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Santa Croce Christmas Market in Florence, Italy

2023/2024 Christmas Markets in Italy – Classics & Lesser-Known Gems

2023/2024 Italian Christmas markets with details, dates, and locations.  Last updated on November 20, 2023.

If you’re visiting Italy in December during the Christmas holidays, you’re probably wondering where to see the best Italian Christmas markets. 

While our Italian Christmas markets aren’t as elaborate and fairy-tale-like as some of the traditional Christmas markets in Austria and Germany, we do have some special markets and I’ll share them with you below. 

This isn’t just a list of the most well-known markets.  I’ve also included some lesser-known but magical Italian Christmas markets.

So, grab your wallet and head to one of these Italian Christmas markets for some hot cocoa and mulled cider, and wander through the stalls of ornaments, specialty foods, and artisan crafts!

Good To Know:  If you’re looking to explore multiple markets, head to northern Italy’s South Tyrol, home to the best Christmas markets in Italy.  They have a similar feel to the Austrian and German Christmas markets and they’re our family’s favorites!

Good To Know:  Many markets open up in November and close in January so even if you’re not here for Christmas, you can still check out the markets.

Good To Know:  Some, but not all Christmas markets in Italy also have a place where children can meet Santa (or, Babbo Natale, in Italian).  Often, you need to reserve a ticket in advance, and they sell out quickly.  So, check the website for info before you go! 

Important:  Some markets are closed or have reduced hours on certain days (like December 24th, 25th, and 31st and January 1st and 6th.  I have included the general hours for each market.

Important:  For each market, I’ve listed the official website.  Sometimes they’re in Italian, but it’s best to use your browser to translate to get the official, up-to-date info. 

Spending the holidays in Italy? Or just curious about how we celebrate here? Learn more about Italian Christmas:
Where to Spend Christmas in Italy
Christmas in Italy for Kids – Traditions & How to Celebrate

How to Say Merry Christmas in Italian
Traditional Italian Christmas Foods

Traditional Italian Christmas Lunch
Authentic Italian Christmas Eve Dinner

Pandoro vs Panettone

Presepe – The Italian Nativity Scene
Babbo Natale – Italy’s Santa Claus
La Befana – Italy’s Christmas Witch
12 Italian Christmas Traditions We Still Celebrate
Where to Buy a Christmas Tree in Italy
10 Best Places to See Christmas Trees in Italy
Best Christmas Markets in Italy
Christmas in Tuscany

2023/2024 Best Christmas Markets in Italy

  • Bolzano (Trentino-South Tyrol)
  • Arezzo (Tuscany)
  • Montepulciano (Tuscany)
  • Bressanone (Trentino-South Tyrol)
  • Gubbio (Umbria)
  • Asti (Piedmont)
  • Bologna (Emilia-Romagna)
  • Ortisei (Trentino-South Tyrol)
  • Merano (Trentino-South Tyrol)
  • Empoli (Tuscany)
  • Arco (Trentino-South Tyrol)
  • Trento (Trentino-South Tyrol)
  • Naples (Campania)
  • Rome (Lazio)

Bolzano (Bozen) Mercatino di Natale

Bolzano's mercatino di natale (Christmas Market) in Piazza Walther. You can see the beautiful towering tree and the market stalls.

Italy’s largest Christmas market is also a family favorite.  Bolzano is one of our favorite places to visit in the summer, especially with kids, and the winter is even more magical!  With a spectacular backdrop of the Dolomites, you can wander through the stalls in Piazza Walther. 

When you’re done shopping, tuck into one of Bolzano’s cozy restaurants for a warming mountain meal.

Good To Know:  The market has a special children’s program, which includes an electric train, puppets, and a carousel.

Fun Fact:  As it’s in a German-speaking part of Italy, Bolzano’s market also goes by ‘Christkindlemarkt,’ the German name for Christmas market.

Fun Fact:  Bolzano’s Christmas market opened in 1990 and it was the first in Italy!

Dates:  November 24th, 2023 – January 6th, 2024 (with the inauguration on the evening of November 23rd)

Hours:  10:00am – 19:00 Fri-Sun and holidays, 11:00 – 19:00 Mon-Thurs, with special hours on a few dates (see website below for up-to-date hours)

Location: Piazza Walther

Nearby: Ötzi the Ice Man makes his home at the Archaeological Museum in town.  Ski, snowboard, sled, and build snowmen on the Alpe di Siusi.

For more info, see the official Bolzano Mercatino di Natale site.

Arezzo Mercatini di Natale

Boy sitting on Santa's lap at the Christmas market in Arezzo, Italy.
My son talking to Santa at the Arezzo Christmas market

Even though Arezzo is in Tuscany, its Christmas market is in South Tyrol style.  Piazza Grande is always a gorgeous Piazza, and even more so filled to the brim with lights and Christmas market stalls.  To top it all off, there are colorful light displays projected onto the piazza’s buildings (Friday through Sunday) – it’s absolutely magical and my kids love it!

The markets also hosts the Casa di Babbo Natale (Santa’s House) and the LEGO House (in Piazza San Francesco), which showcases Christmas and non-Christmas-themed LEGO displays.

Helpful Tip:  We find parking for this Christmas market to be a big pain.  If you can, take the train to Arezzo and walk the 400 meters from the station to the market in Piazza Grande.

Dates:  November 18th, 2023 – January 1st, 2024, open Thurs-Sun from 10:00 – 21:00 (and 22:00 on Saturdays)

Location: Piazza Grande

Nearby: Warm up in some of Southern Tuscany’s hot springs.

For more info, see the official Arezzo Mercatini di Natale site.

Read more about Christmas in Tuscany

Montepulciano Mercatino di Natale

Wander through the wooden stalls of Montepulciano’s market in the town’s main square.  This market is popular with Tuscans for its local food products and artisan Christmas décor and gifts.  My kids love meeting Santa and following the route through the Castello di Babbo Natale children’s area in the Fortezza.

Fun Fact:  If you have a teen who’s a Twilight fan, he or she will probably recognize the piazza from a scene in the movie.

Dates:  November 18th, 2023 – January 7th, 2024

Hours: 10:30 – 19:30, mostly just weekends, but check the official site for all of the dates

Location: Piazza Grande and Via San Donato

Nearby: Tempio di San Biagio, Pienza (pecorino cheese!), and Bagno Vignoni hot springs

For more info, see the official Natale a Montepulciano site and read our Tips for Visiting the Montepulciano Christmas Market.

Bressanone (Brixen) Mercatino di Natale

Bressanone Christmas market in Italy.

A classic South Tyrol market, Bressanone’s mercatino has stalls full of local products and holiday décor.  The true highlight of the Market is the Light Musical Liora (a musical fairytale told with a light display on the side of buildings).  It’s an additional cost, but well worth it!  You can also visit the Hofburg Museum’s collection of nativity scenes (presepi). 

Dates:  November 24th, 2023 – January 6th, 2024, hours vary (see the official site)

Location:  Piazza del Duomo

Nearby: Plose Mountain (for skiing, and home of the famous mineral water)

For more info, see the Bressanone tourism website’s page on the Mercatino di Natale.

Gubbio Mercatino di Natale

Gubbio's famous Christmas tree in Umbria, Italy.

Like Empoli’s mercatino di Natale, Gubbio’s Christmas market is often overlooked by visitors.  But, don’t miss this picturesque Umbrian village during the holidays!  The town also hosts ChristmasLand, light displays, a little train, a presepe vivente (live nativity scene), and more.

Good To Know:  Monte Ingino, above Gubbio, boasts Italy’s largest Christmas tree – a ‘tree’ made of colorful lights on the side of the mountain.  This is one of the best Christmas trees to see in Italy

Dates:  November 25th, 2023 to January 7th, 2024, but it’s not every day (check the calendar on the official site)

Hours: vary

Location:  Piazza Quaranta Martiri

Nearby: Perugia, Assisi, Deruta

For more info, see the official Gubbio è Natale site.

Asti Mercatino di Natale

Asti’s market features artisanal foods (from the area and other parts of Italy), handicrafts, and Christmas gifts.  Piedmont is Italy’s Slow Food Capital, so quality food reigns here.  You’ll see it in the food and drinks at the market, as well as in the shops, restaurants, and cafes in town.  Try regional treats like hazelnuts, truffles, cheeses, and jams. 

Dates:  November 11th – December 17th, 2023

Location:  Piazza Roma, but also on Corso Alfieri and in Piazza San Secondo

Nearby: Bra, Italy’s Slow Food Capital; Alba, with its beautiful center and truffles; Barolo, home of the famous red wine

Good To Know:  This market is partnered with the nearby towns of Govone (Santa’s House) and San Damiano (Presepe Vivente – Living Nativity Scene).  These three towns make up the Magical Christmas Village.

Important:  Govone does not have a Christmas market, so don’t head there if that’s what you’re looking for.  Many websites advertise that Govone has a market, but the town has Santa Claus’s House (meet Santa!), Christmas at the House of Savoy (exhibit on noble family holiday traditions, including presepi), The School of Elves (short workshop for children on how to become an elf), and a Small Christmas shop.

For more info, see the official Magico Paese di Natale site.

Bologna’s Mercatini di Natale

If you visit Bologna during the holidays, you’ll find two Christmas Markets in the city – a traditional one, and a French Christmas Market.  Bologna is an excellent pick for its Christmas markets because you can combine it with a meal of tortellini in brood, perfect on a chilly winter day.

As the oldest Christmas Market in Emilia-Romagna, Bologna’s traditional mercatino di natale  is recognized for its cultural and historical importance.  You’ll find many items for the presepe,  and the Christmas tree.  There are also stands selling Christmas trinkets, ornaments, and gifts, and plenty of delicious culinary treats (this is Bologna, after all!). 

For children visiting Bologna, there’s also a little forest withBabbo Natale’s home and little ones can leave their letter for the jolly old man. 

Inside the Chiesa di San Petronio, you can see a beautiful presepe.

Dates: November 10th – December 26th, 2023

Location: Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Servi

Hours: 9:00-20:00

Nearby: Parma and Modena are two of Italy’s biggest foodie towns, and you can visit some of Italy’s best car museums in the area.

The French Christmas Market in Bologna has traditional French delicacies like cheeses, chocolate and wine (and pain au chocolat!), along with artisan-made Christmas gifts, decorations, and culinary gifts (like macarons) and meals.  It has a similar feel as the Christmas markets in Northern Italy.

Dates: November 25th – December 24th, 2023

Location: Piazza Minghetti e del Francia

Hours: 9:00-20:00

For more info, see the Bologna Welcome site.

Ortisei Mercatino di Natale

Presepe in a shop in Ortisei, Italy.
A wooden presepe at one of my kids’ favorite shops in Ortisei, Comploj Franco

Ortisei is a small village in a Ladin Valley in the Dolomites and its Christmas market doesn’t disappoint.  Expect snow and a magical atmosphere with twinkling lights, a mountain backdrop, and cheerful locals and visitors.

Dates:  December 1st, 2023 – January 7th, 2024

Hours: 11:00am opening, varying closing times

Location: Piazza Fiera & Piazza Battisti

Nearby: Ladin museum in town; skiing and snow sports on Alpe di Siusi; ski World Cup; Christmas market in neighboring Selva Val Gardena

For more info, see the official Nadel Urtijei site.

Merano Mercatino di Natale

Night scene of the Merano Christmas market in Northern Italy.

We love visiting Merano for its thermal baths, and they perfectly complement a visit to the town’s Christmas market.  In typical Tyrolean style, the wooden stalls are full of artisan crafts and delicious mountain foods.

Fun Fact:  Merano is one of the original five Christmas markets of Alto Adige (South Tyrol).  The others are Bolzano, Bressanone, Vipiteno, and Brunico.

Dates:  November 24th, 2023 – January 6th, 2024

Hours: varying times, see official info on site below

Location:  along the northern edge of the Passer (Passirio) River

Nearby: Merano’s thermal baths; Naturns – birthplace of the Hugo Spritz

For more info, see the official Merano Tourism office site.

Empoli Mercatino di Natale

Train made up of Christmas lights on a small street in Italy at night.
My boys love the festive atmosphere of Empoli during the holidays.

Empoli’s Christmas market is known to locals but often skipped over by visitors.  Too bad for them, as the city really goes all out for the holidays! 

Grab a hot chocolate (cioccolata calda) and wander the wooden stalls stuffed with artisan products, Tuscan treats, and Christmas gifts and decorations.

In addition to the market, Empoli hosts an ice skating rink, a ferris wheel, a trenino (little train), beautiful twinkling lights throughout the city, light displays on buildings, Santa’s world, and snow (on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays in Piazza Farinata degli Uberti).

Good To Know:  Empoli is an easy day trip from Florence.      

Dates:  Weekends from November 18th – December 24th, 2023; plus December 8th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd

Hours: 10:00 to 20:00

Location:  Piazza della Vittoria

Nearby: Florence, Vinci (Leonardo da Vinci’s hometown), San Miniato (hip foodie town), Pistoia (and the Pistoia Zoo), Cerreto Guidi (home to a UNESCO Medici Villa)

For more info, see the official Empoli Città del Natale site.

Arco Mercatini di Natale

Evening scene of the Christmas market in Arco, Italy.

Arco is a small mountain town just above Lake Garda and its Christmas market is large and has a variety of stalls.  I love that you can see info on each stall on the official website. 

Kids will love the little ‘farm corner’ with animals and petting zoo, ancient craftsman displays and shows, and variety of presepi (nativity scenes).

If you can, visit on January 8th for the fireworks!      

Dates:  December 17th, 2023 – January 7th, 2024

Hours: 10:00 – 19:00 (20:00 on some days)

Location:  Piazza della Vittoria

Nearby: Riva del Garda, Sirmione and its unique castle

For more info, see the official Mercatini di Natale Arco site.

Trento Mercatino di Natale

One of South Tyrol’s largest Christmas markets, it’s bustling with vendors selling local food products and artisan crafts.  Grab some mulled wine and browse!

Dates:  November 18th, 2023 – January 7th, 2024

Hours: 10:00am opening, varying closing times

Location:  Piazza Fiera & Piazza Mostra

Nearby: MUSE; Riva del Garda; Dolomites mountains (skiing and snow sports); Bolzano

For more info, see the official Trento Tourism office site.

Naples Christmas Alley

While there is a Christmas market just outside the city center, the city is home to a Christmas street (nicknamed ‘Christmas Alley’) year-round.  Naples’ famous Italian nativity scene street – Via San Gregorio Armeno is even more festive for the holidays.  Read more about the Presepe – Italy’s Nativity Scene.

Dates: Year-round

Location: Via San Gregorio Armeno

Nearby: Pizza in the center of Naples; the celebrated holiday light show in Salerno

Befana Market – Rome

While there are other Christmas markets in Rome (like at the Spanish Steps and in Piazza Mazzini), this is the one most people think of.  It’s had a bit of drama in recent years, but you’ll find Christmas decorations, toys, regional food and drinks, and a carousel for children to ride.

Dates: December 8th, 2023 – January 6th, 2024

Hours: 10:00 – late!

Location: Piazza Navona

Nearby:  Vatican City’s Christmas tree and presepe vivente in St. Peter’s Square

Other Christmas Markets in Italy in 2023/2024

Presepi (Italian nativity scenes) for sale at the Florence Christmas market in Italy.
Presepi for sale at Florence’s Christmas Market in Piazza Santa Croce
  • Florence (Piazza Santa Croce): November 18th – December 17th, 2023
  • Venice (multiple)
  • Milan (Piazza Duomo): December 1st, 2023 – January 6th, 2024
  • Aosta (Piazza Caveri, Piazza Giovanni XXIII, Piazza Roncas): November 25th, 2023 – January 7th, 2024
  • Castelrotto (town center): December 2nd – 30th, 2023; includes concert by town’s famous Kasteruther Spatzen band
  • Dobbiaco (town center): November 24th, 2023 – January 6th, 2024
  • San Candido (town center): November 24th, 2023 – January 6th, 2024
  • Verona (Piazza dei Signori & town center): November 17th – December 26th, 2023
  • Vipiteno (town center): November 24th, 2023 – January 6th, 2024
  • Brunico (town center): November 24th, 2023 – January 6th, 2024

Buon Natale – Merry Christmas!

Spending the holidays in Italy? Or just curious about how we celebrate here? Learn more about Italian Christmas:
Where to Spend Christmas in Italy
Christmas in Italy for Kids – Traditions & How to Celebrate

How to Say Merry Christmas in Italian
Traditional Italian Christmas Foods

Traditional Italian Christmas Lunch
Authentic Italian Christmas Eve Dinner

Pandoro vs Panettone

Presepe – The Italian Nativity Scene
Babbo Natale – Italy’s Santa Claus
La Befana – Italy’s Christmas Witch
12 Italian Christmas Traditions We Still Celebrate
Where to Buy a Christmas Tree in Italy
10 Best Places to See Christmas Trees in Italy
Best Christmas Markets in Italy
Christmas in Tuscany

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