Christmas markets in Italy

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Xmas market in Bolzano

Bolzano Christmas Market

Most people think of Germany when they hear of Christmas markets. But Italy also has a long history of markets at Christmas. Here – with the help of Stefania from the Italian Tourist Board – is a quick guide to 25 of Italy’s most magical markets

Aosta
Between December and January, the ‘Marché Vert Noël’ turns a little piece of the town – Piazza Caveri – into an alpine village.
Delicious local specialities, wines, handicrafts, traditional objects, gifts, Nordic inspirations… affordable little luxuries to conjure up the convivial flavour of the festive season! Every day, visitors can stroll through the  ‘Streets’ of the village in search of a gift idea among the crafts on display: candles, handmade soaps, ceramics, wooden handicrafts, antique objects and furniture, clothing and accessories in boiled wool and felt, hemp, lace, Christmas decorations, typical food, wine, sweets and pastries from the region, articles featuring découpage or other decorative or craft techniques.
Open: 1 December 2012 – 6 January 2013

Arco, Lake Garda
A magical atmosphere and characteristic wooden huts, offering high quality crafts at Christmas Markets, where you can find original gift ideas: candles, lanterns, decorations, local products, toys and much more. Additional features are Christmas carols and entertainment and, on 8 December, an Advent Calendar projected on the buildings in the town centre, a magical night with a wonderful firework display.
Open: 16 November – 23 December 2012

Asiago
The gardens of Piazza Carli host the Asiago Christmas Market, several huts will sell traditional decorations in glass, wood and ceramic, typical Asiago patisserie, natural products and the famous Asiago cheese. There will also be huts selling local dishes and mulled wine.
Open: 10 November 2012- 6 December 2012

Belluno
The market can be found in the gardens of Piazza dei Martiri, one of the most beautiful squares of the city, which hosts typical wooden stands, decorations and bright lights. This market has been organized for the past 14 years, and offers wool and wood hand-craft made objects, original gift ideas and local and regional specialties. There will be about twenty wooden houses and many outdoor refreshment areas with mulled wine, sandwiches and hot chocolate. In the weekend there will also be different entertainment events, such as music, games for children and shows.
Open: 1 – 24 December 2012

Bologna
Fiera di Santa Lucia
Portico of Chiesa dei Servi in Strada Maggiore
Traditional Fair dedicated to Christmas, stalls full of decorations for the Xmas tree, the nativity crib, food and wine and other delicacies.
Open: End of November 2012 – 1 January 2013

Bolzano
Savour the magic of Christmas in the traditional mercantile town of Bolzano, at the meeting point of north and south, where the cultures and traditions of central Europe and the Mediterranean. Bright lights, scents and sounds steeped in tradition pervade the medieval centre, with its romantic arcaded streets and picturesque lanes emanating their nostalgic atmosphere. Emotions are heightened by the backdrop of the Rosengarten Dolomites!
Venue Piazza Walther/Waltherplatz
Open from 30 Nov to 23 Dec 2012

Bressanone
The venerable Cathedral with its 800 year-old Gothic cloister lends a unique aura to the Christmas market, taking place in the Cathedral square. You will be fascinated by the bustle of activity and the myriad of colours, seasonal aromas and music, or by the crib exhibition in the Episcopal Palace (Hofburg) emanating tradition and history.
Venue Piazza Duomo/Domplatz (Cathedral Square)
Open from 30 Nov 2012 to 6 Jan 6 2013

Brunico
Discover traditional handicrafts and seductive delicacies ensconced between the four main gates of the medieval town walls. Should you wish to combine a visit to the Christmas market with winter sports, then the superb slopes in the Kron-Platz ski resort are just outside the town.
Venue Beside the Moat (Via Bastioni/Am Graben) and Town Hall Square (Nuovo Piazza Municipio/Neuer Rathausplatz)
Open from 30 Nov 2012 to 6 Jan 6 2013

Cortina D’Ampezzo
In the shadow of the Tofane, the Cortina Christmas Market, brings lights, colour and a festive atmosphere to the main street, Corso Italia. The famous pedestrian street will be scattered with small wooden huts where artisans and local producers exhibit their products. All accompanied by mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and traditional sweets. Inside each hut there will be a variety of seasonal merchandise, representing the crafts and traditions of the area. To complete the atmosphere there will be music in the form of all the cherished and traditional Christmas songs.
Open: 1 December – 31 December 2012

Florence
Mercato Tedesco di Natale (German Christmas Market)
Piazza Santa Croce
This Christmas Market is inspired by the tradition of the German city of Heidelberg, wooden huts and stalls selling Italian and German delicacies, decorations, handicrafts.
Open: end of November – 23 December 2012

Genoa
San Nicola, They create a medieval village in the middle of the city which is quite unlike any other Christmas market you will see. Each day from 10am-7pm, over 90 stalls will have local wines, cheeses, hams as well as sweets and crafts made from wood, glass and metals
Open: early December –December 23 2012

Levico Terme
You will experience a festive atmosphere in the heart of the legendary Parco degli Asburgo in Levico Terme during the Advent period, with soft lighting that illuminates the majestic plants of the age-old arboretum and characteristic wooden huts. In this charming setting, adults and children can explore the Christmas Market and the most genuine Trentino-Tyrolean popular traditions, with street shows and games, sweets and delicacies, the Elves’ House, creative workshops, a pet farm, mini-train and horse-drawn carriage.
Open: 24 November 2012 – 6 January 2013

Merano
Relish contemplative moments while rejuvenating body and soul. Discover traditional handicrafts at the Christmas market and savour local sweetmeats. A wealth of attractions for children! Enjoy a festival for the senses and leisure, enveloped in the magical pre-Christmas atmosphere of Merano.
Venue Passeggiata Lungo Passirio/Passerpromenade
Open from 30 Nov 2012 to 6 Jan 2013

Milan
Il villaggio delle meraviglie
Giardini Indro Montanelli, entry from Corso Venezia.
Christmas market and other seasonal activities for adults and children takes place in these gardens in the centre of Milan, with a skating rink and shows with various performance artists throughout the festive season.
Open: early Dec 2012 – 6 January 2013

Naples
Nativity Cribs in Via S. Gregorio Armeno
This narrow street is famous all over the world for its handcrafted Nativity Crib figurines, from the traditional ones to the most sophisticated , it buzzes at Christmas time with Neapolitans and tourists alike
Open: early December -January

Padua
Piazzetta Sartori. Hundreds of stalls will sell food and crafts and there is also an ethnic market. At weekends there will be special events and entertainment for children.
Open: 8 December -6 January

Pordenone
The central XX Settembre Square will host a giant Christmas Tree and the typical Christmas Market’s wooden huts. Shows, events, games will take place during the festivities and the typical Crib made with hand carved wooden statues (life size) will be on show in the Loggia of the Palazzo Municipale. Open: 24 November 2012 – 13 January 2013

Rome
Piazza Navona Christmas Market. Over Christmas, the piazza is suddenly swamped by a bustling multi-coloured market, selling cribs, decorations and sweets. A treat for young children, it reaches its height of excitement on the night of 5th January, when the “Befana” (The Good Witch) flies about the country, delivering presents to “well-behaved ” children and pieces of coal to the naughty ones. www.turismoroma.it
Open: end November 2012 to 6 January 2013

Rovereto
In the charming setting of Corso Rosmini, Piazza Erbe, Piazza S.Marco, Piazza Malfatti, Piazza Loreto and Via Garibaldi, the Rovereto Christmas Market, with its 56 wooden huts, offers gourmet delicacies and the best local and national crafts, as well as original gift ideas, candles, decorations, local products and much more. This year to add to the international flavour, a Bedouin tent will be erected where one can taste Palestinian delicacies and smoke the typical water pipe.
Open: 24 November 2012 – 6 January 2013

Sauris
The Christmas Market in Sauris re-lives each year the tradition of this delightful mountain village. Along the narrow streets and the quaint squares Father Christmas and wooden hut selling festive food and wine, toys and decoration will animate the atmosphere. Not to be missed is the opportunity to discover the old Sauris on a horse-drawn carriage.
Open: 8-9 December 2012.

Xmas market in Trento

Trento Christmas Market

Trento
The Trento Christmas Market in Piazza Fiera, with its 68 wooden huts is one of the most famous festive markets of the region. Wooden huts sell traditional decorations for Christmas trees and nativity scenes, crafts, cakes, local products, original gift ideas, and gourmet specialities in a special food section.
In keeping with tradition, at the middle of the main square, a gourmet section will be dedicated to the specialities of Trentino: apple strudel, treccia mochèna (plaited pastry cake), polenta brustolada (grilled polenta), and tortel di patate (potato cake), speck (smoked ham), canederli (dumplings) and filled pasta, as well as the popular vin brulè (mulled wine) of Trentino and parampampoli (hot toddy).
Open: 24 November – 24 December 2012 www.mercatinodinatale.tn.it

 

Turin
Piazza Borgo Dora. There will be more than 100 stalls from Piedmont and other Italian regions selling crafts and Christmas decorations. others will sell a variety of foods which you can nibble while listening to choirs or watch other street entertainment
Open: early December-23 December 2012
www.mercatinonataletorino.it

Venice
Christmas fairs in various piazzas (campo) in Venice: Campo S.Bartolomeo, Campo San Salvador, Campo San Luca, Campo Manin, Strada Nuova. Open: 20 – 24 December 2012 and 2-5 January 2013

Verona
Verona hosts each year a Nuremberg Christmas Market in the central Piazza dei Signori. The German styled market will have all the traditional huts, elegantly illuminated and decorated selling typical food, handicrafts, Christmas tree decorations, cribs and serving specialities such as mulled wine, Stollen and Lebkuchen cakes, bratwurst and more.
Open: 23 November – 21 December 2012
www.nataleinpiazza.it/2012

Vipiteno
The impressive ‘Zwölfer-Turm’ tower built in 1486 watches over the Christmas market in the Piazza città this medieval mining town, itself at an altitude of almost 1,000 metres. It also features a special exhibition related to the history of mining in the nearby high mountains. The atmosphere is enhanced by the quaint town buildings with their characteristic bay windows.
Open from 30 Nov 2012 to 6 Jan 6 2013

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