You have not truly experienced the Christmas spirit until you have gone to the Christmas Markets in Italy’s northern region of Trentino Alto Adige. From November 22nd through January 6th, the main plazas of towns like Merano, Brunico, Bolzano, Trento and many others, come alive with the true charm of the holiday season.
The Christmas Markets will envelope all of your senses. You will see the snow covered mountains of the Alps bordering Austria as a backdrop and gaze at all of the beautiful, traditional holiday handicrafts. You can smell the delicious aroma of hot drinks and taste freshly baked treats. You will hear the sound of Italian melodies of the season. Then touch the displays of Christmas trees decorations, nativity scenes, and statuettes of wood, ceramics, stained glass, felt slippers, candles and, of course, toys.
“Christkindlmarkt” (Christmas Markets) is a Central European tradition that originated in Germany in the fourteenth century to celebrate the day of St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) and to give everyone the opportunity to buy Christmas decorations. The tradition of the stalls at the Christmas Markets in Trentino has continued, as do the activities created by each city. There are cooking classes, games, and fun competitions, such as the free run/walk (only 3, 5 Km) through the narrow streets. Anyone can join in, but all participants must wear at least the traditional cap of Santa Claus!
Some of the more notable markets include Trento Christmas Market, which is one of the top holiday markets. With a backdrop of snow capped mountains, its Renaissance character provides a festive atmosphere, with 70 huts selling traditional gift items. The Arco Christmas Market reflects the charming medieval town of Arco in North Lake Garda (Garda Trentino). The Rovereto Christmas Market is as enjoyable at this highly cultural and artistic city, just as the Levico Terme Christmas Market which takes place in the picturesque Parco Secolare degli Asburgo (Hapsburg Park). But there are others as well in some of the smaller towns in the region. Why not explore them all? It will truly become an unforgettable Christmas. Buon Natale!