Trees to Light Up the Florence Holidays

Christmastime is here and the city is in full celebration with decorations and trees everywhere to light up the Florence holidays. If you would still wish to catch a tree lighting, Piazza Santissima Annunziata and Piazza Santa Maria Novella will host their Christmas tree inaugurations on Saturday, December 14 respectively at 6 and 7 pm.  The trees were created by two contemporary Italian artists: Domenico Bianchi for SS Annunizata and Mimmo Paladino for Piazza Santa Maria Novella. 

Walking around the city center, you can find many different kinds of trees from traditional, modern, and socially aware. By the front gates of the Santa Maria del Fiore, better known as the Duomo, there is a giant Christmas tree illuminated with lights and adorned with glass ornaments. The Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Medici Riccardi are also hosting magnificent trees for the holiday that were lit, like the one at the Duomo, during the celebration of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. Many Florentines and visitors could be spotted kicking off the holiday season on Sunday, drinking hot chocolate and vino brulé while waiting for the trees to suddenly glow like magic.

Piazza della Repubblica is sporting a different kind of Christmas tree to light up the Florence holidays: instead of pine, this tree designed by Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto (pictured) is composed of screens displaying visual arts. This is the third of the three modern art trees in the piazzas of Florence for people to discover, hosted in partnership with the Novecento Museum of 20th Century Art.  For those who wish to celebrate Christmas with a socially conscious mind, Piazza Beccaria is hosting a Christmas tree dedicated to the awareness of violence against women, decorated with the symbol of this movement, red shoes. These trees were all lit on the holiday of the Immaculate Conception this past Sunday, December 8.

If Christmas tree lightings aren’t enough lights for you, there is a city-wide display of lights occurring as well. “F-Light” will use video-mapping, projections, light shows, and art installations to light up the city during these cold winter months.  The Le Rampe fountains at Piazza Poggi, which appears to be more like a three-tiered waterfall, will receive permanent white and colored lights during the holiday season starting December 20, visible daily from 5:30 pm to midnight.

The 19th century Le Rampe, designed by the architect Giuseppe Poggi, attracts hundreds of tourists and Florentines daily providing a walkway framed by enchanting stonework, fountains and green spaces, up towards the breathtaking views found at Piazzale Michelangelo. Built between 1872 and 1876, Le Rampe are divided into three levels containing multiple basins and water-filled grottos which are installed along the path from Torre di San Niccolò to Piazzale Michelangelo. Over the years Le Rampe fell into a state of disrepair, however, the complex has been restored to its former glory thanks to an almost two million-euro loan from Fondazione CR Firenze. As part of the recently completed restoration project, tanks were waterproofed, wells and a water recirculation system were installed, weeds were removed and the garden was replanted. (jax viteznik)