Italy, more popular for its art, architecture, food, and culture has some of the best Christmas markets as well. It is no surprise that Christmas here is more traditional and intimate. The Christmas markets in Italy may not be some of the bigger ones like you might see in some other countries, but they are certainly more elegant and the crowd will give you a sense of community. The size shouldn’t let you deceive, they cater to all of your needs. From beautiful handcrafted decorations to unique gifts, food, and much more. The Christmas markets in Italy will certainly woo you with their inclination for local products in a more intimate setting.
Top 5 Christmas markets in Italy
Bolzano Market & South Tyrol Area
Bolzano hosts the biggest Christmas market in Italy in the Piazza Walther. You will immediately feel the amalgamation of different cultures in the region of South Tyrol as it is along the border with Austria and Switzerland. There are dozens of wooden hut stands selling handicrafts such as wool, accessories, toys, and ornaments. The entire area will give off major Christmas vibes. Beautiful lights and candles adorned the streets of this elegant medieval town.
You can taste some amazing local delicacies while browsing through the stands soaking in all the festive feelings and buying gifts and decorations. Don’t forget to try Vin brulè (hot mulled wine) while browsing through the shops. You can enjoy the market and its atmosphere for more than a month. It opens on the 25th of November and will remain open till the 6th of January. Though it will remain closed on 25th December.
Rome Christmas Markets and Fairs
If you want a happy blend of international goods, local products, and delicacies while you can enjoy some Christmas concerts in a historic location then you can’t go wrong with this. It used to be bigger in the past but it is still among the most popular. It is situated among the beautiful fountains in the Piazza Navona. One of the specialities of this market is the numerous street artists and their performances that make the entire market lively.
There are tons of stalls and booths selling all kinds of stuff. From sweets, chocolates, and traditional gifts to various local delicacies that one can indulge in if you are a foodie. You will truly feel that Christmas spirit while perusing through this market listening to folk songs and enjoying various performances. Around the area, there is also a quieter venue for those who don’t want that hustle and bustle. Piazza Re di Roma is perfect for those who want a more easy-going and small market. The markets open in early December and stay open till January 6th.
Bologna Christmas Market
If you want to visit a market that feels more traditional and orthodox then this is the right place for you. You won’t feel the same commercial intent that can be witnessed in other spots. There are two markets in Bologna, i.e, Fiera di Santa Lucia, which is located around Basilica Santa Maria dei Servi, and the Fiera di Natale on Altabella. Even after being more traditional and festival oriented, the market size is still impressive and you will find all sorts of things.
It is a good spot if you want to get the feel of Christmas and shop around an area that will give you that festive vibe yet isn’t too crowded. You get all the popular stuff along with local crafts and, not to forget, the mouth-watering delicacies. Both the market for Christmas will start on 18th November but Fiera di Santa Lucia will close on 26th while the other one will remain open till 6th Jan.
Piazza Castello, Milan
The markets of Millan are some of the longest-running or oldest markets for Christmas. They date back to at least 1510. Originally, these paid homage to the city’s patron saint. But as time changed, the market did as well. Nowadays, it is certainly one of the most popular Christmas markets. It is also one of the bigger markets as you will find more than 350 small and big stalls in the market.
You will find this market lit with beautiful lights and traditional decorations. You can shop for handicrafts, antiques, clothing, toys, Christmas gifts, and much more. The market always feels lively and festive with ongoing activities and hoards of tourists browsing through stalls. And not to forget, you can always try plenty of sweet treats and festive food. It is perhaps a market that stays for one of the shortest duration. You can go here from 1st December to 6th January.
Naples Nativity Scene Extravaganza
Rarely anything will come close to what Naples has to offer in terms of the Christmas market, Christmas feel, and overall ambience and spirit of Christmas. It is the place where Christmas never ends so to say. They have special year-round markets dedicated to Christmas.
The highlights of Naples are Presepi or their nativity scene. These are something to witness, not only are they stunning but will teleport you straight into a festive mood. You can stroll down the beautiful alleyways filled with innumerable shops catering to every delight Christmas has to offer. It starts around mid-November. The street Via San Gregorio is a must-visit along with the live nativity scene at Piazza San. Gaetano.