Listed below (thanks to the Italian Tourist Board) are some of the most interesting Christmas markets in Italy. Naple’s San Gregorio Armeno is one of the best, and is open all year.
Via San Gregorio Armeno is an entire street of workshops where you’ll find hand-carved nativity scenes, known as presepe. The wood-carving has been a Neapolitan tradition for centuries, and these days you’ll find more up-to-date figures. This means that characters like Berlusconi, or Serie A footballers, can be included in your Christmas scene.
Many Christmas markets continue until 5th January, known as ‘Befana’. This is when the ‘Good Witch’ delivers presents to ‘well-behaved’ children, and pieces of coal for naughty ones.
Via San Gregorio Armeno is famous for hand-carved nativity crib figurines, from traditional to the most sophisticated. This means that, at Christmas-time, it’s positively buzzing. Neapolitans choose replacement figurines, whether sacred or profane.
Via San Gregorio Armeno, all year round
Best of the rest:
ALTO ADIGE (South Tyrol/ Süd Tirol)
BOLZANO/BOZEN: ALPINE – MEDITERRANEAN CHRISTMAS
With the backdrop of the Rosengarten Dolomites, the streets of the medieval centre are a beautiful setting for this traditional market.
Piazza Walther/Waltherplatz, to 6 Jan 2016
Traditional handicrafts and local food.
Passeggiata Lungo Passirio/Piazza della Rena/Piazza delle Terme, to 6 Jan 2016
The Cathedral in the square has an 800 year-old Gothic cloister. Look out for the crib exhibition in the Episcopal Palace (Hofburg).
Piazza Duomo/Domplatz (Cathedral Square), to 6 Jan 2016
The 15th-century ‘Zwölfer-Turm’ presides over the Christmas market here. Besides that, the medieval town at 1,000 metres is hosting an exhibition related to the history of mining in nearby mountains.
Piazza città/Stadtplatz (Town Square), to 6 Jan 2016
BRUNICO/BRUNECK: HANDICRAFTS AND TRADITION
Traditional handicrafts are sold within the four gates of the medieval town walls.
Beside the Moat (Via Bastioni/Am Graben) and Town Hall Square (Nuovo Piazza Municipio/Neuer Rathausplatz), to 6 Jan 2016
Stalls and mini-chalets offering foods, wines and crafts
Piazza Fiera and Piazza Cesare Battisti, to 6 Jan 2016, www.mercatinodinatale.tn.it
There’s a mix of cultures here, with Neapolitan Christmas cribs on one side, and tree decorations from Salzburg on the other.
www.visitrovereto.it, 6 Jan 2016
ARCO, Lake Garda
Mulled wine, a Christmas bakery, local handicrafts and events, including camel rides. Besides that, there are craft workshops as well as a Santa parade, complete with reindeer.
To 3 January 2016
A snow-covered landscape, Austrian traditions and folk concerts, as well as the usual handicrafts.
To 6 Jan 2016
Artisans and local producers exhibit their wares from small wooden huts.
To 5 Jan 2016
Traditional decorations in glass, wood and ceramic, as well as typical patisserie and the famous Asiago cheese.
To 6 Jan 2016
An alpine village recreated in the heart of Aosta, as well as traditional handicrafts and accessories in wool, felt and leather.
To 6 Jan 2016.
Piazza Navona Christmas Market where you can find cribs, decorations and sweets. It reaches its zenith on the night of Befana, 5th January.
To 8 Jan 2016, www.turismoroma.it
Christmas fairs take place in various piazzas, including Campo S.Bartolomeo, Campo San Salvador, Campo San Luca, Campo Manin, Strada Nuova.
To 26 Dec 2015
Traditional Fair dedicated to Christmas where there are stalls of decorations for the Xmas tree, the nativity crib, food and wine and other delicacies.
Portico of Chiesa dei Servi in Strada Maggiore, to 26 Dec 2015
Christmas market with a skating rink.
Giardini Indro Montanelli, entry from Corso Venezia, to 11 Jan 2016