View breaks >>
For many visitors central Italy’s main attraction is its traditional festivals – historic celebrations in towns all over the region. Virtually every town and village in the region has its own festival, often dedicated to the local saint. Most include processions, music and plenty of food and wine. Sagre (food festivals), celebrating the local speciality, are common and great fun; you’ll see banners announcing them or ask at the local tourist office.
In Florence there is a busy calendar throughout the year providing entertainment and celebrating special events that can be enjoyed by both local residents and any visitors to the area. If you want to check out the annual programme it is best to contact the local tourist office who can provide you with detailed information relating to both Florence itself and the surrounding areas.
Read more on this destination in the AA Essential Guide to Florence & Tuscany.
Top Florence events
Scoppio del Carro - Florence celebrates Easter when a ceremonial cart stuffed with fireworks is ignited outside the Duomo.
Maggio Musicale Florentino - This is Italy’s longest running music festival, founded in 1933, with a good mix of opera, ballet and classical music.
Festival of the cricket - On Ascention day, May 17th, a tradition that dates back to pagan days sees caged crickets being sold in Cascine park, only to be released onto the grass. A ritual that remembers when lovers would place a cricket on the doorstep of loved ones to claim their adoration.
Gioco di Calcio - This is a no-holds barred version of football that is played between the four city quarters, originally used to keep the city militia in fighting form and the weld the various factions into a united force. Held in Piazza della Signoria.
Calcio Storico Fiorentino - The final day of the celebration is held on the 24th of June there are costume processions, fireworks and a flotilla of candlelit boats on the River.
Saint Johns Day - This festival celebrates the patron saint of Florence with a procession in the morning and an evening firework display.
June to September
Fiesole Summer Festival - The Roman amphitheatre of Fiesole opens during the summer months to a whole host of dance, theatrical and musical performances that has been taking place every year since 1948.
Festival of the Lanterns - On the 7th this festival, known as rificolona’ remembers the pilgrims who travelled from the mountains to Florence lighting their way with their lanterns. Today lanterns are hung from windows and carried through the streets.
Musica dei Popoli Festival - Artists from around the globe descend on Florence for this international folk music festival. Italy’s finest world music event has been running for more than 25 years and attracts a friendly crowd to its main venue, the Auditorium Flog.
Florence Marathon - The marathon starts in Piazzale Michelangelo and weaves its route through the historic streets of the city.