The Best Christmas Markets in Italy 2021: An insider guide 

The Best Christmas Markets in Italy 2021: An insider guide 

It’s that festive time of the year again, when the magical Christmas atmosphere fills the air and the first decorations adorn the streets and stores in the city center. 

You suddenly find yourself too busy planning holiday gatherings and trying to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones.

And trust me, there is nothing better than visiting a Christmas market to get into that holiday spirit, and Italy has many beautiful ones to visit. 

Here, I’ve compiled a list of the best Christmas markets in Italy.

They’re the best places to learn about local traditions, sample local delicacies, and see the work of local artisans. 

Christmas markets originated in Germany in the Middle Ages but have since spread to Italy, first in South Tyrol, an area heavily influenced by Austria and Germany, and then in other cities throughout the country.

Many Christmas markets in Italy were canceled last year due to the pandemic. However, by the time I’m writing this article, they should take place on a regular basis this year, obviously respecting COVID restriction rules.

I’ve included a link to each market’s official website so you can check them in real time to get the most up-to-date rule changes.

OK, now we are ready to discover the best Christmas markets in Italy.

Let’s get started!

South Tyrolean Markets

The South Tyrolean Christmas markets are the most distinctive and traditional in all of Italy.

The wooden houses surrounded by snow-capped mountains create a truly fairy-tale landscape. 

The most famous are in Bolzano, Merano, Brunico, Bressanone, and Vipiteno, but smaller towns also have their own Christmas markets, so if you’re skiing in the area, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to visit one near you.

Some lovely Christmas markets in the area can be found in San Candido, Dobbiaco, and Ortisei, all of which are excellent destinations for a vacation in the Dolomites.

Access to the markets is granted upon presentation of the Green Pass; once checked, you will be given the “Original Christmas Market Bracelet,” which will allow you to shop and eat at the stalls.

Bolzano Christmas Market

Bolzano Christmas market is held in Piazza Walther, which is transformed into a truly magical place for the occasion, with wooden houses, numerous lights, and a pleasant cinnamon scent in the air. Traditional Christmas dishes such as apple fritters, strudel, and mulled wine can be tasted while strolling through the stalls. 

During the Christmas season, you will also be able to admire the artisans at work among the market’s wooden houses.

Beginning November 26th, 2021 and ending January 6th, 2022

Opening time: 10.00 am to 7.00 pm with reduced hours on the following dates:

December 24: 10.00 a.m.–2.00 p.m;

25th December: closed;

31st of December: 10.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m.

On January 1st, 12.00 p.m. –7.00 p.m.

Complete schedule is available here.

Best Christmas Markets in Italy: Bolzano Christmas Market
Bolzano Christmas Market

While you’re in Bolzano, you can’t miss the Thun factory, THUNIVERSUM. The sweet Teddy will accompany you in a 3D experience and transport you into the Christmas atmosphere. Near the entrance, there is also a bench where you can sit next to huge Santas and cute Teddy bears, making it the ideal spot for a selfie!

Thuniversum, ceramic store in Bolzano, Italy
Thuniversum, in Bolzano

Merano Christmas Market

Merano Christmas market is held in the city center, along the Passirio river, which is decorated with original wooden houses and where quality local products and handicraft creations can be found. 

A traditional Advent calendar on the Palais Mamming museum’s facade will enhance the Christmas atmosphere beginning December 1, when a reproduction of a piece from its collection will be displayed at each opening of the facade’s 24 windows. You can discover all the secrets of the objects on display by taking the explanatory cards available at each opening.

Beginning November 26th, 2021 and ending January 6th, 2022,

Opening Time:

From Sunday to Thursday, 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., except for the following dates:

On December 24th and 31st, only from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

January 6th, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Complete schedule is available here.

Brunico Christmas Market

Bruneck’s Christmas market is also held in the city center streets, where you can find wooden houses and eat goulash soup, poached potatoes, or other South Tyrolean specialties. 

The “Fienile dei Profumi” (Fragrance Barn) in Tschurtschenthaler Square takes visitors on a sensory journey with herbs and scents.

From November 25, 2021 to January 6, 2022

Hours of operation: daily from 10.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m., with the following exceptions:

On December 24th, 10.00 a.m.–2.00 p.m.

December 25th: closed

On December 31st from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Complete schedule is available here.

Bressanone Christmas Market

Christmas in Bressanone is magical, with traditional wooden houses in Piazza Duomo until January 6. 

Many traditional handicrafts, such as wood carvings, handmade ceramics, glass angels, and cribs, can be found among the stands of the Christmas Market. 

During the Christmas season, do not miss a visit to the Hofburg Nativity Museum in Bressanone, which is located in the Palazzo Vescovile and houses the most comprehensive collection dedicated to this ancient local art. 

There are also many local products to be found, as well as the opportunity to taste the town’s culinary specialties.

Dates: November 26th, 2021-January 6th, 2022

Monday–Thursday: 10 a.m.–7 p.m.,

Friday–Saturday: 10.00 a.m.–7.30 p.m.,

Sunday and holidays: 9.30 a.m.–7.00 p.m. Except for the following dates:

On December 24th and 31st: 10.00 a.m.–4.00 p.m.

Closed on December 25th.

1st January: 12:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

On January 6th, 10.00 a.m.–6.00 p.m.

A complete schedule is available here.

Vipiteno Christmas Market

The magic that you will experience at Vipiteno’s Christmas market is one-of-a-kind. Torre delle Dodici, in the city center, serves as the backdrop for Vipiteno’s traditional Christmas market. While strolling through the stalls, you can taste culinary specialties as well as buy Christmas decorations and local handicrafts.

Dates: November 26th, 2021–January 6th, 2022

Hours of operation: 10.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m., with the following exceptions:

On December 24th, 10.00 a.m.–1.00 p.m.

December 25th: closed

On December 31st, 10 a.m.–5.00 p.m.

On January 1st, from 1.00 p.m.–7.00 p.m.

A complete schedule is available here.

Trentino Christmas Markets

Although Trentino’s Christmas markets are newer than those in Alto Adige (South Tyrol), they are just as authentic and traditional. 

Trento Christmas Market

Trento’s market is held in Piazza Fiera and Piazza Cesare Battisti. Many objects of local craftsmanship will be available in the market, as well as the traditional wooden houses dedicated to Trentino gastronomy and flavors. 

Trento’s market will be open every day from November 20, 2021 to January 9, 2022, with the following hours:

Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.;

Friday and Saturday, 10.00 to 20.30;

Saturday, December 18, and Friday, December 31, 2021, 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. 

Christmas Day is a holiday, and the store will be closed. 

Visit the official website to learn more about Trento’s Christmas market.

Rango & Canale di Tenno Markets

The Christmas markets of Rango and Canale di Tenno in Trentino are among the most interesting to visit. The stalls with local handicraft products and those for traditional gastronomy are located inside the small villages’ stores, houses, and stables. 

Rango and Canale di Tenno are both listed among Italy’s most beautiful villages (Borghi più belli d’Italia), and during the Christmas markets, they turn into true cribs. These two are my top picks.

For opening dates, click here for Canale di Tenno and here for Rango.

Best Christmas markets in Italy: Rango christmas tree and polenta makers
The Christmas tree in Rango and people making polenta.

Govone Christmas Market

Govone’s Christmas market is held in the small village of Govone, which is located in the hills of Langhe-Roero, Piedmont’s wine region and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

During the winter, the entire village of Govone is transformed into Santa Claus’ magical kingdom, “Magico Paese di Natale,” with numerous cultural and gastronomic attractions.

Of course, there is the wonderful Christmas market with selected artisans from all over Italy. There is a street food area and a Magic Kingdom wine bar where you can find all of the local delicacies. Furthermore, there is a musical show featuring Santa Claus every day at the Royal Castle of Govone.

Visit the official website for more information.

Verona Christmas Market

The romantic city of Verona is decked out in Christmas lights, colors, and sounds during the holiday season. 

Every year, the giant comet that seems to emerge from within the Arena di Verona shines in Piazza Bra. This is Italy’s largest mobile sculpture. 

From November 13 to December 26, the streets and squares of Verona will host a Christmas market in true German style, with many handmade products in glass, wood, ceramics, and a variety of food and wine specialties. 

Here are the opening dates:

Sunday through Thursday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays: 10 a.m.–11 p.m.

December 24: closing of the market at 17.00 p.m.

December 25: open at 4 p.m.

December 26: Closing at 6 p.m.

Visit the official website for more information.

Christmas market in Verona
Verona Christmas market

Grazzano Visconti Christmas Market

One of the best Christmas markets in Italy is held in the medieval village of Grazzano Visconti in Emilia-Romagna. 

Walking through the streets of this village will make you feel like you’re back in medieval times, and this alone would be a good reason to visit. If you then add the exhibitors with many original gift ideas, a Ferris wheel, jugglers and street artists, and the big house of Santa Claus, it becomes really unmissable.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, you can also visit the Harry Potter themed Witch Emporium in Grazzano Visconti. 

Market begins on November 20th and end on January 6th.

Visit the official website for more information.

Gubbio Christmas Market 

During the holiday season, the beautiful and historic city of Gubbio in Umbria turns into a true Christmas village, with a Christmas market in Piazza dei Quaranta Martiri. On the other hand, Gubbio is worth a visit just to see the world’s largest Christmas tree, which appears on the slopes of Mount Ingino. Hundreds of small lights illuminate the 750-meter-tall tree every night from December 7 until the end of the holidays.

The Christmas Market will be open on the dates listed below.

November 20/21, November 27/28, December 4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12, December 18/19, and continuously from December 23, 2021, to January 9, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Green pass is not required. More information here.

Matera Christmas Market

Matera is one of the most charming cities to visit during the Christmas season, when the “Sassi di Matera” are transformed into a real crib by the lights of the Christmas decorations. 

The Matera Christmas Village opens on December 8 in Piazza Vittorio Veneto, with traditional Christmas markets selling local products and crafts, as well as gift ideas and food stands. 

The Living Nativity, which is created in the cavedwelling houses, can then be admired as you move through the Sassi. 

It will be open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 0:00 p.m. until January 6, 2022.

More information here.

Christmas market in Matera
Christmas market in Matera

The best Christmas markets in Italy’s major cities 

However, if you are in Italy in December, or at any time during the Christmas season, it is worth noting that Christmas markets also light up the streets and squares of some of the country’s most important cities. 

Here are a few examples: 

Christmas Market in Rome

Rome has several Christmas markets, the most famous of which is held in Piazza Navona, one of the city’s most beautiful squares, with its characteristic markets dedicated to the magic of Christmas. 

There are numerous stalls in the square selling gastronomic specialties, gift ideas, and Christmas tree decorations. 

Opening dates: from the end of November to the 6th of January, 2022.

This year’s market has been canceled.

Christmas Land in Piazza Ragusa

Christmas Land, Rome’s largest Christmas market, is held at the Ex Deposito Atac in Piazza Ragusa. 

It will be open for three weekends in December: on the 4th and 5th of December, the 11th and 12th of December, and the 18th and 19th of December. More information here.

The Vintage Market is set up every weekend, and among the many stands are crafts, art, home decor, design, illustrations, clothing, children’s games, books, and floral decorations. 

Christmas Market in Florence

The Weihnachtsmarkt, Florence’s German-style Christmas market, is held in Piazza Santa Croce and features the most unique gift ideas and local handicrafts, including leather products unique to the area, local food, traditional sweets, and much more. 

In addition, in one of the many wooden houses in the markets, you will find a group of restaurateurs who will delight you with traditional Florentine menus. 

More information is available here.

Christmas Market in Naples 

If you’re in Naples during the holidays, don’t miss the world-famous Via San Gregorio Armeno, the street of nativity scene artisans. 

There are many small shops and kiosks here that sell handcrafted crib figurines. 

It’s well worth a visit, even if it’s just for a stroll!

San Gregorio Armeno, Christmas street in Naples
San Gregorio Armeno, Naples

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I hope you enjoyed this quick overview of the best Christmas markets in Italy and that it inspired your choice of where to spend your Christmas holidays.

Please share this with someone you know who might be interested.

Ciao and safe travels! 

Published by Lucy

I am a freelance travel designer and writer. Writing is a hobby of mine, and traveling is the "best way" for me to get inspired. In 2015, I specialized as an Italy travel experience planner, which piqued my interest from the start. I consider myself a slow traveler who is always eager to visit new places and learn about different cultures. When I first began writing about travel a few years ago, I was enthralled by the incredible opportunity to not only share my real-life experiences with others, but also to learn from them.