The anniversary of San Giovanni is a highly anticipated moment in Florence as patron of the city.
It is also an opportunity to enjoy a day off from work and organize a pleasant picnic in early summer. Find out with us what to do and where to go for the Feast of San Giovanni!
June 24 is the feast of St. John the Baptist, celebrated in devotion of the saint in many places in Italy.
The importance of this anniversary is such that it is the patron of many cities, such as Florence.
San Giovanni is in fact the patron saint of Florence and every year it is celebrated with numerous ceremonies but above all with the explosion of the beautiful fireworks over the Arno river.
Florence, Turin, Ragusa, Marsala are just some of the cities that celebrate the holy Baptist.
The saint’s veneration ends in the evening with the traditional “lighting of the fires”, today symbolized by spectacular fireworks and pyrotechnic games.
A long-awaited date because being the patron saint of the city, it is also the right opportunity to enjoy a day off from work and celebrate the arrival of summer.
Among the many traditions that recur for this date there is a very particular one: the collection of hypericum.
Hypericum, also called St. John’s wort, is an evergreen officinal plant widespread in Tuscany and in the Florentine countryside.
Tradition has it that on the evening of June 23, a basin of water was prepared inside which there were some macerating plants (including hypericum). Left all night in the open air, the water was used the next morning (or St. John’s day) to wash the face.
This tradition is now out of use, but it is very common to see people intent on collecting hypericum in the fields during the outing.
In Tuscany many places celebrate San Giovanni, with liturgical celebrations and recreational activities.
The religious holiday also coincides with the beginning of summer, so there is nothing better than celebrating the anniversary by organizing a beautiful day in the open air.
In Florence, in addition to the many events organized for the feast, the final of the famous “historical football” in Santa Croce Square is competed on June 24th. An unmissable event for Florentines and tourists.
Here is what to do and where to go for the feast of San Giovanni in Tuscany:
The historic procession parades through the city center, which departs from Palazzo Vecchio at around 8:30 am to arrive in front of the Baptistery. Mass is celebrated inside the Cathedral at 10:30 am. While the long-awaited fireworks fired from Piazzale Michelangelo begin from 22:00 in the evening.
San Casciano Val di Pesa
An interesting event is held at Villa Vrindavana Iskcon in San Casciano, the Festival of Colors (or Holi Festival) with the traditional launch of colored powders, with which participants will have to paint their bodies.
Even in Mugello San Giovanni is celebrated, patron of Vicchio. Numerous initiatives are organized every year such as concerts, food and wine events, traditional bingo and fireworks.
If you also want to have a break and take the opportunity of the Feast of San Giovanni to enjoy a beautiful day in nature in a relaxing place near Florence, perhaps enjoying excellent food, then we are waiting for you at Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort!
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