Many centuries ago, in the eve of the Nativity of Virgin Mary, the peasants of Tuscany used to travel to Florence to pay tribute. Wearing their best gowns, they entered the city at night, so they carried big lanterns to light their way. This is the origin of the Festa della Rificolona, a Florentine tradition full of fun and mischief! But why Rificolona? What does that mean? Well, a “rificolona” is a woman that dresses vulgarly or in a tacky way. Peasants put on their best clothes, but children from Florence still made fun of them and call them “Rificoloni!” when they passed by.
Today, kids are still at the heart of this Florentine tradition. A parade starts at Piazza del Duomo and takes the participants to Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, carrying their paper lanterns and singing traditional songs. Once they arrive, the party begins! Activities for children and cotton candy fill the square, and hand-made paper lanterns mix with Pikachu and Dora the Explorer-shaped ones. The celebration ends with an impromptu bonfire and the lanterns are burned in the middle of the piazza before the amazed eyes of kids.
You won’t want to miss on the fun the evening of September 7. The parade is meant to arrive at the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata at 8.30pm, so plan your schedule carefully and let your inner child come out to play! After indulging in candy and fun, make sure to get a good night sleep at Il Salviatino.