Best Christmas markets in Italy
(and cities illuminations)
13 best Christmas markets in Italy
1. Christmas markets of Merano (Bolzano)
2. Christmas markets of Bolzano
3. Christmas markets of Trento
4. Christmas markets of Grazzano Visconti (Piacenza)
5. Christmas Markets of Bressanone (Bolzano)
6. Christmas markets of Vipiteno (Bolzano)
7. Verona Christmas Markets
8. Christmas markets of Santa Maria Maggiore (Verbano-Cusio-Ossola)
9. Christmas Markets of Florence
10. Christmas candle markets (Pesaro and Urbino)
11. Levico Terme Christmas markets
12. Green World Garden Village of Santa Claus
13. Christmas Markets of Rango
Are there Christmas markets in Italy?
Throughout Europe, December is synonymous with Christmas markets.
Despite the tradition is german, in recent years Italy has quickly adapted to the trend of organizing Christmas markets and villages to accompany the festivity.
If in Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, given the geographical proximity and in part the cultural and linguistic affinity with Austria, that of the markets is a consolidated tradition, it is only recently that in the great majority of the country the cities started to propose Christmas-themed markets, often accompanied by events and shows that complete the program of initiatives in the festive period.
From north to south of Italy, therefore, is a swarm of craft stalls, gastronomic products, concerts and houses of Santa Claus, which often accompany shopping until the feast of the Befana.
As mentioned, the region with the best tourist offer in this sense is Trentino-Alto Adige, where practically every place, from the cities to the small alpine villages, offers picturesque Christmas markets of great quality.
Just think of the markets in South Tyrol, such as Bolzano, Vipiteno, Bressanone, Brunico, and Merano, which are now considered classics of European Christmas markets, but also those of Trentino are growing in popularity, as in Trento, Levico Terme, and Rovereto.
However, we cannot limit ourselves to just one area: it is now the whole of Italy that has adopted this tradition.
In fact, some historical fairs related to Christmas have existed for a long time, as happens for the Fair of Santa Lucia in Bologna, the Fair of Oh, Bej! Oh, Bej! in Milan, or the spectacular manger characters in Naples, now famous all over the world.
Many villages scattered throughout the Alps lend themselves perfectly to the occasion, thanks to architectural features that give the impression of having been designed for a Christmas fairy tale.
So Santa Maria Maggiore in Piemonte, Sauris in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, but also Grazzano Visconti in Emilia-Romagna or Candelara in the Marche, to mention only some of the most loved by Christmas tourism.
Even the biggest cities organize the Christmas markets: in Turin, Verona, Florence, and Perugia, among many, the markets animate the historic center for the duration of the holidays.
Also, the coastal towns have adapted quickly to the new trend: so in Liguria, these villages propose markets on the waterfront, while the resorts of the Riviera Romagnola attract thousands of visitors with a very rich and attractive commercial offer.
In the south, on the other hand, the strong Catholic tradition is manifested in many areas with nativity scenes, be they living or simple artistic representations, as in the case of Matera, that can boast a truly enviable location such as that of the Sassi.
In short, from Sardinia to Lombardy, passing through Puglia and the medieval villages of Umbria, everywhere you can now find Christmas markets during the Advent weekend and often also on weekdays until Epiphany.
At the top of this page, you will find a selection of all the best Christmas markets and villages in Italy.
Below, instead, we propose a list of the most beautiful and famous Christmas events in our country.
Our top 5 Italian Xmas markets
Bolzano Christmas market
Bolzano is one of the most famous Christmas markets in Italy, with its colorful lights and the scent of cinnamon and mulled wine in the air.
The 80 wooden houses of the christkindlmarkt are placed in Walther square on November 23 and remain there until January 6. Between craftsmanship and technology, the Christmas market in Bolzano welcomes and enthuses young and old, who are transported, as if by magic, in a magical and fairy-tale world.
There is also the delightful opportunity to visit the medieval streets of Bolzano and its many museums. And how not to take advantage of the gastronomic offer of the city, including speck, dumplings, and above all, the strüdel, watered by superlative red wines.
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Merano Christmas market
We don’t have to travel much to find another of the most beautiful Christmas markets in our country: the Christmas market in Merano (province of Bolzano).
The walk along the Passirio hosts about 80 stands, from November 24 to January 6. Medieval stalls and wooden houses offer homemade cakes, wooden handicrafts, glass or wool.
In Piazza Terme, there are 6 colored Christmas balls – the Kugln– offering typical South Tyrolean dishes (you must book them in advance!). Honey wine is one of the specialties not to be missed, as is Feuerzangbowle, the traditional German drink to be drunk boiling.
But the Christmas market is not the only reason to visit Merano: the beautiful town of South Tyrol has the castle of the Habsburgs and also the castle Trauttmannsdorf, where the Princess Sissi resided, with a splendid botanical garden.
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Rango Christmas market
Also in Trentino, the Rango Christmas Market (TN) takes place from November 19th to December 30th. A few kilometers from Lake Garda, Rango di Bleggio is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and hosts a market with a unique setting.
Instead of the stands, it is the old farmhouses that host the stalls: in the stables, in the cellars, in the porches. For children, there is the "game room", where they can do creative workshops, reading fairy tales and play many games together.
There are also many events that take place inside the market: parades, exhibitions, theatrical performances, concerts, folk dances, show cooking. And then there is the beautiful village of Rango, with its houses and its narrow streets, which is worth the trip.
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Levico Terme Christmas market
The Christmas Market of Levico Terme (TN) is hosted in one of the most beautiful and characteristic places of Italy: the Habsburg Park.
From November 25th to January 6th, among the centuries-old trees of the Park are positioned the 60 wooden houses that display the artisan and gastronomic products of the place.
The paths are illuminated by the lights on the trees that guide visitors into an almost enchanted world. Among Christmas melodies and the scent of spices, you can taste the flavors of the land but also know the farm animals, loved especially by children.
Always dedicated to the little ones, Santa Claus and his elf helpers will collect the letters with hidden desires and try to fulfill everyone’s wishes.
In addition, at the Christmas market of Levico Terme, you can admire more than one hundred nativity scenes made by local and national artisans.
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Santa Claus Green World Garden Village
Different atmosphere than the others but equally striking: Santa’s Village Mondo Verde Garden, in Taneto di Gattaticco (RE), is the largest indoor Christmas market in Italy.
In an area of over 4000 square meters, you are totally immersed in a Christmas atmosphere with many decorations, lighting for all tastes, over 300 types of Christmas trees, nativity crafts but also dishes, textiles and accessories for decorating your home.
The Santa Claus Village is open from 27 October to 7 January and is the ideal place where tradition meets innovation and modernity.
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Best Christmas illuminations in Italy
For Christmas lovers, the countdown has already begun. A few weeks and in the Italian cities will appear decorations, markets, and illuminations.
The desire to visit places where to immerse yourself in this magic is common to many, as well as to appreciate the lights that make even more fascinating the historical centers of our country. But having to choose, what are the most beautiful Christmas lights in Italy of 2019?
The illuminations of Salerno are the most famous of Italy, an absolute must for lovers of Christmas lights.
For the fourteenth edition, there will be many novelties. If the theme is still top secret, the program is already known, there will be seven new sites of light coverage that will be added to those that have already won the hearts of visitors.
According to rumors, there will not be the famous penguins bright, in their place may appear some fascinating dolphins.
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In a few years, Gaeta’s illuminations have won a place among the most beautiful and famous in Italy. The program of the 2019 edition has not yet been announced.
What is certain is that from November 3rd the lights will come back to light the city revealing the many novelties of the fourth edition in which there will also be a Christmas market doubled compared to the previous year.
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After the shows of the past years, Milan is preparing for an even brighter 2019 Christmas.
From November 23th to January 13th the lights will be lit in different areas of Milan.
Nothing has yet been revealed about what will be the installations, but the certainty is that Milan this year will do big things.
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From 31st October 2019 to 13 January 2020 Turin will host the twenty-third edition of Artist lights.
A real exhibition of contemporary art in the open air, with works by Italian and foreign artists that can be admired throughout the city.
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La Spezia illuminations
This year lovers of lighting will absolutely have to consider visiting La Spezia.
The administration has allocated more than 200,000 euros for installations in the center and the suburbs.
We are talking about 16 kilometers with bridge lights to illuminate streets, squares, and porches. Do not miss.
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