June 24th marks one of the most important feast days in Florence, the feast of St. John the Baptist, who has been the city’s patron saint for over 1500 years! Celebrations start several days before and on the day itself, shops and restaurants are closed so the entire city can celebrate.
In the morning, festivities are kicked off with a procession through the city, starting in Piazza Signorina and continuing towards the Baptistery where a mass is held with an offering of candles. In the afternoon, one of the most important events linked to the feast day takes place. A traditional Florentine soccer match is held in Santa Croce. The game is similar to rugby or American football and can often be very violent. The special day comes to a close with fireworks over the Arno River in Piazza Michelangelo!
Buona festa di San Giovanni Battista a tutti! Read more about the holiday! http://bit.ly/j3L1S0