Italy’s 11 best Christmas markets capture the joys of the holiday season and you can visit them to enjoy simple seasonal pleasures and winter festivities.
The holiday spirit overtakes medieval towns, seaside villages, and bustling cities, and Italy becomes an immersion into masterful winter celebrations that begin in early December and stretch into January.
Our suggestions can take you across the country to enjoy the festive ambiance, seasonal delicacies, and joyful spirit that spreads from Rome to Florence, Naples, and beyond.
Rome captures the beauty of the holidays, with festivities abounding in the historic city center and the Roman Christmas Market at Piazza Navona embodying the soul of the holiday season.
The market brings vibrant color to the piazza, with traditional gifts displayed in wooden huts, the aroma of chocolate drifting along the cobblestones, and the aromatics of spiced fruits adding an extra layer of allure to the celebratory ambiance.
The festival booths turn the Eternal City into an immersive Christmas wonderland, with several markets to explore throughout after your experience at the main Roman Christmas Market.
Where to find the market: Piazza Navona
Learn more: Rome Vacations & Tour Packages
The Christmas ambiance in Florence overtakes the heart of the historic city and the joyous holiday spirit flows from the center of the action in the Piazza Santa Croce Christmas Market.
With a traditional German touch that combines charming wooden huts offering Italian and German delicacies, the market, known in German as Weihnachtsmarkt, magically blends two European winter season perspectives.
Decorations and handcrafts add to the illustrious spirit of the holiday season, from intricate wooden toys to lavish garlands. The mixture of bright colors and aromas of gingerbread or spiced wine create a warm and welcoming ambiance in the cold.
Where to find the market: Piazza Santa Croce
Learn more: Tuscany Vacations & Tour Packages
Bologna’s remarkable Fiera di Santa Lucia Market embodies the reputation of a city renowned for its cuisine and connection to the foundations of celebrated delicacies. This culinary heritage is pronounced during Christmas, when seasonal dishes dominate the market stalls.
With four centuries of Christmas market tradition, Bologna erupts into a celebration of winter food and sweets, embellished by the surrounding handmade nativity statues and long-standing medieval architecture.
You can sample marzipan fruit creations, witness the Nativity perspective, and enjoy the elaborate decor as you wander around Piazza Maggiore exploring Bologna’s Christmas markets.
Where to find the market: Piazza Maggiore
Learn more: 3 Exclusive Itineraries to Emilia Romagna
The Christmas Alley Market in Naples represents holiday magic captured in the elaborate presepi, traditional handmade nativity scenes, and colorful decorations that guide you down the festive streets.
An entire district of the historic city is dedicated to creating the presepi, with the Via San Gregorio Armeno lane leading to workshops crafting, displaying, and selling figurines and accessories. The Christmas Alley Market can connect you to Italy’s December traditions that continue to showcase the country’s deep Catholic heritage.
December also highlights the artistry of the workshops, with a colorful display of nativity scenes across the bustling cityscape showing how the holiday spirit reaches far beyond a single market in Naples. During your stay, you can dig into some of the best festive dishes and foods to try in Campania at the market.
Where to find the market: Via San Gregorio Armeno
Verona is famous for star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, and its Christmas market adds another layer of romance to the medieval lanes during the holiday season.
The spiced aromas of mulled wine and fruit cakes emanate from the wooden stalls filling the central Piazza Dei Signori. Fairy lights glimmer in the evening, adding to the storybook ambiance, while traditional Bavarian dishes share a touch of the region’s history.
Handcrafts, decorations, and celebrated cuisine display the fascinating traditions of Verona and the beauty of holiday heritage that flows from historic Veneto villages and their markets. Because of its proximity to Venice, the Verona Christmas Market is also a popular choice for travelers on Venice tours and vacation packages.
Where to find the market: Piazza Dei Signori
Bolzano is a majestic town nestled into the northern Italian mountains, where the Rosengarten Dolomites act as a spectacular backdrop to the Bolzano Christmas Market.
The festive holiday ambiance swells from Piazza Walther, where little wooden huts display traditional wooden toys or garlands set beneath candles and lamps that light the medieval streets. The crisp alpine air often carries the aromas of mulled wine that continue through the arcaded lanes, adding to the fairytale atmosphere of the town.
There is nothing quite like exploring the Italian countryside during winter, when the snow covers the mountains and crackling fires can keep you snug after an evening wandering the colorful Bolzano Christmas Market on Northern Italy tours and vacation packages.
Where to find the market: Piazza Walther
Merano is a quiet and charming town that rises along the banks of the River Passirio and captures the ambiance of the surrounding snowcapped mountains in winter at the Merano Advent.
The seasonal Christmas market showcases wooden advent cottages that bring touches of festivities amid decorated trees and life-sized nativity scenes. Horse-drawn carriages glide through the streets as artisans create seasonal art beneath twinkling lights. There is a peaceful Christmas atmosphere to absorb as you slowly navigate Merano Advent’s vibrant stalls.
The charming Christmas market also enhances the fact that Merano is the perfect village for Italy vacations in December, a serene, snowy escape from the hustle and bustle of Italy’s more popular destinations.
Where to find the market: Cure Promenade
The craggy peaks surrounding Aosta frame the remains of an ancient Roman theater and provide a breathtaking backdrop to the town’s Marché Vert Noël Christmas Market.
Wooden chalets adorn the heart of Aosta and display artisan ceramics, hand-carved wooden ornaments and toys, textiles, antiques, and the enticing aromas of seasonal cuisine. Concerts help spread the majestic winter ambiance as the town erupts with alpine Christmas spirit, reflected in everything from wooly sweaters to local cheeses.
This Christmas market surrounding ancient Roman ruins is a timeless winter experience that can transport you centuries back to enjoy the origins of Roman Christmas traditions.
Where to find the market: Aosta’s Roman Theater
Italian Christmas markets spring up in Cagliari, Sardinia, in December, dressing the city’s streets in twinkling lights and colorful decorations.
Centering around Piazza Yenne, the wooden huts overflowing with Christmas trinkets and specialty cuisine invite travelers to embrace the festive ambiance. A large Christmas tree at the end of Corso Vittorio Emanuele marks the meeting point for carolers and eager travelers scoffing on Sardinian desserts.
The local creativity also shines during Christmas in Cagliari, as vendors encourage visitors to view their intricate handmade toys and festive creations. Sardinia is also one of the best islands to visit in Italy, with plenty to discover beyond the festive market.
Where to find the market: Piazza Yenne
Turin’s Christmas market in Piazza Castello is an upbeat and delightful celebration of Italian Christmas traditions and seasonal Piedmont delicacies.
The outdoor exhibit featuring Christmas stalls, toys, trinkets, and a tree covered in Christmas lights tells a charming winter story. You can follow the lanes weaving between Turin to discover hidden Christmas stores and wander beneath the elaborate light shows that span the buildings.
Christmas decorations cascade from the Baroque buildings, creating a royal spectacle in the city. You can tuck into regional Christmas cuisine as you explore Turin during the winter break.
Where to find the market: Piazza Castello
The Arco Christmas Market in the Arco commune, a stone’s throw from Lake Garda, is blessed with one of the most dramatic winter views of the Dolomites during Christmas.
The market is open for the entire month and invites travelers to explore the unique Christmas traditions and cuisine of the Trentino-Alto Adige region of northern Italy. The Arboreto di Arco park is a Christmas wonderland for families wishing to explore gardens riddled with decorations and dwarfs, before browsing many city center markets overflowing with toys and regional cuisine.
Fire shows, street performers, and a Christmas train add to the seasonal charm of the commune, where you can also explore the breathtaking surrounding mountains veiled in snow. Because of Lake Garda’s proximity to other lakes in the Italian Lake District, it is a popular Christmas destination during Lake Como tours and vacation packages.
Where to find the market: Il Palazzo di Piazza o Municipio d'Arco and Arboreto di Arco
Our Italy Christmas tours & vacations unveil seasonal charm found in everything from the aromas of spiced wine to traditional toys in marketplaces across the country during the winter break. Whether traveling to Italy in December as a family or visiting the winter wonderland with your partner, there are many reasons to spend Christmas in Italy.
Beyond experiencing the festive spirit at the best Christmas markets, you can also spend your vacation enjoying all Italy has to offer. For ideas on what else to do during your December trip to the country, browse our Italy travel guide.