On the 24th of June the city celebrates it’s patron saint, San Giovanni Battista, who english speakers know as St. John the Baptist, with the Festa di San Giovanni Battista in Florence. This saint has long been connected with the city of Florence and has been celebrated since the 13th century.
The entire day is filled with festivities, beginning with an early morning mass in the Baptistery of the main cathedral – Duomo, The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.
Next is a procession that begins at the Palazzo Vecchio, made up of the cities political leaders and representatives from each of the cities historic districts and members of the Society of Saint John the Baptist, carrying silk flags, to The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.
When the procession reaches the Duomo, votive offerings are made to the holy relic of Saint John the Baptist which is brought through the historic “Gate