Hundreds of lights and decorations, Christmas trees, crowds of shoppers, the perfume 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 according to their normal hours while stores generally have extended hours and are even open on Sundays.
Important note: almost everything is closed on Christmas Day (December 25th) and January 1st as far as museums go. Many museums that are closed on Mondays (such as the Uffizi and Accademia) usually offer special openings but these depend on the dates on which the holidays fall.
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.
Without further ado, here is a list of what will be open during this holiday season so you can plan around these openings.
Christmas Eve - December 24
Many museums will be open on Christmas Eve (December 24), a few generally with shorter opening hours including the Accademia Gallery and all of the museums part of the Gallerie degli Uffizi (including Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens) which will close at 6pm.
Christmas Day - December 25th
All state and city museums are closed! Only exception is the Palazzo Strozzi from 10am to 8pm.
What to do instead?
Remember that Florence is an open-air museum and you can take advantage of this day to stroll around the entire historical center and 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 Trinita and Santo Spirito.
Santo Stefano/Boxing Day - December 26th
Note that the 26th of December is the feast day of Santo Stefano, St. Stephen, patron saint for the country also known as Boxing Day. While it is a legal holiday in Italy, museums in Florence normally open will be open on Sunday.
The National Museum of the Bargello will have a special opening on Sunday December 26th from 8.45am to 6.30pm.
Special openings between December 27-28th
The week begins with special longer hours for the Medici Chapels from 8.45am until 6pm.
Then on Tuesday, the Complex of Orsamichele will open from 9.00am to 5pm, a special occasion to visit this unique monument.
Another museum with a special Monday open will be the Boboli Gardens and the Porcelain Museum, both usually closed on the first and last Monday of every month. For this holiday season, it will be open on December 27th from 8.15am-4.30pm.
New Year’s Eve - December 31
On New Year's Eve, all museums will be open with regular hours except for Accademia Gallery and all of the museums part of the Gallerie degli Uffizi (including Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens) which will close at 6pm.
New Year's Day - January 1st
Most museums will be closed on January 1st. The few exceptions are:
- Palazzo Vecchio - from 2pm to 7pm
- Palazzo Strozzi from 10am to 8pm
- Museo Novecento from 2pm to 7pm
- Santa Maria Novella: from 1pm to 5:30pm
- Exceptionally, the Boboli Gardens will be open from 11.30am to 4.30pm for everyone that wants to begin the year surrounded by the natural beauty of this open air museum.
Special openings betwenn January 2 and 9, 2022
The Medici Chapels will have a special opening on Janaury 2 from 8.45am to 1.30pm.
The new year will also give you the chance to visit the National Museum of the Bargello on two days with longer hours: on Monday Janaury 3 and 9, when the museum will be open from 8.45am to 6.30pm. This will be your last chance to visit the exhibit “La mirabile visione. Dante e la Commedia nell’immaginario simbolista” (ends on January 9) dedicated to the complex view of Dante and his Divina Commedia within the artistic and literary world of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Another special opening will be the Boboli Gardens and the Porcelain Museum, both usually closed on the first and last Monday of every month and instead will be open on Monday January 3 from 8.15am to 4.30pm.
Epiphany - January 6
Since Epiphany in 2022 falls on a Thursday, all museums will observe their normal opening/closing hours.
The Medici Chapels will remain open all day, from 8.45am until 6pm, on January 6.
If you're in Florence on this day, we would normally remind you to not miss out on the Procession of the Wise Men through Florence but, again this year as last, the procession has been cancelled due to the pandemic.
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 and the current exhibition dedicated to his masterpiece.
From all of the team at Visit Florence, we wish a very Happy Holiday season to everyone!
LAST UPDATE: 12/22/21
We make every effort to offer correct and up to date information, but please double check on the official websites we link to before finalizing your visit to ensure there haven't been any changes!
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