Christmas markets, pageants, fairs throughout Italy

Christmas Markets, Pageants and Fairs Throughout Italy

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Here are a few special markets and events occurring throughout Italy during the Christmas-Epiphany season:

  • Verona
    The Rassegna del Presepe (Nativity Scene Exhibition), held in the picturesque Roman Arena from early December to early February, features a wide selection of antique and modern crêche figures from around the world, such as the Polish one pictured here.

  • Bolzano
    Christkindlmarkt is a very unusual Christmas fair for Italy, because you might find more Christmas tree ornaments than nativity scene figurines; also wooden dolls, dried flower compositions, delicious Germanic sweets and a local tradition: crowns made of fir branches interwoven with ribbons and four candles. Light one each Sunday for the four weeks of Advent.
  • Bressanone
    Weihnachtsmarkt, another Alpine Christmas fair, is held Dec. 2-Jan. 8 at the cathedral. Vin brûlé is distributed to one and all after the concerts and mass. You'll see more American-style decorations on the houses here.
  • Merano
    Most of the Old Town is transformed into an outdoor Christmas market from Dec. 3-Jan. 7.
  • Milan
    La Fiera di Sant'Ambrogio, the city's most important antiques fair, takes place in Piazza Sant'Ambrogio and adjoining streets from Dec. 7-22.

    pening of the season at La Scala Opera House.
  • Naples
    The entire street of Via San Gregorio Armeno is taken over by artisans selling presepi scenes and figurines.

    A giant presepio in Galleria Umberto I depicts incredibly lifelike scenes from Neapolitan life.

    The cloister of Santa Chiara and Certosa di San Martino have permanent nativity scenes.

    Teatro San Carlo season begins: older than La Scala, it has perfect acoustics and flamboyant neoclassical and rococo decorations.

  • Capri
    Local folklore groups perform in the Piazzetta on January 1 and 6; also in Piazza Diaz in Anacapri.

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