Italian Christmas markets

The tradition to enrich and to animate the Christmas time with markets and local fairs is lately becoming very popular in Italy too. Originally born into the Northern Europe (probably due to the origins of Santa Claus’ legend), this folk custom is also spreading our culture and our way to live the Christmas, expecially in those smallest towns and villages already used to host events and fairs all year round, where local features and self-made products (handcraft, home-art, glass and ceramics manufacturing) represent the richness of the fair.

Thus, also Christmas markets represent a chance to celebrate the creativity and beauty of the local craftsmen: here you can find everything you’d need to decorate your home under Christmas or you’d wish as a gift, such as woodcarved statues and waxworks, presepios> and little objects to animate it: candles, stars and coloured balls, toys and marionettes. Sometimes it’s really impossible to resist, so that it’s not rare to note people leaving the markets entirely sunken of bags!

What makes these markets absolutely unique (wherever they take place) is the wonderful atmosphere they evoke: even if based in urban settlements, they are set in a breathtaking scenario, where lights and candles create a fabulous and warm enviroment and sweets spread out a very appealing aroma… Everything contributes to establish the magic Christmas spirit.

In fact, you can just go there for a walk, to spend an amazing afternoon: between bazars, stands and packmen, you can stop for a snack-break and taste some of the typical Christmas sweets (delicious nougats, peanuts, crispies, chestnuts) or hot foods and beverages. Then, you can enjoy some funny show: look for the clowns surely performing in the middle of the square!

Usually, the Christmas markets start a couple of weeks before Christmas and run throughout the entire Christmas perdiod. As told, you can find a Christmas market arrangement quite everywhere, as in the big city as in the small village.

Of course, every italian Christmas market is influenced in its shapes and featurings by the local particularity of the place where it takes place. So, one of the most important italian Christmas markets is probably the neapolitan one: here you can find the representation of one of the most amazing and folk italian presepios; in fact, besides its tradional characters (the Holy Family, the Three Kings, the sheperds), it’s very usual to discover little-statues of famous italian personages (actors, politicians, football players) inside the representation! Naples is probably the italian place where creativity and tradition mix and let Christmas market to express its maximum originality.

Also Rome enjoys a very popular and typical Christmas market : based in the unique surroundings of Piazza Navona, it attracts yearly thousands of tourist, who reach the capital city to dip into a timeless scenario, that neither the history, nor the modernity and the new styles will ever change it.

The north italian markets are instead characterised by the richness of sweets and typical culinary products: pandoro and panettone, panforte and panpepato, italian sparkling wines and liquors.

So, plan your holiday to one of the italian Christmas markets; you won’t disappoint.

Just one last useful tip: avoid to join the markets when overcrowded!

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