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April in Florence : Aprile a Firenze


April is a very busy month in Florence, with the biggest event of course being Easter (Pasqua) and all the fanfare surrounding it.

One of the most unique celebrations of Easter in Florence is the "scoppio del carro", or in English, the "explosion of the cart" (of St. John the Baptist). The cart itself is also known as "Il Brindellone", which is also the name of a great Florentine trattoria.

This medieval Florentine tradition is a spectacle not to be missed. The ceremony started sometime during the crusades, and the original cart was said to be lit by a flint brought back from Jerusalem by members of the Pazzi family. The cart gets led into Piazza Duomo by two white oxen amid much fanfare, flag throwing, and drum playing. It is covered in various fireworks and other exploding devices, and lit by a fake dove that comes shooting out of the Duomo doors on a wire. The mass starts at 11 a.m., the cart usually gets lit around noon. Do not miss it! (Not an event for the noise adverse.)

That is just Easter! Other major annual events that happen in April are:

  • March 22nd to July 21st: Fallen Angel: The Powerful Work of Anselm Kiefer Lands in Florence A new exhibit from one of the world's most famous living artists at the Palazzo Strozzi
  • April 6th to 7th: The Firenze Flower Show - this show provides a platform for florists, garden designers, and horticulturalists to exhibit their talents and creations, ranging from elaborate floral arrangements to innovative garden designs
  • April 7: The Firenze Half Marathon - this annual event has been taking place for 40 years in the heart of Florence
  • April 25th: Liberation Day - a national holiday which is celebrated which is somberly remembered in Florence with various ceremonies
  • April 25th to May 1st: The Mostra Internazionale dell'Artigianato - is an Italian event that celebrates traditional craftsmanship and artisanship
  • April 25th to May 20th: The opening of the Florence Iris Garden - The Società Italiana di Iris (Italian Iris Society) is dedicated to the cultivation, appreciation, and promotion of irises in Italy (free admission)
  • The Notte Bianca (or White Night) - the annual all night street party (one of my favorite events of the year) (sadly, the Notte Bianca has been cancelled since the COVID 19 epidemic)


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