Normally tourists come to Florence in summertime, when they are on holiday and can find better weather, but if you have the chance to spend some time there during the winter season, you can enjoy more things with lesser crowds and spend only few euros.
One of the best reasons to visit Florence in winter is Christmas. Every December, the town colors itself with yellow lights and green and red decorations. Walking throughout the city centre, you’ll find several Christmas trees and nativity scenes.
Christmastime in Florence gets a festive feel in the air. The best thing to do is to stroll in the town’s markets and buy some gifts. The best market is Weihnachtsmarkt, located in Santa Croce square just in front of the church.
While there are still lines at the Uffizi and Accademia Gallery (it is less busy than in the summer but the festivities still attract crowds here), winter is the perfect time for visiting other museums such as Grande Museo del Duomo or Palazzo Strozzi. It’s a nice indoor activity when getting cold outside.
Every 23rd of December at 8:00 p.m., the Pergola Theatre hosts the most famous Christmastime show, The Nutcracker. You can spend a few hours watching one of the world’s most famous and beloved ballets in one of the most beautiful theatres of Italy.
January in Italy is the sale season, so you can take advantage of this and do some shopping. Every shop in town is plentiful with special offers, so you can buy clothes, bags, accessories or things for your home just for a few euros. Every year sales start around Epiphany (a local holiday), so write it down in your agenda.
For coffee lovers, there is no better season than winter. They can spend some of their time sipping coffee (or hot chocolate), while reading a book in one of the many cafeterias of Florence. Two of the best, with Wi-Fi included, are Ditta Artigianale and Todo Modo.
In the winter, your energy levels aren’t depleted by the heat or the crowds, but if you get caught in a rain shower or feel a bit cold, step into a bar with your travel partner to share a drink. The shorter days are also a good motivation for getting up earlier to take advantage of the daylight.
Generally, hotels in Florence (and Italy) aren’t cheap. In winter, except for Christmas holidays, a lot of hotels in town offer winter discounts. So check on the internet to take advantage of the sales for your accommodation.
If you are in fairly good shape, and non-claustrophobic, then you are ready to climb to the top of Duomo. In winter, there are fewer (brave) people ready to do that, so get there early in the morning, buy the ticket and climb the 400 steps. Once at the top, don’t forget to take pictures of the city below.
Florence is home to one of the most important European fashion trades, Pitti Uomo. This event takes place twice a year (in January and June) and is the perfect occasion to admire the next fashion collections, watch fashion shows and participate to the coolest parties in town.
Carnival is celebrated throughout Italy. The Venice Carnival is the most popular, but only an hour-and-a-half from Florence, you can reach the town of Viareggio which hosts the second most famous mardi gras of Italy.