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24th June: San Giovanni’s celebrations.

Willing to live Florence in its true essence? If you are in the Tuscan capital this weekend this is your opportunity: on Saturday 24th Florence dresses up in bright colours to honour the patron saint of the city: San Giovanni Battista. All sorts of different activities will be combined with medieval traditions that will make of such date the perfect occasion to enjoy Florence as a true Florentine.

The festivity is inaugurated in the morning with the usual historic parade from Piazza della Signoria to the Baptistery of Saint John followed by a candle offer to the patron of the city. A peculiar parade where the bright colours of the traditional dresses melt with the cheerful  and joyful spirits of all of those congregated in the city centre. Furthermore, for the first time ever, Palazzo Vecchio’s tower, la Torre d’Arnolfo, will open to the public. A unique opportunity to enjoy an awesome view of Florence from such an emblematic scenario.

The afternoon celebration comes in the form of medieval sport: the Calcio in Costume, also known as historic Florentine soccer, which is held in Piazza Santa Croce. The square transforms into an improvised stadium that, together with the cry “Viva Firenze!”,  brings to life this peculiar sport from the 16th century which might be considered as a combination of  wrestling, rugby and soccer. With the corresponding parades before and after, in the end, it turns out to be more of a show than a real sports game.

fireworks

When dusk comes and night takes over, the time’s begun to enjoy a pyrotechnic spectacle. An astonishing fireworks display at Piazzale Michelangelo called fuochi di San Giovanni (Saint John’s fireworks) at around 10 P.M. that attract multitudes to the Arno’s riverbank.

A very special date for the city that Il Salviatino, the best 5 star hotel in Florence, will happily like to share with you .

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