One of our favourite parts about Christmas in Italy is the Christmas markets. They are beautiful and atmospheric, and a great place for holiday shopping. But they also make it a fun way to learn about the local culture, food and artisans. We love immersive and sustainable travel so that it’s always a plus.
These are our top 10 Christmas markets in Italy: from Naples to the Dolomites, here they are!
Christkindlmarkt in Bolzano (Dolomites)
South Tyrol is a famous location for its Christmas markets. It’s located near the border of Italy and Austria. Nearly all the towns and cities in the region fill their piazzas as the holidays approach with festive stalls, shops and other activities. The Christkindlmarkt, which is held every year in Bolzano’s Piazza Walter, is perhaps the most well-known event in the Dolomites. It runs from November 29 through January 6. You can expect to find dozens of wooden stands laden with traditional gifts, regional specialties, and vin brule (hot-mulled wine).
Traditional South Tyrolese market at Lagundo (Dolomites).
You can find a smaller, but still intimate, Christmas market in South Tyrol at Lagundo, which is approximately 30 minutes away from Bolzano. The beautiful Christmas market is known for its peppered bread, ice skate rinks, and expansive gardens. All with stunning views of the Dolomites.
Weihnachtsmarkt German Market in Florence
Every year, Florence’s Santa Croce piazza transforms into a traditional market. The market is brought in directly from Heidelberg Germany. Many wooden stands feature both Florentine as well as German dishes and gifts, including bratwurst and panforte, a dense, spiced fruitcake. Don’t forget to check out our post on Italy Christmas sweets, including panettone and panforte. ).
Christmas market Naples
Preseti, also known as nativity scenes or presepi in Italy, are a popular Christmas decoration. They can be found both on piazzas in towns and in homes. . Precepi can come in many sizes, from simple and small to elaborate and large. You’ll find all types in Naples, where you will also find handcrafted presepi. Every November, Naples hosts a market devoted to nativities at Via San Gregorio Armeno.
Medieval candle market in Candelara (Le Marche)
Candelara is a charming town in central Italy’s Le Marche. Here are six things that we love about the Le Marche area. Candelara celebrates every year the meaning of its name, which is candles! Beginning at the end of November, Candelara lights up its Christmas market and streets with candles. For a unique gift, look for handmade candles in medieval style that are available at the market.
Fabbrica di Babbo Natale in Pisa (Tuscany)
The Fabbrica di Babbo Natale, a Pisa-based market, is open to all ages. The “factory”, which is held at the Leopolda Center from December 13 through 29, features a workshop that helps children create their own gifts, as well as the ability to write letters to be sent directly to the North Pole.
Piazza Navona market in Rome
Piazza Navona, one of Rome’s most loved piazzas is transformed into a Christmas wonderland each December by an extensive Christmas market. Most of the products on offer these days are mass-produced. However, the stalls selling traditional Italian gifts such as miniature statues or la befana, set against the backdrop of marble fountains make for an unforgettable shopping experience. You can find our post on la befana and the video below. ).
Campo San Polo market, Venice
For hand-made gifts, such as colorful glass goods, Burano and Murano lace, and traditional Carnival masks, head to Venice’s charming skating rink or small Christmas market at Campo San Polo. Don’t forget to check out our post about Carnival and Carnival masks in Venice. ).
O Bej, O Bej market in Milan
To celebrate Sant’Ambrogio, the patron saint of Castello Sforzesco, hundreds of stalls line up in front of the castle. The market will be held from December 6-8 this year. O Bej O Bej is the name of the market. It means “how nice how nice” in Milanese dialect. This name may have been given to the market by the many shoppers who loved the market’s handmade foods and goods many years ago.
Turin Christmas Market
Turin is the most popular destination for Christmas lights in Italy, featuring many installations by international and local artists. Piazza Bogara Dora is home to delicious Piemontese delights such as gianduja (hazelnut) and bicerin, an espresso with milk and chocolate. Don’t forget our Insider’s Guide to Turin written by one our local experts! ).