This blog post was updated on July 30, 2021.
While Christmas markets in Italy are not as big as they might be in Germany or Austria, they have that certain Italian flourish and the delicious gastronomy to prove it. Even thought there are Christmas markets held throughout the country, up north you can roam those with Germanic roots due to the area’s proximity to Germany and Austria. If you want to get off of the over-traveled Christmas market path in Italy, here are a few northern Italian Christmas markets to visit for some holiday cheer.
Trento: One of Northern Italy’s largest Christmas markets takes place in the center of Trento. Set up in Piazza Fiera, Mercatino di Natale di Trento occupies the space from late November to just before New Year’s Eve. Throughout over 60 wooden huts, you can find traditional decorations for Christmas trees and nativity scenes. However, many journey to this northern Italian Christmas market for the sweet and savory dishes to sample. Right in the middle of the main square, the market fills with the specialties of the Trentino-Alto Adige region including grilled polenta and apple strudel. It is certainly a Christmas
Bolzano: In the culturally confused town of Bolzano with Austria not too far away and the Dolomites looking on, the Northern Italian town celebrates the season with the Mercatino di Natale Bolzano Bozen. This Northern Italy Christmas market boasts 80 exhibitors, three gastronomy stalls and a small market for children. It lords over the calendar in Bolzano from late November to early January. The 23-year tradition features a Christmas tree with an impressive nativity scene underneath along with house shaped stalls exhibiting only locally produced objects. Bolzano’s Piazza Walther also provides an indoor space where you can watch craftsmen at work. For families, this is one of the area’s most kid friendly markets with a puppet theater, merry-go-round and horse drawn carriages for rides around town.
Verona: In the fair city of Verona where Shakespeare laid the stage for Romeo and Juliet, travelers flock around the holidays to see what this star crossed city has to offer. Verona’s Christmas market is characterized by its setting close to the famous Roman Arena. With such history looking on, you can find the Nativity Scene Exhibition, the largest grouping of nativities in Italy from all across the globe. Set up in Piazza Bra, Verona’s Christmas market features countless exhibitors selling traditional local handicrafts. This large German style market is notable for its lights. The city is illuminated with hundreds of lights throughout the historic center.
Aosta: Located in Italy’s Valle d’Aosta region, the Roman and medieval city of Aosta hosts the Marché Vert Noël around the holiday season. This village’s Christmas market is set up to look like its own alpine village. Held between December and January, the market features plenty of delicious local specialties and gifts to pick up including handmade soaps and candles. As the town lies in the smallest region of Italy in between France and Switzerland, it has a distinctive alpine feel to its Christmas market.
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