The year ahead in Florence: a preview

The year ahead in Florence: a preview

From the Tour de France to the centenary of the University of Florence, here's your guide to 2024.

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Wed 03 Jan 2024 10:17 AM

As we head into 2024, Florence looks to the future with changes on the cards ahead of the administrative elections in June. Here’s our round-up of what to watch out for this year in Tuscany.  

2024 in Florence: ongoing

Florence looks likely to become the most expensive place to rent property in Italy in 2024. According to real estate website Immobiliare.it Insights, prices are set to rise by nearly 17 per cent over the next 12 months, making the Tuscan capital surpass Milan in terms of residential rentals, costing almost 29 euro per square metre compared to the current 24 euro. 

A slight economic slowdown is expected in Florence in 2024. Based on data from the Chamber of Commerce, an uptick is estimated in imports and exports (+2.4 and 2.7% compared with 1.5 and 2.2% last year) and 0.7% rise in sales tax, as well as +0.8% for household consumption expenditure, a downturn in gross fixed capital formation (+0.5%) and a similar unemployment rate (4.7% for 2023-24, compared to 6% in 2022). Tuscany, however, risks zero GDP growth due to the impact of last year’s flooding (-0.2% on the regional GDP) and wages that continue to be weighed down by high inflation.

The Santa Maria Novella complex looks set to become the biggest cultural centre in Florence over the next 12 months with the completion of ​​the MUNDI Italian Language Museum, an expansion of the current civic museum, a new library, social housing, a Carabinieri HQ and a square called piazza Mediterranea. 

2024 marks 100 years of the University of Florence. Although the Studium Generale (medieval study centre) was established in 1321, the institution was officially recognized as a university in 1924. The university will be holding a number of events to mark the centenary. Find out more here.

The ferris wheel by the Cascine park will continue to turn until June with the ice rink turned into something more springlike in the new year. 

After decades of discussions about Florence Airport, the environmental impact and strategic assessments are likely to lead to work beginning on the terminal and runway by the summer. In other transport news, the Libertà-San Marco tramline will be finished in 2024 and work will get underway on the Bagno a Ripoli line. In the meantime, drilling continues beneath the city to carve out the new high-speed train link.

January

Pitti Uomo 102
Pitti Uomo 103 Ph. Marco Badiani

Style takes over the city as the 105th edition of the twice-yearly male fashion fair Pitti Immagine Uomo returns to the Fortezza da Basso conference complex from January 9 to 12. The unmissable occasion for all fashionistas sees leading international figures make their way to Florence, with 835 brands showcasing their winter collections, 43 per cent of which come from abroad. Guest designers Steven Stockey-Daley and Luca Magliano feature alongside this edition’s theme of PittiTime. Pitti Bimbo follows from January 17 to 19, switching the focus to childrenswear, including the first edition of the Petite Parade.

See here for more events this January in Florence.

February

The much-missed La Specola museum in via Romana reopens on February 21. Closed for renovation since 2019, the weird and wonderful collections at the natural history museum managed by the University of Florence delight adults and children alike. Just under five million euro were invested to update the space hosting the wax casts, old bones and Medici gems, in addition to modernizing the education rooms, bookshop and coffee shop. 

An old look at La Specola’s Skeleton Room

Now in its 17th edition, the Italian food showcase Taste returns from February 3 to 5. Held at the Fortezza da Basso, food enthusiasts gain a flavour of the unexpected as the 600-plus producers from the country’s contemporary food scene present their specialities. Colour is this year’s theme as well as design-driven household chicken and an increased focus on spirits. If you can’t make it to the fair, embrace the occasion by reserving a Fuori di Taste themed dinner at a local restaurant.

Chianti Classico Collection opens to the public to Stazione Leopolda on February 16 during the Anteprime di Toscana (Tuscan wine preview week) from February 14 to 19, which also welcomes connoisseurs for tastings of Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and other leading regional appellations. Chianti Lovers & Rosso Morellino returns to Florence’s Fortezza da Basso on February 18. 

Acquired by Pitti Immagine, the large-scale international event, Danzainfiera, returns to the Fortezza da Basso from February 23 to 25. Dancers, teachers, choreographers, international étoiles, schools, academies and beloved brands of dance apparel and accessories will gather in Florence for the new edition with the slogan All Beats to Dance.

March

The European Festival of Journalism and Media Literacy will take place in Florence on March 15-16. Over two days, the first edition of the festival will explore crucial themes shaping our relationship with information and media today through talks, interactive workshops, exhibitions and networking opportunities. The sessions will tackle artificial intelligence and journalism, disinformation, safety of journalists, the challenges within media economic models, media literacy, electoral integrity, EU legislation on media, digital parenting and digital well-being. Tickets are free.

Villa Bardini hosts an exhibition on Neapolitan photographer Mimmo Jodice in March. Dates to be announced.

Anselm Kiefer, Engelssturz (2022)

From March 22 to July 28, Anselm Kiefer, one of the greatest masters of 20th- and 21st-century art, takes up residence at Palazzo Strozzi. Renowned for impactful works that explore the themes of memory, myth, war and existence through painting, sculpture and installation, in the Fallen Angels show Kiefer presents historical pieces and new productions in a unique dialogue with the Renaissance architecture. 

May

A woman films The State of The Union 2023 in Florence

The State of the Union returns to Florence on May 23 and 24 for high-level discussions by leading scientific thinkers, academics, politicians and journalists about the EU agenda.

May 27 is always a somber day in Florence when the city commemorates the five people—Angela Fiume; her husband, Fabrizio Nencioni; their daughters, Nadia Nencioni (9) and Caterina Nencioni (just 50 days old); and 22-year-old student Dario Capolicchio—who lost their lives in the via dei Georgofili bombing by the Mafia to the rear of the Uffizi on May 27, 1993.

June

This year’s blockbuster event will be the Tour de France, whose first stage, known as the Grand Départ, will begin in Florence and finish in Rimini on June 29 before continuing from Cesenatico to Bologna on June 30. It’s the first time that Le Tour has ever started in Italy, paying tribute to local legend Gino Bartali, who won this very competition in 1938.

​​Firenze Rocks returns to the Visarno Arena in June. Rockers can look forward to Los Angeles band Tool on June 15, with other acts still to be announced.

June will be a busy month as Florentines go to the polls to choose their next mayor and the city’s leadership team at the same time as the European elections. A bastion of the centre left, Sara Funaro is the candidate for the Democratic Party, a known entity as the current councillor for education, welfare and immigration as well as being the grand-daughter of popular former mayor Piero Bargellini. Cecilia Del Re is equally renowned as a former city councillor for urban planning and technological innovation. (She was ousted from office last March, ostensibly for a comment about having a tramline run through piazza Duomo.) Running for Matteo Renzi’s Italia Viva, Stefania Saccardi, the current vice-president of the Tuscan regional government, is calling for primaries to decide the centre-left candidate between herself, Del Re and Funaro. Rumours are still circulating about a possible mayoral candidacy for the centre-right by Eike Schmidt at the end of his mandate as director of the Uffizi Galleries, despite having been appointed as director of the Capodimonte Museums in Naples.

September

Helen Frankenthaler

Florence’s second The Social Hub (formerly The Student Hotel) is set to open its colossal doors in viale Belfiore by the summer. Expect a public park, co-working spaces, restaurants and more!

Running September 27 through February 2, 2025, Helen Frankenthaler: Painting without Rules is an ambitious presentation of the poetic abstractions of one of the most significant American artists of the 20th century at Palazzo Strozzi. The survey examines Frankenthaler’s artistic affinities, influences and friendships by interweaving paintings created between 1953 and 2002 with select works by some of her contemporaries—including Anthony Caro, Morris Louis, Robert Motherwell, Kenneth Noland, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, David Smith and Anne Truitt. 

Meanwhile, over at Palazzo Corsini, the antiques world returns from September 28 to October 6 for the International Biennial of Antiques. Neatly coinciding with Florence Art Week, nearly 30,000 visitors are expected to attend the world-class fair with its rich cultural program.


Teatro della Signoria (formerly Teatro Nazionale) is scheduled to open in the autumn. Florence-based architectural firm Archea is behind the restoration and renovation, while Florence resident and Canada-born theatre impresario Hershey Felder has been appointed artistic director of the soon-to-be-revived cultural space in the city centre.

November

Firenze Marathon
Crossing the line in piazza Duomo, 2023

International road runners return to Florence on November 24 for the 40th edition of Firenze Marathon. Athletes are accompanied by centuries of art, history and culture all along the 42.195 kilometre route. 


November 29 marks 100 years since the death of Lucca-born composer Giacomo Puccini with tribute concerts and performances expected all around the world, including Tuscany.

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