Events in Florence

Calcio Storico

This 16th C. form of football, played in a giant sand pit in front of Santa Croce, has teams of 27, the vigor of rugby and a fairly lax set of rules. The four teams are: Santa Croce (blue), Santo Spirito (white), Santa Maria Novella (red), and San Giovanni (green).

Piazza Santa Croce, fronted by the Church with the same name, has always been the place to play this game, known as “giuoco del calcio fiorentino” or more simply just as Calcio (which means “kick” in Italian). The square is covered in dirt to soften the falls and blows - and to return it to its original state, when the original games were played. Nowadays banches and seating are also set up for specators to better enjoy the game.

Estate Fiesolana in Fiesole

This music and dance festival is the hills overlooking Florence places performers and spectators in its ancient Roman theatre. The festival takes place between June and August and has a calendar of classical concerts and not, as well as theatre and comedy shows.

Fiesole, a short distance from Florence, was originally a Roman town and still has its splendid Roman theatre which is used for these events, held under the stars. It truly is a very special setting. Parking however can be difficult so it's a good idea to look at moving around with the public transport system (ATAF bus line number 7, leaving from the center of Florence).

Festa dell'Uva in Impruneta

Impruneta’s autumnal grape celebration of the bounty of its vineyards fills its streets with allegorical wagons and the piazza with merriment.

Events begin early in September: the four districts (rioni) of the town, represented throughout the year by flags prominently displayed, compete in a culinary contest to determine which neighborhood makes the best peposo, Impruneta’s signature peppery beef stew, known as its signature dish. The stew was traditionally prepared by brickmakers in a terracotta pot, put into a kiln to slowly cook all morning.

The events continue over the weekend, with concerts, carnival floats and more food and of course, plenty of wine.

Festa della Rificolona

This festival of large colourful paper lanterns in the square dedicated to Mary, Santissima Annunziata celebrates the birth of the Virgin Mary. The trip into the city for this celebration was once taken as an opportunity to sell their goods by the local farmers and craftsmen - this tradition continues today and the celebration is also a market day in the square of Santissima Annunziata.

Today it is mainly aimed at children, who hold aloft the colourful paper lanterns while singing traditional songs like "Ona ona ona, ma che bella rificolona". The procession starts from Piazza Santa Felicita and heads for Piazza SS. Annunziata passing through Piazza della Signoria.