Florence Events and Festivals
Epiphany, January 6
: Epiphany commemorates the arrival of the Three Kings in Bethlehem. It also marks La Befana, Italy's traditional day of gift giving.
In celebration of the Epiphany, a "Cavalcade of the Three Kings
" takes place in downtown Florence on the morning of January 6. The event is a commemoration of an ancient celebration taking place in the city as far back as 1400 of the arrival of the three kings to the manger where Jesus was born. On this special occasion, a parade in beautiful Renaissance costumes
starts from Palazzo Pitti and winds its way through the city, passing by Piazza della Signoria and arriving at the Cathedral and Baptistery in Piazza del Duomo. The Sbandieratori, or flag-throwing company, of the Uffizi also participates in the event, enchanting the public with their skill in throwing, exchanging and waving their flags in Piazza della Signoria.
Florentine New Year, March 25
: The traditional Florentine New Year, on the feast of the Annunciation, begins in the Palazzo Vecchio with a morning parade filling the streets with elaborate medieval dress and music. The celebration continues at the Piazza SS Annunziata where Florentines and visitors alike feast upon Italian cuisine at an outdoor market (9 am - 5 pm), enjoy an evening concert (9 pm), and observe the frescoes of the Annunciation featured in the church.
Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
: From late April through June, the Florence Maggio Musicale, May Music Festival, is a series of internationally acclaimed classical music concerts and recitals, opera and ballet in venues across the city.
: Fabulous fireworks on June 24 conclude Florence's celebrations to St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of the city.
La Festa delle Rificolone (Festival of the Paper Lanterns), September 7
: On the eve of the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, Florentines walk through the city carrying paper lanterns illuminated by candles from within. This tradition dates back to the Renaissance, when pilgrims bearing lanterns would gather in front of the Church of the Most Holy Annunciation (Santissima Annunziata), a Marian sanctuary, on that date.
Telegraph.co.uk - Top Attractions
Duomo and Battistero
: Built over six centuries (the façade was finished only in 1887), the cathedral is famous above all for Brunelleschi's huge 15th-century terracotta-tiled cupola, still the biggest masonry dome in the world
Piazza della Signoria and Ponte Vecchio
If the Duomo is Florence's spiritual centre, its civic hub is Piazza della Signoria, a wide square dominated by the crenellated medieval town hall of Palazzo Vecchio, packed with artworks designed to glorify the ruling Medici dynasty.
Galleria degli Uffizi
: Italy's richest and most celebrated art gallery, is housed in what was originally built as the Medici Whitehall – the governing dynasty's administrative centre.
Palazzo Medici Riccardi
: Masaccio and Masolino's frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel are better known – and very lovely they are too, breathing the simple humanism of the early Renaissance.
: Florence University's natural history museum, houses a charmingly old-fashioned collection of botanical and zoological specimens, including a hippo that was given as a present to Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo. But the final rooms are what most visitors come for: a series of increasingly gruesome wax anatomical models, sculpted in eye-popping detail between 1775 and 1791 as teaching aids for trainee doctors.