Since Italians don't have Thanksgiving to interfere, they get right down to business and start thinking about Christmas in mid-November - the shops are already decorated and pushing their Christmas wares. By December the streets in the center will be draped with lights and Piazza Repubblica and Piazza Duomo will put up their annual Christmas trees. But you really know Christmas is coming when Piazza Santa Croce sets up for the annual German Christmas Market (Heidelberger Weihnachtsmarkt).
Every year the German town of Heidelberg's 500-year-old market comes to Florence with it's holiday tradition and festive atmosphere. Piazza Santa Croce is filled with small wooden stalls selling everything from unique woolens and Bunzlau ceramics to handmade toys and colorful ornaments. It's a great place to pick up stocking stuffers, holiday decorations or unusual sweets.
This market also worth a visit just for the food: you can enjoy some bratwurst and a beer or traditional Heidelberg Lebkuchen cookies and a spiced vin brulè. Our family never misses the
merry-go-round style rotating bar (no merry-go-round in 2012!) which offers a place to relax and look over the festive sights of the market kiosks while sipping the drink of your choice.
From about November 30 to December 18 every year
Everyday from 10am to 8pm
Piazza Santa Croce
And here is some video from FlipFlorence: