When the air begins to spread the well-known mixture of aromas of cinnamon, cloves and a distant but familiar note of powdered sugar, it means that the holidays have started and that Christmas is coming. Throughout Tuscany since the end of November traditional Christmas markets and Santa Claus villages make the Tuscan territory even more magical with its streets and squares magically lit up for the season.
We start of course from Florence, the regional capital and one of the most beautiful cities in the world, made if possible even more fascinating by the lights and decorations adorning its street. In the magnificent setting of Piazza Santa Croce from December 2 to 20 the Weihnachtsmarkt, or the traditional German Christmas market returns which offers the city of Florence flavors and products from all across Europe. Meander through all of the stalls in which you can purchase sweet gifts of caramelized apples, struffoli (a traditional Neapolitan dessert) and pretzels, or for the more daring with pork knuckles and beer which can be a pleasant way to deal with the stress of Christmas shopping. This market, with its picturesque wooden houses and its many crafts booths has much to offer its visitors. These Christmas markets are both graceful and evocative that are set up during special occasions or that last a single day. Among these, we would like to point out that the Fierucola dell’Immacolata which takes place on December 7-8 in Piazza Santissima Annunziata with organic products and local handicrafts as well as the Fierucola di Natale in Piazza Santo Spirito on December 20. For children, the Piazza del Carmine turns into a Santa Claus Village from December 8 to January 6, a magical place with games, treats of all kinds, and a market fair. Speaking of solidarity, there are so many markets and benefit initiatives to gift happiness to those less fortunate. On December 10 -20, there is a Christmas solidarity market in Piazza Santa Maria Novella, which will host various associations giving them the ability to finance themselves and continue their work for those most in need. The beautiful setting of Palazzo Corsini along the Lungarno, will host Natale per F.I.L.E., where big brands and local artisans will exhibit their products to raise funds for palliative care. Finally, there is the traditional market of the Red Cross housed in the premises of Obihall from December 4 to 6.
Not far from Florence, Montecatini becomes Christmas paradise from November 6 to January 6.
The upper part of the city is the oldest, and it is here that an enchanted kingdom takes place and where children can meet the protagonists of fairy tales. In the lower part of the spa town, the castle of the Tamerici Spa will be the location for Santa Claus’ House, populated by elves, dwarves, magical creatures, and of course from the master of the house, waiting for the little ones with many activities.
On December 7, the Christmas Fair in Piazza Napoleone in Lucca will launch a number of markets in the square, while the main districts of the center will take turns in the festivities and events leading up to early January. Do not miss the 5th and 6th of December when the Medieval Market in Piazza del Campo in Siena will host the commemoration of a big market as was held in the 14th century. With 150 exhibitors arranged exactly as they were in the 14th century, ample space is given to to the typical products of Siena but also from other regions and nations. From December 4 to 27, the Piazza Grande in Arezzo will celebrate the first edition of the Tyrolean market that promises to live up to the similar Florentine one. In the Arezzo countryside, a visit to the Fiera del ceppo is worth the trip to Lucignano on December 20, where simple, wood toys and authentic handicrafts inspire unique gifts with old-world charm.
Finally, remember that in Tuscany every city, town, or village sets up their markets and Christmas celebrations that are so distinctive and original, so be sure to let yourself be guided by suggestions, instinct, and taste and you will surely not be disappointed!