5 Christmas markets without barriers
Here are the five Christmas markets that are champions of accessibility for experiencing the folklore of the Italian Christmas tradition without barriers.
24 October 2022
1. Barrier-free par excellence, here are the Christmas Markets in Bolzano
A village of ecological wooden houses hosting vendors, a riot of lights and decorated trees in a fascinating Nordic atmosphere. The enchantment grows if the snowfalls have already blanketed the South Tyrolean city.
Here, from 25 November 2022 to 6 January 2023, you can wander around the stalls with ease: the Christmas market is at the centrally located, spacious Walther Square, where you can stock up on gifts. From wood carvings and nativity scenes, Christmas decorations with dried flowers, spices and fruit to blown glass boules, all created by the hands of local craftsmen.
Warm up with a mulled wine and explore the stands dedicated to gastronomy, with cheese from the farmsteads, honey, dumplings, gingerbread and the famous speck.
South Tyrol also has an extensive network of barrier-free accommodation facilities, specially designed for wheelchair users: a good reason to stay one or more nights.
2. The Christmas Markets in Trento: accessible, even by train
In a concentration of alpine handicrafts, at the Christmas markets in Trento, you will especially be attracted by crib decorations, boiled wool hats, and wellness products such as pillows made of pine and cherry pits, which are therapeutic and scented.
From 19 November 2022 to 8 January 2023, there is enough space in Piazza Fiera and Piazza Battisti for people with disabilities or reduced mobility to move from one stall to the next, including the many dedicated to the culinary specialities of the city of Trentino.
Enjoy stuffed pretzels, a slice of torta sbrisolona (crumbly cake) or a strudel. To admire the big Christmas tree, you will have to head to the nearby Piazza Duomo.
It is easy to get there by train, as the station is just over five minutes from the historical centre where the market is located, along streets that are easily accessible to all.
3. Christmas markets in Arezzo: always accessible, from the station to the car parks
A Christmas market in pure Tyrolean style in the heart of Tuscany. Look out for the two small huts for tasting typical Tyrolean products, and the Father Christmas House surrounded by firework illumination. From 19 November 2022 to 26 December 2022.
You will probably find Piazza Grande very crowded, which could create problems for wheelchair users. But Arezzo also offers many other locations, so the advice is to visit the markets that are equally plentiful, such as those in Piazza San Jacopo and Piazza Risorgimento.
Then stop by the Prato to see the wooden houses of the Mercatino delle Meraviglie: the latter is open only from Friday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., until 9 January.
The historic city centre is closed to traffic and the Arezzo Eden and Arezzo Cadorna car parks have several spaces reserved for people with disabilities. If, on the other hand, you arrive by train, Arezzo is an accessible station with a lifting platform, which must be booked by calling 800100403, from a landline, or 199122344, from a mobile phone, at least 24 hours in advance.
4. The accessible routes of the Gubbio Christmas Markets
From 20 November 2022 to Monday 9 January 2023, the Gubbio Christmas Market will be set up in Piazza 40 Martiri, with its small huts and vendors selling handicrafts and gastronomy. Christmas Land Gubbio boasts a record, entered in the Guinness Book of Records in 1981: the largest illuminated Christmas tree in the world, which stands on the slopes of Mount Ingino and reaches as far as the mediaeval walls that encircle the town. It is lit on 7 December.
The whole of Christmas Land has accessible routes, and even in Piazza 40 Martiri there are parking spaces reserved for the disabled, as well as in other key places in the historic centre.
5. Accessibility among the trulli (stone houses) for the Christmas markets in Alberobello
From 7 December 2022 to 6 January 2023, the Christmas market in the Apulian town is a light show among the festively lit trulli, a UNESCO heritage site. Not to be missed are the typical Christmas sweets, pettole (bread balls) and cartellate (honey-flavoured biscuits). Hand-woven decorated fabrics and taralli are the other highlights.
If you wish to attend the Living Crib, reservations are required from early December. The best route for wheelchair users is to the Trullo Sovrano and the Museo del Territorio.
Finally, Alberobello has more than one accessible hotel. In addition, parking spaces on the blue lines are free for people with disabilities.