June in Florence, the celebration of San Giovanni!
June has always been a month full of events in Florence and in 2022 the celebrations for San Giovanni return with the “Fochi” and the Calcio Storico Fiorentino, both unique examples of Florentine tradition!
In June Florence celebrates its patron saint, John the Baptist, known in Italy as San Giovanni, with events, shows, and historical re-enactments. These thousand-year-old celebrations have a powerful effect on the city and everyone should experience them at least once so that they can marvel at the festive atmosphere that returns every 24 June, on the anniversary of the patron saint.
24 June 2022, the day dedicated to San Giovanni, brings us the highly anticipated "Fochi", spectacular fireworks that will be set off along the Arno River from 11 PM. The celebrations for the patron saint begin in the morning, with the Mayor and local authorities leading a magnificent historical procession from Piazza Signoria to the Baptistery dedicated to San Giovanni, with a characteristic offering of candles.
The tradition of the candles comes from a time when noble Florentine families were very competitive in their homage to the saint, offering ever larger and more elaborately decorated candles. Today, candles are still taken to the church as an offering, but they have now returned to a more manageable size.
The celebrations continue as the Mayor awards "Fiorini d’oro" (Golden Florins) to the Florentines who have distinguished themselves for their social, cultural, and civil commitment over the past year. At 6 PM, the party moves over to Piazza Santa Croce for the finale of the Calcio Storico Fiorentino tournament, a unique sport dating back to the 16th century that combines soccer, wrestling, and rugby. The players take the field in traditional Calcio Fiorentino uniforms, though there won't be much left of them by the end of the match!
We'll be waiting for you in Florence to celebrate San Giovanni together! We're just a stone's throw from the Baptistery, in Via dei Servi 40.