Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday. And there is no better place to spend Christmas than in Florence, Italy. Christmas, as you might have guessed is one of most important holidays in Italy and you will definitely feel and see the importance when you are there. The cobbled streets are all decorated with beautiful lights and festive decorations. Warm wine is abundant and the holiday markets are in most of the major town squares. There are holiday specialty baked goods in all of the stores, restaurants and bakeries that will constantly tempt you. There are just too many things to list in a blog, but below are some of the must-see and do highlights.
The Duomo (Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore):
This cathedral is the hub of Florence. Located in the center of the city, you cannot miss this magnificent work of art. Even for those who are not religious, this is a must-see attraction. At Christmas time, there’s a life size nativity scene outside of the cathedral as well as a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. This is also the favorite place for Christmas and Christmas Eve mass. Christmas Eve mass starts at 11:00PM and seats are first come first serve.
The biggest Christmas market in Florence is located at the Piazza Santa Croce. If you want to immerse yourself in holiday cheer there is no better way than to walk around this market. Grab a glass of warm mulled wine and explore the various stalls boasting beautifully decorated ornaments and other festive wares.
There are always amazing concerts in Tuscany, but at Christmas time, they are especially amazing with all of the beautifully written Christmas music. You can find the upcoming events listed at the individual venues.
The traditional Christmas Eve dinner is called the Feast of the seven fishes or Festa dei sette pesci. The origins of this feast are blurry and the number of courses is not set in stone—the main reason for the dinner is to bring together family and friends. The meal traditionally consists of 7 or so courses of seafood dishes and of course, there’s a pasta dish and a sweet ending. While in Tuscany, there are many restaurants that serve this traditional feast, and reservations are highly recommended.
There are many Christmas markets around Tuscany as well as other Christmas related activities, including the Santa Claus factory located in Montepulciano which is a real treat. Expect to be transported to a fairy tale time that is all about Christmas and Old St. Nick. The factory is not just for children, it’s a magical way to spend a day or evening for adults too.
Experiencing Christmas in Tuscany is a bucket-list Experience that you will never forget. Join A Toast to Travel this holiday for a fully hosted, all-inclusive experience where you’ll live like a local! For more holiday cheer, you can also check out our Christmas blog from last year.