Florence’s 2022 New Year’s Eve Countdown

From the show ‘Toscana Senza Fine,’ image by Massimo Sestini

The countdown is on! New Year’s celebrations in Florence are coming up just after the Christmas season, and there are lots of events in which to participate. In previous years, Florence hasn’t been able to have these big celebrations because of the pandemic, so this year, of course taking the proper precautions, New Year’s is back for the first time in quite a while.

On New Year’s Eve the tram will provide service all night but city buses will stop running at 8 pm, except for the 6, 11, 14, 17 and 23, all of which will provide service until 2:30 pm.  The municipality has decided to avoid large crowds congregating in a large outdoor venue, so there will be no international pop stars or famous Italian singers.

For an unforgettable start to 2023 in Florence, there will be numerous smaller celebrations all over the city to ring in the New Year. Instead of one massive concert in a single square of Florence, or mega shows at Piazzale Michelangelo, four main squares in the city center but also in Oltrarno will be hosting New Year’s performances and events, and each square will have its own unique happening. These will include classical music, gospel choirs, light shows, and even some touring bands.

The first square is Piazza della Signoria, which will host contemporary music and a play of light on the landmarks in addition to acrobatic shows on Palazzo Vecchio’s Arnolfo Tower starting at 11 pm. In the Piazza del Carmine and Oltrarno, there will be marching bands stationed at the Carmine ready to play for the final midnight countdown.  Piazza Santissima Annunziata will be the setting for gospel choirs, lifting their voices to celebrate the incoming year, featuring two groups, The Pilgrims and the Women of God, performing live beginning at 10 pm, while the MC for midnight countdown will be Eva Edili of Lady Radio.

San Lorenzo will showcase classical music, with a program of Strauss, Rossini, Bizet and Morricone performed by the Orchestra Toscana Classica in addition to the Kharkiv Philharmonic Orchestra from the Ukraine (10:15 pm).  Oltrarno’s Piazza del Carmine will feature a midnight toast and three bands: Bandão (percussion instruments, traditional Italian, Latin American and African music); the Magicaboola Brass Band (marching music); and the Pulsar, a Tuscan street band founded by students.

In addition to all these amazing events, the giant Ferris Wheel will be turning in Florence, just one more amazing New Years’ event (€12, €10 for residents, €7 for children). The Ferris wheel is more than 50 meters high and hosts a breathtaking view from the top. It also lights up brightly at night, giving off a lovely, warm glow. Nearby, the 300-meter-long ice skating rink that circles around a beautiful lake of swans, and just like the Ferris wheel, is open every day from 10 am to midnight. Tickets for the ice rink cost €14, €12 if you bring your own skates. There is also a second ice skating rink at Winter Park in Lungarno Aldo Moro, which will also have street food available for purchase.

This New Year’s Eve will be the best one in several years, and it will usher in 2023 with laughter and cheering! (Isabella Azzaro)