Posted by: Debra Kolkka | December 24, 2020

Christmas in Florence

Tuscany was given a short reprieve , 4 days in the yellow zone, before Christmas. I took the opportunity to leave the village and visit Florence to see the city decorated for Christmas. I am not usually here at this time of the year so it was a special treat.

The sun shone briefly as I arrived in Florence. I checked into the hotel and headed out immediately. The city was quiet and I had the usually busy streets almost to myself. It unusual to see the Ponte Vecchio without crowds. The views from the bridge are always wonderful.

I wandered slowly towards the Duomo, stopping along the way to enjoy this beautiful city.


The sun disappeared and it began to drizzle.

As the lights come on in the evening the city becomes even more enchanting.

Via Tornabuoni is especially lovely.

Palazzo Strozzi has a message for us.

The Ponte Vecchio is transformed with a stunning lighting display.

Rinascente’s windows are filled with vintage Neapolitan nativity scenes.

This one is life size.

The facade is lit up, brightening the Piazza Republica on a drizzly night.

I walked back across the Santa Trinita bridge to Piazza Santo Spirito where I was staying.

Here is the Christmas tree in Piazza Santo Spirito.

…and the view of it from my hotel window.

I stayed at Palazzo Guadagni,an elegant hotel in Piazza Santo Spirito. It is in a gorgeous palazzo with a balcony overlooking the piazza with views over the rooftops of Florence.

I can see that this will become a regular place for me to stay.

As I walked to the station the next morning I crossed the Ponte Vecchio again. I doubt I will see it like this very often.

I had one more look at the Christmas tree at the Duomo before heading home for 10 days of lockdown.

Merry Christmas everyone. Let’s hope 2021 is better for all of us!


  1. Wow, it looks so beautiful! I’m glad you were able to get there during these crazy days – what a special treat. Thank you so much for sharing the loveliness.
    Merry Christmas 🎄

    • It was delightful to wander the streets of Florence at this time of year. I feel very lucky to be able to visit briefly.

  2. I spent a Christmas in Venice a few years ago – but I plan to go to Florence next time I go away during Christmas! Your pictures were wonderful. Hope lockdown does not get extended! I loved zoom meeting with some friends in Aviano who I miss! Thanks for the hotel suggestion.

    • I hope lockdown isn’t extended as well. If there had been more time Venice would have been my next choice.

  3. This post was not only exceptionally beautiful; but moving. It has simply made me cry. It triggered the deep sense of nostalgia for not only the Life we have packaged so differently these days, but for Italy itself, and especially the city, memories and ‘vibe’ of Firenze. In addition, I thought it wonderfully special of you to make this post; all the Joy and Beauty that we may not have even created ourselves this year has been enjoyed immensely from the spectacular creations your camera (once again) has brought to us. As well, I felt I joined you on the visit; very touching. We have just completed a 28 day lock-down and will commence an even stricter one on the 26th, for another 28 days. This is probably the nicest gift I could have received. I thank you for bringing it our way and wish you ‘tante belle cose’ for not only now, but going forward into a, hopefully, better year!! Catherine R.

    • I felt very lucky to be able to get to Florence this week. We have been locked down for weeks, not allowed to leave our town. We got 4 days of relative freedom. I made the most of it while being careful not to be in crowded situations.
      We are now shut down again and I understand and agree with this. I am happy to stay at home in the hope that things will improve soon.
      I hope lockdown is not too difficult for you.
      Let’s all hope in 2021 we can resume normal life!
      Merry Christmas.

  4. Absolutely stunning pictures. Isn’t it decorated beautifully. Great shots.thank you for sharing. We’re really missing our time in Italy.

    • Florence is gorgeous right now. I am delighted I was able to get there.

  5. Thank you ever so much for sharing your great photos of Christmas in Firenze. They made me feel quite nostalgic for this beautiful city. Stay safe Deb. xx

    • It was great to able to go. I was concerned that it might have been crowded, but I felt quite safe. Now I will be at home for the next 10 days at least.

  6. Merry Christmas Deb. What a lovely time to visit Florence. Thanks for showing us the lovely decorations and lights in this very beautiful city.

    • Despite the rain I was happy to be there to see the wonderful decorations.

  7. Merry Christmas Debra! What a treat to see Florence during the holidays. I love Palazzo Guadagni. Have a great memory of sitting on the porch with a drink after a long day walking around the city.

    • I will definitely be staying there again soon.

  8. What a treat you gave us with these images of the festively decorated city of Florence. Thank you and have a Merry Christmas .

    • Merry Christmas to you too. It was great to be able to wander in Florence at this time.

  9. It looks beautiful and window shopping must have been a delight.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Have a wonderful Christmas!

    • I am delighted I was able to get to Florence for a brief visit. Merry Christmas!

  10. Thank you – what a treat to see this! Thanks for all your great blog posts. Love them. Merry Christmas. Maybe one day I’ll get to visit your lovely place in Italy.

    • I can handle the next lockdown after this lovely treat! Merry Christmas.

  11. Italy at Christmas is just magic. The Italians seem to have such flair in the way they manage their decorations, nothing garish, it seems.

    Thank you for going to Florence to show us this lovely city at this special time of year.

    • Florence looks beautiful at Christmas. I feel very lucky to have been able to visit. Merry Christmas!

  12. Oh Italy…takes your breath away. The design, the beauty, the elegance. You are so lucky Debra. A real Christmas treat! Take care

    • It was wonderful to see Florence at this time. I don’t mind being home for a while now.

  13. Happy Christmas Debra & thanks for the beautiful Post of Florence all decked out on Christmas finery. Wonderful to see the city looking so beautiful & festive in spite of lockdown. Loved the Tree & Crib outside the Duomo, the light display on the Ponte Vecchio & the Nativity scene in Rinascente. The lighting along Via Tornabuoni looking like chandeliers just spectacular. The views from your hotel Palazzo Guadagni which I hope you will enjoy again soon. Your last walk in the morning must have been very nostalgic as we all hope for some return to normality. Again Happy & safe Christmas.

    • It was great to be able to be out and about for a few days. It makes the Christmas lockdown OK. I feel very lucky to be here for Christmas, it is quite different from a sun tropical one.
      I hope you enjoyed your Christmas and that next year is wonderful for you.

  14. I especially like the vintage nativity characters; they are so beautifully detailed – and i think even Pinocchio is there

    • Yes, Pinocchio makes an appearance. The books were set in Collodi, a village not far from Bagni di Lucca.
      I have seen these wonderful nativity scenes in Naples where the ones in the window come from.

  15. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos of Florence at Christmas – the lights are stunning! I hope you had a Merry Christmas.

    • My Christmas was lovely and I hope yours was too. It was great to see Florence decorated so beautifully.

  16. Thank you for refreshing the great memories of Firenze. I trust everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

    • Florence put on a beautiful display for Christmas. I hope you have a great 2021.

  17. Just breathtaking!!!

  18. Bellissimo. Christmas is so special in Italy. What a treat to see Florence so empty (but sad because of this pandemic). Take care and stay safe.

    • It is still strange to see these towns and cities so quiet. I hope one the vaccine is rolled out we will see things start to improve.

  19. How exquisite Deb! Best I’ve seen and truly inspiring,. Stay safe, Catherin

    • It was great to be able to visit Florence at this time. I was quite lucky with the weather too. I hope next year is better for all of us…bring on the vaccine!

  20. Grazie, grazie, grazie. Buon Natale, and here’s to a vaccine-filled 2021!!

    • Yes, let’s hope things improve soon.

  21. A very Happy New Year to you Debra! I hope that you have a restful and wonderful holiday and here’s to a better 2021!

  22. […] My recent trip to Florence was excellent. It was the first time I have been here for Christmas. Christmas in Florence […]

  23. […] I can’t walk very far or very fast so I decided to stay a couple of nights so I could retreat to the hotel for regular breaks. I stayed at the Palazzo Guadagni where I stayed at Christmas. Christmas in Florence […]

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