What’s on in Florence this spring © Facebook - Keys of Florence

What’s on in Florence this spring Featured

Whether you're a gelato lover, art critic, big spender or a history junkie, Florence is a dreamland this spring

Florence is always a top tourist destination no matter what time of year. With the pull of shopping, museums and art on every corner of the city, it’s arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, and also one of the busiest. High-season in Florence usually begins around May, so book your trip a little earlier and avoid the crowds, high-prices and longer lines. Whether you’re a gelato connoisseur, an opera fanatic or just enjoy a party every now and then, make sure you visit Florence sometime in March or April to experience all of the unique events going on in the city. Here's our pick of the top must-sees for spring 2016.

Gelato Festival

Gelato2© Gelato Festival/Facebook

Does ‘gelato card holder’ count as a job description? If it did, I’d be employee of the month. This April, make sure you take a trip to Florence for the Gelato Festival and purchase the Gelato Card for €7, granting you access to five tubs of a single-flavour gelato in the competition and one special flavour that you can vote for. The card also gives you free access to courses that teach you how to make the best gelato during the festival. During these courses, you can watch gelato being made and learn all the best secrets to create your own. www.gelatofestival.it 21 - 25 April 2016

Related: Italy: The business of gelato

“Scoppio del Carro” ‘Explosion of the cart’

Scoppio-del-Carro© flickr

On Easter Sunday, get a spot in the centre of Piazza Duomo to see a 350 year old tradition based on the first crusade to the Holy Land, take place. If the ritual goes along smoothly and all of the fireworks explode, the city and citizens will have good luck and a plentiful harvest. Make sure you get there earlier than the procession at 10 a.m. to ensure yourself a good spot. 27 March 2016

Related: Agritourism in Tuscany, a return to nature

Mostra Internazionale dell’Artigianato

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The International Handicrafts Trade Fair in Fortezza da Basso is where antique Florentine art and modern and contemporary handmade items meet, making it a marketplace everyone will want to visit. Thousands of people gather to shop handmade shoes, bags, pottery and more. 23 April – 1 May 2016 www.mostraartigianato.it 

Related: An insider's guide to gift shopping in Florence

Pitti Taste Florence

argrumato© Olio Agrumato/Facebook 

Welcome to foodie heaven! Your biggest problem after eating your way through Pitti Taste Florence will be a tough call between needing to buy bigger trousers and deciding which dish you should indulge in next. For three days in March, Pitti Taste Florence will showcase the food and drink from around 330 exhibitors. Make sure you go on the Taste Tour and stop by the Taste Shop before you leave, where you can buy everything you saw, tasted and loved on the tour. Try Delixia’s Dolce di latte or Agrumato’s Pan’ di olio. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you. 12 – 14 March 2016 www.pittimmagine.com 

Related: A gourmet guide to Florence

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

opera© Opera di Firenze / Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Facebook -

Italy’s first music festival, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, includes an opera festival, ballet performances and classical music concerts. From now until 9th April, you can see performances by local heroes Daniele Gatti and Lorenzo Fratini. Take the family to a show such as The Whims of Destiny, or the Italian Girl in Algiers. Tickets sell like hot cakes so be sure to scout one out well in advance. 22 September 2015 – 9 April 2016 www.operadifirenze.it 

Related: A film lover's guide to Italy

La Notte Bianca ‘White Night’

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As if everyone in Florence needed an excuse to party all night, White Night is a celebration of spring and a party that lasts until sunrise. And by everyone in Florence, I mean everyone in Florence. White Night brings together about 100,000 people in the centre of the city. Musical performances, art and dancing entertain people throughout the entire night along with activities like museums and rooftop bars. 30 April 2016 www.nottebiancafirenze.it 

Related: How to dress like an Italian

Il Rifrullo - Springtime Garden

brunch03© Il Rifrullo

One thing that is always hard to come across in Italy is a good restaurant to eat brunch. Breakfast is usually only a brioche and an espresso and sometimes, that just doesn’t cut it. Il Rifrullo is a perfect hidden spot where you can enjoy your meal and cocktail in the garden. Known for their happy hour, Il Rifrullo offers a great aperitif in the spring sunshine from 7-10pm every night. www.ilrifrullo.com

Related: A guide to Tuscan wine

From Kandinsky to Pollock. The Art of Guggenheim Collections at Palazzo Strozzi Strozzina

pollock© Abstrartfirenze/Facebook

This modern art exhibition shows the work of European masterminds Marcel Duchamp and Pablo Picasso alongside American geniuses Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. Paintings and sculptures from the 1920s to the 1960s are exhibited showing two different cultural takes on modern art. What makes this exhibition especially interesting is that Peggy Guggenheim showed part of the collection in 1949 in Palazzo Strozzi. 19 March – 24 July 2016 www.palazzostrozzi.org 

Related: Where to find authentic Tuscan cuisine in Florence

Feast of the Annunciation

feast-of-annunciationCitaliaholidays/Facebook

Feast of the Annunciation is the celebration of the Florentine New Year. It also pays tribute to Archangel Gabriel’s visit to the Virgin Mary. The Madonna is the protector of Florence, therefore a big celebration is in order. People gather between Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza Santissima Annunziata to watch a parade of spectacular music performances and people dressed up in medieval costumes. 25 March 2016

1 Palazzo Vecchio
2 Presso Associazione Museo dei Ragazzi di Firenze
3 Il Rifrullo
4 Palazzo Strozzi
5 Piazza del Duomo, Firenze
6 Fortezza da Basso
7 Parking for Pitti Taste Florence
8 Opera di Firenze / Maggio Musicale Fiorentino