December celebrations and events in Italy revolve around the Christmas season. Italian holidays are the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), Christmas Eve and Day, and Saint Stephen's Day, the day after Christmas. See Winter Holidays in Italy for details.
Olive oil is widely celebrated in December, too, when the new oil is usually pressed.
December Festivals and Holiday Events in Italy.
Florence Noel starts at the end of November and runs through the first week of December. Florence Noel is a family event with lots of children's activities including the house of Babbo Natale, father Christmas. There's also a nativity village, food, chocolate, and music. Admission charge.
Wild Boar Festival - The wild boar festival in the medieval Tuscan town of Suvereto, in the Livorno province, is a 10 day festival starting at the end of November and lasting through December 8, when there's a big feast. Besides wild boar, you'll find other products from the area including wine, olive oil, and honey. The festival includes people in medieval costume and medieval competitions so it's a great event if you don't like boar.
For Christmas - Perugia for You is a festival of music, cinema, family shows, food and crafts, December 3-January 6, in Perugia, the capital of Umbria.
Saint Barbara Day is celebrated December 4 in the Sicilian town of Paterno on the slopes of Mount Etna volcano. There is a parade after which the nativity scene is erected. Saint Barbara is the town's patron saint and the protectress of firemen and firework makers. She has been called upon many times as protection against Mount Etna's eruptions.
San Nicolo Feast Day is celebrated December 6 in many places in the Abruzzo region with traditional loaves of bread and taralli, hard, round biscuits, often eaten with wine.
Festa di San Nicolo on Murano Island in Venice is a week-long celebration for San Nicolo, the patron saint of glass blowers. There's a procession on the water December 6.
Saint Ambrogio Day is celebrated December 7 in the Sant'Ambrogio area of Milan. Saint Ambrogio is the patron saint of Milan and his day is celebrated with food and stalls with vendors selling a number of items are set up in the neighborhood.
Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, is a national holiday. There are celebrations throughout Italy and churches hold special masses. You'll find parades, feasts, and music in many places. In the Abruzzo region, it is often celebrated with bonfires and traditional singing. Rome celebrates with floral wreaths and a ceremony at the Spanish Steps presided over by the Pope. Although government offices and banks are closed, many stores stay open for holiday shopping. Read more about the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on our Catholicism site.
Soul Christmas in the theaters and churches of Lake Trasimeno is a huge festival of free gospel music, December 8-January 6. Trasimeno Blues
Santa Lucia Day, December 13, is celebrated in many Italian towns. One of the biggest celebrations is in Sicily where the city of Siracusa holds a huge parade carrying the saint on a golden coffin to the Church of Santa Lucia. On December 20 there is another parade to return her to the crypt. There are celebrations all week and thousands of pilgrims come to Siracusa. The festivities end with a big fireworks display over the harbor.
Saint Stephen's Day, the day after Christmas, is a national holidy in Italy.
New Year's Eve is celebrated with fireworks throughout Italy. More about New Year's Eve