Nine Days of Christmas Preparations! Natale in Italia

The festivities around Christmas are an excellent time to spend in Italy — display windows, restaurants and businesses do their best visually. Cities — big and small — put up the christmas lights to get in the right mood. Only France and Spain can compete with this!

Like everywhere else in the world, the signs of Christmas continue to appear on the streets earlier than the previous years. But according to Italian tradition, the preparations start only nine days before the Christmas day. This nine day period — la Novena di Natale — is when the atmosphere is at it’s fullest with lights, music and santa clause invading the streets.

The squares are filled with stalls selling Christmas goods and some of these Christmas markets open as early as the last week of November. The Piazza Navona in Rome or the Piazza Santa Croce in Firenze are at the heart of the Christmas spirit. And the markets of Palermo have their own special mystical, old-fashioned moods. The busy markets offer anything from decorations to delicacies: Nativity scene figures to tell the story of Jesus, tree decorations and other handmade decorations for the home. These Christmas markets have arrived to Italy from North-Europe, mainly Germany.

Some of the best (and personal favorites) Christmas markets include:

  • Trentino — Mercatini di Natale
  • Verona — Veronatale
  • Bolzano — Christkindlmarkt
  • Merano — Mercatino di Natale
  • Lake Garda — Christmas market in Arco
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