Do you feel like you didn’t begin 2019 with the right foot? Or, on the contrary, did the year begin so well that you would love to celebrate twice as much? One way or another, Florence gives you the opportunity to celebrate, in March, the Florentine New Year.
While the other Italian and European cities were already using the Gregorian Calendar – started on January 1st – since 1582, Florence assumed March 25th as the beginning of the civil calendar until 1750. It only changed with the decree of the Grand Duke Francesco Stefano di Lorena, in order to standardize the registrations in public records and for commercial uses.
The changing of the calendar was considered unique, because it undermined a centuries-old tradition loved to the Florentines. It was so remarkable that Giovanni Lami dictated the text for a commemorative plaque (still visible) that was placed under the Loggia (dei Lanzi) della Signoria in the homonymous square.
March 25th, why? Because it is the day of the of the Annunciation, the moment when the Archangel Gabriel manifested himself to the Virgin Mary and informs her that she will become the mother of Jesus. So, in the past, on March 25th, to celebrate the New Year and the Virgin Mary, who is also the protector of the city, the clergy and city magistrates went in a solemn procession to the Basilica of Santissima Annunziata. The anniversary was also considered a public holiday attracting a large crowd to the Basilica to venerate the so said miraculous image of the Virgin Announced.
The feast of March 25 in Florence, for many centuries, has interweaved religious and laic motivations together, this last one represented by the fair that takes place in Piazza della SS. Annunziata.
The Procession of the Florentine Republic, to commemorate the Florentine new year, will start at 3.15 pm from Piazzetta di Parte Guelfa along the following route:
From P.tta di Parte Guelfa, Via Pellicceria, Via Porta Rossa, Via Calimala, Piazza della Repubblica, Via degli Speziali, Via Calzaiuoli, Piazza del Duomo, Via dei Servi, Piazza SS. Annunziata.
At 4.00 pm the procession will enter the basilica of SS. Annunziata and will pay tribute to the Cappella della Effige dell’Annunziata.
At about 4.30 pm the procession will take the following route to return to the Palagio di Parte Guelfa headquarters:
From Piazza SS. Annunziata, Via Dei Servi, Piazza del Duomo, Via Calzaiuoli; Via Por Santa Maria, Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, Via Porta Rossa, Via Pellicceria, Piazzetta di Parte Guelfa. Arrival expected at 5.15 pm.