The Feast of San Lorenzo on August 9-10

Feast of San Lorenzo
The evening street party at San Lorenzo

In Florence, August 10 is celebrated as the feast of San Lorenzo (St. Lawrence), which is a trademark of the characteristic neighborhood around the church of San Lorenzo near the Central Market.

To kick-start the festivities, the square in front of the church will host a free concert by the Città di Grosseto Symphonic Orchestra on August 9 at 8:30 pm.

The actual feast day, August 10, will start with a parade of Florentines in traditional medieval dress walking from the Palagio di Parte Guelfa to Piazza Signoria (9:45 am), where they will be joined by flag-bearers as they continue on to via Calzaiuoli, piazza San Giovanni, and via Martelli before arriving in Piazza San Lorenzo. A Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Giuseppe Betori beginning at 11:15 am in the basilica of San Lorenzo, with the offering of candles (ceri) by city officials. Afterwards, the historical procession will wind its way down city streets back to the Palagio di Parte Guelfa, where it started. Another Mass is scheduled for 6 pm in San Lorenzo, which was once the Medici family parish church.

A free dinner–penne pasta with ragù (meat and tomato sauce) and wine, as well as a choice of yogurt or watermelon–will be offered starting at 8 pm by the local businesses in neighborhood to the public. The free meal on the feast of San Lorenzo is a Florentine tradition spanning centuries — in medieval times, guests was treated to pieces of grilled steak. (rosanna cirigliano)