I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and wishing you all the best for 2015! Can’t quite believe it’s 2015 already, 2014 just flew by!!! Since the Christmas period is almost over, I thought I’d reminisce on Florence during my favourite time of the year.
Florence does Christmas well, and probably the right way too…unlike the UK where we bring out all things Christmas as soon as the sun sets a little earlier, Florence only started selling Christmassy items and decorating their shops until very late November! But once all the Christmas decorations and lights were out, Florence was absolutely gorgeous! (Not that is isn’t normally!) Christmas lights covered the streets and pretty much created a Santa’s grotto in every one!
Another Christmassy event in Florence that I could not wait for, was the Christmas Market at Santa Croce. It’s a typical German market, filled with handcrafted home wear, decorations, food, food, and more food. They even had a ‘Best of British’ stand, which was erm, interesting, let’s just say lots of Cheddar, plates with Will and Kate’s faces on them and tea. During Millie and my first trip there, we were obliged to have a proper German Wurst, which was amazing! We also tried the ‘Chimney Cake’ in Cinnamon, because I am just cinnamon obsessed at this time of year!
A view you cannot beat at this time of year is without a doubt at the top of Piazzale Michelangelo. There’s a replica of the tree in the Piazza del Duomo, which is smothered in lights and the Florentine crest symbol. When we were there, there was a singer busking, singing Christmassy songs so we sat on the steps enjoying the music and the view. I could have stayed there for hours if I had a nice cup of Mulled Wine! Talking of Mulled Wine, Millie and I went to our usual coffee at the Mercato, when we saw they were selling Mulled Wine and huge slices of Panettone, didn’t really have to think twice! (Made even better by the free Mulled Wine in shot glasses going around). I was a very happy erasmus student then!! The things I’d do for that now!! (Also whilst we were at the Market before then we met two of the Fiorentina footballers! Score!)
As I was saying earlier, the Florentines don’t start decorating until very late November, so finding a tree on the last weekend of November was a struggle!! We ended up in the beloved Conad, which is about an 8 minute walk from our apartment. Getting this heavy tree back was a story to say the least!! We even had to buy washing up gloves to minimise the prickling and then later fighting off a bloody Spider and god knows how many Woodlice!! Let’s just say, the cuppa I had after was the best cup of tea I’ve had in a long time! But once we got it up and decorated it was fab! Definitely made the place look a lot more Christmassy!!
Florence during the Christmas period is definitely something special, the streets are absolutely packed with people buying presents and the smell of Roasting Chestnuts fill the streets. It is without a doubt one of the best places to be during Christmas and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside when you walk down the beautifully lit streets with that little winter chill.
Merry Christmas everyone for the last couple of days and I wish you a very very happy and successful New Year!