Florence, or Firenze in Italian, is a lively city at the best of times, and absolutely oozes culture with a range of historical sites and monuments that few cities anywhere in the world can match. all of which provides a fascinating backdrop to a cultured New Years Eve party that includes fine dining, exclusive hotels, operas and concerts and of course fireworks.
Having visited Florence recently, although in the busy summer period rather than over the Christmas and New Year holidays, I can vouch for the fact that it is a buzzing, packed and thriving metropolis, with a myriad of narrow, atmospheric streets coupled with a range of historical monuments so numerous that seeing them all would take months. Definitely a great place to see in the new year, with hundreds of venues to choose from and a friendly and welcoming local population.
There will be a special new year's eve show in Florence this year, with X Factor star Marco Mengoni performing live at the new year concert in Piazzale Michelangelo. There will also be lively gatherings in Piazza del Carmine, Piazza San Lorenzo and Piazza Signoria
Florence on New Years Eve is quieter than some Italian cities, but if you're prepared to look a little under the surface you'll still find plenty going on to keep you occupied. There isn't an official municipal fireworks display as such, but many of the larger hotels and restaurants will set off their own displays, frequently from their roof gardens which makes for a very dramatically lit skyline come midnight!
Top viewing points to make sure you get the very best views would be the square in front of the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio bridge (if you can get there early enough - it will be packed) or anywhere along the banks of the Arno River that cuts right through the heart of the city. If you're prepared to go a little further out you'll easily find some more secluded spots in the hills overlooking the city, where the panoramic view of the pyrotechnics over the city skyline is truly a sight to behold.
For a more lively crowd the nightlife scene in Florence is especially hectic on New Years Eve - top venues to look out for (be sure to book tickets well in advance!) are Full Up, Space Electronic, Twice Club Firenze, Club Montecarla, Tabasco Disco Bar and the famous Lochness Club.
If you are in Florence for the festive season then it is also an excellent opportunity to check out some of the increasingly popular Christmas markets. There are several around the city, including in the piazza in front of the Duomo and, along with the Christmas lights and nativity scenes, really add to the holiday atmosphere in this fine city.
Top restaurants to consider for your New Years Eve dining experience include La Giostra, Cantinetta Antinori, Borgo San Jacopo, Giubbe Rosse, Trattoria Mario, Grand Minerva, Il Cantuccio Di San Lorenzo, Il Ritrovino dei Servi, Vini e Vecchi Sapori, Triangolo delle Bermuda, Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina, Brown Sugar and Le Volpi E L'Uva. Youy can check out the full range of Florence restaurants, along with plenty of customer reviews to aid you in making the best choice here.
Places to watch live online:
Florence has hotels to every taste and budget - check out the huge selection of local hotels here.
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