Searching for the best Christmas markets in Italy? Look no more! These Italy Christmas markets are the ones you should visit in 2022.
Best Christmas Markets in Italy
So, here we are again! It’s December, which means that Christmas is coming!
And what is the most essential element of a traditional Christmas celebration in Italy? Exactly, Christmas markets!
As you may probably know, Christmas is a very important celebration for Italians. I won’t exaggerate if I say that almost every Italian city has its own market.
And when there is such an abundance of fairs, the question is, which are the ones that are actually worth a visit?
I’m a fan of slow travel and believe with all of my heart that little towns in Italy can beat some bigger and more monumental cities. That’s why this article is all about medieval villages and small towns (except Bolzano).
So, here they are, the most magical Christmas markets in Italy that are waiting for you this December!
Planning to spend a winter holiday in Italy? Find out what the best places to visit in Italy in December are.
Did you know that Bolzano is where the Italian Christmas market tradition was born?
Hosting the first Christmas market in Italy in 1991, Bolzano built a foundation for spreading this beautiful tradition all over the country.
Located in Trentino-Alto Adige province in the north of Italy, the Bolzano Christmas Market has an atmosphere of a winter fairytale and welcomes thousands of visitors every year.
From November 25th to January 6th, Piazza Walther transforms into a magical place with 80 decorated stalls where traditional Christmas food and lovely crafts await you.
Whether you’re planning to spend your Christmas holiday as a couple or with kids, the Bolzano is the best Christmas market in Italy that should be on your list.
2. Canale di Tenno
Another unique Christmas market that is worth paying a visit to is located in Canale di Tenno.
This picturesque medieval town is charming all year round (that’s why it’s recognized as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.)
But in the winter, decorated with fairy lights and handcrafted ornaments, it becomes especially magnificent.
If you’re looking for a peaceful place to spend your Christmas vacation, the Canale di Tenno could be a great choice. It’s small, and you can calmly explore it in less than an hour.
The centerpiece of the Christmas Market in Canale di Tenno consists of local handicrafts and typical Italian meals. One of them is a cured meat of Trento called Carne Salada, which locals serve with beans on a side. You should give it a try!
Florence has several Christmas markets, but the one on Piazza di Santa Croce is the most atmospheric and famous one.
Endless wooden stalls and festive decorations make the whole square look like a small Christmas village. And the smell of cinnamon and mulled wine only enhances the feeling.
The Christmas market on Piazza di Santa Croce is a paradise for foodies. Traditional stalls are full of cheeses, jams, chocolate, and spices, which is quite typical for the majority of Tuscan markets.
And as you’re already in Florence, check out the longest ice rink in Europe! Located in the gardens of the Fortezza da Basso, it also has a small Christmas village with food stalls and Santa’s house.
Montepulciano is a medieval village in Tuscany that hosts one of the largest Christmas markets in Italy.
Every year over 60 wooden stalls display everything from local delicacies and crafts to leather goods and souvenirs.
Montepulciano is a village of rare beauty with an abundance of ancient churches, spectacular palaces, and charming little streets. They are all beautifully decorated in December, creating a truly enchanting atmosphere.
If you’re traveling with kids, there are plenty of amazing activities to do, such as riding a pony, attending magic shows, and, of course, meeting a real Santa!
Bologna is known as the capital of food in Italy, and from December to January, it turns into a gourmet paradise for food lovers.
There are plenty of markets to attend in Bologna, but I will highlight two: the oldest Christmas market called Fiera di Santa Lucia and the one on via Altabella.
Fiera di Santa Lucia is located under a monumental portico where you can find food specialties, decorations, and items for presepe (nativity scenes).
While the market on via Altabella is a great place for Christmas shopping. Who knows, maybe that’s where you’ll find unique gifts for your friends and family members.
If you’re on the hunt for Christmas aesthetics, go to Cesenatico, a maritime town on the Adriatic coast.
The Canal Port in Cesenatico, which by the way, was initially designed by Leonardo da Vinci, in December, turns into a Christmas mecca.
With dozens of stalls, you’ll have a great selection of delicacies to taste and handcrafts to buy.
Illuminated by fairy lights and decorated with Christmas ornaments, Cesenatico is a wonderful place to relish your winter holiday. It’s peaceful and less touristy than many other places in Italy.
Besides, following Italy’s tradition of building a presepe (nativity scene) to celebrate Christmas, Cesenatico does it in a very original way, putting it on one of the boats!
7. Grazzano Visconti
If you travel to Emilia Romagna in December, don’t miss a chance to pop by a Christmas market in a little borgho called Grazzano Visconti.
Once you enter the village, you’ll notice how well-preserved and gorgeous it actually is. It looks like the time in Grazzano Visconti stopped hundreds of years ago.
At Christmas time, the village is full of surprises. In addition to traditional wooden stalls selling delicious food and handicraft, you’ll have a chance to watch Christmas shows, go ice skating, and even come upon the yeti mascot!
Grazzano Visconti is a wonderful place for the whole family, and if you’re planning to travel with your little ones, they’ll surely love it.
Would you like to see the biggest Christmas tree in the world? Then go to Gubbio!
The city, located in the Umbria region, every year makes a Christmas tree out of 800 light fixtures right on the slopes of Mount Ingino!
Just imagine a gigantic 750 meters high illumination. Isn’t that spectacular?
Besides the Christmas tree, Gubbio’s Christmas Market becomes a feast for all the senses. Traditional stalls offer visitors regional specialties and interesting gift ideas.
Gubbio also has various leisure activities such as light and music shows, a funicular that brings you right to the gigantic Christmas tree, and even an open-air escape room!
Italy Christmas Markets FAQs
Where Is the Best Christmas Market in Italy?
Christmas market in Bolzano has a reputation as the best market in Italy, and I should say, for a fair reason.
It’s a gorgeous market that instantly gets you in the spirit. And, by the way, that’s the place where the Italian Christmas market tradition was born.
What Do They Sell at Christmas Markets in Italy?
Italy Christmas markets are an excellent place to try regional delicacies and buy handicrafts from local artisans.
You will find a great selection of Christmas tree bulbs, wooden and woolen handmade objects, tablecloths, lanterns, jewelry, farm specialties, and so much more!
How Long Do Christmas Markets Last in Italy?
Usually, Christmas markets in Italy open at the end of November and close the first week of January. But every Christmas market has its own schedule, so don’t forget to check it before planning your visit.
What Is a Presepe in Italy?
Presepe is a nativity scene that represents the birth of Jesus. The tradition of recreating the scene with figures was born in Naples but quickly spread all over Italy.
Today Italians make a presepe in their garden, at home, in the church, and in other public places.