Natale, or Christmas, is one of Italy's most beloved holidays; it is the
time when the warm heart of Italy opens to its fullest. Normally started
from 8th December, the Christmas holiday lastsfor almost one month
until the kids receive their gifts in January 6th. It would be a great time
for people to travel to Italy during this period and have an all-round
experience of whatItaly is, frombeautiful sceneries to the culture and
lifestyles there. There are a few areasthat may take the holidays to
In addition to the festivities in Rome itself, you also have Vatican City's
celebrations. It's like getting two cities' worth of holiday in one spot.
At the Vatican, the Pope delivers a Christmas Eve midnight mass; In
Rome, the Piazza del Popolo fills with over 100 Nativities, the Piazza
Navona turns into a Christmas market and Christmas Eve mass is held
in historic churches throughout the city -- including the Pantheon, where
you'll hear Gregorian chants.
Even if you’re not lucky enough to witness snow falling on the canals and gondolas, Venetians know how to ward off the chill with hot spiced wine
and other holiday treats, sold in the Christmas markets. No matter your
age, you’re bound to be charmed by the figure of Father Christmas
arriving by gondola to distribute goodies
Naples is home to a street rightfully called “Christmas Alley.” This city is
the epicenter of Italy’s Nativity scene tradition, and the shops along Via
San Gregorio Armeno that make both the detailed structures and the
myriad figurines that inhabit them work (and sell) all year long.
For a location with loads of Italian Christmas traditions but (likely) much
milder weather, head south to Sicily.Second only to the Neapolitans in
terms of their affection for the Nativity scene, Sicilians erect elaborate
Nativities everywhere. In other words, locals dress up and re-enact the
Nativity daily from Christmas Eve through the Epiphany.
Germany is known worldwide for its fabulous Christmas markets, so it
stands to reason the heavily Germanic regions in northeast Italy would inherit some of those traditions – and they have. This area is also a good
base if you want to take day trips into Venice or Verona without staying in either one the whole time, or if your idea of the perfect Christmas
vacation includes access to world-class skiing.
Abruzzo and Molise regions are home to an older tradition you won’t find
in the main tourist centers.Nine days before Christmas, the
bagpipe-playing zampognari come down from the hills into the towns
(dressed in period costumes), symbolizing the shepherds who visited
Jesus upon his birth. The added bonus of heading for these rural regions of central Italy is that you’re more likely to be sharing the holiday with
other Italians rather than foreign visitors.
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