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Christmas Markets and German Traditions


In Santa Croce from Dec 3-21

Florence’s Christmas markets bathe the city’s piazzas and buildings in a warm wintery glow once again from the end of November, as Piazza Santa Croce transforms into a German Christmas market from December 3–21. Fifty-five wooden house-shaped kiosks take over the piazza, with stalls selling products from various European countries. Traditional German alpine crafts and foods are the main feature of the market, which offers tastings of such specialties as pork shanks, sauerkraut, pretzels, strudel, and of course beer, mulled wine and sweets. The market is open daily from 10 a.m. till 10 p.m. (until 8 p.m. on Sunday, December 21).


Fortezza da Basso hosts Christmas in the City for the first time from December 11–14, with a range of gift items and gastronomic  products on display, as well as a dedicated children’s space featuring Santa Claus. The fair runs from 3–8 p.m. on Thursday, December 11 and throughout the day from Friday to Sunday (11 a.m.–8 p.m.). Entrance costs €5 and is free for children under 12.


If you’re looking for that last-minute gift idea then Piazza Santo Spirito hosts a Christmas-themed fair of organic and hand-made products from 9 a.m. till 7 p.m. on December 21.


The Italian Red Cross in Florence keeps the Christmas spirit alive with its annual Christmas market at Teatro Obihall from November 21–23. It’s the perfect occasion for buying all your Christmas gifts in one place, featuring Italian gastronomic excellence, clothes, festive decorations, arts and crafts and games. The market was devised to raise funds for the charity, and therefore differs from other markets in that its proceeds go towards helping the needy. The Florentine Red Cross is an invaluable service in the area, providing the most disadvantaged with clothes, food, and financial support. Unfortunately, in the holiday period, the number of requests for aid more than double. Buying your gifts from this market will ensure you contribute just a little this Christmas; which is, after all, a holiday for giving.


The Florence Nöel fair at Stazione Leopolda runs from … Specially chosen exhibitors decorate their stands as creatively and enchantingly as possible to disperse the magic of Christmas all across the venue. Games, activities, hand-made crafts and mandatory festive food stalls all feature, as well as Christmas decorations and accessories on sale to enable visitors to re-create the fairy-like charm in their own home. One of the prime features of this year’s fair is the impressive ‘Polar Ice’ stage, where continuous flurries of snowfall on giant trees are lit by five kilometers of Christmas lights. Florence Nöel also hosts a ‘Christmas Bio – Santa’s pantry’ stall, as well as ‘Winter Weddings’ and, naturally, a ‘Santa’s Workshop’ for children wishing to impart their long-held desires to Santa’s little helpers.


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