Although Christmas Markets in Italy are not as big as in Germany, Italian Christmas Markets are held many places, from big cities to small villages. They may last from a couple of days to a month or longer, often going through Epiphany on January 6. The Italian for Christmas market is Mercatino di Natale.
Top Italian Christmas Markets in Northern Italy
Trentino-Alto Adige Region in northern Italy (see map) is one of the best regions for Christmas markets with its proximity to Germany. Many mountain towns hold Christmas markets selling everything from tacky items to beautiful local handicrafts. After dark, the markets are decorated with lights and there are often other festivities to enjoy.
Trento, in the Trentino-Alto Adige Region, holds one of the best Christmas markets in a beautiful setting starting near the end of November and going for a month. The market includes more than 60 traditional wooden huts selling a variety of crafts, decorations, and food in Piazza Fiera. A large Nativity Scene is created in Piazza Duomo, too.
Bolzano, also in Trentino-Alto Adige, holds a daily market from the end of November through December 23 selling crafts and decorations in the historic center.
Campo Santo Stefano in Venice becomes a Christmas village in December with wooden houses set up in the piazza and stalls selling high quality Venetian handicrafts. There's also regional food, drink, and music.
Verona holds a huge German-style Christmas Market with wooden stalls selling handicrafts, decorations, regional foods, and German specialties, usually starting in late November through December 21 in Piazza dei Signori. The city is illuminated with hundreds of lights and a display of nativities is held in the Roman Arena. More about Verona
Trieste, in northeastern Italy's Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, holds its market, Fiera di San Nicolo, the first week of December. The market sells toys, candy, and Christmas items. In the same region, Pordenone holds a market December 1-24.
Milan hosts a Wonderland Village in the historic center from early December through January 6 with a market, ice-skating rink, and entertainment. Oh Bej, Oh Bej is a big market with several hundred stalls held near Castello Sforzesco on December 7 and a few days before or after. More about Milan
Bologna holds a Christmas market in the historic center from late November through early January. More about Bologna
Torino, in the Piemonte region, holds a Mercatino di Natale during December in the Borgo Dora area. Stalls selling a variety of merchandise are open all week and on the weekends there's music and entertainment for children. More about Torino
Genoa holds a week-long Christmas and winter fair in December with exhibitions of arts and handicraft products and other items for sale.
Top Italian Christmas Markets in Central Italy
Rome's Piazza Navona hosts a big Christmas Market. Babbo Natale, Father Christmas, makes appearances for picture taking opportunities and there is a life-size nativity scene set up in the piazza later in the month. See Christmas Events in Rome
Frascati, a wine town in the Castelli Romani south of Rome, holds a traditional Christkindlmarkt from December through January 6, with many stands open during the day and until 9:30PM.
Florence Noel starts at the end of November. Kids can visit the house of Babbo Natale (Father Christmas) and there's a Christmas market and lots of colorful lights. More information. Also in Florence, Piazza Santa Croce holds a popular German-style Christmas market with many booths from the end of November through mid-December.
Lucca, in northern Tuscany, holds a Christmas market in Piazza San Michele, usually through December 26. Find out more about Christmas markets and shopping in Lucca and on the Versilia Coast in Christmas in Northern Tuscany.
Siena, in Tuscany, holds several Christmas markets during December. Other Tuscany towns with big markets include Arezzo, Montepulciano, and Pisa.
Peruiga, in Umbria, holds its Christmas market in the Rocca Paolina for three weeks in December. Spoleto also holds a big market. More Christmas Markets in Umbria
Top Italian Christmas Markets in Southern Italy
Naples holds a December Christmas market near Via San Gregorio Armeno, known for its many nativity workshops. For the Christmas market, some vendors dress in traditional shepherd costume. Via San Gregorio Armeno pictures
Sorrento, on the beautiful Amalfi peninsula in the Bay of Naples (see location on map), holds a Christmas market through January 6 in the main square.
Syracuse, Sicily, holds a two-week Christmas Fair starting the first or second weekend of December. More about Syracuse
Cagliari, Sardinia, also holds a Christmas Fair for two weeks in December with traditional crafts, food, and wine. More about Cagliari
For the Italophile on your gift list or a gift for someone planning a trip to Italy, check our Italy Gifts Guide for suggested books, films, and music. You'll also find a great selection of Italian themed gifts on the Select Italy Store including gift packages, city guides and maps, travel bags, kitchen items, DVDs, and their unique saint refrigerator magnets.