If you’re in Florence for New Year’s Eve – called La Festa di San Silvestro or Capodanno — there are a couple of ways you can enjoy your evening.
There is the elegant, expensive approach: spend an evening at a palazzo or a fine restaurant with a special menu and pay over 100 euro a person (but this does include dancing and drinking). Or, you could bring in the New Year without breaking the bank—there are loads of fantastic activities for you to do in the city without spending a cent. I recommend the second approach. Spend the night in the gorgeous outdoors, walking from piazza to piazza to take in all of the festive celebrations. On this night it seems all the people of Florence are out, and the energy is exhilarating.
Here are just a few inexpensive events Florence has to offer for New Year’s Eve:
New Year’s Eve at the Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio
Start out your evening at Sant’Ambrogio Market, where you can take in some local live music while you snack on British “fish and chips” (reasonably priced!).
Across the river, in the neighborhood called “Oltrarno,” enjoy a free classical concert at the grand Pitti Palace, before heading to the nearby Piazza Santo Spirito for a glass of wine and some live Italian music.
Later, at Piazza Santa Croce you can treat yourself to Verdi and Strauss by the Philharmonic Orchestra of the European Lyric Theater. The maestro is Giuseppe Lanzetta.
Stand on the Ponte alle Grazie and watch magnificent fireworks light up the sky over the Arno—you can usually see these throughout the night.
New Year’s Day
The next morning, after getting plenty of sleep, finish off the musical festivities with a free concert at 11:30am at the Teatro del Maggio Muscale by students from the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole.
Photo of Florence at night originally posted by dann:*