Christmas markets in Italy

Christmas markets 2018: a guide to the most beautiful ones in Italy

Christmas is close! As the festivities approach, Christmas lights and decorations are being hanged and you start to breathe the magical atmosphere of this period. In the cities, particularly in Northern Italy, Christmas markets are set up. An ideal destination if you are looking for inspiration for a pre-Christmas getaway!

The 10 most beautiful Christmas markets in Italy

Let’s discover together the 10 most beautiful Christmas markets in Italy in 2018: from those of the Tyrolean and Germanic tradition in South Tyrol, to those that recall the French atmosphere in Piemonte and Val d’Aosta, up to those linked to the popular fairs of central and southern Italy, here is the list of Christmas markets that you can not miss, with advice on what to do:

  1. Bolzano, Trentino Alto Adige, 22nd November 2018 – 6th January 2019
  2. Merano, Trentino Alto Adige, 23rd November 2018 – 6th January 2019
  3. Bressanone, Trentino Alto Adige, 23rd November 2018 – 6th January 2019
  4. Vipiteno, Trentino Alto Adige, 23rd November 2018 – 6th January 2019
  5. Lago di Braies, Trentino Alto Adige, 1st and 2nd December; from 7th to 9th December; 15th and 16th December; 22nd and 23rd December 2018
  6. Lago di Carezza, Trentino Alto Adige, 1st and 2nd December; from 7th to 9th December; 15th and 16th December; 22nd and 23rd December 2018
  7. Trento, Trentino Alto Adige, 24th November 2018 – 6th January 2019
  8. Siena, Toscana, 1st and 2nd December 2018
  9. Aosta, Val d’Aosta, 24th November 2018 – 6th January 2019
  10. Napoli, Campania, all year around

The historical market of Bolzano

Mercatino Natale Bolzano

The one in Bolzano, with 28 years of history, is the oldest and biggest Christmas market in Italy. Here, as usual, are housed in Piazza Walther, the heart of the medieval old town, the characteristic wooden houses, where, among craft creations, Christmas choirs, canederli and strüdel, you can enjoy the true spirit of Christmas.

Merano Christmas market and thermal baths

Mercatino Natale Merano

Merano’s market is located in the beautiful setting of the promenade along the Passirio river,  where its wooden houses warm up the city atmosphere. At the end of the day, relax in the thermal baths at a short distance: a perfect combination of Christmas tradition and wellness! If you have time, spend an afternoon at the Sissi Path and at Castel Trauttmansdorff, her favorite residence.

Bressanone Christmas lights market 

Mercatino Natale Bressanone

Bressanone’s market is another one not to be missed in South Tyrol. For the occasion, the Piazza del Duomo is decorated with rows of lights that converge on the traditional tree in the middle: a truly evocative setting that will leave you speechless! But it is not the only reason to visit the city: the historic center is characterized by valuable baroque buildings, a legacy of the period when Bressanone was a bishop’s principality.

The medieval market of Vipiteno

Mercatino Natale Vipiteno

Outpost before the Austrian border, Vipiteno is a pretty medieval town, included in the list of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Here the tradition of the Christkindlmarkt is truly felt, and among the stands of agricultural products and regional delicacies, you will rediscover the taste of Christmas. Visit the market with a glass of glühwein and don’t forget to taste the famous yogurt!

The instagrammable market of Lago di Braies 

Mercatino Natale Lago di Braies

Lago di Braies is the most instagrammable place in Italy. Its secret? Mountains overlooking the crystal clear waters, forests, stilt houses and boats anchored at the pier, which makes this jewel of Alta Pusteria an unforgettable setting. If you love authentic things, there is no better place than this market, where, among choirs, you may want to take a ride on a horse sleigh on the frozen lake.

The magic of Lago di Carezza’s market 

Mercatino di Natale Lago di Carezza

A short distance from Bolzano, on the shores of Lago di Carezza in Val d’Ega, there is a particular Christmas market, with the wooden houses in the shape of lanterns that, reflecting on the water, generate a suggestive play of light and darkness. To make the atmosphere even more magical, an exhibition of ice and snow sculptures is set up, that recalls the legends of the Dolomites. To be visited as a couple, for a romantic getaway.

The two Christmas markets in Trento 

Mercatino di Natale Trento

In Trento there’s one of the most historic Italian markets, where the stands are set up in two parts of the city, in Piazza Fiera and Piazza Cesare Battisti. Here you will find the classic tree decorations, craft decorations and a food and wine section with many regional specialties including the parampampoli, a drink based on coffee, wine, brandy, sugar and honey, for the coldest days. An idea: the slopes of Monte Bondone are really close to Trento. Why not take advantage of it?

The market in Campo di Siena

Mercatino di Natale Siena

There are many reasons to visit Siena, and one more is the market held during Advent in Piazza del Campo, one of the oldest in Europe. The most important Tuscan gastronomic products are olive oil, pecorino, Cinta Senese, the saffron of San Gimignano and the traditional sweets, panforte, cavallucci and ricciarelli.

The Marché Vert Noël of Aosta

Mercatino Natale Aosta

Of French influence is the Christmas market of Aosta, which is in fact called Marché Vert Noël. Set up like a true alpine village with wooden houses, narrow streets, wooden bridges and a fir-tree forest, this lovely market is surrounded by the Roman ruins of the city, which are worth a visit after buying a grolla, a typical wooden cup for drinking Aosta Valley coffee.

Naples’ cribs

Mercatino di Natale Napoli

In Naples the atmosphere on Christmas is very characteristic and the center of the celebrations is in Via San Gregorio Armeno, the heart of Spaccanapoli, where the tradition of the cribs is more alive than ever. In the workshops and shops you will find not only pastors and the Three Wise Men, but also famous people, in a mix of sacred and profane that makes the Neapolitan cribs unique.

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