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Christmas Markets in Italy 2023

Christmas Markets in Italy 2023

Alpine Italy lights up for the Christmas season with some of the best Christmas Markets on offer in Europe, combining Mediterranean flavours and German traditions, festive food and wine, gift ideas, decorations, and local handicraft. Here is a selection listed by each region.
ALTO ADIGE (South Tyrol/ Süd Tirol)

www.suedtirol.info

 

Bolzano/Bozen: Alpine - Mediterranean Christmas

 

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Bolzano hosts South Tyrol’s largest Christmas market, situated in Waltherplatz square, which is a breath-taking display of lights. The historical Old Town surrounding the square is also a magnificent sight in the lead-up to Christmas, adorned with care and at its most charming. Be sure not to miss the town hall square with its Christmas craft displays, Silbergasse street, Kornplatz square featuring a charity market, and the renowned arches housing traditional shops. What adds to the magic of it all is the unique blend of the Alps’ traditional conservative values and the relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle. The irresistible Waltherplatz square offers a diverse array of concerts and readings, along with a wealth of Christmas gifts and culinary delights. Don’t forget to try the Zelten, a traditional fruitcake with a delightful scent of cinnamon and cloves.

Welcome gates:

Information Point on Alto Adige 60 Street

Piazza Walther/Waltherplatz
Christmas Park (near the station
Ice skating rink at the Town Hall Square


Open from November 24, 2023, to January 6, 2024 (closed on December 25).

 

ORTISEI

 

Ortisei, the capital of Val Gardena, a UNESCO heritage site nestled in the heart of the Dolomites, will be transformed into the “Ortisei Christmas Village” this Christmas season. The entire pedestrian area will be adorned to recreate a magical Christmas ambiance.

 

Wooden stalls will showcase regional products, culinary delicacies, an extensive variety of desserts, wines, and premium spirits. Throughout the area, you’ll discover nativity scenes crafted in wooden sculptures.

In Piazza di Sant’Antonio, a wooden carousel featuring four mechanical horses will be installed, and in Piazza Stetteneck, you’ll have the opportunity to send a letter to Santa Claus in a special post-box.

 

An original Advent Calendar will be on display in Ortisei’s pedestrian zone, and on December 5th, following tradition, San Nicolò will wander through the town’s streets and homes, delivering gifts and sweets.

 

This enchanting experience is available from December 1, 2023, to January 7, 2024.

 

Bressanone/Brixen: Art and history

 

 

The Bressanone Christmas market is held against the magnificent backdrop of the Domplatz square, which features the cathedral, St. Michael’s Parish Church and the town hall. If you’re looking for some really special presents for friends and family, you’ll find lots of great ideas amongst the handmade Christmas decorations and wood carvings displayed on the stands.

 

If you are after tasty morsel, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the wide range of sweet and savoury South Tyrolean delicacies ranging from speck-flavoured dumplings with cabbage to Kaiserschmarrn and shredded pancakes.

 

Children will not believe their eyes when they see the historic steam carousel and people of all ages will love a gentle horse-drawn carriage ride and an exciting tour through the wintry Old Town of Bressanone. Afterwards you can warm yourself up with a mulled wine or hot apple juice and let the joyful Christmas mood work its magic. Or you could take a stroll to the Hofburg, the mighty former residence of Bressanone’s prince-bishops, which is home to the Diözesanmuseum with an impressive collection of cribs and other treasures.

 

Open from November 24 2023 to January 6 2024 (December 25 closed).

 

Merano: Sensual Delights and Relaxation

 

The stylish spa town of Merano exudes its own unique charm and unhurried pace, which becomes especially captivating during the festive season with its Christmas Market. As you amble along the Kurpromenade, the sound of the Passer River’s waters serenades you, while the delightful scents of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine waft through the air.

 

It is impossible not to pause and be entranced by the diverse selection of exquisite locally crafted products. There are numerous ways to escape the holiday hustle and bustle. You can partake in an enchanting torch-lit city tour, explore the city via well-maintained walking trails, or unwind in the modern thermal baths. Children can expend their energy at the ice rink on Thermenplatz Square or lose track of time while enjoying the varied activities at Goldys Häuschen on Pfarrplatz Square.

 

Art enthusiasts will also find much to delight in at the Kunst Meran Museum, the Palais Mamming, and the Landesfürstliche Burg. For those who enjoy venturing a bit farther, there are many small yet splendid Christmas markets to be discovered in the vicinity of Merano.

 

This enchanting experience is available from November 24, 2023, to January 6, 2024.

 

VIPITENO/STERZING: LIVING TRADITIONS

 

 

Vipiteno, South Tyrol’s northernmost and highest-altitude city, plays host to an irresistible Christmas market in the town square, creating an enchanting festive atmosphere that can only be found in the heart of the Alps. As Christmas approaches, the beautifully illuminated 15th-century Zwölferturm tower features a nativity scene exhibition and towers gracefully over the picturesque Stadtplatz Square. Here, wooden stalls offer a wide array of locally handmade regional and traditional products, ensuring that shopping and tasting become unforgettable pleasures.

 

The vibrant facades adorned with oriel windows lend the pedestrian zone, which is home to numerous appealing shops, its distinctive character and bear witness to Vipiteno’s historical significance as a major mining and trading city. The region boasts a mining heritage dating back over 800 years, and special tours through the Ridnaun-Schneeberg Mining World vividly bring this era to life.

 

From Vipiteno’s pedestrian area, winter sports enthusiasts are just a five-minute walk away from the Rosskopf Valley Station. This not only offers an abundance of fun on a variety of ski slopes but also boasts Italy’s longest floodlit and artificially snow-covered sledding trail.

 

This delightful experience is open from November 23, 2023, to December 1, 2024.

 

Brunico/Bruneck: handicrafts and tradition

 

 

The city of Brunico, nestled in the heart of the Pustertal Valley, is a captivating blend of alpine tradition, a passion for mountains and nature, and a genuine spirit of innovation. The city’s vibrant energy comes to life at its Christmas market along the Graben and in Tschurtschenthaler Park. On those chilly winter days and nights, the wooden stalls showcase a delightful array of woven and knitted textiles, organic herb teas, and schnapps, along with a wide selection of high-quality regional products that can be either gifted or savored.

 

Children can try their hand at ice skating in the town hall square, while adults can enjoy leisurely window shopping in the Old Town and explore its charming boutiques. The upper town, surrounding Mary’s Column, exudes the same lively atmosphere, and the Palais Sternbach hosts intriguing exhibitions of both new and traditional craftsmanship, complete with handicraft demonstrations.

 

A short stroll to the Schlossberg is also highly recommended. The medieval Schloss Bruneck castle is home to the Messner Mountain Museum Ripa, and the Bergfried offers stunning panoramic views of the city, the mountains, and the Kronplatz ski area.

 

Open from November 24, 2023, to January 6, 2024, with the exception of December 25th when it is closed.

 

TRENTINO

 

www.visittrentino.it

 

TRENTO

 

The Trento Christmas Market in Piazza Fiera is renowned as one of the region’s most famous holiday markets. This market also sprawls into Piazza Cesare Battisti, where numerous stalls and mini chalets showcase a diverse array of Trentino’s exceptional foods, wines, and crafts.

 

Open from November 18, 2023, to January 7, 2024 (closed on December 25).

 

ARCO, Lake Garda

 

 

It is the season of lights, colours, and the delightful flavours of Christmas in the heart of Hapsburg Arco. With forty market booths scattered throughout the town centre, you will find a variety of Christmas tree decorations, gift ideas, handmade crafts, and delicious local treats. As night falls, special evening events enhance the festive atmosphere of the Arco Christmas Market.

 

Children can enjoy camel rides on Ali or take a pony ride, and there are engaging crafting workshops, a lively Santa Claus parade alongside his reindeer, and the chance to ride one of the colourful little trains that traverse Arco.

 

Open from November 18, 2023, to January 6, 2024.

 

ROVERETO

In Rovereto’s historic centre, charming wooden houses, fragrant resins, crisp fresh air, a star-studded sky, and a touch of snow will transport you into the enchanting Christmas ambiance. As you stroll through the streets, you will discover an array of offerings, including artistic handcrafted items, clothing, delectable sweets, typical regional cuisine, and wines. This delightful experience unfolds throughout the entire historical centre, amid palaces, squares, and museums.

 

Open from November 24, 2023, to January 6, 2024.

LEVICO TERME

The enchanting Habsburgs Park of Levico, resembling a fairy tale setting, plays host to a multitude of market stalls each year. This tradition harks back to the days when the Habsburgs chose Levico as their summer residence. When the snow blankets the landscape, the park transforms into a winter wonderland with around 30 market booths nestled among the towering trees.

 

Here, you can find an array of local handicrafts, Christmas tree decorations, gift ideas, and regional products like honey, “Luganega” – a local meat specialty, and boar ham. The atmosphere is filled with music and entertainment, featuring folk music groups, an Elf Village for the kids, an exhibition showcasing over 100 nativity scenes, and a series of concerts that round out the extensive offerings of the Christmas Market.

 

Open from November 25, 2023, to January 6, 2024, with a brief closure on December 25.

 

VENETO

 

www.veneto.to

 

ASIAGO

The Piazza Carli gardens are home to Asiago’s Christmas Market. Numerous stalls will offer traditional decorations crafted from glass, wood, and ceramic, along with typical Asiago pastries, natural products, and the renowned Asiago cheese. You will also find stalls offering local dishes and mulled wine.

 

Open from November 11, 2023, to January 7, 2024. In November, the Christmas Gardens will be open only on weekends, while in December, they will be open from December 2nd to 4th, December 7th to 11th, and December 16th to 18th. Starting from December 20th, they will be open every day until January 7, 2024.

VERONA

 

Every year, Verona becomes the host of a Nuremberg-style Christmas Market situated in the central Piazza dei Signori. This German-inspired market features the customary huts, elegantly illuminated and adorned, offering a delightful array of traditional foods, handcrafted items, Christmas tree decorations, nativity scenes, and delectable specialties such as mulled wine, Stollen and Lebkuchen cakes, bratwurst, and more.

Open from November 11, 2023, to December 26, 2023.

 

BASSANO DEL GRAPPA

 

At the Bassano del Grappa Christmas market, you’ll have the chance to admire exquisite gift ideas, unique Christmas decorations, and delectable local culinary offerings. Additionally, you can explore a wide array of products from across Italy, including wooden and fabric creations and intriguing curiosities showcasing Italian craftsmanship. Piazzotto Montevecchio will host the Carousel of Wooden Horses, while Santa’s House, enlivened by elves and the iconic bearded grandfather, will grace Piazza della Libertà.

Children can personally deliver their letters and enjoy a ride on the Lilliputzian Train, which will traverse the streets of the city centre. A new addition this year is the eco-friendly ice-skating rink, set to transform the historic Wooden Horse Carousel from mid-December until the Epiphany.

To conclude the Christmas festivities, the Epiphany Festival will be celebrated on January 6. The wooden chalets of the “Christmas Market” will be open from November 27 to December 26, 2023.

 

AOSTA VALLEY

AOSTA

 

The recipe for the “Marché Vert Noël,” one of the Alps’ most renowned Christmas markets, owes its success to its setting. Nestled within the heart of Aosta, this vibrant alpine village is awash with music and lights. It comes to life with winding roads, picturesque squares, charming bridges, rustic wooden chalets, and a genuine fir forest.

Visitors can wander through the “streets” of this charming village, either in search of a special gift or simply to admire the traditional craftsmanship on display. From ceramics and wooden items to wool, felt, leather, and hemp accessories, as well as Christmas decorations and delectable regional products, the market offers a diverse array of treasures.

 

Open from November 25, 2023, to January 7, 2024, except for 2 pm openings on December 25th and January 1st.

 

FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA

 

www.turismo.fvg.it

 

TRIESTE

In Trieste, you can immerse yourself in the old-world allure of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire at its Christmas Market, located in Piazza Sant’Antonio and the adjacent streets. Here, you will find a delightful array of typical Trieste foods and wines, Christmas decorations, artificial snow, and a festive backdrop of songs and music to enhance the visitor’s experience during the holiday season.

 

Open from December 7, 2023, to January 1, 2024.

 

UMBRIA

Luci sul Trasimeno

Throughout the Christmas season, Castiglione del Lago undergoes a stunning transformation into a winter wonderland, offering more than 40 days of shows, attractions, and entertainment suitable for both the young and the young at heart. It also boasts the world’s largest Christmas tree drawn on water, casting a spellbinding ambiance for an unforgettable Christmas experience.

Open from December 8, 2023, to January 7, 2024.

Umbria Jazz Winter

Almost 30 years of history for one of the most awaited events by the UJ audience. Soul, jazz, gospel, and funk resound on the crowded streets of the amazing town of Orvieto, following the unique and magical experience of an unforgettable festival. Start the new year with the right rhythm!

Open from December 30 to January 3, 2024.

 

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.

 

BOLOGNA

 

 

The Santa Lucia market unfolds at the Portico dei Servi, nestled beside the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi in the heart of Bologna’s city centre. This location features an open area graced by lofty marble columns. The time-honoured fair is a celebration of Christmas, featuring an array of stalls brimming with decorations for Christmas trees, nativity scenes, gourmet delights, and other festive delicacies.

 

Open from November 16, 2023, to December 26, 2023.

VENICE

 

Christmas fairs grace various squares (campo) in Venice, including Campo S. Bartolomeo, Campo San Salvador, Campo San Luca, Campo Manin, and Strada Nuova, where you can discover the “Venice Christmas Fair.” Additionally, you can explore a Christmas Market in Mestre, complete with an ice rink at Piazza Ferretto.

Open from December 2 to December 24, 2023.

 

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, consisting of wooden huts and stalls selling Italian and German delicacies, decorations, handicrafts.

 

Open from November 29 to December 24, 2023. 

 

NAPLES

The renowned Gregorio Armeno, a narrow street famous worldwide for its handcrafted Nativity Crib figurines, attracts both Neapolitans and tourists during the Christmas season. From traditional to intricate pieces, the street buzzes with activity.

 

Furthermore, the National Railway Museum of Pietrarsa undergoes a transformation into a Christmas wonderland, hosting the Naples Christmas Markets. This extraordinary event invites visitors to see, experience, and savour the holiday spirit.

 

Spanning approximately 36,000 square meters, the museum encompasses seven nineteenth-century pavilions with breath-taking views of the Gulf of Naples. Inside, a collection of approximately 55 vehicles, including steam locomotives, carriages, and railway relics, is meticulously preserved.

 

Visitors will be captivated by the charm of the wooden houses, the melodies of street artists and bands, the festive lights and colours of Christmas, and the delightful aromas of the food area. This area features the finest Campania food and wine producers, offering a unique journey that blurs the line between imagination and reality.

 

Open from December 6, 2023, to January 6, 2024.

MILAN

 

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. Do not miss the lighting of the Christmas tree at the centre of the square.

 

Open from November 1, 2023, to January 6, 2024.

 

 

Il villaggio delle meraviglie

 

A 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.

Open from November 18, 2023, to January 7, 2024.