In this Florence Festival Guide, you’ll discover something to celebrate year round in Florence.
It’s no secret that Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
But you may want to add a festival or two to your itinerary to experience Florence in it’s full regalia.
Read more to find a Florence festival that aligns with your travel dates, below.
CONTENTS – In this Florence Festival Guide, you will learn all about the best festivals in Florence throughout the year, including:
- It’s Festival Time in Florence
- Feast of the Epiphany
- St. Patrick’s Day
- The Feast of St. Joseph
- Florentine New Year
- Historical Reenactment of Holy Friday
- Explosion of the Cart (Scoppio del Carro)
- Liberation Day
- Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
- Republic Day
- Sesto d’Estate
- Patron Saint Day
- Florence Dance Festival
- Festival of the Paper Lanterns (La Festa delle Rificolone)
- Feast of Santa Reparata (Festa di Santa Reparata)
- All Saints Day
- The Feast of the Immaculate Conception
- Final Thoughts on Florence Festival
- Next Steps
It’s Festival Time in Florence!
Florence, Italy is the home of the famous Michelangelo’s David, the Uffizi Gallery, and some of the best festivals in Europe.
No matter which month you visit, you are sure to find a festival you enjoy!
But it is probably best to check this Florence Festival Guide first.
Before you head out and about, drop your extra bags and backpacks at a Florence luggage locker first. Then you can thoroughly enjoy the occasion!
Here’s what you can expect, month-by-month in 2023.
Feast of the Epiphany
Also known as the 12th day of Christmas, the Feast of the Epiphany on the 6th of January is a day to celebrate the Adoration of the Magi.
You’ll enjoy a huge costume parade starting at the Palazzo Pitti with the Three Wise Men, a live nativity, and more.
This party at this Florence festival lasts all night long with food, music, and fun.
At the Piazza della Signoria on February 20 – 25th, celebrate Carnival in Florence.
The festival actually starts with a parade on Fat Thursday and ends with another parade on Fat Tuesday.
You’ll see floats, dancers, and the most amazing costumes.
Don’t miss the delicious Schiacciata Fiorentina, the Berlingozzo cake tradition, and other amazing food during Carneval.
St. Patrick’s Day
Believe it or not, you’ll find more than two dozen Irish pubs in Florence.
There, you can join in the Irish tradition of drinking green beer from March 17th through the weekend for St. Patrick’s Day.
Among our favorites are Finnegan’s Irish Pub, the Florence Irish Pub, and the Fiddler’s Elbow Pub. You can indulge in your share of Guinness beer, whiskey tasting, darts tournaments, and trivia.
The Feast of St. Joseph
Two days after St. Patrick’s Day every year, Italians celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph.
From religious ceremonies to baked goods, there is a bit of everything going on at this event.
Perhaps the best pastry on St. Joseph’s day to try is the Zeppole di San Giuseppe, a delicious cream-filled cream puff.
After the local priest blesses the altar and food, everyone gets to chow down for the rest of the day!
Florentine New Year
Also known as the Feast of the Annunciation, this new year celebration went on from 1250 until 1750 in the city of Florence at Santissima Annunziata.
Although the date was changed to January 1st in 1749 to correlate with all the other cities’ celebrations, Florentines still celebrate March 25th as their own personal new year celebration.
At the stroke of midnight on Florentine New Year, you might find yourself eating cotechino con lenticchie, a dish of sausages and lentils.
During this Florence festival, the sausages–rich in fat and sliced in coin-sized bites–represent abundance and wealth in the new year!
Historical Reenactment of Holy Friday
On Good Friday, Florence celebrates a historical reenactment of the Passion of Christ with a parade of 500 figures in costume.
Dating back to the first decades of the XVII century, this religious ritual has been celebrated all over Italy.
But the Grassina Celebration is the most well-known.
Explosion of the Cart (Scoppio del Carro)
At the Piazza del Duomo on Easter Sunday, celebrate the Explosion of the Cart or Scoppio del Carro.
This event has been going on since 1622, originally marking the first victory of The Crusades.
Here’s what you can expect.
Starting in the morning, the Pazzino priest lights the Easter candle, which then light the coals under the cart. The cart is then pulled to the Archbishop at the Duomo.
Fireworks, food, and fun ensue afterward!
April 25th is Liberation Day in Italy.
This is a national holiday similar to the U.S. D-Day.
All over the country, you can find parades, historic reenactments, air shows, and festivals.
Florence features concerts, fairs, and other special events of their own.
Many churches and basilicas hold religious celebrations as well.
Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
From the end of April until the end of June, you can see a variety of musical shows at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
At this annual Italian arts festival in Florence, performers may include the likes of Daniel Harding, Don Giovanni, Lang Lang, Siberia, and Zubin Mehta.
No matter what you are interested in seeing, you have over two months of performances from which to choose!
On June 2nd, Italy celebrates their own Independence Day, which they call Republic Day.
Although many of the businesses will be closed, you will find parades, concerts, and festivals all over the country, including Florence.
At this Florence festival, look for the military ceremony held in Piazza della Signoria, which is the political center of Florence.
Enjoy Sesto d’Estate at the Villa Solaria in Florence during June and July.
You’ll find live music, wine tastings, food festivals, and theatrical celebrations all over the city, too!
The main events include a Wheat Festival, the Ernesto Ragionieri Library Courtyard concert, and theater performances at the Le Fornaci di Doccia Theater.
Patron Saint Day
On the 24th, Italy celebrates St. John the Baptist with Patron Saint Day at the Piazza Santa Maria.
Throughout the city of Florence, you’ll discover folklore and cultural events.
Starting with a parade and feast, and ending in a major firework show, the day is full of fun.
Here’s an extra tip for this Florence festival: Don’t miss the boat rides on the Arno River!
Every first Sunday of July, the Aprilante market in Chianti at the Piazza Gastone Bucciarelli fills up with locals.
They’re there to show off their handmade items, produce, and hosting workshops.
While not technically in Florence, Chianti is just about 20 miles (30 km) away, and well worth the trip.
For one reason, you’ll find great bargains.
You’ll also learn about organic and artisan food, and get free samples of many different foods and drinks.
Florence Dance Festival
If you enjoy dance, check out the Florence Dance Festival at the Estate Piesolana Teatro Romano.
From the last weekend in August until the second weekend of September, you can see dozens of performances produced and choreographed by the studio.
This is a favorite event for many Florentines, and a Florence festival you don’t want to miss!
Festival of the Paper Lanterns (La Festa delle Rificolone)
One of the most famous celebrations in Florence takes place on September 7th at the Piazza Santissima Annunziata.
That’s when you can enjoy the Festival of Paper Lanterns.
This celebration honors the day the Virgin Mary was born.
You’ll enjoy delicious food, parades of paper lanterns, and a big festival at this event!
Feast of Santa Reparata (Festa di Santa Reparata)
On October 8th at the Piazza del Duomo, Florence celebrates the Feast of Santa Reparata.
Honoring those who died in the battle of the year 406, the feast begins with a colorful procession at Piazza di Parte Guelfa.
It ends with a ceremony and feast at Piazza San Giovanni.
All Saints Day
All over Italy, the national holiday known as All Saints Day is celebrated on the first of November.
As with most Italian celebrations, it is enjoyed with a feast and parades all over the country.
All government offices and most businesses are closed.
This gives everyone a chance to enjoy the day!
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception
To honor Mother Mary, the Solemnity of Immaculate Conception is celebrated on December 8th.
All across Italy, you can find religious and historical festivities and celebrations.
At the Piazza del Duomo, the day is enjoyed by the lighting of the Christmas tree, as well as a live nativity and performances.
Final Thoughts on Florence Festival
Although March, April, and June have the most events, every month of the year has something to rejoice in Florence.
This is just a short list as there are many celebrations in the city that are not listed here.
Whether you want to enjoy music, dance, theater, food, or religious ceremonies, you can find it in Florence!
For some more insight trip information about a trip to Italy, read the articles below, next:
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- Why You’ll Never Forget the 14 Soaring San Gimignano Towers of Tuscany
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- Venice or Naples, Italy: Good Reasons to Add Both To Your Italy Itinerary
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