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The Christmas markets are very evocative and recreate a unique, almost magical atmosphere. If once they were the a main feature in some Eastern European cities, today they are a reality in many cities and towns scattered throughout Italy. The Christmas markets mainly sell products related to the holidays but also crafts by local artisans, who take advantage of the opportunity to advertise their goods.
These are events with a fairly long duration, meaning that save for exceptional cases, such as charity markets, it is easy to find markets that last for a long period of time, long enough to really allow everyone to visit, even those who have very little free time. The most famous and eagerly awaited market in Italy is Bolzano, the city “responsible” for having brought this beautiful tradition to the country, importing it from neighboring Germany.
One of the most awaited winter events of the year
The Christmas markets are among the most anticipated winter events of the year by Italian families, both by adults and children. They are organized in various cities of Italy and some are particularly beautiful and evocative. They perfectly recreate the “true” Christmas atmosphere, with its pure spirit that reconnects to tradition and allows us to rediscover the most important bonds. They originate mainly in Germany but were soon exported to the rest of Europe.
In general, they were organized in the coldest places in Europe, while in recent years they have increased significantly even in the hottest cities. The first Christmas market in Italy was that of Bolzano, in 1990. Today it is an event that is present like wildfire, from North to South, regardless of the climate of the region that hosts it. The cities that organize them are so many and the quality is better every year.
Let’s find out which ones are the best!
What are Christmas fairs?
Christmas markets are usually organized in typical wooden huts or well-lit stands. Everything that concerns Christmas is sold inside, regardless of the businesses that participates. In most markets there is background music to entertain visitors, usually Christmas themed, but the presence of live music offered by musicians or even professional bagpipers is also frequent. They recreate a priceless atmosphere with their instruments .
Apart from mixed-themed Christmas markets, there are also wine and food markets, linked to local Made in Italy craftsmanship and the expression of creativity. Not to mention the markets organized in castles or those sponsored by the FAI. Some are organized so well they even have a play area for children so as to allow parents to move calmly between the stalls and decide what to buy. Then there is often the possibility for the little ones to “meet Santa Claus” or send him a letter.
Here are the most beautiful Christmas Markets of 2017: dates and other info
The Bolzano market is certainly one of the most evocative in Italy, it will be open from 28 November to 6 January. The event is much awaited and well organized and on the official website you can find detailed guides to reach it and also request the availability of rooms or beds at the hotel partners of the initiative.
Lazio will host the Greccio markets, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. The stands will be open from 10 am to 6 pm and purchases will be enlivened by musical entertainment throughout the Christmas period, from the first days of December until the day of the Epiphany.
Other markets that deserve a visit in our opinion are:
- Bressanone, Piazza Duomo, 28 November – 6 January
- Trento, 22 November – 6 January
- Turin, Borgo Dora, from 4 to 23 December
- Florence, Piazza Santa Croce, from 3 to 21 December
Christmas Markets: south and Islands
As already mentioned, the tradition of Christmas markets is one that has spread like wildfire also affecting the warmer regions. In Naples, in Campania, it will be possible to admire the famous nativity scenes of San Gregorio Armeno, with its artisanal shepherds, open all year round but certainly priceless in the middle of winter. In Cosenza, Calabria, a wonderful Christmas market will cheer the citizens in the square of Casa Vittoria in the period between November 19 and January 6.
Sicily will bring high culinary traditions, pastry chefs and craftsmanship celebrating them with the market of Caltagirone, the city of nativity scenes, highly anticipated by Sicilians from around the world. The dates range from November 23rd to January 7th. Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Piazza Yenne will host the merchants and artisans of Cagliari, in Sardinia, during the period from December 1st to January 6th.