The scent of mulled wine, the taste of hot fritters, the cheerful music in the background… Now you can open your eyes: we are again in the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas! Yes, maybe the rush of buying gifts, the raising traffic, the lines in the shops can be stressful, but here come the Christmas markets to alleviate our efforts. It is impossible not to love the walks among the wooden stalls to admire the nicest artisan decorations, drinking hot chocolate to defend yourself from cold. It is almost difficult to find a city without one of them in its old town, but which are the Christmas markets you can’t absolutely miss this year?
Trentino-Alto Adige is the region symbol of Christmas markets for sure. With the influence of Austria, that it adjoins, as a contributing factor indeed, Trentino was the pioneer of markets with Nordic inspiration in Italy, and remains the leader of Christmas shopping tourism. After all, how can you resist its magical atmosphere, with the mountains in the background and maybe the snow covering the roofs?
Bolzano – Trentino-Alto Adige (from 28 November to 6 January)
The capital of Alto Adige, Bolzano, is the real queen of markets. If you are looking for the most authentic ones, the most similar to Austrian and Swiss tradition, Bolzano is the one meant to you. The city was actually among the first ones to follow the Nordic habit, with wooden stands, local products and a calendar rich in events for all the festivity period. Always careful to news, Bolzano presents “green events” markets this year: they support the environment and promote the local territory, with some interesting ideas for those with a green soul. What are you waiting for?
Trento – Trentino-Alto Adige (dal 22 novembre al 6 gennaio)
Could capital of Trentino stay out of this? Trento dedicates two squares to the markets, Piazza Fiera e Piazza Cesare Battisti. The beauty of the city adorned for the holidays alone, with its walls and towers lighted up, would be enough to justify a visit. However, Trento counts on handicraft too to attract curious, while it delights them with its hot parampampoli, ideal to fight bitter cold and to accompany the typical treccia mochèna. Prepare your palate.
Florence – Tuscany (from 3 to 21 December)
Descending towards Central Italy, we arrive at marvelous Florence, that doesn’t need a presentation or an excuse for a visit indeed. And yet during Christmas time, the gem of Tuscany becomes even more beautiful, if possible. In various corners of the city, you will find markets in perfect Nordic style, with present ideas and tastes of typical products. The most suggestive one is undoubtedly in Piazza Santa Croce, with the splendid church in the background. If your Christmas spirit has not finished yet, we suggest a quick stop at Florence Noël trade show in Leopolda station, where you will find not only stands but also a chocolate village and a recreation of Santa Claus’ house. A dream!
Rome – Lazio (from 1 December to 6 January)
Rome would seem far from Christmas markets tradition, but our capital decides to participate with various stands in more areas of the city, therefore you will be spoiled for choice, between a visit to a monument and another. The one in Piazza Navona is the most famous one for sure, and together with Christmas decorations you can find some souvenirs to take with you. Rome distinguishes itself mainly for Croce Rossa Italiana market at Ritz Hotel: the proceeds will be destined to the bought of a bloodmobile for blood donation. If you want to make a gift that is both pretty and good, to the others or to yourselves, you will have to hurry: the market lasts only from 25 to 26 December.
Naples – Campania (Advent time)
Treasure of Southern Italy, Naples loves festivities and embellishes itself with lights and decorations. It will be impossible for you not to feel involved in the joyful atmosphere while you walk through the city’s streets, tasting the specialties of Neapolitan tradition. Naples is known for its historical handicraft too: its nativity scenes are famous all over the world. Thus, a visit to Spaccanapoli is almost compulsory: in San Gregorio Armeno street you can find every figurine you can imagine. From the Three Wise Men to Maradona, from Trump to Totò, tradition here blends with originality. The workshops are open during the whole year, but during Christmas time you can also find the classic stands and the suggestive living nativities.
Did you decide yet?