Contemplativeness and anticipation of the festivities take centre stage in Advent for both children and adults. Christmas carols, cookies and mulled wine or punch create a unique atmosphere regardless of weather. There’s a great tradition of Christmas markets in Italy, even without any snow whatsoever. Find the top 10 of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Italy from north to south here as your ZAINOO experts reveal the quaintest December locations.
Santa Lucia Christmas market in Verona
Verona knows many a Christmas market throughout November and December with the one dedicated to Saint Lucia on Piazza Bra outside Verona Arena probably being the most famous. Many colourful stands with handicrafts and tasty delicacies are already waiting for you. The traditional sweet Frolle di Santa Lucia, a star-shaped Christmas cookie, is an absolute must. Verona’s historic backdrop quickly creates a fittingly reflective mood.
Milan’s Christmas markets
As soon as November turns into December, you can find a Christmas market on almost every corner of Milan. Few other Italian cities dedicate themselves as much to the pre-Christmas spirit. Piazza del Duomo has particularly neatly adorned streets and stands with charming nativity sets waiting for you. Families with children need to visit the fairy-tale village at Giardini Pubblici. Numerous attractions for the little ones and a special ice skating rink promise heaps of fun and joyful children’s laughter.
Brixen’s Advent market
When the pre-Christmas period puts its quiet, reflective spell on Brixen’s historic city centre, people bare their hearts. The large Advent market on Cathedral square in particular attracts friends of traditional handicraft. If you’re interested in carvings, pottery and woodwork, you’ve come to the perfect place. While children yearn for the arrival of Saint Nicholas on December 5th, adults are looking forward through a romantic ride through the historic city centre in a horse-drawn carriage.
Natale in Laguna in Venice
How about a pre-Christmas trip to the lagoon city of Venice? The virtually endless canals are lined by festive lighting and a reflective atmosphere. Natale in Laguna, the Christmas market on Campo Stefano, combines local delicacies with concerts. Experience Advent mood at the most beautiful Venetian sites during the event series Inverno Veneziano. Piazza San Marco is home to one of Italy’s largest Christmas trees.
Piazza Navona in Rome
It goes without saying that you’ll find an abundance of Christmas markets in Italy’s capital Rome. If you only have time to visit a single one, it has to be the Advent market on Piazza Navona. Be enchanted by the captivating atmosphere and lighting on one of the world’s most famous squares and listen to divine concerts in the surrounding roads and alleys.
Bologna’s Christmas markets
Bologna is home of many inspiring Christmas markets emanating a reflective atmosphere and a feeling of security from late November to Twelfth Day. The best way to discover the city’s pre-Christmas beauty is to go on a cosy walk from Advent market to Advent market. Similar to Verona, Bologna has a market dedicated to Saint Lucia at Santa Maria dei Servi. Fiera di Natale at Bologna Cathedral also needs to be part of your itinerary – Bologna’s traditional Advent site warms people’s hearts.
Siena’s Piazza del Campo
Visiting Siena’s Piazza del Campo usually means being an observer of the world-famous horse race Palio. What if you visited the most important square of the Tuscan city in the pre-Christmas period? Mercato del Campo usually takes place on the first weekend of December and only lasts two days, but both days are pretty spectacular. Christmas atmosphere meets classic Italian market experience here. You’ll come across cookies and Christmassy handicraft just as much as regional culinary delicacies from olive oil to pasta. If you like to shop, you must check out the Mercato!
Naples Christmas Alley
Via San Gregorio Armeno is home of numerous woodworking shops and thus also called “Christmas Alley” (Via del Presepe). The road becomes Naples’ largest Christmas market in late November. Delicate chocolates and pralines, children’s toys and, naturally, breath-takingly beautiful nativity sets are sold here. You can’t help but marvel while strolling up and down this very special market.
Borgo Dora in Turin
Turin’s historic district shines particularly bright in the pre-Christmas period. Borgo Dora is home of a very special Christmas market that combines traditional local delights with international crafts and treats. Look forward to delicacies and creative handicraft from Finland, Russia or Japan by approx. 150 exhibitors. Stop by the nativity museum and wrap up a great day with a neat cup of mulled wine.
Bolzano’s Christmas market
Experience a hint of Christmas in the mountains in the heart of the city on Bolzano’s Walther Square. The Dolomites serve as backdrop for this gorgeous market framed by several Christmas trees. Surrounded by nativity sets, food- and handicraft stands, dark chocolate and the famous cinnamon walnut strudel are waiting for new sweet-toothed homes. Divinely beautiful fairy lights shine just as bright as the snow-covered mountain summits.
Be enchanted by these ten Christmas markets from the warm, sunny south to the snow-covered mountains in the north. Why not combine your Advent visit with a short holiday – find many great suggestions for a stay in Italy on ZAINOO!