Christmas is a magical time to experience in Florence and Tuscany: the cities of art are filled with amazing decorations, the villages dress up with markets and nativity scenes in the most beautiful churches.
Among the traditional and original proposals in the program, we recall these:
The city of torches
At Abbadia San Salvatore, on the slopes of Monte Amiata, an ancient ritual is celebrated on the night of December 24th: for a whole night until dawn, the town is illuminated by the light of the fire with huge pyramid-shaped piles of wood burning at midnight in every corner of the historic center where people gather to be together, sing, eat typical sweets and drink mulled wine.
Info citta delle fiaccole
The game of Panforte (traditional dense Italian spice cake of Siena filled with candied fruit and nuts)
In Pienza, in the heart of the Valdorcia, the ancient “game of the panforte” is practiced, a competition that in the Christmas period is held in many countries in the province of Siena, Monte Amiata and Maremma. The objective of the game is precisely to throw the Panforte on a long wooden table trying to get as close as possible to the edge, without dropping it. In Pienza the tournament is played under the porch of the municipality on days ranging from Christmas to New Year.
Info proloco Pienza
The Epiphany train
A perfect idea for a family trip, the steam train leaves Santa Maria Novella station in Florence on January 6th, travels through the landscapes of the Mugello, to get to San Piero a Sieve. Here the Epiphany is celebrated, with tasting of sweets and typical products.
The Living Nativity Scene
Even for non-believers it is an emotion to try, in 1223, San Francesco, who first created the Living Nativity Scene in Greccio, the Umbrian village where he lived in those years.
In Casole d’Elsa the Living Nativity Scene takes place every two years and sees the participation of about 300 participants and numerous animals, the setting involves the entire historic center, where the works begin as early as October and transform the town: doors and shops are camouflaged with reed, dry or fresh leaves and jute, to make the perfect atmosphere for representation. It is no coincidence that he won the international prize “Praesepium Popoli”, as the best Living Nativity Scene in Italy.
Timetable: 26th-28th-29th December 2019 and 1st, 5th-6th January 2020, 3 pm / 7 pm.
For the day of Epiphany, is expected the arrival of the Wise Men accompanied by camels.