If you’ll be in Italy over the Christmas holidays, you’ll probably want to check out some of Italy’s most beautiful Christmas trees. And, if you’re celebrating the holiday here, you may even want to pick up your own Christmas tree.
I’ve put together this quick guide to buying a Christmas tree for your Italian home or accommodation.
Spending the holidays in Italy? Or just curious about how we celebrate here? Check out our Christmas posts:
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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Where to Buy a Christmas Tree in Italy
If you’d like to decorate your home or accommodation with a real Christmas tree for the holidays, you can find one at:
- Grocery Stores – Major Italian grocery store chains like Coop will often have a small section of the store with live Christmas trees for sale.
- Flower Stands – Some flower stands (vivai, singular: vivaio) stock a few Christmas trees in the weeks leading up to the holidays.
- Plant Nurseries – If you’re able to leave the city center, you can visit a vivaio and choose from a variety of sizes and types of trees. Some vivai also allow you to ‘rent’ your Christmas tree – use it, take care of it, and return it after the holidays (or they’ll come pick it up).
Good To Know: Unfortunately, U-Pick Christmas tree farms aren’t yet a thing in Italy. They do exist in neighboring countries like Switzerland and Austria, so hopefully the trend will make its way south to us in Italy.
Good To Know: Italian Christmas trees are typically sold with the roots (vs. a sawed-off trunk), so you can either plant yours in a pot or saw off the end and put it in a stand.
If you’re interested in a fake tree, you can purchase them in many locations, including:
- Maisons du Monde
- Leroy Merlin
- Hypermarkets (iperCoop, Famila)
Christmas Tree Prices in Italy
Depending on the height and type of tree, and where you purchase it, you’ll likely spend between 20€ and 100€.
Setting Up Your Italian Christmas Tree
When to Set Up Your Italian Christmas Tree
If you want to stick with Italian Christmas traditions, set up your Christmas tree on December 8th, on the Festa dell’Immacolata Concezione (Feast of the Immaculate Conception). This is when most Italians put their trees up, Christmas Markets officially open, and city Christmas trees are lit up in places like Florence’s Piazza Duomo and Rome’s St. Peter’s Square. Italians usually
Stands vs Pots
You can purchase a stand (with screws that hold the tree stead) or keep your tree in a pot! If you decide to pot yours, make sure there is plenty of space and terra (dirt) for the roots of the tree.
Remember to keep your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces or radiators (which are commonly against the walls in Italy).
Italian Christmas Tree Decorations
Italians usually decorate their Christmas trees with lights and ornaments. You’ll find a variety of styles – from elegant to themed to hand-made. Christmas tree decorations (lights and ornaments) tend to be very expensive in Italy, so you won’t see many lights in Italian yards and houses, but you will always see lights on the tree. You can find Christmas lights at many types of stores – grocery stores, home stores like Leroy Merlin (like a Lowe’s or Home Depot), €0.99 stores, and IKEA. Although it’s cheaper to bring them from home, if you choose to do so you’ll need to purchase an adapter (and possibly even a converter, depending on the voltage of your home country) for the Italian electrical outlet. Ornaments can be found at many shops and at Italian Christmas markets.
Important: If you’re visiting Italy, make sure that you’re allowed to have a Christmas tree in your hotel or apartment.
What to Do with Your Christmas Tree after the Holidays
If your tree has roots, you can keep it potted and eventually plant it outside (best done in the autumn).
Alternative Christmas Trees for the Holidays in Italy
If you don’t have space (or the energy to decorate) a Christmas tree for the holidays, you could also:
- Buy a mini Christmas tree (real or fake) and decorate it with a small strand of lights and a few ornaments. This is an excellent way to bring holiday spirit into a small hotel room. If you’ll be in Italy with your kids for the holidays, this is a great solution – you can even pick up a couple of mini trees and let each child decorate their own. You can find them at florists, nurseries, some grocery stores and IKEA (they sell both real and fake mini trees).
- Buy a felt Christmas tree and attach it to the wall of your accommodation or home. This is a great idea for toddlers and small children – they can ‘decorate’ with felt ornaments that don’t break. You can easily bring a felt tree from home (like this felt tree or this felt tree that has battery-powered lights) or purchase one in Italy at stores like Flying Tiger Copenhagen. They typically come with felt decorations, but you could also make your own Italian-themed ornaments.
- Find Your Favorite Christmas tree outdoors in Italy. Most Italian cities and towns have their own decorated and lit-up Christmas trees. Read about the best places to see Christmas trees in Italy!
- Set up a Presepe – The presepe, Italy’s nativity scene, is even more of an Italian tradition than a Christmas tree. You can purchase a complete set from Christmas markets, shops, woodcarvers in the Dolomites (like those in Ortisei), or even the ‘Presepe Street’ in Naples, Via San Gregorio Armeno. Not only will you be able to enjoy your presepe while you’re in Italy – you can also bring it home with you to enjoy during future Christmas holidays.
Helpful Christmas Tree Vocabulary
albero di natale – Christmas tree
Dov’è l’albero di natale? – Where is the Christmas tree?
Quanto costa? – How much does it cost?
radici – roots
altezza – height
abete / pino / abete rosso -fir / pine / spruce
affittare – rent
vivaio – plant nursery
fioraio – florist
Buon Natale! Merry Christmas!