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3 things to do in Florence to enjoy Christmas in advance

Christmas starts early in Florence. In mid-November the city is enlighten with decorations and lights of all kinds. Streets and shops are transformed to create the right Christmas atmosphere. Shop windows make adults and children dream and strolling through the streets of the center make you feel the spirit of the holidays, waiting for the magic of December.

If you plan to come to Florence between November and December, there are at least 3 things you should do to start tasting the Christmas season.

  1. Tour of the cribs and exhibition of the Rivoli Boutique Hotel 
    Visiting the city cribs is a centuries-old tradition that has remained alive throughout Italy, not only in Florence.  That’s why every year my family and I dedicate time to visit the wonderful churches of the historic center, and admire the nativity scenes that are true masterpieces of art and craftsmanship. For example, in the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the statues of the nativity scene are made by the ceramist Carlo Reggioli and those sited on the outside churchyard - already visible from December 8 - are handmade in terracotta by the artisan Luigi Mariani.

    For us, this has become such an important moment of the year that we have decided to organize a special exhibition (this year at its 7th edition) of great success at the Rivoli Boutique Hotel (that belongs to our family too), just 200 meters from the Grand Hotel Adriatico. An exhibition of artisanal cribs by Maestro Ladurini together with the most popular culture of the Village of Santa Claus, curated by Salvatore Sciuto. Entry is free from December 8th to January 6th.  At the reception of Grand Hotel Adriatico, you can find all the information to visit this exhibition and all the other beautiful cribs downtown.
  2. Sales, sales, sales
    Do you know that the best fashion brands are always on sale in Florence!? A few steps from the Hotel Adriatico, at Santa Maria Novella station, there are special shuttles leaving for the best Outlet Malls of the city. The Mall and Barberino Design Outlet always offer discounts of up to 50% for brands such as Gucci, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Tom Hilfiger, Michael Kors and many others. After the summer, when most of the tourists have returned home, shopping in the outlets becomes a fun and interesting time. I always suggest it before the Christmas holidays start, because it is worthwhile to astonish those you love with a precious present bought with an equally great saving.
  3. A slice of artisan panettone
    You do not need to wait December to enjoy the fragrant, traditional Italian cake Panettone or other Christmas sweets. Florence is famous for its artisan bakeries and after vising one of our museums, you can stop to have a snack with the best panettone ever, or with the Tuscan ricciarelli, typical Sienese Christmas cookies. Each bar proposes its variants: you can choose between the classic panettone with raisins and the modern ones with pear and chocolate. My advice is to start from the historic pastry shop Rivoire, in Piazza Signoria, with its breathtaking views of the Palazzo Vecchio.

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