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When to Go to Florence

Fashion Shows (January) Major Italian designers show their summer and spring collections.

Festa di Anna Maria Medici (18th February) Celebrations in memory of the death of the last Medici. There is a costume parade from Palazzo Vecchio to her tomb in the Cappella Medicee.

Easter Celebrations are still important in a country where its centuries old religion is still strong.

Explosion of the Cart (Scoppio del Carro) (Easter Sunday, at noon; venue: the cathedral) fireworks are lit from a cart outside of the high altar of the cathedral.

Exhibition of Crafts (Mostra Mercato Internazionale dell'Artigianato) (last week of April; venue: Fortezza da Basso) An exhibition known throughout Europe where artists display their arts and crafts.

Cricket Festival (Festa del Grillo) (May; venue: Cascine Park) Stalls diplay and sell crickets caged in minute woven straw cages, which are later freed in the park, a tradition supposed that is supposed to bring good luck.

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (late April to early June) One of the main art festivals which features performances of ballet, theatre, and the Orchestra Regionale Toscano.

Chiesa Santa Maria di Ricci’ Concerti (Via del Corso, Piazza del Duomo; tel. 0 55 28 93 67; admission ticket: €11) Baroque and classical music played at this church requires arriving early to find a seat.

Teatro della Limonaia (Via Gramsci 426, Sesto Fiorentino, Castello; tel. 0 55 44 08; www.teatrodellalimonaia.it; admission ticket: €8-€12) Fringe theatre.

Football in Costume (Calcio in Costume) (second half of June; venue: often in the Piazza di Santa Croce) This ancient tradition combines football and rugby and is played by men in traditional garb.

Festa di San Giovanni (24th June) The celebration of Florence’s patron saint with fireworks in the Piazzale Michelangelo and a calico storico in Piazza Santa Croce.

Sant’Ambrogio Summer Festival (June-July; www.firenzejazz.it) Art, jazz, dance, and theatre performances take place in the streets between Borgo la Croce and Piazza Beccaria.

Intercity Festival (late summer; venue: Teatro della Limonaia) Theatre companies converge here from different capitals to perform.

Jazz &Co (late June-Sept; www.santissima.it) Italian and foreign performers bring music to Piazza Santissima Annunziata on summer nights. Tables on the piazza are served by Slow Food International.

Festival Firenze Classica (www.orcafi.it) Classical music performances by the Orchestra da Camera Toscana at the Oratorio di San Michelle a Castello and Palazzo Strozzi in July. Chiesa Orsanmichele and Museo del Bargello become the venue between April and October (the rest of the season).

Fiesole Summer (Estate Fiesolana) (June-end of August) Music, arts, drama, dancing, and films.

Festa della Rificolona (Festival of the Paper Lantern) (7th September) Children from different areas of Florence meet at Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, carrying candlelit paper lanterns to celebrate the eve of Blessed Mary’s birth.

Mostra Mercato Internazionale dell'Antiquariato (September-October) Main antiques fair held every two years. 

Amici della Musica (Friends of Music) (October-April) Concert season.

Festival dei Popoli (November-December; venue: Piazza dei Congressi) Major Tuscan film festival open to public. Films are played in their language but subtitled in Italian only.