik to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first edition The King of Terror. On February 21, there will be dinner, live music and an appearance from Diabolik’s cartoonist Riccardo Nunziati. All of the proceeds will be donated to a project supporting Ukrainian refugees in the Florence area.
Info and reservations: +39 055 277841
Four Seasons Florence
Four Seasons Florence transforms the luxury hotel into a Carnevale destination. Colorful decorations, intricate masks and exotic animals fill every corner of the hotel lobby with even the Bacchus statue getting a makeover. Guests can head to the Atrium Bar and enjoy a Carnevale aperitif inspired by the holiday’s most famous celebration cities (Venice, Viareggio, New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro). Carnival festivities at Four Seasons Florence last throughout February.
Companion DolceAmaro Bar
Join the Companion DolceAmaro bar at 25hours Hotel every Thursday night in February from 10pm to 2am for a DJ set hosted by Leo Martera. Be sure to show up on February 16 for a carnival-themed dance party, so you can release your inner animal.
No good holiday is complete without its quintessential foods to try, and Carnevale is no exception. Celebration in the smallest form still counts for something and the easiest way to do that is to head to your favorite neighbourhood bakery and try out the sweet and simple delights that stock the shelves at this time of year. Some of our favorites include cenci, frittelle di riso and schiacciata alla fiorentina.