December is one of the best months to be in Italy, not only is it less saturated with people crowding the town centers in the height of the summer season – it also means the welcome arrival of the Christmas markets. In every major town around the country, streets exuberantly light up, adorned with lights and folly while markets dedicated to the holiday season open up to sell locally-made goods and plenty of hot, mulled wine. Everyone has their own personal favorites, but we compiled six of our favorites, from north to south. Have a look!
Mercatino di Natale di Arco, Trentino Alto Adige
The area of Trentino Alto Adige is particularly beautiful during the winter season, it holds one of the strongest traditions of seasonal markets in the country. For families, there is plenty to do and see, including the chance to meet Santa Clause and an advent calendar which is projected on the facades of the historical palazzos. The 2015 market is held in Piazza Fiera a nd in Piazza Cesare Battisti, open daily until January 6th. More info here.
Mercatino di Natale di Napoli
The king of the ‘nativity scenes’ in Italy which date back to the 11th century, the Christmas market in Naples features some of the best presipe handicraft around. They are located in in the streets of San Gregorio Armeno and San Biagio dei Librai, Open year round, more info can be found here (in Italian),
Mercatini di Natale a Roma – Piazza Navona
We could hardly not mention one of the most famous markets in Italy, the one located in piazza navona until January 6th will feature over 48 vendors selling all sorts of Christmas-related goods. You can also pick u a range of traditional sweets while you’re at it and visit some of the city’s most famous historical monuments. For an additional list of markets this season in the Eternal City, we recommend this post by Rome Wise.
Weihnachtsmarkt German Market in Florence, Tuscany until December 20th
One of my personal favorite markets naturally takes place in my adopted city of Florence. The German Christmas market that comes straight from Heidelberg, Germany. Currently on until the 20th of December, the square of Santa Croce is filled with wooden stands selling an array of international delights including artisan handicrafts, fuzzy slippers, scented soaps, Christmas trees, and plenty of food. Think sausages, gingerbread mulled wine, strudel and much more. Open daily from 10am-1opm.
“Marché Vert Noël” Christmas Market. Aosta, Aosta Valley, Until January 6th
The ‘Green Christmas Market’ in Aosta turns the Roman Theater into a beautiful alpine village where the magical atmosphere of natale can be felt in every corner. At each stand, you can find an array of locally-made handicrafts, ceramics, candles and light-fixtures, wool clothing, soap and much more. For those with a sweet tooth, you can rest assured that culinary delights and mulled wine will also be on-hand. Find more info here.
Address: Piazza Caveri, open daily from 10am-11pm.
Mercatino di Natale a Cortina d’Ampezzo
The fancy ski resort of Cortina on the Tofane mountains will turn its town center into a mystical Christmas atmosphere from now until the 5th of January. Artisans will sell an array of handmade goods, ornaments, and your typical mulled wine, chestnuts and other local delights will be on available. address: Corso Italia. Open weekdays 3pm-8pm, weekends 10am-8pm.
If this doesn’t make you book a ticket to Italy right away, we aren’t sure what will! Enjoy the magical season surrounding December and January and share your own favorite markets with us on social media.