This time of year is perfect for plan vacations in places where you can breathe the most authentic Christmas mood, where there is an exclusive selection of gifts and a rich choice of events to attend.
After having recommend the most peculiar Christmas markets where to go shopping, we announce five destinations to dream, where you can join other activities, and take the opportunity to discover both the small mountain towns as the larger cities that reveal exceptional beauty.
Bolzano, a jewel in the heart of the Alps
Travelers who love long walks and excursions will find in Bolzano the ideal place for a relaxing holiday. This resort is located at the center of a network of routes that range from Lungotalvera San Quirino, in Petrarch Park, the Sant’Osvaldo Walks and Guncina, above the town about 100 meters high, giving a magnificent view of the mountains surrounding.
In Bolzano there are 3 lifts that allow you to achieve the most beautiful plateaus in the area, for this reason we suggest to try them all, from the Funivia del Colle, the oldest in the world, the Funivia del Renon (with views of the farms of the Dolomites, the typical dwellings the rural Trentino-Alto Adige) and the San Genesio funivia, which offer views to the woods simply sensational.
The best known tradition of Bolzano is the Christmas Market, which opened in Piazza Walther November 24 and will remain open until January 6, 2017.
A fir with Christmas decorations, the crib in alpine rustic version and wooden stand enliven the square, creating an atmosphere suspended in time.
Local artisans offer a wide range of handmade items, clothing accessories (such as slippers and hats) and delicatessen.
Here you will find more information about Bolzano and on the December events: www.bolzano-bozen.it/mercatino-natale-bolzano.htm.
Vipiteno, medieval hamlet in the Alta Valle dell’Isarco
The second stage is still in the Trentino-Alto Adige, as the town of Vipiteno is worth visiting apart; the town, located between the Isarco and the Rio Ridanna, was founded by the Romans in 14 BC and became an important center for trade in the Middle Ages thanks to its strategic position.
The fascination that Vipiteno has preserved over the centuries is its distinctive feature, however, is not only a rich town of Gothic churches and picturesque squares, but a place that offers nearby golf courses, skating rinks, and mountain bike tours.
In other words, Vipiteno is the right destination for active holidays, and of course the Christmas shopping!
The Vipiteno Market is located in the square dominated by the magnificent Tower of the Twelve, and there you can enjoy a homemade nativity scene with figurines handmade.
The advice is to come to Vipiteno in this period (the market will be open until 6 January) and book your favorite activities to explore the surroundings, you will be surprised by the great attention to the hospitality of the Alpine city.
Regarding the Christmas tradition, not to be missed “Christmas forgotten”, a musical journey during which they sing songs and recite themed shows to remind steering, legendary figure linked to the origins of the village (which in German, in fact, is called Sterzing).
Merano, the ideal Spa town for winter holidays
It is no by chance that Merano is always a popular destination for those wanting to achieve the right mental and physical balance, as the healthy climate of the city is linked ideally to the thermal resorts in the area, where to book specific treatments or take a relaxing journey to find his form.
In Merano you stroll along the promenade, very picturesque streets and devoid of climbs, such as the one along the Passirio, between the Theater Bridge and Post Bridge. Here lies the Kurhaus, an auditorium for classical and rococo architecture which hosts many events throughout the year.
On both sides of the promenade, in Piazza Terme and Piazza della Rena are located 80 decorated houses of the Christmas market, also all the downtown streets are decorated for the holidays.
Visit the market in the evening, when it is less crowded, and follow the concerts scheduled in the churches, you will live unforgettable emotions wrapped in a magical atmosphere.
Official website of the market: http://mercatini.merano.eu/.
Christmas in style in Turin
On December 2nd it will open the Christmas markets in Turin, a highly awaited event that in recent years has attracted a growing number of tourists.
The main location is the Cortile del Maglio, where 100 stalls will be set up, and the 50 stands in Piazza Borgo Dora.
Meet with the wood and glass craftsmen, farmers and artists who present their creations in this elegant and austere city, decked out with new Christmas-themed decorations.
The Borgo Dora Market is famous also for the electromechanical crib and crib museum which gathers 400 works from around the world.
To conclude with a tasteful advice, do not forget to savor the Bicerìn in the local river, is a typical drink of Turin of which the local owners guard the secret recipe (so different from beverage bottles for sale), here you can find more information: www.secretitaly.it/bicerin-coffee-the-traditional-hot-drink-of-turin/.
San Gregorio Armeno in Naples, the district of the cribs
When speaking of Naples and Christmas holidays, you cannot omit the importance of Via San Gregorio Armeno, also known as San Liguoro.
Do you think that in this way, in ancient times, there was a temple dedicated to the goddess Ceres, which the Neapolitans were offering the terracotta figurines, as it was home workshops.
Today the street has become a sort of exhibition of cribs and high quality craft products, ideal for a gift or to get away a souvenir of the largest cities in the South.
On this road there is also the church of San Gregorio Armeno, characterized by the seventeenth-century Baroque style, worthy of visit is the cloister and the monastery, which stand out for their beauty that seems to come from another era.
Every Italian region lives the Christmas tradition in its own way, this route is one example of the hallmarks of the places where the markets and special events are closely linked to local history, the values of a community and to the treasures that each one holds with care.
If you are looking for further info about must-sees places, we recommend to read the post 15 best places to visit in Italy on The Crazy Tourist Blog.