Saturday, 25 March 2023

The traditional start of the new year in Florence - 25 March.

The 25th of March is the ancient Florentine New Year's Day and, in fact, it marked the beginning of the new year in Florence until as recently as 1750. The Grand Duke Francis III of Lorraine changed the date of the New Year into conformity with the Gregorian calendar, which had already been in force in the rest of Italy since 1582. The 25th of March is the day on which the Church commemorates the announcement of the incarnation by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary and was taken as the beginning of the civil calendar in Florence. The feast of the Annunciation is usually held on 25 March but is moved in the Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran liturgical calendars when that date falls during Holy Week or Easter Week or on a Sunday.

25 th March in Florence

Throughout 25 March, you can visit the Brindellone, the famous cart of the Scoppio del Carro (explosion of the cart) event which is held every year on Easter morning. The cart, which is almost 12 m high and 3.5 m wide, can be visited in via del Prato 48, between 10 am and 6 pm. Guides are available who will describe the features of the carriage itself and the events involving it and the historical figures in the procession that takes place on Easter morning.

Florence Scoppio del Carro

More about the Scoppio del Carro

Since 2020, 25 March in Florence has also been designated Dantedì, to celebrate the beginning of Dante's journey into the Inferno, so famously described in his epic poem, the Divine Comedy.

Multiple fairs, museum opening and other festivities take place on 25 March and the days leading up to and following it in Florence.

More about festivals and events in Tuscany

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Author: Anna Maria Baldini

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Thursday, 19 January 2023

Visit Tuscany in winter

Visit Tuscany in winter
Winter in Tuscany - it's not always this snowy!

Now seems an appropriate moment to discuss the question of whether to visit Tuscany in winter. The final answer will be a strong 'yes', but let's look at the details. Cons first. Days are short, meaning that you're likely to set out and return from a day of sightseeing in the dark. Weather can be very cold so gloves, scarves and warm coats are necessary. Could be snowy roads at higher altitudes. The larger vacation villas will be closed because of the cost of heating them, and you will need to take care about who pays the heating costs wherever you stay. Pros. Often brilliantly clear days with magnificent views into the distance. No tourist crowds. Despite fewer offerings, accommodation will be easy to find and might have low season prices or heating included. South-facing terraces can be quite warm in the middle of a clear day - definitely warm enough to sit out and enjoy the view. The opportunity to enjoy major features of 'the real Tuscany' such as meals based around the hunting and truffle seasons, enjoying the evening at home or in a restaurant in front of a roaring fire. And of course plenty of Christmas and New Years celebrations, private and public. New Year's Eve in Florence is well worth a visit. So yes - it's well worth spending some time in Tuscany during winter.

Florence in winter
The Duomo of Florence during winter 2013

There's plenty of winter accommodation listed on the Greve in Chianti web site. These are all owner direct offerings, so you're getting the best prices, and Greve is the centre and market town of the Chianti Classico wine zone between Florence and Sienna.

Abbey of Sant'Antimo near Montalcino

And this is the beautiful Abbey of Sant'Antimo during January 2021.

And there are no mosquitoes in winter!

Author: Anna Maria Baldini

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