It’s less than a month until Christmas and Florence wastes no time prepping for the annual, festive holiday. One of the most well known ways in which Florence commences this holiday season is by bringing the famous German Heidelberger Weihnachtsmarkt better known in Italy as I Mercati Natale or finally, in English, the Christmas Markets in Piazza Santa Croce.
Every year, approximately forty stalls are provided to Florence, lending a bit of German Christmas tradition and operating for the weeks leading up to Christmas day, during the Christian celebration of Advent. This tradition began an odd 500 years ago during the Middle ages, dating back as far as 1294 in Vienna, furthering itself into the streets of Munich in 1310 and finally in Bautzen, Germany in 1384. Eventually, these markets became so popular and successful that it eventually spread across Germany and into the rest of Europe and even parts of North America.
Today, the stalls boast a mix of Christmas tree decorations and adorable gift ideas such as ceramics as well as kitchen spices and supplies – for those who enjoy cooking. If you’d like to wet your whistle a bit you’ll have the opportunity to try German mulled and/or spiced wine as well as an array of interesting sweets and let’s not forget the wurst and strudel. This is my first year going and I have been told that in the past they even had a merry-go-round! Personally, I’m looking forward to simply soaking up the atmosphere but I may also be tempted to give in to a little traditional Heidelberg honey buscuits.
The markets will run from November 27th until December 19th this year.
Let the Christmas season begin and Buon Natale!
By: Tiffany Tobias