Best events in Florence this December 2023

Here’s our round-up for December 2023.

The December events calendar is all aglow with festive spirit as a stellar season awaits.

Share your events with The Florentineevents@theflorentine.net

Until January 28
IMMERSIVE

Inside Van Gogh

Immerse yourself in the world of the renowned artist with this multimedia exhibition, which surrounds you in his colours and scenes. A fascinating 35-minute digital story created through 360° multi-projections and a suitably atmospheric soundtrack takes you through the tumultuous story of Vincent Van Gogh. Don’t miss the Oculus VR stations that transport you into a 3D sensory journey through some of his famous paintings and the enchanting “hall of mirrors”.

7 December 2023 - 12 December 2023
CINEMA

River to River Florence Indian Film Festival

The 23rd edition of the popular film fest features films, shorts and documentaries, as well as special screenings and a wide-ranging cultural calendar. Special guests include Suraj Sharma, star of the Oscar-winning film Life of Pi, who will present his new feature film Gulmohar directed by Rahul Chittella, who will also be in attendance. An exhibition titled My India/Megalopolis showcases works by Rocco Rorandelli, on display at C.A.Ciampi in collaboration with Fondazione Studio Marangoni.

Until January 12
ARCHITECTURE

Adolfo Coppedè

Over 100 drawings, projects, prints and photos are at the centre of this exhibition dedicated to the noted figure in Italian civil architecture, Ardolfo Coppedè (1871-1951).

1 December 2023 - 3 December 2023
FESTIVAL

Florence Tattoo Convention

Over 300 world-famous tattoo artists get their machines buzzing to share their skillful skin art, with names like Cristian Casas, Villapando, Donkoke, Pina Pain and Diamante Murru forming the line-up. The vast exhibition area presents a highly curated selection of works, including a photographic section by French journalist Pascal Bagot who repurposes images by the criminologist Akimitsu Takagi (1920-1995), and a collection of ancient and vintage tattoo memorabilia by Trad Tattoo.

Throughout December
FILM

Giunti Odeon

The attention-grabbing new cultural space brings a varied cinematic programming this December, with Napoleon from December 1-3 and 6-10, Paolo Conte at La Scala concert film from December 4-5, a restored version of Hitchcock’s Spellbound on December 11, and Between Worlds on December 13, a fascinating exploration of the mediation technique tukdam. The screenings are in English with Italian subtitles.

23 December 2023
BALLET

The Nutcracker

Ballerinas from the Romanian National Opera perform Tchaikovsky’s timeless classic on December 23, transporting audiences to a magical and wonderful winter wonderland. The festive favourite includes all the charming symbols of the season, from a Christmas tree and snowflakes to toy soldiers and sweets. Delighting audiences of all ages, Clara and the ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ will glide you into the holiday period in spectacular style. Tickets (20-56 euro) are purchasable via Box Office Toscana and TicketOne.

From December 8
FESTIVE

Florence on Ice Village and Panoramic Wheel

The popular ice skating rink pops up from December 8 to January 15, said to be the largest rink in Tuscany. Skaters dash through the spectacular setting from 10am to midnight. While there, don’t miss the chance to take a spin on the 55-meter-high panoramic wheel, which will be on site from December 8 to June 10. Not a fan of heights? There’s a fabulous Christmas village with specially curated activities for families and children, as well as plenty of food stalls and more. The fun doesn’t stop there! From May 1 to June 10 there will be other attractions in place of the Christmassy-vibes, taking on a spring theme.

MARKETS

Mercato di Natale,  piazza Santa Croce

The much-loved German-inspired market brings street food stalls, sweet gift ideas, and a whole lot of atmosphere.

Until December 17

 

Mercato di Natale nordico, Parterre, piazza Libertà

Decorations, crafts and sweets from Northern Europe form this intriguing addition to the Christmas calendar, with creative workshops and even fairy tales under the trees. There’ll be an exhibition of works by Finnish artists and a performance of traditional songs, with Santa Claus making a special trip.

December 2-3; 10am to 7pm

 

Mercato in Borgo Pinti, Courtyard of the Santa Maria Maddalena de’Pazzi Church

Expect crafts and all kinds of handmade items, with a wide array of items ensuring something for everyone.

December 9-10; 10am to 7pm 

 

La Fierucola

La Fierucola markets bring together artisanal crafts and products in popular opportunities to gather and purchase sustainable fare. Piazza Santissima Annunziata will have stalls on December 8 for the Fierucola dell’Immaculata, the fierucolina in piazza del Carmine will be on December 10, with a Christmas Fiercuolina in piazza Ognissanti on December 17, and in Santo Spirito on December 19.

8 December 2023 - 10 December 2023
FESTIVE

Christmas at Castelfalfi

A magical three-day event for all ages comes to Castelfalfi, when the charming village will be transformed with local crafts markets, live music, performances and delicious street food, with a cup of hot chocolate or Vin Brulé adding to the experience. Experience the thrill of meeting Santa Claus and his elves, and little ones can even take a pony ride in the stunning Medicean Park.

From November 18
WONDERLAND

Arezzo Città del Natale

From light shows and enchanted forests to, of course, Santa himself, Arezzo is transformed into a winter wonderland complete with a panoramic wheel and ice skating. The long list of festive activities makes this an unmissable winter line-up to add to your Christmas calendar.

7 December 2023
OPERA

Christmas Opera Gala

A Christmas Opera Gala at the Fondazione Mascarde Opera (Palazzo Corsini al Prato) takes place on December 7. Audiences will be treated to Puccini’s La Bohème, ‘Stars’ from Les Miserables, Stauss’ Die Fledermaus, and many memorable works. Your ticket also gives you access to the Fondazione and Corsini Gardens, weather permitting from 6pm, including a glass of wine.

8 December 2023 - 7 January 2024
FESTIVAL

Green Line light festival

Videomapping on Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo Vecchio gathers gazers to share in the Christmas spirit. Lights spread the cheer all over the main squares and monuments of the city, with decorated trees adding to the joy. Curated by MUS.E and with artistic direction by Sergio Risaliti, there’s a wide range of activities organized both in the center and suburbs, above all aimed at families, and even Santa Claus and his elves show up to enjoy festive Florence.

31 December 2023 - 1 January 2024
CELEBRATE

New Year’s Eve

Concerts are set for six squares this New Year’s Eve, with each dedicated to a different musical genre. You’ll struggle to pick between the Gospel choirs in piazza San Giovanni, jazz in piazza Santissima Annunziata, live orchestra and dance in piazza Santa Croce, pop/singer-songwriters in piazza del Carmine, marching bands in Oltrarno or the songs and dances in piazza della Signoria.

11 December 2023 - 16 December 2023
ARTISANS

Craft walks

Firenze Creativa, in collaboration with Artex and The Florentine, have curated free festive shopping experiences focused on artisanal crafts, taking place over the course of Christmas crafts week, December 11-16. The first route sets off at 3pm on December 11, taking participants to discover the heart of Florentine craftsmanship. At the same time on December 12, the itinerary takes a contemporary twist in the Oltrarno, dedicated to female creative energies and taking place in English. At 3pm on December 15, the products highlighted will be in the Santissima Annunziata area. Finally, the event at 10am on December 16 is inspired by Pratolini’s Le Ragazze di San Frediano.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Female Arts in Florence presents their annual Christmas pop-up from December 1-24, with a wide range of artisanal goods creating the ideal gifts. FB +IG @femaleartsinflorence

 

Lìlà Toy Store on via Maggio 78R holds a terrarium workshop for all ages on December 2, with a creative workshop on December 8 dedicated to exploring traditional stories and legends. Events are in Italian and English, with reservations required.

 

Creative People in Florence organize a contemporary craft fair at Ditta Artigianale (Sant’Ambrogio) on December 10 and 17, with an atmospheric, intimate and festive event featuring over 20 crafters to give you plenty of handmade gift ideas, including homeware, clothes, ceramics, footwear, plants, woodwork, jewellery and illustrations.

 

The British Institute of Florence (lungarno Guicciardini 9) will have their annual open-to-all, free entry Christmas Fair from 3-6pm on December 1, with lots of different stalls selling books and unique handmade gifts and goods, as well as tea and cakes. The Music al British series continues at 6.30pm on December 5 with pianist Minkyu Kim, with the Wednesday Lectures Series (held at 6pm) proving ever-popular. This month features Mark Roberts discussing ‘The Jewish Ghetto of Florence’ on December 6, and on December 13 Jeremy Boudreau will give a talk on ‘Distinguishing Donatello’. A Christmas concert with readings and singing (as well as mulled wine!) will take place at 6.30pm on December 19, with free admission for all and everyone welcome.

 

SOTTO al British (lungarno Guicciardini 15) hold brainstorming for writers at 7pm on December 19 with Lori Hetherington, life drawing with Tom J.Byrne weekly on Mondays from 7-9pm, and social bridge on Tuesdays. There will be Christmas carol singing weekly on Fridays at 6pm with Maestro Francesco Romano, followed by a glass of wine.

 

St Mark’s English Church (via Maggio 18) brings operatic arias and duets from La Bohème, Rigoletto, La Traviata and Neapolitan Songs to its space from 8.45pm on December 25, 27 +31.

 

Italian artist Gianpiero D’Alessandro is known for having worked with many world-famous figures, including Justin Bieber, Cristiano Ronaldo and Stefano Gabbana. His crypto art adorns the walls of Hotel Savoy for the season with a specially curated exhibition and an exclusively designed series of items and decorations for their Christmas tree, featuring a special bear named Rocco Forte. The items are available for purchase, with the proceeds donated to the Istituto degli Innocenti Foundation. A Teddy XMas cocktail party marks the occasion at 7pm on December 15.

 

The historic performance Teatro del Sale on via dei Macci reopens after its summer closure, with the singer and composer Sabina Sciubba performing on December 1. Playing piano and singing her original music accompanied by poly instrumentalist Francesco Cangi, dinner is served at 8pm, with the show at 10pm.

 

The yoga, fitness and lifestyle space, The22, hosts its annual Christmas Souk, a magical celebration of the holidays with some of the most creative and innovative entrepreneurs in the city. A curated selection of local brands, artists, nibbles and live beats includes luxury cashmere inspired by the moon cycles, mouth-watering matcha and mystical scents. December 16; 4-8pm, free admission

 

The Social Hub hosts Midnight in Florence from 7-11pm on December 2, a collective exhibition for emerging artists that proves an opportunity to meet other creatives in the area. Free entrance, with registration required via Eventbrite. From 11am to 8pm on December 3, there will be the Pimp my Vintage market, with Arcigay present carrying out free HIV testing. The Wonderful Market will be held on December 9-10, surrounding shoppers with sustainable handmade objects.

 

35 artists display their ceramic creations for the International Ceramics Fair in piazza Ognissanti, dedicated to talented artisans. December 2-3; 10am to 7pm.

15 December 2023 - 17 December 2023
MARKETS

Mercato Nataleperfile

The 20th edition of the charity market raises funds for FILE Fondazione Italiana di Leniterapia, which gives assistance to seriously ill patients and their families. With plenty of Christmas gift ideas, clothing, household items, fragrances, food and wine, there will also be the popular FILE Panettone and Pandoro and their raffle with great prizes. A cafè and refreshment area in the Ninfeo of the Palace gives you a chance to rest your shopping bags and soak up the resplendent setting. 10am-7pm, free entry.

8 December 2023 - 9 December 2023
CHARITY

AILO Christmas Bazaar

Vintage clothes, accessories, decorations, games and must-haves for children are just some of the many items on sale for the 47th edition of the charity market organized by the American International League of Florence. Grab an American brownie, enjoy the live music, tell Santa Claus what you’re hoping for this Christmas, and make sure to get yourself a raffle ticket with great prizes up for grabs. 10am to 6pm, free entry.

CONCERTS

Festival of Historic Organs

At 4.30pm on December 3 at the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte, organist Giacomo Benedetti performs music by Weckmann, Bach, Cherubini and Mendelsohn, with free entry. At 9pm on December 8, Giuseppe Sarti’s flute sonatas fill the Chapter House of Santa Felicita with flute, harpsichord and baroque cello (15 euro, reduced 5 euro). While at the same venue on December 20, the romantic Carlo Munier quartet plays pieces on mandolin, mandola and guitar.

 

Gospel Experience, Cinema La Compagnia

Music, singing and faith combine in the charity event, in which all proceeds are donated to the flood emergency in Tuscany.

December 17; 7pm. Tickets via Eventbrite, from 22 euro

 

Harlem Gospel Choir, Teatro Verdi

The soulful performance celebrates 60 years with Whitney Houston, with the highly talented singers giving expert renditions.

December 22; 8.45pm, tickets from 26 euro.

 

Classical Christmas Concerts

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino hosts its Christmas concert on December 19, with the children’s choir of the Accademia del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino while Teatro Verdi takes its turn on December 24 with works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Dvorak starring violinist Erica Piccotti, conducted by Diego Ceretta. Their New Year’s Day concert will be at 5pm on January 1, with soprano Alessia Panza and tenor Giuseppe Infantino conducted by Niccolò Jacopo Suppa (www.orchestradellatoscana.it).

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