St John's Day

Festa di San Giovanni

Local Tradition


  • June 24th annually
  • Parades, Calcio Storico, and fireworks
  • Celebrates patron saint of Florence
  • Free to attend
Piazza della Signoria
Address: della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
June 24

Occurs annually, June 24

Admission Fees:



Every year on June 24th, Florence celebrates Festa di San Giovanni, a vibrant event dedicated to the city’s patron saint, St. John the Baptist.

The event is held in the heart of Florence at the Piazza della Signoria and features a variety of activities to honor the saint, including parades, Calcio Storico Fiorentino (a traditional and aggressive blend of soccer, rugby, and wrestling), and a spectacular fireworks display.

Visitors can join locals in a small civic parade that begins at 9 am, which involves the city’s major and political officers, followed by the offering of candles at the Baptistery in Piazza Duomo.

The Archbishop of Florence then leads a Holy Mass in the Cathedral. The evening concludes with an impressive fireworks show between 10 and 11 pm, set off from the Piazzale Michelangelo, providing stunning views across the city.

Event Schedule

9:00: Civic parade begins at Palazzo Vecchio
10:30: Holy Mass at the Cathedral
17:00: Calcio Storico Fiorentino match at Piazza Santa Croce
22:00-23:00: Fireworks display at Piazzale Michelangelo


The Festa di San Giovanni has deep historical roots, with medieval Florence aspiring to build its economic fortune and good governance on the moral rectitude and political correctness of St. John the Baptist.

The saint’s image was even stamped on the city’s currency, the florin.

In earlier times, nobles and lords celebrated the patron saint by donating large “candles” or votive offerings called ceri in Italian to the churches.

These candles were essential for lighting interiors before the invention of electricity. Over time, the candles grew in size and decoration, becoming more valuable as a means of honoring the saint and raising funds for the Church.