11 January 2016

6 Things Locals Do in Florence on a Winter Day

Having spent a couple of weeks in Florence during the Christmas holidays, I thought this would be a good topic, especially for people who are currently visiting Florence or are planning to in the next few months of cold. Florence is a city very much made for tourists, something a great part of those like to fight against during their stay there. Therefore, I thought I would note down a couple of things that Florentines enjoy doing during Winter time.
- Walk around the city centre 
During Christmas time and for a while after that, the streets of Florence are lit up with beautiful and classy decorations, two massive Christmas trees and a wooden nativity scene in Piazza del Duomo. I love walking around at this time of year because the city offers an incredible atmosphere. Although at some point the decorations are taken off, the chilly but cosy wintery environment goes on until March. I promise you'll love it. 
2 - Drink hot chocolate
Something that is considered very fancy in Florence is going to have hot chocolate at Rivoire, a posh and old-fashioned cafe in Piazza della Signoria. I've only done that once or twice, but I've been to several other places to have hot chocolate, because that's just what you need on a cold wintery day, isn't it? Some of my favourite places to go to are Chiaro Scuro in via del Corso, Caffè Astra in via Cerretani and Feltrinelli Red's big cafè in Piazza della Repubblica. 
3 - Go out for lunch with friends
While in Florence people tend to go out at night in summer, in winter they prefer meeting for lunch for the cold weather, either at a typical Tuscan restaurant or at a more edgy restaurant. For instance, every year my family and I go eat sushi at Pingusto (in piazza Ghiberti) with some friends of ours.

4 - Go clothes shopping
Florentines are very much into fashion. Whenever sales are on, or even when they aren't, people in Florence like to walk around the city centre and see if they can find a good pick. Some of the most common destinations are Zara and Massimo Dutti, and the most crowded streets are definitely via dei Calzaiuoli and via Cerretani. 
5 - Go ice-skating in Piazza della Libertà
I'm actually not too into ice-skating, but there are many people who do. Many locals (especially teenagers and children) enjoy going ice-skating in the Parterre rink. I find that a bit small and overcrowded (get ready for the queue), however many people seem to enjoy it. 

6 - Visit an art exhibition
This option might not be for everyone, but at this time of the year Palazzo Strozzi usually hosts an exhibition or two and a good part of locals enjoy going to see it and comment on it. The posters in the picture are from the current exhibition Divine Beauty with works by Van Gogh, Chagall and Fontana.
If you're a tourist visiting the city for the first time, you'll have plenty of choice as you probably still haven't seen all the other museums and the exhibitions will be more like an extra thing to do after the staple museums to see in the city.

What do you like doing on a winter day? 


  1. Florence was one of my most favourite cities in Italy :) It was sooo beautiful!
    On a winter day, I love meeting friends for a warm lunch and sharing a hot cocoa or coffee. Sometimes, we like taking walks and seeing the sights (winter can be pretty!) We enjoy skating or just taking lots of photos together. A couple of years ago, we went to a winter festival and saw ice sculptures while drinking apple cider and got beaver tails :)
    -Lor //

    1. Those are very nice things to do. The winter festival sounds like fun :) I had never heard of beaver tails before! I need to try those :D