Several great reasons to visit Florence this Easter

Easter is a wonderful time to visit Florence, usually with comfortable temperatures of around 18–20 degrees Centigrade, ideal for walking and seeing the sights, visiting museums and exhibitions, and (especially if the sun is shining!) enjoying a meal and glass of wine on the terrace of one of the many inviting restaurants and cafés lining the Piazza della Signoria, the Piazza della Reppublica or the Piazza Santa Croce – without the inevitable summer crowds. Easter is an important time on the religious calendar everywhere, but in Florence it is really special with the ‘not to be missed’ Lo Scoppio del Carro on Easter Sunday. It is well worth a wait in the Piazza del Duomo all morning or, even better, staying at a hotel or apartment with views over the piazza.

Lo Scoppio del Carro (Explosion of the Cart) is a religious tradition in Florence dating back over 500 years. It originates from the time of the First Crusades in 1099, when a young Florentine, Pazzini, was the first to scale the wall at Jerusalem and raise the Christian flag. He returned to Florence with three flints (a gift from the Holy Sepulchre), which are still kept in the Church of Santi Apostoli. The ceremony is preceded by a colourful procession through the streets of Florence to the Duomo, with the cart being pulled by two oxen, decorated with garlands of flowers and accompanied by musicians and entertainers in historical costume.

Florence at Easter

During Mass in the Duomo, the flints are used by the Cardinal to light a rocket, shaped like a dove, which then travels along a wire and ignites the cart outside, resulting in a magnificent display of fireworks which lasts about 20 minutes.

Exhibitions worth a visit

If you are interested in the history and art of 15th Century Renaissance Florence, don’t miss The Springtime of the Renaissance: Sculpture and the Arts in Florence 1400–1460 at the Palazzo Strozzi. From 23rd March 2013 – 6th January 2014.

The Springtime of the Renaissance

Funded by the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and the Louvre in Paris, this exhibition, with its display of Florentine art and sculpture, provides an inspirational cultural history of Florence.

Or, also for those interested in 15th Century paintings, Norma e Capriccio: Spanish Artists in Italy in the Early Mannerist Period, at the Uffizi Gallery until 26th May 2013.

Uffizi exhibition

This exhibition is spread over eight rooms on the first floor of the Uffizi Gallery and is dedicated to the major Spanish artists that came to Italy at the start of the 15th century: Alonso Berruguete, Pedro Machuca, Pedro Fernández, Bartolomé Ordóñez and Diego de Silóe. The exhibition has been attributed to Michelangelo who recognized the talent of the Spanish artists, who created works of art in the same style as Italian mannerism.

If you are planning on visiting the Uffizi, you might also like to book tickets to visit the Vasari Corridor, the passage which links the Uffizi Gallery with the Pitti Palace. Designed by Giorgio Vasari, and built in 1564 by Grand Duke Cosimo 1 de’ Medici, this kilometre long Corridor houses more than one thousand 17th and 18th Century paintings, and includes self portraits by Rubens, Bernini, Corot, Ingres and Delacroix. The Corridor is not open to the general public and can only be visited by appointment.

Vasari Corridor

For a very different museum experience, the wonderful Marilyn Monroe exhibition at the Museo Ferragamo has been extended until 1st April 2013. Marilyn Monroe was a loyal customer of the late Salvatore Ferragamo and owned 40 pairs of Ferragamo shoes, which she wore in many of her famous scenes. As well as shoes, the exhibition also features original dresses from some of her films. Possibly the best homage to the star is in the last room with Bert Stern’s famous picture of Marilyn standing on the beach wearing a cardigan, next to a reproduction of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, the famous painting in the Uffizi gallery, a linking of this iconic and much photographed actress with the beauties of grand Renaissance art.

Marilyn Monroe

You can’t escape the Renaissance in Florence!

Susie Marquis is Owner of The City Apartment Book Ltd.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Comments (1)

  1. Florence is so beautiful and after a freezing March in London I could definitely do with a sunny city break! Would also love to check out that Marilyn Monroe exhibition.

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