Every 8th December, Christmas lights illuminate the streets of Florence and a big tree is placed in the Piazza Duomo just beside the magnificent Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Moreover, for an entire month, on occasion of the F-Light Florence Light Festival, new amazing lights brighten Florence downtown. If you are lucky to be in the capital of Tuscany during this period, you have the opportunity to admire the main attractions of the city under a different light.
Since 2011, in December, light games and projections color the facades of the historical buildings, giving them a special and amazing aspect.
The Fountain of Neptun in blue – Photo credits: Mauro Sani
The program of F-light Florence Light Festival
F-light is a wordplay. The letter “F” (for Florence but also for festival) and the word “light”, create the new word “F-light”. For a month, the Light Festival invites Florentines and tourists to take a tour with the light, an imaginary flight over the city, closer to the starry vault.
The Florence Light Festival starts every year the 8 December, when the Mayor turns on the lights of the huge Christmas tree in the Duomo Square.
Events and workshops are promoted by the Florence municipality and organized by the MUS.E association.
This year, the Light festival is dedicated to the frontier as horizon and limit, in both the physical and metaphysical sense. “Light, in fact, illuminates new scientific scenarios, but also cultural, social or geopolitical ones, opening new visions and restoring to us all the things of that past that are yet to be discovered and appreciated”.
Light games, video mapping, and projections, artistic light installations, guided tours and workshops for adults and children, are the attractions of F-lights Firenze Light Festival.
A bright itinerary will guide you across the city: from the Duomo to the Oltrarno, passing from the main squares and buildings of the historical center (UNESCO World heritage site since 1982) as Piazza Duomo, the Loggia del Porcellino, the tower of Arnolfo of Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza Santa Croce. You will cross the Arno River through the Ponte Vecchio to reach Piazza San Spirito.
The Porta Romana gate – Photo credits: Mauro Sani
Light Festival games and shows
Here is a list of the many light games and shows scattered all over the city center:
- The facade of the Basilica of Santo Spirito is the screen for the projection of the best 200 works of the participants of a contest with the theme of the frontiers launched among schools, kindergartens and elderly centers of Florence.
- The Tower of Arnolfo of Palazzo Vecchio is lightened with projections dedicated to the 17 global objectives of the United Nations for sustainable development, that countries throughout the world are committed to pursuing.
- The Loggia del Porcellino is decorated with a multi-installation dedicated to the metamorphosis of light with works by Yannis Kraniditios, RaumZeitPiraten, and Jose Angelino.
- Ponte Vecchio is like a white canvas where a light show realized by the European Institute of Design with the patronage of UNHCR, intends to produce a reflection on the theme of migration and of the global crisis of refugees
- Other light projections decorate the facade of the Camera di Commercio, the San Niccolò Tower, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Museo Novecento, the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Central Market in San Lorenzo, the palazzo of La Rinascente in the Piazza della Repubblica, the church and market of Sant’Ambrogio.
Ponte Vecchio with Klimt Paintings – Photo credits: Ilaria Persello
So, planning to visit the city shortly for a little walk and do some Christmas shopping, I won’t definitely miss a tour in town to admire with my eyes these spectacular projections of the light festival.