A list of places to see, things to do, and where to stay
We have cherry picked a few activities for your Christmas season in Tuscany to let you make the most of the festive celebrations and the other events that will be taking place in this superb region.
From 25 September 2015 to 10 January 2016 the Palazzo Pretorio in Prato will house Syncronicity, with artists ranging from Lippi to Warhol as part of a project curated by Stefano Pezzato, director at the Centro Pecci. Some of the most seminal works of art from after WWII will be showcased in Palazzo Pretorio and presented in their historical and artistic context, ranging from Marcel Duchamp to Andy Warhol, Daniel Spoerri and Michelangelo Pistoletto, Matthew Barney and Vanessa Beecroft, just to name a few. These modern pieces will be juxtaposed to Medieval and Renaissance masters such as Filippo Lippi and Donatello, with later Gothic and Renaissance pieces by 18th and 19th century masters as a completion to Prato’s permanent collection.
You can tell when the festive season has arrived by looking at the decorations on the piazzas, where traditional markets fill every inch of available space, offering you an array of unique items that will make for the perfect present and give you a sense of warm belonging to the local atmosphere. Among the many markets, don’t miss the Weihnachtsmarkt, the German Christmas market in Piazza Santa Croce open from 2 to 20 December, where stalls are made to look like small wooden huts and everything is decorated in a typically Nordic tradition. Siena by contrast offers an entirely Medieval scene on the piazza del Campo and boasts over 150 stands selling typically Senese products.
The hot waters from the Grotta Giusti in Monsummano Terme, close to Pistoia, gush out at a temperature of 35°C and are used in the wellness centre for rejuvenating and therapeutic treatments. You can celebrate Christmas in a warm watery embrace surrounded by grottoes and vapours. This wellness centre is an ideal getaway for the family, and can be reached directly from the hotel Grotta Giusti Resort, Golf & Spa. It offers boasts traditional treatments such as mud masks, inhalations and massages but also an Oriental area, a gym and various lounge areas. An ideal place to relax with the family.