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 Novecentothe 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.
tuscany event
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.

A beautiful gallery of the Event in Florence

light festival Florence Light PONTE VECCHIO Festival My Travel in Tuscany
Ponte Vecchio – Photo credits: Mauro Sani
Event in Tuscany
Ponte Vecchio – Photo credits: Mauro Sani
Events in Tuscany
Ponte Vecchio – Photo credits: Ilaria Persello
light festival Florence piazza PITTI my travel in tuscany
Piazza Pitti – Photo credits: Mauro Sani
San Paolino church light festival florence
The San Paolino Church – Photo credits: Mauro Sani
Santo Spirito square light festival florence
Santo Spirito – Photo credits: Mauro Sani

Pin it for Later!

F-Light Florence light festival
(Updated on 22/12/2017)

26 thoughts on “The F-Light Florence Light Festival

  1. Eric Gamble says:

    This is so very cool. Darcee & I accidently arrived in Berlin for their annual Light Show festival and were totally amazed to watch all the different light shows throughout the city on all of the old buildings. I can only imagine how beautiful it must have been on St. Nicholas Day to open the season of Christmas in Florence! People always amaze me with the creative ways they showcase their art and celebrate life and the holidays. Merry Christmas!

    • Edoardo says:

      Today the lights upon Ponte Vecchio was projecting the skyline of the most important cities of the world, such as Sydney, Athens, Barcelona, Budapest, Amsterdam, Cancun, Buenos Aires, Capetown, Naples, Rome, Bangkok, it was astonishing. Have yourself a happy new year 🙂

  2. Rosanella says:

    What a handy blog to check places to visit in Tuscany 🙂 I wish I could have been there for the Light Festival. The photos and video look stunning! There’s so much that I need to discover and explore about the country where I was born, and I know little of. The first time that I went to Florence (only last year!), I was in tears of joy; so emotional 🙂 I look forward to see more places to explore on MyTravelintuscany.com

    • Edoardo says:

      Hey Rosanella, thank you so much for your kind words 🙂 Is a pleasure for us when we read about how much you like our contents. I agree with you, Florence is a special town, able to make yourself feeling many deep emotions.

  3. The Wild Life says:

    We struggle through the long winter days in Europe and only the light shows around Christmas keep our hopes up for the coming spring. That’s why we love such festivals like the F-Light Florence Light Festival. Your pictures capture the playful event nicely!

    • Edoardo says:

      I am not a winter lover, honestly, but I agree that this kind of happening, are something that keep warm the heart at least. 🙂 Thank you for your comment.

  4. Yasha says:

    Florence would have to be one of my very favourite cities in Italy. To see it lit up with such amazing effects would be a stunning experience. I particularly liked the Ponte Vecchio with Klimt Paintings – that must be even more spectacular in the real life view.

  5. Laura Lynch says:

    We were in Venice for Christmas and briefly considered going to Florence for a small side trip. I wish I’d known about this because it would have pushed us to go. It looks really cool – and innovative. I’ve never seen such a cool lights display.

    • Edoardo says:

      Hey Laura Lynch (very Twin Peaks name isn’t it? 😉 ), Yeah there are many touristers that come to Florence from Venice just to visit the city. Maybe next year? 🙂

  6. Jessica Gretsch Covington says:

    This year I was able to see a light show locally in California projected on a historic museum and I thought that was such a great juxtaposition of modern and historic. Florence’s take on the modern and antiquity must truly be worth seeing!

  7. Lori Simonetti Sorrentino says:

    We have traveled to Tuscany and Florence and didn’t know about this. Thank you and we now know what time of year our next visit will be.

  8. Medha Verma Bector says:

    Wow the pictures look amazing. I didn’t know about this F lights festival but would love to see the beautiful city of Florence light up like that!

  9. Leigh says:

    What a beautiful light display and it’s so nice that it lasts for a whole month! This seems like a great excuse to visit Florence in December!

  10. Carola Bieniek says:

    I love how cities around the world take the idea of the Light Festival and make it their own! Walking along the river and seeing the Ponte Vecchio ornately decorated must be a spectacular sight.

    Mille grazie!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!