There comes a time in everyone’s life when the routine of daily life yields to the dream of living in a different environment. Some people are content to change houses or apartments in the city where they grew up, while others venture to neighboring towns. The most adventurous seek home in a new country, and Italy is easily one of the most dreamed-about destinations.
Within Italy, the significant city of Florence offers the best of all worlds: a historic city surrounded by the gorgeous countryside of Tuscany. With a little bit of advance planning, you can ring in the new year from your own piece of Florence real estate! Let this guide tempt you to arrive in the city by the end of 2015, so that you can partake in these upcoming festivities.
Free New Year’s Eve Concerts
Each New Year’s Eve, there is a free concert in Florence’s Piazza Signoria. It is truly one of the most riveting and romantic ways to ring in the new year in the open air. Classical music may harken back to centuries past, but the continuous appeal of the music by master composers will seamlessly connect past and future. The New Year’s Eve concert begins late in the evening, around 10:00 p.m. The late hour does not stop families from toting along children who are learning about one of the longest-running traditions in the city.
If you cannot get close to the Piazza Signoria because of the crowds, rest assured that there are many other free, open-air concerts in the city squares. The musical offerings span a wide range: besides the classical music in Piazza Signoria, there is jazz in the Piazza della Repubblica, gospel in Piazza Santissima Annunziata, and pop music in the square outside of the Santa Maria Novella train station.
No matter the weather outside, at least one part of Florence becomes a winter wonderland in December. At Winter Park, there is an ice skating rink set up along the Arno, where children of all ages (even adults!) can slip and slide along the ice before enjoying a warm cup of hot cocoa, Italian style. Ice skate rentals are an affordable and fun way to spend the last day of the year, with admission less than €10 and skate rentals only about €2. The rink is located at OBI Hall, along Lungaro Aldo Moro. Winter Park opens at 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at 10:00 a.m. on weekends. It closes at 10:00 p.m. each night except Fridays when it closes at midnight.
Fireworks Over Florence