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Special Hours for Museums in Florence for Christmas Holidays (updated for 2018)

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.

Make a 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) will hold special openings depending on the dates of the holidays.

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 2018-19 so you can plan around these openings:

Christmas Eve - Monday, December 24

Many museums will be probably open on Christmas Eve (December 24) as special opening.

The Uffizi Gallery will be open from 8:15 am to 1:50 pm.

The Boboli Gardens will be open until 4:30 pm (last entry 3:30 pm).

The Accademia Gallery will be open until 6 pm (last entry 5:30 pm).

The Pitti Palace will be closed.

Christmas Day - Tuesday, December 25th

All state and city museums are closed! Only exception is the Palazzo Strozzi , which is hosting the exhibit "Marina Abramović. The Cleaner" 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 9am to 7pm.

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 - Wednesday, December 26th

Note that the 26th of December is the feast day of Santo Stefano, St. Stephen, patron saint for the country. While it is a legal holiday in Italy, museums in Florence normally open on Wednesday will be open. Several will continue their extended holiday hours.

The following week..... is New Year’s Eve! (Monday)

On New Year's Eve, many museums should be open, also those generally closed on Monday.

The Medici Chapels will be closed on December 31st, 2018.

The Uffizi Gallery will be open until 1:50 pm.

The Accademia Gallery will be open until 6 pm (last entry 5:30 pm).

Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens will be closed.

New Year's Day - Tuesday

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

- Palazzo Vecchio -  Jan 1 (2pm-7pm) / Jan 2-6 (9am - 11 pm)

- Palazzo Strozzi and Palazzo Medici Riccardi.

- Museo Novecento - 2pm – 7pm

Stefano Bardini Museum, Brancacci Chapel, Fondazione Salvatore Romano, Gino Bartali Museum and the Bigallo Museum are closed on Januay 1st.

Saturday January 6 - Epiphany

Since the Epiphany in 2019 falls on a Sunday, all museums will observe their normal opening/closing hours.

Of special note, if you're in Florence, don't miss the Procession of the Wise Men through Florence on January 6th!

- Palazzo Vecchio: 9am-11pm (special hours on the 2nd - 3rd - 4th - 5th and 6th January)

- Santa Maria Novella: 1-5:30pm

- Museo del Novecento - 11am-7pm

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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