02 December 2007

christmas is coming

collection of trees from various store windows and sidewalks

Ok, as promised (from a couple of requests back home) I'm finally reporting on some of the holiday festivities that are going on around Florence! (complete with photos as usual!) Just after Halloween we began to see the stores putting up new window displays and the toy store that is next door to our apartment has a great display with a snow machine and miniature village that attracts crowds throughout the day. A couple times I've even had to push my way through just to put my key in our outside door. Then about 2 weeks ago we started seeing city workers with their large ladders putting up Christmas lights across many of the streets in the center. I kept wondering when they would finally turn them on, and then last weekend when our friends were visiting we saw the first ones lit! The major streets were not turned on yet, but at least it was a start. Then mid-week this week we saw Via Calzaiuoli (the main shopping street between the Duomo and Piazza Signoria - *see photo) finally gleaming with thousands and thousands of little sparkles. So now our evening walks are filled with beautiful Christmas lights, holiday store windows, and the occasional Christmas song coming from a street musician or cafe.

Piazza del Mercato Nuovo • upscale shopping street (Prada, Gucci...) • just outside center • Via Calzaiuoli

Also this week opened a German Christmas festival in the square at Santa Croce, one of the most famous churches in town. It is full of sausage, pastries, cheeses, candy, toys, and lights! We went one evening and had a fun time browsing at the stalls, but because this market will be held for another week or so, we will definitely return because I had my eyes on some tasty-looking donut things! There is even a cafe on a merry-go-round (that, fortunately for those stuffing big Wurstel in their mouths, doesn't move!)

German Christmas market at Santa Croce

We haven't decorated in our house yet, but I do think that we'll be shopping for some lovely Fiorentine paper this week to make a string of paper snowflakes for our livingroom. It's crazy to me how the time really is flying by here, and I'm forgetting how close Christmas really is...it's different not being around family and our friends from Florida. Today we played Christmas music for most of the time just for a reminder. We only have 2 weeks left of classes until we are off for a 3 week holiday. This week, there are several to-do's on my list, including getting Christmas cards made, deciding on where we want to go for several days during our break (we've narrowed it down to about 4 Italian excursions), and buying a couple of small gifts for exchange parties coming up.

...lots more to come, including the best tree we've found so far in the city!


Roam2Rome said...

Aren't decorations fun? well, as long as you're able to get to open your door :)

This year I've actually gotten to enjoy the holiday season more than the previous years... but like you said, time's flying by!

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

Erin - I love your pictures - but can you post them a bit bigger??? I love those in-your-face pics and I would love to see more detail of yours - they seem great!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Your photos have helped me get into the Christmas spirit. I know I have some lights around here somewhere.

Maryann said...

Wonderful photos! Thank you!

erin said...

Sara: funny you mentioned the photo enlarging b/c just this week I've been searching through other ways (without using Flickr, which I may have to revert to) where I can store hi-res photos b/c we're running VERY low on our personal website bandwidth (which I used to post on there b/c people could enlarge them...)

so hopefully soon we'll find a solution :)

Eryn said...

christmas time in Florence (or flotown as we call it) it wonderful...Italians are so festive :-)