New Year’s Eve in Florence: Free concerts and more

view of Arno river at night, Florence

As one of the hottest tourist destinations in the world, Florence, unsurprisingly, puts on a great spectacle for New Year’s Eve. Surrounded by historical and architectural beauty, you can enjoy a wonderfully festive atmosphere in Florence, with plenty of activities to undertake on the last night of the year. From great food and drink to top-class entertainment, you will be spoilt for choice!

ENJOYING A “CENONE” AT ONE OF FLORENCE’S GREAT RESTAURANTS

The central part of everyone’s New Year’s Eve is dinner, preparing you for a wonderful night ahead. Every restaurant in Italy, and indeed Florence, offers a ‘cenone di Capodanno’ (a ‘big NYE dinner’ in English). This is a package that includes multiple courses (entree, first and second mains, dessert) and drinks altogether. If you don’t want to miss out, make sure you book well in advance!

While there are beautiful restaurants all over Florence, booking one on the Arno river may just be extra special. If you want to know why, and about some other restaurant tips, read on to the next section!

FIREWORKS AND ENTERTAINMENT

The fireworks in Florence are organized by restaurants, bars and hotels and are best enjoyed along the river Arno, where the view of the city is more comprehensive. As these spots get very crowded towards midnight, it’s best to head there ahead of time.

They can also be enjoyed from roof-top bars and restaurants. One key pick is “Se:sto on Arno”, the roof-top restaurant of the 5-star Hotel Westin Excelsior, where they organize a New Year’s Eve dinner. For more info on the events at Hotel Westin Excelsior, you can visit their official Facebook page.

You may also enjoy the annual event at the Hard Rock Café in Florence. The famous chain of rock and roll restaurants and bars organizes an event every December 31, namely a dinner and live music acts (exclusively rock, obviously!). For more information on the New Year’s Eve event, see the official website.

OUTDOOR NEW YEAR’S EVE CONCERTS IN FLORENCE

view of florence from piazzale michelangelo at night
View of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo, where a free outdoor concert is held on New Year’s Eve

Apart from 2020, Florence has in recent years outdone itself by expanding the New Year’s Eve concert to different squares throughout the city on the same night, each concert dedicated to a different musical genre. So, Florence obviously wants you to have plenty of choice!

The public squares in which the concerts are generally held are Piazza della Signoria, known for its classical music performances, Piazza Santissima Annunziata, Piazza San Lorenzo, Piazza del Carmine, and, of course, the famous Piazzale Michelangelo, where pop music has been the dominant genre in recent years.

If you plan to attend the concert in Piazzale Michelangelo, our suggestion is to go there before dinner as there is a limit to the number of people admitted to the square. In recent years, the maximum was 14,00 people. Naturally, this number may be further reduced in line with post-pandemic restrictions. All of these concerts are organized by the city and free to attend.

On the map below you can find an overview of the NYE outdoor concerts in Florence (music note icons). Note that the concert locations might vary slightly year over year.

CLASSICAL MUSIC CONCERT AT TEATRO DEL MAGGIO

If you are looking to enjoy some indoor entertainment – and especially for admirers of classical music – look no further than the Teatro del Maggio, where a traditional classical music concert is held every year on December 31. For more information about this year’s concert, visit the official website.

NYE PARTIES

Just like in every other major tourist destination in Italy, there are many parties to attend in Florence on December 31. There is no specific information about the main parties yet but we will add the details of them as New Year’s Eve gets closer.

THE ‘DIVE INTO THE ARNO’

You could watch the ‘Dive into the Arno’ on New Year’s Day around 12 pm from the Canottieri platform, situated between the bridges Ponte Vecchio and Ponte delle Grazie. This is a New Year’s tradition based on ‘Mr. OK’, a man who dives into the Tiber river in Rome every January 1. The ‘Dive into the Arno’ is a wonderfully wacky way to celebrate the start of the new year and adds to the fun that Florence has to offer. The president of Tuscany, Eugenio Giani, usually participates in this particular pastime!

As you can see, Florence is a fine place to be on the last day of the year. You have the opportunity to close out the year in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, whether it is having a grand dinner at a restaurant, attending one of the concerts in the city, marveling at the fireworks, or anything else!

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