10 Christmas markets in central and southern Italy to discover for a burst of magic
The Arezzo Christmas Markets
From 19 November to 26 December 2022, the Arezzo Christmas markets are a must for those who choose to spend the Christmas holidays in Tuscany. More than 30 stands await you at Arezzo 's Tyrolean Village in Piazza Grande, mostly run by Tyrolean operators ready to introduce you to gastronomic delicacies and handicrafts perfect for those searching for gift ideas.
The stalls of Arezzo's Tyrolean market are open every day from 10 am to 7 pm and if you are passing by, you cannot miss the Arezzo Christmas Brick 2022, the great Christmas Lego exhibition and the traditional Arezzo Father Christmas House in the Palazzo della Confraternita dei Laici.
Credit photo: Regione Toscana
Christmas markets in Rome
Christmas in Rome is an event that draws tourists and visitors from all over Italy, ready to explore the Eternal City pervaded by the Christmas atmosphere. Of Rome's Christmas markets, those in Piazza Navona are among the most atmospheric, made even more special by Bernini's Four Rivers Fountain dominating the square. Also worth a visit are the Christmas markets in Piazza Gimma, open from 7 to 27 December, and those awaiting you in Via Severo every day from 9 am to 8 pm from 3 to 24 December 2022.
Three unique experiences that you cannot miss, especially if you plan to spend Christmas in Lazio: the Father Christmas's Fantastic Castle in Lunghezza, the 'Enchantment of Lights' illuminations inside the Botanical Garden of Rome and the large Christmas Village with the Christmas illuminations path "Stardust" in the shape of trees, reindeer, gift parcels, dolphins. In the amusement park of Cinecittà World and a market full of sweets and presents, Santa's house and factory and eight new themed attractions await you.
Florence Christmas Markets
Among the events not to be missed for Christmas 2022 in Tuscany is the Christmas market in Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, open every day from 19 November to 18 December from 10 am to 10 pm. The location is truly atmospheric and you will have no trouble finding the perfect Christmas gifts for friends and family among handicrafts and gastronomic specialities. Renewed twinning with the German city of Heidelberg, located between Frankfurt and Stuttgart, with the Heidelberger Weihnachtsmarkt. Forty quaint wooden houses are ready to offer handicrafts and traditional European food and wine delicacies, including Pfefferkuchen spiced biscuits, vinbrulé, bratwurst and pretzels. Not forgetting the Tuscan Christmas specialities, from cavallucci to ricciarelli, from panforte to befanini.
Florence at Christmas, however, offers much more: the big Christmas tree in Piazza del Duomo, the Crib at the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, the Festival of Lights or Firenze Light Festival and the Florence Ice Village, Europe's longest ice rink in the Garden of the Fortezza da Basso.
Children will also be able to meet Father Christmas in Florence and immerse themselves in Christmas magic thanks to the event The World of Father Christmas hosted from 12 November to 24 December 2022 at Villa Montalvo in Campi Bisenzio.
Crediti photo: regione Toscana
Christmas markets in Naples
Naples at Christmas turns into the city of nativity scenes, and not only because of the famous Spaccanapoli, which all year round hosts the artisan workshops in Via San Gregorio Armeno. From the Cuciniello crib in San Martino to the Royal Crib at the Reggia di Caserta, discovering Naples at Christmas time means taking a fascinating tour of Neapolitan crib art over the centuries.
For an unusual and different experience from the classic trip to San Gregorio Armeno, we invite you to visit the Christmas markets of the Pietrarsa Museum in the Portici area. Here, strolling among the stalls, from 3 December 2022 to 8 January 2023, you can experience the magic of Christmas. We recommend a visit to Experience Pietrarsa to see Harry Potter's Platform 9 and ¾ live. A completely indoor area where you can play and have fun with potions and magic experiments.
Credits photo: Regione Campania
Christmas markets in Montepulciano
Another stop not to be missed for those who choose to spend a weekend in Tuscany in winter is Montepulciano, which every year hosts the most colourful and welcoming Christmas markets in Tuscany. From 19 November, the stalls will wind their way through the streets of the historic centre starting from Piazza Grande, a stone's throw from the medieval fortress, which at the festive season transforms into Father Christmas's Castle where it is also possible to take a ride on friendly ponies.
The Montepulciano Christmas markets are open on weekends from 10.30 am to 7.30 pm until 22 December. Starting the next day, they welcome you every day from morning to afternoon, while on Christmas Day you can only stroll among the stalls in the afternoon.
To end the afternoon among the markets on a high note, treat yourself to a glass of good Tuscan wine to be enjoyed on the Christmas Terrace, the terrace in the heart of the historic centre just a few metres from Piazza Grande and from which to admire a fantastic panorama.
Bologna Christmas Markets
Those who are thinking of spending the Christmas holidays in Emilia Romagna should not miss two of the most important events of the Bolognese Christmas season: the Christmas markets in Piazza Minghetti in Bologna, transformed for the occasion into a French Christmas village, and the Santa Lucia Fair organised in the monumental portico of the Chiesa dei Servi from 11 November to 26 December, every day from 9 am to 8 pm.
Also worth visiting is the Christmas Village in Bologna’s Piazza Lucio Dalla with a large ice skating rink, Christmas markets, refreshment stands and children's workshops.
Grazzano Visconti Christmas markets
The charming medieval village of Grazzano Visconti, on the outskirts of Piacenza, hosts the most beautiful Christmas markets in Emilia Romagna every year, with over 80 stalls winding through the streets of the historic centre, offering visitors typical local products, handmade objects and curious gift ideas for all tastes. The 2022 edition opens on 12 November from 10 am to 7 pm and continues, initially on weekends and then every day around Christmas, until 8 January 2023.
If you do not know what to visit in Emilia Romagna in winter, run and discover the village of Grazzano Visconti at Christmas. There are many experiences to be had, such as the thrill of a first ride on the Baptism of the Saddle, listening live to the Gospel choirs organised for Christmas or visiting Santa Park for a ride on the Ferris wheel or Santa's slide.
Limatola Christmas markets
On the outskirts of Caserta there is a magical place that becomes even more magical at Christmas time. It is the Limatola Castle, one of the most beautiful villages to visit at Christmas in the whole of Campania. The eighth edition of the Cadeaux al Castello event awaits you.
Each year the initiative has a different theme, for 2022 it will be the "Fancy and Fantasy", with a full immersion, for adults and children, in the imaginary world of fairy tales, fables and fantastic stories.
Lots of activities, such as the crazy tea tunnel, the Mirror of Wishes and the Grinch's lair.
Among wooden cottages, a medieval market, beautiful illuminations and Santa's village, Limatola Castle at Christmas welcomes tourists and visitors on 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20 November and then continuously from 25 November to 11 December 2022 from 10 am to 10 pm.
Perugia Christmas markets
Experiencing Christmas in Umbria means being fascinated by the world's largest Christmas tree, built on the slopes of Monte Ingino behind Gubbio, but not only that. We give you a tip: Perugia at Christmas offers something unique like the underground market at the Rocca Paolina.
From 8 December 2022 to 6 January 2023, you can stroll among the stalls alternating between the castle vaults and the medieval streets of the old town, ice-skate in Piazza Matteotti admire the Christmas tree in Piazza IV Novembre and board the Christmas train with the whole family for a ride through the magical festively decorated Perugia. Be careful, once on the Christmas train the children will not want to get off.
A new feature of these 2022 festivities is the Christmas Village inside Barton Park. The city's green lung awaits you with many free activities like an educational farm and close encounters with sweet alpacas.
Viterbo Christmas markets
An absolute must for Christmas in Lazio is the large Christmas village in Viterbo, on the outskirts of Rome. From 26 November 2022 to 6 January 2023, the Viterbo Christmas Village transforms the world's largest medieval old town into a paradise for young and old.
From 10 am to 8 pm you can rediscover the magic of Christmas at the Father Christmas' House in Viterbo hosted in Palazzo degli Alessandri, and then drop by Piazza San Carluccio to visit the Befana Factory or admire, among magic and spaceships, the characters of Star Wars and Harry Potter made of Lego at the NATALEGO exhibition. And again, you can stroll through the elf village, board Santa's sleigh and greet the reindeer Rudolph in his big stable.
The Christmas markets of Viterbo, on the other hand, await you in the streets of the historic centre amidst lights, installations, Christmas music and lots of good food such as tozzetti and pangiallo viterbese.