Florence in May
Artisan Fair, Music Fest, and Flowers

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One of Florence’s top May events is Artigianato e Palazzo, a unique artisan crafts fair held in the beautiful gardens of the 16th century Palazzo Corsini, not normally open to the public.

80 top craftspeople from Tuscany, Italy and Europe gather at the 4-day fair to do live demonstrations of their work. Visitors get an inside look at the process of creating hand crafts that combine tradition with innovations in design and technique. The fair, usually attended by more than 100,000 visitors, aims to create a direct connection with the artisans and their traditions.

florence artisan fair photo
Artisan Fair in Florence. Image credit: Caterina Romig Ciccarelli

Blogs and Crafts, another part of the fair, invites 10 talented artists under age 35 to exhibit at the fair where they get coverage from 10 bloggers in the fields of artisan crafts, tourism, fashion, lifestyle, and food.

A newer addition to Artigianato e Palazzo is Ricette e Famiglia, family recipes, that highlights the links between contemporary food culture and old family recipes. Cookbook authors give talks while chefs prepare their modern versions of traditional recipes.

2017 fair dates are May 18 – 21, 10:00 – 20:00, and admission is 8 euro. Entrance is at via della Scala, 115, a short walk from the train station. Read more and see photos on Artigianato e Palazzo.

Palazzo Corsini Florence
Palazzo Corsini, Florence. Image credit: Joshua Kercher Jara

More Things to Do in May in Florence

  • May 1 is the national Italian holiday of Labor Day. Many businesses and shops close for the holiday as well as some tourist sites and museums (including the Uffizi Gallery). If you’re planning to visit a museum on May 1, be sure to check its web site to see if it’s open. Special events and concerts are sometimes held on May 1 and there’s usually a colorful flag-throwing contest in Piazza della Signoria. Of course Florence’s top monuments can easily be seen as you walk around, without having to go inside.
  • Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, an important music festival, starts at the end of April and continues during May. Performances include classical music concerts, operas, and ballet and are held at Teatro Goldoni.
  • Florence’s Iris Garden, by Piazzale Michelangelo at Viale dei Colli, is open from late April through late May and has many beautiful irises. Roses are in bloom in May in the Rose Garden below Piazzale Michelangelo so it’s the perfect time to visit the garden with its more than 350 varieties of roses.

Plan Your Visit to Florence

The best way to see the sights in Florence is on foot as much of the historic center is pedestrian-only or a limited traffic zone. Find the top sights on this Florence Map.

See more things to do in Florence in May or read about Rome in May.

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