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Special Hours for Museums in Florence for Christmas Holidays (updated for 2015)

Hundreds of lights and decorations, Christmas trees, crowds of shoppers, the smell of roasting chestnuts in the cool, brisk air: all signs that winter is approaching and Christmas is almost here! 

As you head out to do some Christmas shopping, you might also want to fit in some time at Florence's main museums. So that you can plan your days better, know that in the case of museums, everything is open following their normal hours while stores generally have extended hours and are even open on Sundays. 

Know that practically everything is closed on Christmas Day and January 1st as far as museums go. Many museums that are closed on Mondays (such as the Uffizi and Accademia) will hold special openings depending on the dates of the holidays.

Accademia Gallery and Uffizi Gallery will be closed on December 28th and January 4th, as well as the Boboli Gardens, the Museo degli Argenti, the Museo delle Porcellane and the Galleria del Costume in Palazzo Pitti.

If you're in Florence around the holidays, we highly recommend you visit Palazzo Medici-Riccardi and its chapel by Benozzo Gozzoli dedicated to the Procession of the Wise Men.

So without further ado, here is a list of what will be open during the holidays this 2015-16 so you can plan around these openings:

Christmas Eve 

All museums, included Uffizi and Accademia, will be open on Christmas Eve and December 26th.

On December 24th the Accademia Gallery is open until 6pm (last entries 5:30pm).

The Uffizi Gallery and the Galleria Palatina and Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Palazzo Pitti close on 5:50pm on December 24 (last entries 5pm).

If you want to book your tickets ahead of time, we suggest booking through The cost of the ticket includes a small booking fee but you'll avoid any lines!

Christmas Day

All state and city museums are closed! Only exception is the Palazzo Strozzi with its current exhibit: Divine Beauty from Van Gogh to Chagall and Fontana, open to public every day (holidays included) until January 24th from 10am to 8pm and on Thursday till 11pm (see for details) and the Palazzo Medici Riccardi where you can enjoy a fabulous fresco cycle by Benozzo Gozzoli in the small Chapel of the Magi (closed on Wednesday), from 10am to 6pm.

Remember that Florence is an open-air museum and you can take advantage of this day to stroll around the entire historical center adn enjoy the city during this special time of the year with all of the lights and decorations. Here is a suggested itinerary: start in Piazza San Lorenzo, then head to Piazza del Duomo, then down Via Calzaiuoli to Piazza della Signoria. Continue down past the Uffizi Gallery to Ponte Vecchio admiring the Arno along the way and end up at Palazzo Pitti. If you still have energy, climb up to Piazzale Michelangelo to enjoy the extraordinary panoramic view of Florence!

Also many churches will be open albeit for religious services... best times for visits is in the afternoon. We suggest the following: San Miniato al Monte, Santa Maria Novella (1-5pm), Santa Trinità and Santo Spirito.

December 26th

Note that the 26th of December is the feast day of Santo Stefano, St. Stephen. While it is a legal holiday in Italy, museums in Florence will be open. Several will continue their extended holiday hours, for example, Palazzo Vecchio (see section below). Because this year it falls on a Friday - the Uffizi, the Accademia, Medici Chapels and Bargello - will be open for longer hours than normal.

New Year’s Eve and New Year's Day

On New Year's Eve all museums will be open with normal hours.

On December 31st the Accademia Gallery is open until 6pm (last entries 5:30pm).

The Uffizi Gallery and the Galleria Palatina and Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Palazzo Pitti close on 5:50pm on December 24 (last entries 5pm).

Most museums will be closed on January 1st. The exceptions are: 

- Palazzo Vecchio from 2pm - 7pm;

Palazzo Strozzi and Palazzo Medici Riccardi.

- Museo Novecento from 2 pm – 6 pm;

- Bargello Museum from 8:15 - 1.50 pm

January 6 - Epiphany

Since the Epiphany falls on a Wednesday, all museums will observe their normal opening/closing hours. On January 6 don't miss the Procession of the Wise Men through Florence!

Extraordinary opening of Palazzo Medici Riccardi on January 6 and its chapel by Benozzo Gozzoli dedicated to the Procession of the Wise Men (the Palace will be closed on Jan 7).

Uffizi Museum and Accademia

The Uffizi and Accademia will be closed on December 28th and January 4th.

Extraordinary Openings of Bargello Museum

The National Museum of Bargello will hold exceptional opening hours during this Christmas holidays:

December 24, 26: open 8:15 am – 1:50 pm 
From December 28 to January 6 : extended opening hours 8:15 am - 5pm
January 1: open 8:15 - 1.50 pm;

Palazzo Vecchio in December

Part of Florence's city hall is a museum, another part is still used by the mayor and city government offices. The museum is definitely worth visiting and includes a look into the rooms that have hosted Florence's ruling class for centuries as well as the private rooms where the Medici family lived (before they moved to Palazzo Pitti).

Palazzo Vecchio is closed on December 25th but has extended hours during the holiday season:

December 26, 30: open 9 am – 11 pm
December 31: open 9 am – 7 pm
January 1: open 2 pm – 7 pm
January 2 – 6: open 9 am – 11 pm

This is also the perfect occasion to visit the tower which offers an incredible view onto Florence's rooftops. Open everyday from 8:15am to 6:50pm. January 6: open 8:15 am - 1:20 pm.Note that the tower is closed if it is raining.

From all of the team at Visit Florence, we wish a very Happy Holiday season to everyone!

Author: Lourdes Flores

I'm from California but have called Florence my home for over a decade. I love to explore Italy; it is a lot of fun to try to see everything like I'm seeing it for the first time, keeping you, our readers, always in mind. I enjoy sharing what I know and helping others as they make their travel plans for Tuscany through our Forum. If you have itinerary-related questions, please post them there!


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