Christmas markets in Italy

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
the Bolzano Christmas market

the Bolzano Christmas market

Instead of gluhwein and the sausages try Christmas market shopping in Italy where a more Mediterranean fare is on offer.  Here is a list of twenty-five of them that are open in the run-up to the festive day.

Aosta – A colourful alpine village surrounded by music and lights, with roads, squares, bridges, wooden chalets and a true fir forest, is recreated in the “heart” of Aosta. Visitors will be able to walk around the “streets” of the village searching for a gift or simply admiring the traditional handicrafts such as ceramics, wooden items and creations from wool, felt, leather and hemp Open from November 28 to 2015 to 6 January 2016.

Arco on Lake Geneva – Forty market booths offer Christmas tree decorations, ideas regarding Christmas presents, handicraft products and local delicacies. Various events taking place in the evenings complete the offer of the Arco Christmas Market including camel, pony or train or pony rides. On December 8, there is also a huge firework display. Open: 20 November 2015 – 3 January 2016

Asiago – The gardens of Piazza Carli host the market, huts sell traditional decorations in glass, wood and ceramics, typical Asiago patisserie, natural products and the famous Asiago cheese. There will also be huts selling local dishes and mulled wine. Open: 14 November 2015 – 6 January 2016

Bologna – The Santa Lucia market takes place at Portico dei Servi at the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi in the heart of the centre of Bologna. This traditional Fair dedicated to Christmas, stalls full of decorations for the Xmas tree, the nativity crib, food and wine and other delicacies. Open: 18 November to 26 December 2015

Bolzano –  This family themed- market concentrates on tradition with a white tree, the nativity, the advent crown, the scented cakes and confectionery. Open from 27 Nov. 2015 to 6 Jan. 2016

Bressanone/Brixen – The cathedral with its 800 year-old Gothic cloister lends a unique aura to the Christmas market, taking place in the Cathedral square. Open from 27 Nov 2015 to 6 Jan 2016

Brunico – Discover traditional handicrafts between the four main gates of the medieval town walls. The slopes in the Kron-Platz ski resort are just outside the town. Open from 27 Nov 2015 to 6 Jan 2016

Cortina   – The famous Corso Italia is lined by famed up market retailers but at Christmas there are wooden huts where artisans and local producers exhibit their products. All accompanied by mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and traditional sweets. Open: 5 December 2015 – 5 January 2016

Florence – The market in the Piazza Santa Croce is inspired by the tradition of the German city of Heidelberg, wooden huts and stalls selling Italian and German delicacies, decorations, handicrafts. Open: 2 – 20 December 2015

Levico – The Christmas market here has an Austrian theme and harks back to when the Hapsburgs ruled as they chose Levico as the summer holiday destination. There are local handicraft products, Christmas tree decorations, ideas for Christmas presents as well as local products such as honey, “Luganega”, a local meat product as well as wild boar ham. Open: 21 November 2015 – 6 January 2016

Merano – . 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. Open from 27 Nov 2015 to 6 Jan 2016

Milan – The Christmas market and other seasonal activities for adults and children takes place in the Giardini Indro Montanelli right in the centre of Milan, with a skating rink and shows with various performance artists throughout the festive season. Open: 29 November 2015 – 11 January 2016

There is also the “Oh Bej Oh Bej” fair during the celebrations of its Patron Saint, Saint Ambrose, in the area near the Sforza Castle. It is a very traditional market fair with typical Milanese artisan food, wines and other products. Open 7-10 December 2015

Naples – The narrow Via S. Gregorio Armeno is famous all over the world for its handcrafted Nativity Crib figurines, from the traditional ones to the most sophisticated.

Ortisei –    A traditional Christmas market emphasising Ladin customs and craftsmanship (Ladin people constitute less than 5% of the population in South Tyrol, inhabiting just a few small valleys in the region.) Each stand will feature either local food products such as cinnamon sweets, gingerbread and grappa) or different kinds of wood and glass handicrafts.

Rome – In the Piazza Navona the Christmas Market takes over 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. Open : 8 December 2015 to 8 January 2016

Rovereto – This Christmas Market unites different cultures and events. The long tradition of Christmas cribs of Napoli, which has been passed on from generation to generation by the artisans of Via San Gregorio Armeno of Napoli is on show The huge Christmas tree, is not lit by locals but by visitors. Like Birmingham with its links to Frankfurt, Rovereto is linked to Salzburg and the city sends its own with their designs of decorations and handicrafts. Open: 21 November 2015 – 6 January 2016

Sauris – Each year the traditions of this mountain village are re-enacted. Along the narrow streets and the quaint squares Father Christmas appears and huts sell festive food and wine, toys and decorations. Open: 5-8 December 2015

the Trento market © G. Zotta

the Trento market © G. Zotta

Trento – The Christmas Market in Piazza Fiera is one of the most famous festive markets of the region. The stalls offer a wide selection of Trentino’s many foods, wines and crafts. Open:21 November 2015 – 6 January

Trieste – This city in the north eastern tip of Italy has been part of many countries over the centuries. The Christmas market in the Piazza Sant’ Antonio reflects the influence of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. Typical Trieste foods and wines, Christmas decorations, artificial snow, songs and music to accompany the visitor during the festive season. Open: 8 to 24 December 2015

Turin – This traditional has a wide range of gift items for Christmas, together with tastings and selling of culinary delights and specialities of Piedmont producers and other Italian regions. Open: 4-23 December 2015

Val Gardena – This famed ski resort holds the world’s largest nativity scene in the village of Santa Christina. There will be carol concerts, and the market emphasis is on local food with a variety of bread and cookies available.

Venice – A lot shorter in time than many markets, there are lots in the city such as in the Campo S.Bartolomeo, Campo San Salvador, Campo San Luca, Campo Manin and Strada Nuova. Open: 20 – 24 December 2015

Verona – A Nuremberg style Christmas Market is the feature with traditional, illuminated huts, selling typical food, handicrafts, Christmas tree decorations, cribs and serving specialities such as mulled wine, Stollen and Lebkuchen cakes, bratwurst and more. Open: 20 November – 27 December 2015

Vipiteno – The “Zwölfer-Turm” tower built in 1486 watches over the Christmas market in this medieval mining town. It also features a special exhibition related to the history of mining in the nearby mountains. Open from 27 Nov 2015 to 6 Jan 2016

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