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Christmas in Tuscany: Where, what and when!

Does Tuscany close for Christmas & New Year 's? No way! There is even more to do than ever during this season!

We receive so many questions regarding the Christmas and New Year's holidays in Florence and Tuscany, especially "Does everything close down?" and "what is open on Christmas?" and the simple answer is Tuscany is never closed to the curious visitor looking for adventure!

This page is designed to lead you to the many informative articles we have on the site giving you valuable information about the holiday season in Tuscany and Florence. We have structured this piece to give you a brief overview of what to expect during the months of December and January while loading it up with lots of links to articles that offer more detailed information.

Still can't find what you are looking for? Then write us at our forum and we will get back to you.

Christmas in Tuscany: Useful Information

Where to stay?

Even during the holiday months of December and January guests exploring the region will find that accommodations in Tuscany and B&Bs in Florence never close and neither do restaurants, monuments, museums and churches albeit they have shorter winter hours or special holiday hours.

However, in our experience, it always pays to be organized, and if you know what you are looking for and make a few plans in advance, you will see a side of Tuscany that many never experience, including local celebrations, cultural events and delicious aromas and flavors of Christmas.

What is there to see?

CHRISTMAS MARKETS

Admittedly northern Italy, bordering with Austria and reaching into Germany are where the original Christmas Markets can be found, but many towns throughout the region of Tuscany have charming markets with gift ideas, Vin brulé (spiced, warm wine) and roasting chestnuts. CHECK OUT OUR LIST OF CHRISTMAS MARKETS »

NATIVITY SCENES

Nothings says Christmas in Tuscany like visiting a live or artistic nativity scene with elaborate settings and historic re-enactments: envision the Holy Family at Christmas time traveling through miniature towns with intricate decorations or life size camels and processions. DISCOVER MORE ABOUT ITALIAN STYLED PRESEPE »

DID YOU KNOW? You can participate in the markets, the fairs or explore on your own with a twilight tour of the city enjoying the enchanting holiday atmosphere.

EVENTS

What's more, many small towns in Tuscany plan a busy calendar of events including extra concerts, and food festivals.

However, there are some towns which feature extensive calendars, and we have dedicated articles to:

Ringing in the New Year

The Italians will tell you that the holidays don't end until the 6th of January when the only thing you'll find in the storefront windows are the “SALDI” SALE SIGNS. But, before we get that far into the new year - how about the excitement of ringing in the New Year right here in Tuscany?

NEW YEAR CALENDAR

AFTER THE NEW YEAR: the BEFANA!

Epifania porta via!” That 's right, the holiday season winds down (until the next holiday: Carnivale) with the coming of the Three Kings parade in Florence, though for many youngsters the real event is the “Befana”, a scary old hag that brings candy and gifts to all the good little boys and girls.

Don't miss the flavors of the season

Our advice: It is always advisable to make reservations with our partner the Fork when planning on eating out. This way you will always find space, and sometimes extra discounts, especially on the holidays!

Everyone wants to know if the restaurants are closed! The Tuscan holiday menu is a tradition that can not be missed, stuffed with local seasonal sweets! Just think of the perfume of the truffles and the fresh pressed extra virgin olive oil. And though Jack Frost is nipping at your nose and chestnuts are roasting on an open fire, there are still many activities and places open for business.

Some places may close for a few days, but many of Florence's best loved Trattorias are open for the locals to enjoy. May we suggest that instead of a sit-down meal, you try some of the Florentine street food specialties, a cup of hot chocolate or tea, or an afternoon “panino” to warm you up.


Author: Donna Scharnagl

It has been more than 25 years since I took my first steps in Italy and I still haven’t found a good reason to leave.  Between the food, the culture, the history, the art, the landscapes … did I mention the food? I have become a lifelong student. It didn't take longe to learn that Italians all have stories that long to be told; stories that paint a picture of how hard work produces character, how life is made of ups and downs and how good it feels to laugh.



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