The popular festivals and historical re-enactments of Florence are some of the most important events that take place every year in the city, being an important testimony to the memory and traditions of the "Florentine people".
Among the historical re-enactments of Florence, that of January 6 celebrates an ancient popular festival of the 1400s, with which the confraternity of the Stella remembered the visit of the Three Wise Men. It is an evocative historical procession that starts from Palazzo Pitti, crosses the Piazza della Signoria to arrive - finally - in Piazza del Duomo (passing through via Guicciardini, Ponte Vecchio, via Lambertesca and via Calzaiuoli). Many costumed figures take part in this procession to accompany the Kings, who'll reach the nativity scene with their gifts to pay homage to Jesus. The Gospel reading is subsequently held in Piazza del Duomo.
During this festival, the people of Florence distribute the sacred fire to the population through a cart loaded with fires, called "Brindellone". It is celebrated on Easter Sunday and the cart is pulled by 2 white oxen, which from via del Prato reaches the Duomo. Among the many historical re-enactments of Florence, this foresees that at 11 o'clock in the morning, at the singing of Gloria in excelsis Deo, a rocket similar to a dove (called "colombina") is set on fire, which triggers the firecrackers and the fireworks prepared on the Brindellone: it is not possible to describe the rain of fire, colors and sparks that surrounds the cart. Among the historical celebrations, this is the most close to the Florentines.
This popular festival derives from the ancient pagan holidays that celebrated the arrival of spring. Subsequently, the city celebrated the month of May with the "Calendimaggio": the young people adorned the windows or doors of their girlfriends with flowers, and gave them a cricket in a small cage of saggina stems. As by the popular tradition, the "canterino" cricket was considered a lucky charm and a tutelary deity of the home hearth. The party coincides with Ascension, or 40 days after Easter and takes place in the Cascine Park in Florence, where small cages containing a fake cricket are sold, during a beautiful fair.
Three football games are held in Piazza Santa Croce, with over 500 figures in 16th century costumes. The four teams represent the districts in the center of Florence. The historic soccer game is held during the month of June with the final on day 24, the anniversary of San Giovanni, patron saint of Florence. The four districts of the city compete in a heated tournament, where in 50 minutes the 27 players of each team, dressed in old historical clothes, try to win the trophy (a Chianina cow) and above all the prize, symbol of the winners. Preceded by a historical re-enactment in costume, the event represents one of the most known and felt events of the Florentine tradition.
The night party takes its name from the "rificolone", the paper lanterns with which the children accompany the procession. The event is a succession of flag-wavers, musicians and characters in medieval costumes who parade from Piazza Santa Croce to Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, to celebrate the anniversary of the nativity of the Virgin Mary. It is one of the most re-enacted historical celebrations of Florence and takes place on 7 September during festive, suggestive, colorful processions.
A tour guide can accompany you during the most significant events in Florence: during these re-enactments, a great open-air show involves tourists, citizens and local associations.
An exclusive and customized walk in the "Flor-da-Lys" city