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Best Christmas Markets in Italy

Best Christmas Markets in Italy


Christmas is a magical time of year that brings with it the joy and Christmas cheer of Christmas markets in regions of Italy.

Italy is a country of romance and beautiful things, from its art to its cuisine. Italy has all that you could hope for with Christmas markets, too! Some Christmas Markets in Italy date back almost 300 years. Many markets in Italy begin in late November or on December 8th, the holiday celebrating the Immaculate Conception.

Some of the most charming markets are found in the snow-capped regions of Alto Adige (South Tyrol/ Süd Tirol) near the Austrian border but also in urban centers like Milan, Florence and Bologna. The

Although there are hundreds of markets around Italy, here we share some of our favorites.

Ortisei

Ortisei Christmas Market / Photo Val Gardena Tourist Board

Ortisei is the capital of Val Gardena, a Unesco heritage site set in the heart of the Dolomites and this Christmas will be transformed into the “Ortisei Christmas Village” through the entire pedestrian area, recreating a magical Christmas atmosphere.

The wooden houses display regional products and food and wine specialties, a rich assortment of desserts, wines and fine spirits and throughout the area there will be nativity scenes in wooden sculptures.

In the Piazza di Sant’Antonio, a wooden carousel with four mechanical horses will be set up whilst in Piazza Stetteneck there will be the opportunity to post the letter for Santa Claus in the special post box.


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An original Advent Calendar will be displayed in the pedestrian area of ​​Ortisei and on 5th December, as per tradition, San Nicolò wanders through the streets and houses of the town bringing gifts and sweets.

Open from 2rd Dec.2022 to 8th Jan. 2023 (25th Dec, 5th-7th Dec, 12th-15th Dec, 19th-22nd Dec, 26th-29th closed, 2nd-5th January closed)

Merano: Sensual Delights and Relaxation

The fashionable spa town of Merano has style and its own leisurely rhythm, which is impressively evident with its Christmas market during the festive season. As you stroll along the Kurpromenade, you can hear the waters of the Passer river and smell the enchanting aroma of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine. You simply have to stop and marvel at the wide range of beautiful regional hand-crafted products. And there are so many ways to escape the hustle and bustle. You can join an atmospheric torch-lit city tour, explore the city on one of the well-kept walking trails or relax in the modern thermal baths. Children can let off steam at the ice rink on the Thermenplatz square or forget all about the time as they enjoy the varied programme in Goldys Häuschen on the Pfarrplatz square. There’s also much for art lovers to enjoy at the Kunst Meran museum, the Palais Mamming and the Landesfürstliche Burg. And those who love to wander further afield will find lots of small but rather splendid Christmas markets around Merano.

Location: City Centre, Open from 25th Nov 2022 to 6th Jan  2023

Bolzano/Bozen: Alpine – Mediterranean Christmas

Christmas ornaments at Bolzano Christmas market / Photo C. Abernethy

Bolzano is home to South Tyrol’s largest Christmas market. It’s held in the Waltherplatz square and though the whole square is a dazzling spectacle of light. The historical Old Town around the square is also a glorious sight before Christmas – lovingly decorated and at its most picturesque. Don’t miss the town hall square with its Christmas display of handicrafts, the Silbergasse street and the Kornplatz square with its charity market, and the famous arches with their traditional shops. But what makes it all so magical is the special mix of the traditional conservative values of the Alps and the easy-going Mediterranean lifestyle. An irresistible attraction is the Waltherplatz square with its varied range of concerts and readings, not forgetting the plethora of Christmas gifts and culinary delights on offer. You should sample the Zelten, a traditional fruitcake, with its delicious aroma of cinnamon and carnations.

Location: Waltherplatz square, Open from 25th Nov. 2022 to 6th Jan. 2023 (25th Dec. closed)

CHRISTMAS IN THE CITIES

Christmas is a well loved tradition all over Italy and traditional Christmas markets and fairs can be found all over the peninsula in the most important cities.

 Verona

Christmas star over the Verona Arena / Photo Pcdazero

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: 25th November 2022 – 24th December 2022

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. In front of the church building there is a airy space surrounded by porticoes of tall marble columns.

This traditional Fair dedicated to Christmas, stalls full of decorations for the Xmas tree, the nativity crib, food and wine and other delicacies.

Location: Portico of  Chiesa dei Servi in Strada Maggiore

Open: 11 November 2022 to 26 Dec. 2022

Venice

Christmas fairs in various piazzas (campo) in Venice: Campo S.Bartolomeo, Campo San Salvador, Campo San Luca, Campo Manin, Strada Nuova (where you can find the “Venice Christmas Fair”).  You can also find a Christmas Market in Mestre with ice rink in Piazza Ferretto. Another ice rink is located in Venice in Piazza San Polo.

Location: On the Island of Murano you can find “Christmas of Glass”  from December 5th 2022 to January 6th. 2023, with hand-crafted baubles and the Tunnel of Lights, a spectacular glasswork regatta.

Florence

Christmas carousel in Florence

Mercato Tedesco di Natale (German  Christmas Market)

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.

Location: Piazza Santa Croce

Open: 20 November – 19 December 2022

Naples

Nativity 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.

In addition, the National Railway Museum of Pietrarsa will transform into the city of Christmas, by hosting the Naples Christmas Markets, a great event to see, experience and taste.

The entire museum area, which extends over an area of ​​about 36,000 square meters, is made up of seven nineteenth-century pavilions overlooking the Gulf of Naples, and inside them is kept a collection of about 55 vehicles including steam locomotives, carriages and relics railway,

The charm of the wooden houses, the melodies of street artists and street bands, the lights and colors of Christmas, the flavors and aromas of the food area with the presence of the main producers of excellence in Campania food and wine, will experience a journey for visitors unique between imagination and reality.

Open from 3rd Dec 2022 to 8th Jan 2023.

Milan

Christmas in Milan / Photo C. Abernethy

The market in piazza Duomo is the largest Christmas market in the city: it hosts over 60 wooden chalets that sell traditional Christmas gifts and handicrafts, as well as a wide range of local food delicacies. One of the fundamental moments is the lighting of the Christmas tree at the centre of the Square

Location: Piazza Duomo
Open from 25th Nov. 2022 to 06th Jan. 2023 

Il villaggio delle meraviglie

Christmas market and other seasonal activities for adults and children takes place in these gardens in the centre of Milan, with a skating rink, Santa’s House and shows with various performance artists throughout the festive season.

Lcation: Giardini Indro Montanelli, entry from Corso Venezia.

Open: 19th Nov. 2022 – 8th January 2023

Milan also hosts every year 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.

Location: Piazza Castello

Open 7th Dec- 11th Dec, 2022

Article by Stefania Gatta

For more information about tourism in Italy visit
ENIT – Italian National Tourist Board

All information was correct at the time of publication, times and venues may change. Contact the regional tourist boards for more information.


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Easy Milano is the online publication for the international community of Milan. We offer practical tips, key information and essential insights about living and working in Italy. Easy Milano has been assisting English speaking expats in Milan since 1999.
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