Florence Halloween Festivities 2023
It’s the time of year when the end of peak tourist season is near, with the arrival of the cool autumn breeze, longer evenings, and holiday festivities.
Contrary to popular belief, Halloween has existed in Italy for generations with deeply-rooted traditions between the 19th and 20th centuries, such as Sardinia’s days of “Su Mortu Mortu” and “Is Animeddas” or the tradition of carved-pumpkin lanterns in the “La notte delle lumere” of Sicily and Lombardy regions.
You may already have plans for Nov. 1 (Festa di Tutti i Santi / All Saints’ Day), but why not experience even more enchantment with these ghoulish gatherings and Halloween haunts happening this Oct. 31 in and around Florence, Italy? The following is a guide.
Pre-Halloween Celebrations for Families
HALLOWEEN PARTY FUND RAISER at the Children’s Lending Library
Via Rucellai, 9, Florence
This Saturday, Oct. 28, get in the Halloween spirit with crafts, face painting, games, sweet treats, and a haunted house while supporting a good cause, Florence’s Children’s Lending Library. The Halloween fundraiser party will be held in the undercroft of the church of St. James from 4to 6 pm. The entrance fee for members and friends is €3 per child or € 5 per family of more than one child. Costumes are encouraged, and delectable themed desserts will be for sale.
HARD ROCK CAFE Celebration for Kids
Via Brunelleschi 1, Florence
If you’re looking for some pre-festivities for your excited young ones, stop by Florence’s Hard Rock Cafe on Sunday, October 29. From 4- 6 pm, the iconic restaurant will offer a dedicated menu of spooky specialties, a magician show of apparition and fun, and scary makeup by RockandPainting. Pricing is €15 for children up to ten and €20 for adults.
For All Ages
Join a crowd of monsters, witches, and ghosts at a 4km (2.5mi) night run and costume contest in Cascine Park starting at 8 pm. People of all ages are invited to sport their best costumes through the enchanting labyrinth of trees, where they will indeed find an array of tricks and treats. Tickets are €10 for adults and €7 for children under ten, and registration for the run is open until 7:30 pm. on Oct. 31 at the link above.
Via Sant’Andrea a Rovezzano 5, Florence
Let your Halloween evening begin with a bewitching magician performance at 5 pm, followed by options street food or dinner with music. You may also come in a disguise and take part in their ‘Scariest Mask’ Competition. Send a message to +34 77335332 to reserve your family’s spot.
College Age & Up
Via Calimala 2, Florence
Enjoy a Halloween-themed dinner and panoramic views of Florence from 5 – 9 pm, then a moonlit after-party from 9 pm to midnight. Entry is € 25 per person and includes a spooky drink and DJ set. Dressing up is encouraged, and you must secure your ticket in advance through telephone (see link).
Via Brunelleschi 1, Florence
On the 31st, Hard Rock Cafe is hosting another Halloween party, this time in theme with The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Gather around a buffet dinner and assortment of cocktails and treats while watching a screening of Rocky Horror at 8 pm followed by a live music performance at 10 pm. Pricing is €35 for adults and includes a standing buffet dinner, soft drinks, 2 drink cards and show. The cost for teens up to 17 is €20 and includes dinner, soft drinks and the show.
Out of Town
HALLOWEENFEST near Lucca
Up for an hour’s drive? Take a spellbinding day or weekend trip to Capannori and join in on the largest Halloween fest in Italy from Oct. 28 to Nov. 5. The major “Halloween Celebration Carnival” party will take place on October 31 at Villa Reale di Marlia from 5 pm to 2 am, with over 200 artists, concerts, circus land, dance parade, carnival games, freak shows, re-enactments, street art, typical food, themed market, fire show, and dance with free shuttle service from the Marlia market. Other events will revolve around it, spread over the following week.
This Halloween, don’t miss out on saying dolcetto o scherzetto! (trick or treat) and relish in the local activities of this spooky and whimsical time of year! (Mia Ruiz)