Major Seasonal Events and Festivals in Florence

Events and Festivals in Florence: Explosion of the Cart - Easter Sunday, Piazza del Duomo

The Explosion of the Cart is one of the main folk festival of the year. Its origins date back to the times of Pazano de` Pazzi, leader of the Florentine contingent of the first Crusade. The festival continued to be organized by his descendants starting from the Pazzi conspiracy of 1478. Since then, the city authorities have taken care of the organisation of this impressive show. During the performance a cartload of fireworks is hauled by six white oxen from Porta a Prato to the Duomo, where a "bove" whizzing down a wire tear the high altar.

Events and Festivals in Florence: Festival of the Cricket - Ascension Day, Parco delle Cascine

The Festival of the Cricket is a bizarre event deriving from an old tradition of pagan festivities. Today, because of the complaints of the pro-animal�s associations, in amongst the picnickers and the people making sports, you will not find anyone selling wooden cages containing crickets. Before the prohibition order, the crickets, after being jailed in these wooden cages, were finally released onto the grass. This habit remembers an old ritual: the days when men placed a cricket in front of the door of their lovers in order to dedicate a serenade to them.

Events and Festivals in Florence: Costume Football Game - Final 24th of June, Piazza Santa Croce

This event probably dates back to the "Arpasto", a game played by the legionaries of the Roman "Florentia". More than an only characteristical element, such as its arrangement and movements, are very similar to those of the battle-order of the Roman army. The noble families of the town were honoured to make participate their young sons to this rude game. During the matches these young boys and men could make use of their special physical strength showing not only the sumptuousness of their uniform but also their own power, in order to gain the admiration of the attending gentle ladies. Still today, at the beginning of the summer, the teams of the historic quarters of Florence are involved in the games taking place in the wonderful square of Santa Croce. There is a team for each historic quarter of the city: Bianchi (White) for Santo Spirito, Azzurri (Light-blue) for Santa Croce, Verdi (Green) for San Giovanni and Rossi (Red) for Santa Maria Novella. Absolutely to see is the magnificent historic demonstration parading through the streets of the town before the games.

Events and Festivals in Florence: Saint John`s Day - 24th of June

In honour of its patron, St. John the Baptist, every 24th of June, the city of Florence organizes a public celebration . Beginning with the short ceremonial procession of the morning, when people leaving from Palazzo vecchio walk through the city in order to offer large candies to their patron, we finally get to the night show with the massive firework display up on Piazzale Michelangelo.

Events and Festivals in Florence: La Rificolona - 7th of September, Piazza SS. Annunziata

For some authors the "rificolona" event is connected with the celebration of the arrival in Florence of people coming from the nearby country of Casentino and Pistoia mountains. As soon as they got to Florence, these people took part in two special events: the religious pilgrimage organized to celebrate the Virgin`s nativity in the basilica of Santissima Annunziata and the fair of 8th of September that allowed them to sell their products and goods. While coming from the country and going down from the mountains these people kept torches and lanterns of different shapes in their hands: with these objects they illuminated the dark mountain and country roads and, once in the city, they also enlightened the dark streets of the city. From then on, inspired by the mountaineers luminous instruments, the Florentines began to create the first examples of "rificolona". These objects, called �rificolone, first, were carried all over the city hanging from a iong cane, but after a short while their shape changed and people began to hang them on their windows. Nowadays they are carried all over the streets of Florence by children, who try to escape from the insidious shots of the plashooter.

Events and Festivals in Florence: Maggio Musicale Fiorentino - May and June, Teatro Comunale

The �Maggio Musicale� is one of the most important event of the city. Its origins go back to the `30s. From then on many famous directors, etoiles, painters, architects and artists have actively participated to the organization of it. Their precious contribution has helped to make of the �Maggio Musicale Fiorentino� an international appointment. The artists taking part in this famous festival of classical music and ballet consist of an Orchestra, a Chorus, and a Corps de ballet.

Events and Festivals in Florence: Pitti Immagine - Fortezza da Basso

�Pitti Immagine� is one of the most important fashion meetings of the world. The public is not allowed to participate to this event because it�s access is restricted to insiders only: dress designers, models, journalists, dress shops owners, etc. This fashion event is divided in four different categories taking place in four different moments of the year: 1) "Pitti immagine Uomo", consisting of an event about clothes and outfits for men, 2) "Pitti Immagine Bimbo", dedicated to clothes and outfits for children, 3) "Pitti Immagine Filati", an exhibition of natural yarn and man made fibres and 4) "Pitti Immagine Casa", showing linen and accessories for the home. The first three events take place in January, at the end of June and at the beginning of July, whereas the fourth one takes place during the months of March and September.

Events and Festivals in Florence: Fiesole Summer Festival - June, July, August, September, Fiesole, Roman Theater

Every year, during the summer, the Roman theatre of Fiesole, a suggestive little town situated on the hills that surround Florence, becomes one of the best centres of the florentine cultural life. This Festival dates back to the year 1948 and, because of the very high standard of its shows, still today, it enjoys of a very good reputation in the world of dance, music and theatre.

Events and Festivals in Florence: Biennial Antique - Trade Exhibition - Spttember/October odd years, Palazzo Corsini

In addition to be one of the oldest antique-trade exhibition taking place in Italy, it�s also one of the most important international exhibition of this kind. The exhibitors who take part in these event don�t only come from every part of Italy but from all over the world. And what�s more, these traders enjoy of a highly renowned reputation in the field of antiques. The repertory that you can find at the exhibition ranges among a very wide view of several schools and styles, of all times and origins.

Events and Festivals in Florence: International Handicraft Exhibition May/June, Fortezza da Basso

The International Handicraft Exhibition dates back to the year 1936. From then on it has become a more and more important meeting place for hundreds of exhibitors coming both from Italy and from other countries. Each edition is dedicated to a foreign country. As an exhibition open to the public it is one among the most loved ones. As a matter of fact the International Handicraft Exhibition is enjoying a growing number of visitors year after year.

Events and Festivals in Florence: Exhibition of Plants and Flowers - Giardino dell`Orticultura ...

Each year, once in spring and once in autumn, in the wonderful garden of the �Orticoltura�, takes place an exhibition-market of plants and flowers of all sorts.

Events and Festivals in Florence: Festa della Fiorita - 23rd of May, Piazza Signoria

During the morning of every 23rd of May of the year Florence organizes a public celebration in memory of a Dominican friar burnt in Piazza Signoria because of his indignancy at the corruption of morals of his time. As the Prior of the Church of San Marco, during his religious celebrations, he used to preach. Doing so he went on spreading his message among the people: this made of him a very popular character but, at the same time, he became a rebel to punish. He was sentenced to death by the Pope. Nowadays, the celebration of the Mass in Paiazzo Vecchio is followed by a show with flowers, flags and musicians that takes place in the same place where he was condemned to death: in the wonderful scenery of Piazza Signoria.

Events and Festivals in Florence: Firenze Marathon - November

Florence Marathon is a special event dedicated to sport. Only athletes over 18 years who are current members of a legally recognised Sport Association are allowed to participate to it. The route the runners are called to follow is entirely flat and well signposted around the streets of the town. On the day after the marathon, the charming scenery of Piazza Santa Croce becomes the ideal place to celebrate a ceremony in honour of the winners.


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