LAPC #230: Last Chance 2022

This week, Tina’s challenge gives us an opportunity to share our favorite photos from 2022 that never made it out of our archives. Since the year is almost over, this is my last chance to post this set of photos taken as Florence is getting ready for the holidays.

This is the first time we’ve spent the winter in Italy. We’ve been surprised (and delighted) that the holiday lights started appearing in early November and every week since then, we’ve seen, eaten and enjoyed something new.

The Holiday Spirit in Florence

Despite long stretches of rain this winter, the Florentines are out on the street, eating, shopping, and chatting. Here you can see people under umbrellas gathering around a jewelry booth in the Christmas market in Piazza Santa Croce. At other stalls, vendors are selling everything from candy, pretzels, and German sausages to English tea and china tea sets.

Holiday Eating in Florence

Local shops are full of holiday treats like panettone–a sweet bread traditionally eaten at this time of the year. It comes in a variety of flavors and toppings–glazed with candied fruit, glazed without fruit, with berries. with roasted chestnuts….and chocolate with sprinkles on top. The dough rises 3 times, giving the bread a light texture, similar to challah or babka. The final product is stored in cone-shaped boxes and sent to grocery shops around the world.

One evening, I spotted these domed loaves cooling in a local restaurant kitchen. Of course, I had to stop and take a photo. It will be no surprise that I’m sampling as many different types of panettone as I can.

Neighborhood Lights

Different parts of the city have their own style of holiday lights. Here you can see decorations in 3 different areas–near the Piazza della Repubblica, in San Ambrogio and in Santa Croce.

Holiday Singing and Dancing

We live near a pedestrian street where talented performers entertain passersby on a regular basis. Nearly every day, the 4–man band pictured below sings Christmas songs and invites everyone to join in.

In the next image, a troupe of musicians accompany several graceful and lovely women who dance down the street on stilts. If you look closely, you’ll see the lights on her dress.

As we near Christmas and New Years, the joy here is almost palpable. Yesterday, the women in the local bakery were singing and dancing to rock and roll songs on the radio while they made cookies. Restaurants are taking reservations for special New Years Eve dinners with special ingredients like fish roe and lobster. I’m getting hungry just imagining the feasts in the days ahead.

I hope you join us this week and share your Last Chance 2022 images with all of us. Be sure to visit Tina’s site to see her gorgeous images and read her thoughts about each one. Include a link to her post and use the Lens-Artist tag if you join us.

Looking back at last week, Ann-Christine’s Perfect Patterns generated many beautiful images and insights into our individual definitions of what’s “perfect.” A special thank you to Ann-Christine for such a wonderful challenge and to all of you who participated.

And now a special announcement….it gives us great pleasure to announce that Donna Holland of Wind Kisses will be joining the Lens-Artists team effective in the new year. Donna has been a loyal follower of our challenge, has previously been our guest host, and consistently delivers thoughtful and beautifully-illustrated posts. Be sure to follow her at windkisses.com.

We are also announcing that the Lens-Artists Challenge will be on holiday until the new year. We look forward to rejoining everyone on Saturday, January 7 at noon EST when John Steiner leads our first challenge in 2023. In the meantime, we send our warmest holiday greetings to all who celebrate, as well as best wishes to everyone in our wonderful creative community for a happy, healthy and satisfying New Year.

65 replies »

  1. Beautiful holiday images Patti! I love street photography because it shows us the reality of the city. I especially enjoyed the gal on stilts in her beautiful dress and all the night lights. Have a wonderful holiday season!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Anne. Thanks for your kind words about this set. It’s true. You can really see city life in that type of shot. Glad you enjoyed that dancer on stilts. I can’t imagine how they do it! We are having so much fun learning how Italians celebrate the holidays. Have a great holiday season, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Patti – this was SUCH a fun post, I loved traveling along with you to experience the holiday in Italy! (Especially since I had my first-ever pannetore (chocolate) the other day and will admit I ate the entire thing over the course of an hour or so!!!) Especially loved the woman in white lights and the decorations of lights in the various streets/alleys. Warmest wishes to you two for a wonderful holiday season and all the best in 2023.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, you tried it! Isn’t it great? I haven’t tried the chocolate one yet…but I will. We got the name of the BEST baker for panettone in Florence. We sampled his bread…amazing. I’m so happy you enjoyed this post. It was fun to write it and keep a visual record of what’s happening here. Warmest wishes to you two as well. All the best. in 2023.

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    • Have a wonderful holiday and new year, Brian! All the best to you and your family in 2023. And thanks for your thoughts on my version of Christmas in Florence! It is a great place….I totally agree.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Jude. It is an amazing art…to walk on stilts and dance! It has been so much fun to see how Florence celebrates. And yes, plenty of temptation to eat and try new things. Have a wonderful holiday season, Jude. All the best in 2023. I hope you can join us!

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  3. So lovely to share Christmas in Florence with you, Patti. I can feel the atmosphere from your photos. I especially like the panettone shot, and not just because it’s cake! And that lady on the stilts is dazzling! Wishing you a joyful celebration, Patti, of all that’s good in life, and a healthy, happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Christmas in Italy will be wonderful I am sure! Panettone is very popular now in the UK, we always get one to enjoy when our traditional Christmas cake feels too rich an option πŸ˜‰ Have a wonderful Christmas πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

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  5. Gosh,..I am wishing I was with you right about now. How exciting that you plan to spend winter in Florence. Clearly, it was the right decision, as you seem to be smiling down the streets, into the bakeries and through the markets. I love the European markets. They present such a different way of shopping and experiencing holiday customs. Once again you captured not just great photos, but a fascinating culture. Thank you. My favorite photo is of the woman on stilts with the lit dress.

    The panettone looks heavenly. Have a great holiday, Patti.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just the thought of experiencing the holiday in Italy! Love it, Patti! Thank you for taking us – and my favourite is, surprise, the lady in white! Happy Holidays you two, I am sure you will make them marvelous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, AC. All the best to you, too, in the new year. Plenty of good health, satisfaction, and happiness. We’re enjoying the Christmas season here. The cloud on the horizon is the triple viruses which are starting to circulate here. Fingers crossed. I hope you’re well, too.

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  7. A wonderful post, Patti and again it’s so interesting seeing different cultures captured by different eyes. I was chatting with colleagues just before Christmas about our different traditions. If we can mix and make our own traditions, the better. Have a 2023 full of hope, health and smiles.

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