Posts Tagged ‘Italian traditions’

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Celebrating Rificolona!

Florence has proven itself as a festive city willing to keep its ancient traditions alive through the centuries. The festivity of the Rificolona is a good example of this. Today, 7th of September, if you’re so lucky as to find yourself in Tuscany’s capital you will be able to enjoy one of the most glowing celebrations in the city.

Papier-mâché lanterns tied to the ends of sticks, called rificolone, will illuminate Florence’s streets that turn into the perfect scenario for a joyful parade.

However, maybe one of the most beautiful moments of the “Festival of the Lanterns” is when the celebrations shift to the river Arno where an impressive boat parade is illuminated with a kaleidoscope of coloured lanterns in different shapes and sizes. A cheerful date for Florence with parties in the square and street theatre performances accompanied by delicious traditional cuisine and a colourful procession from Piazza Santa Croce to Piazza Santissima Annunziata.

From Il Salviatino, your five star hotel in Florence, we would like to invite you to come and enjoy Rificolona with us!

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Celebrating San Lorenzo.

The 10th of August is a special day for Florence. The city celebrates the feast of San Lorenzo, commemorating this saint and martyr and the basilica which received his name, one of the oldest and most important in Florence. For this date, a whole bunch of celebrations will be carried out, like the traditional historical parade through the streets of Florence with memorable stops at Piazza della Signoria and at the Basilica of San Lorenzo.

The Basilica is the key spot of such celebrations. The consignment of the traditional banner called the “Gonfalone” and the ceremony of the “Offer of the Candles” (Offerta dei Ceri) followed by the blessing of the city make good proof of the importance of Saint Lawrence’s festivity for Florence. However, not only religious celebrations will be taking place. The popular and lay celebrations have been preserved until nowadays, some of which imply free distribution of lasagne and watermelon for everyone.


When night time takes over the show begins. The 10th of August coincides with the season of shooting stars. Hundreds of falling stars can be contemplated in Florence’s sky and infinite wishes can thus be made. A shower of meteors which are interpreted as San Lorenzo’s tears, shed every year in the anniversary of his death. A visual spectacle that finds the perfect scenario at Il Salviatino, your five star hotel in Florence, sitting on hillside Fiesole, where a plain clear sky offers an unforgettable show.

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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.


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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Tuscan Carnival. An unforgettable experience

Costume parades, joyful music, splendorous masks… Those are no more than just a few of the countless details that make Carnival in Tuscany simply magical.

This festivity usually takes place four Sundays before the Shrove Tuesday, in Italian “Martedi Graso”, and it is an event celebrated like no other, specially in Viareggio. A city located at a relatively short distance from Florence.

Begun in February 1873, Viareggio’s Carnival is considered worldwide to be one of the finest celebrations in all Italy, and its biggest assets are definitely the float parades displaying enormous figures made of papier-mâché, alongside 200 people dressed up in full costume.


Each one of those figures take about a year to be built, and there is a lot to it that doesn’t meet the eye. Besides being impressive works of art in the outside, bringing them to live through mechanical movements makes them fairly complex structures.Every year thousands of people from all over the world choose Viareggio as a Carnival destination, and many say the major reason to do so is the opportunity to enjoy the parade and see what theme they come up with each year.Although dressing up in full costume is not strictly required most people choose to do so, while other prefer to keep it simple and just wear a “Burlamacco” mask or put on some fancy make-up. Whatever may the case be, what really matters is enjoying the party atmosphere.Needless to say that no description could ever match the sensation of being there.
Il Salviatino will be keeping at your disposal a special carnival package, valid every weekend from the 4th of February to the 4th of March.

It includes, besides a 2 nights stay in De Luxe Double Room of our luxury hotel in Florence, a trip to Viareggio with Lunch for two. All of this to let you experience Tuscan’s Carnival at its best.

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Italian tradition. The most special night of the year at Il Salviatino.

Without a doubt, the most special and magical moment of the year is New Year’s Eve.  As we prepare to bid goodbye to the year full of memories, we also await a new beginning filled with unknown excitement.

If we want to start the year with a positive attitude, we should follow New Year’s Eve traditions. Eating lentils before the clock strikes midnight will bring fortune to the New year.  As throwing something old will give us renewed dreams. Let’s not forget about wearing red underwear underneath our best attire.  This will bring us good luck as soon as  the very first minute of 2012.

For this night, our luxury hotel in Florence Il Salviatino has prepared for you a very special event: “L’Epoca Garbata” (Gracious Years) , linked to the package “An Italian Christmas” . This will make your stay at the the hotel very memorable during the holiday season.

“L’Epoca Garbata” (Gracious Years) pays tribute to the period when elegance reigned supreme in Italy

Il Salviatino has taken utmost care in organizing the details of New Year’s Eve celebration. We  have prepared an exquisite dinner menu which includes dishes like Scallops with Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus and red prawn cream; Red mullet and hazelnuts with parsley and candied lemon, anchovy crumble… Last but not least, a desert that unites the essence of Christmas season with gastronomy: Christmas cake pudding with exotic fruits and berries, English vanilla sauce. And Holiday pastries.

Dinner will be accompanied by live music and entertainment to enjoy an extraordinary performance that pays tribute to the period when elegance reigned supreme in Italy.

The Roaring Twenties, ladies wrapped in long evening gowns dancing a wild swing and, for the first time, showing off their sensual legs in a stylish – and sometimes cheeky – way. The noir ambience of the Thirties, when cigarettes were taken out of shiny silver cases and smoked in the dim light.

The cheerful gaze of people dreaming of a brighter future in the Fifties, and wearing the first colorful clothing and prints. That is the essence of “L’Epoca Garbata” (Gracious Years), a performance that underlines the special aspects embodied in the first decades of the 20th century in Italy.

Guests only have to worry about enjoying this very special night. Il Salviatino provides you a unique environment to have an unforgettable start of 2012.

Find more information, check us out at:

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