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Top 7 Christmas Markets in Italy | Insight Guides

Top 7 Christmas markets in Italy

Italy is a wonderful place to be in the run-up to Christmas. Its markets are a merry mix of Alpine and Mediterranean traditions, with a wealth of delicious festive treats to boot. To help you, here is our selection of the top Christmas markets in Italy. Buon Natale!
Bolzano Christmas market, Italy. Photo: dolomite-summits/Shutterstock
Bolzano Christmas market, Italy. Photo: dolomite-summits/Shutterstock

Italy lights up during the festive season with numerous Christmas markets taking place across the country. They all have their own distinct flavor and style, with the northern ones more Germanic in theme and atmosphere. Here is our pick of the very best:

1. Trento

Trento Christmas Market is one of the most festive in Italy's Trentino region. Spreading from Piazza Fiera to Piazza Cesare Battisti, the market has very Alpine in feel, with mini-chalet stalls selling a wide selection of the region's delicious specialities. These treats include bread dumplings known as canderli and the very Germanic strudel. There are also plenty of Trentino wines to choose from, as well as local crafts.

Open: 23 Nov 2019 – 6 Jan 2020 (closed 25 Dec)

Trento Christmas Market angels. Photo: lorenza62/Shutterstock

2. Bolzano

Soak up the magic of Christmas in the mercantile town of Bolzano, in Italy's Alto Adige region. Bolzano's Piazza Walther, in the medieval center, is steeped in festive scents and sounds throughout its romantic arcaded streets and picturesque lanes. And the backdrop of the Rosengarten Dolomites only adds to the fairytale experience. Very Germanic in feel, you can feast on strudel and apple fritters. Children will have a fun time too, with a miniature train, a merry-go-round and puppet shows to keep them entertained. 

Open: 28 Nov 2019 – 6 Jan 2019 (closed 25 Dec)

Carousel at Bolzano Christmas Market, Italy. Photo: Stefano_Valeri/Shutterstock

3. Verona

The hometown of Romeo and Juliet plays host every year to a Christmas Market in the central Piazza dei Signori. Stalls housed in traditional wooden huts sell a variety of typical food, handicrafts, decorations, and cribs, for all your Christmas shopping needs. As well as this, you'll find heart-warming mulled wine, stollen and lebkuchen cakes, bratwurst sausages and more. Spend a day exploring Verona as part of Insight Guides' Enchanting Italian Lakes trip

Open: TBC

Christmas market stall offering decorations in Verona, Italy. Photo: r.nagy/Shutterstock

4. Aosta

The success of this 'Marché Vert de Noël', one of the most renowned Christmas markets in the Alps, is explained by its fabulous location inside a Roman arena. The arena is filled with a forest of fir trees and little wooden huts selling traditional handicrafts such as ceramics, handmade candles, woolly sweaters, Christmas decorations and tempting local foodie produce.

Open: 23 Nov 2019 – 6 Jan 2020

5. Florence

The Mercato Tedesco di Natale on the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence is, as its name suggests (tedesco is Italian for German), Germanic in feel. In fact, it is inspired more specifically by the annual festive market in the picturesque German city of Heidelberg. Think wooden huts and stalls selling Italian and German delicacies, decorations and more. Don't miss the superb Nativity scene on Piazza del Duomo, with its life-size terracotta statues made by an artisan of Impruneta, a village in the outskirts of Florence. 

Open:  23 Nov 2019 – 22 Dec 2019 

Christmas is a magical time to visit Florence, Italy. Photo: GypsyGraphy/Shutterstock

6. Bologna

Bologna is home to one of the oldest Christmas markets in Italy. It spreads out over two locations: the Fiera di Natale market in front of the 12th-century San Pietro Cathedral, and the smaller Antica Fiera di Santa Lucia in the cloisters Santa Maria dei Servi church, where it has been based each year since 1796. As ever in Bologna, La Grassa ('the fat') gastronomy is a key part of the market, especially torrone (nougat) and marzipan fruit creations. Bologna's Nativity scene is unique in that it includes two characters found nowhere else: ‘The Wonder’, a woman who stands in awe at the infant Christ, and the male ‘Sleeper’, who lies slumbering in the background.

Open: 21 Nov 2019 – 6 Jan 2020

Bologna Christmas tree by night. Photo: zolli/Shutterstock

7. Naples

It's Christmas all year-round in Naples. It may be the only southern city on our list, but it is worth the special trip for its unique Nativity Scene figurines, handcrafted by master artisans in their workshops lining the narrow Via San Gregorio Armeno. The figurines vary from the traditional Holy Family to caricatures of famous historic people. The craftsmanship is incredible, with prices to match. Book onto Insight Guides' Best of South Italy: Rome, Naples, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast today to experience Christmas in Naples this year. 

The shops on Via San Gregorio Armeno are open all year round.

Open: TBC 

Ready to take a trip to Italy?

Simply get in touch with us to share ideas for your trip and let us know when you would like to travel. Our local experts will then create a personalized itinerary especially based on your preferences, which you can amend until you're completely happy with every detail before booking. Our existing itineraries in Italy can offer inspiration, and keep in mind that all of our planned itineraries can be tailored to suit your specific requirements.

Updated 20 November, 2019