Christmas time in Milan

On a recent trip to Milan to visit some museums (I avoid them during the high season, as I like to enjoy my art without crowds), I enjoyed many random bits of holiday time throughout the city.

Milan is apparently planning on having a super Christmas this year:



I enjoyed the following billboard that reassures us that Father Christmas is real (at least if you have an iPhone 11 with Iliad):






The famous pastry shop, Marchesi, founded in 1824,  has wonderful windows:







The Marchesi building is a quaint affair on a major thoroughfare.



Scenes like the one below are fun to spot throughout the city:



And the warm glow from an old-style paper store on a cold winter evening is a lovely sight:


I visit a lot of churches (looking for art), and while most have a creche scene, very few are decorated like this one in Milan.  It is Santa Maria delle Grazie, the church attached to the convent rectory with that famous scene of a last supper….


And, on the train ride home from Milan, I saw snow! The first I’ve seen this year!

The Christmas season in Florence



It’s here! The city is geared up for Christmas.


The tree was placed, awaiting the lights.  It was lit up on the evening of 8 December.

And, later:






The fancy stores and hotels have lovely decorations:





I feel like the creche scene at San Lorenzo is always a bit sad.





I love the way the statue of justice is reflected on the wall to the left:


I like the simple, natural decorations the best. Below this church uses garlands of evergreens and citrus:




A local charity had a bazaar the other weekend and I spotted this Santa Claus there.  Can you tell that Santa Claus is not a natural part of the Italian holiday of Natale?  I think it is obvious. There were some kids around, but no one wanted to sit on his lap!






The Christmas lights on Via Tornabuoni, Florence

Via Tornabuoni is the Tony street at the center of Florence that goes from Piazza Antinori to the Ponte Santa Trinita. This street is loaded with the major fashion and jewelry boutiques.

Perhaps it is not surprising that this little stretch of roadway would be the first decked out in holiday splendor.  I took these photos on the afternoon of 17 November, and, as you can see, Christmas has seemingly already arrived!

It is interesting to note that none of the other pedestrian thoroughfares in the city have their familiar white lights up yet.  Fashion comes first!








The giant red Christmas bulb sitting on the street is a new addition to the street this year.