|The Christmas tree in the Piazza del Duomo, Florence|
|Christmas lights suspended above a street in Florence.|
|Ponte Vecchio, lit up for the holidays.|
|Piazza della Repubblica, awash in Christmas lights|
The Piazza della Repubblica was a beautiful site. Lights completely covered one of the buildings. The carousel was turning, accompanied by light-hearted music and the laughter of children. There was a market set up in part of the piazza. Booths with vendors selling cheeses (we bought a fantastic peccorino nero), meats, roasted nuts, small gifts, and...necci.
|The Christmas market in Piazza Santa Croce|
|A booth at the German market. Apple Strudel and Pretzels the size of your head!|
|Presepe (nativity scene) next to Santa Maria del Fiore.|
some are...not so traditional.
|La Pietra Prende Vita - The Stone Takes Life. Created by Stefano Innocenti. (Pistoia)|
|A presepe made entirely of dried pasta!|
A Christmas Eve tradition in Italy is to have fish for Christmas Eve dinner. In Southern Italy, they have the tradition of "The Feast of the Seven Fishes". Well, we were in Central Italy, so we only had 3 forms of seafood. 2 different types of fish and a fabulous crustacean.
|Christmas Eve Dinner...prior to being roasted.|
Christmas Day 2011 was gorgeous. The sun was brilliant and I think it reached around 50 degrees.
|Christmas Day in Florence|
We hiked up the hill from the Arno all the way up to San Miniato al Monte as the afternoon drifted into twilight. The view was magnificent.
|View of Florence from San Miniato al Monte.|
|Christmas Tree at Piazzale Michelangelo|