Our 12 Day Countdown To An Italian Christmas
On the 12th Day of Christmas
Travel to the city of Naples and spend a day here checking out the famous Gregorio Armeno e San Biagio dei Librai markets where the atmosphere and sounds of Christmas get you started for your Christmas adventure. https://bit.ly/38EM1IH After your stroll through colour and magic, head to Caffé Gambrinus for their famous coffee accompanied by a sfogliatella napoletana https://bit.ly/2PGcoVV When warmed up head to Via Toledo where you will be greeted by Naples's best shops. That evening head to Pizzeria Del Presidente for some great pizza and a party atmosphere!
Also Enjoy: the Nativity scene at the Chiostro of Santa Chiara. The cloister hosts an important and huge Nativity scene; the buzz of Via Chiaia; attend a show at Teatro San Carlo; Walk in the Vomero where there is a busy Christmas market; admire the Christmas scene from the terrace of Castel Sant’Elmo; The night before Christmas Eve, every family goes to the Fish Market in central Naples (close to Piazza Garibaldi). Here you will really discover the true soul of Naples. With a wide selection of fish, oysters and shellfish, a chef’s wonderland…… https://bit.ly/2PGFaph
On the 11th Day of Christmas
Our car will meet you and take you to Piazza Navona which comes to life with street artists and acrobats, market stalls selling nativity scenes, decorations and sweets. Then head to Santa Maria Maggiore to see the oldest Christmas crib. Enjoy a plate of Rigatoni alla Carbonara at the L’Arcangelo restaurant followed by a zabaglione liqueur and of course have a rest!
Also enjoy: The long-awaited appointment with the 100 Cribs exhibition which returns to Sala San Pio X in via della Conciliazione; every child’s dream, and not only, comes true at the Fabbrica degli Elfi, the biggest Christmas event ever organized in Rome. 6000 square metres of covered space set up for the occasion and completely dedicated to the magic of Christmas. The Roma Gospel Festival; the Nutcracker at the Auditorium Conciliazione and more.......
On the 10th Day of Christmas
Head to Florence. Our car will meet you and take you to Piazza Santa Croce where you will find a range of wooden huts with all types of Christmas delicacies. Enjoy the Nativity scene in Piazza Duomo, the video mapping show at the Ponte Vecchio. In the afternoon take a food tour with our excellent guide and enjoy some food tasting and lots of wine. If you have a little time, pop over to Pisa, which has its own Xmas specials for families and children at the Stazione Leopolda. That evening, why not enjoy some real Tuscan hospitality at Numero 11. http://numeroundici.it
If you happen to be in Florence on Christmas Eve, you definitely must not miss out on midnight mass at the Duomo. A once in a lifetime experience.
On the 9th Day of Christmas
Travel to Bologna, home to one of the oldest Christmas markets in Italy. You will first head to the San Pietro cathedral and enjoy the piazza filled with stalls selling Christmas decorations and sweets, gifts and handicrafts from all over the world. While here do not forget to buy some torrone (nougat with almonds and honey). Enjoy the decorations of this buzzing city and before leaving and this is a must, head to Majani, a 200 year old chocolatier where you can buy wrapped chocolates to take home.. You can even buy some cream- filled chocolate tortellini, what a gift! http://www.majani.it
On the 8th Day of Christmas
Enjoy the buzz which is Milan. Head out to Wonderland Village where you will be able to enjoy the festive season, not forgetting a visit to Piazza Duomo which will also be in party mood. Take part in a spot of window shopping, Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga. In the afternoon spend the day at Peck, the temple of Italian Gastronomy and take home some great gifts….from chocolates to Christmas hampers, homemade pastas to delicious sauces and meats. That evening dress up and head to Ceresio 7, arrive early for a cocktail and then dinner. http://www.ceresio7.com/ristorante
On the 7th Day of Christmas
Take the train to Bolzano, a true alpine celebration with the Dolomites majestically cradling you. Everything about this medieval town centre, its squares and arcades oozes Xmas romance. Enjoy the Christmas market, the festive decorations on the white tree, the nativity, the advent crown, the scented cakes and confectionery made week after week by the expert hands of those who keep their secret recipes and tricks. Do not forget to savour the gastronomic delights from mulled wine to apple fritters, apple juice to Strudel, and children will not forget their first encounter with the market: the miniature train, the merry-go-round, the puppet theatre, the horse-drawn carriage through the streets of the city or the market stalls with entertainment for the children. That evening head to the Parkhotel Laurin and try some Wild boar ravioli with red beets and Port-infused grapes or Venison saddle, black truffle artichokes and small chestnut ravioli….
On the 6th Day of Christmas
Pop over to Merano. You will be enchanted with the true and genuine warmth of Christmas and its magical atmosphere. The scents of cinnamon and spices, Christmas holiday food and home baking will bring childhood memories flooding back. All these things are part of the Christmas traditions of the South Tyrol. Children's eyes won’t be the only ones lighting up at the sight of the soft light emanating from the wooden advent cottages and decorated Christmas trees. End your day at La Smorfia. https://www.lasmorfiamerano.com
On the 5th Day of Christmas
Take the train to Trento and head to Piazza Fiera. Soak up the charming and warm festive atmosphere. This event gathers yearly about 500 thousand visitors. Stroll around in Trento's old streets and let yourself be guided by the shimmering lights, delicious scents and incredible flavours difficult to forget. They will lead you to the 93 wooden chalets of Piazza Fiera and Piazza Battisti. Not only but on certain days you get to experience real choral concerts! That evening after dinner why not indulge in some yummy gelato at Gelateria Cherry. WOW! https://gelateriacherrytrento.com/i-nostri-gelati
On the 4th Day of Christmas
Arrive in Verona which is transformed into light, colour and the sounds of Christmas. With more than 80 exhibitors offering typical traditional products such as glass ornaments, wood and ceramics, many gift ideas as well as gastronomic specialities and delicious Christmas cakes. In the afternoon, drive up to Riva del Garda and visit Santa Claus and his cosy house surrounded by the lake. After discovering the igloos and snowflakes of the North Pole and the Elves’ Cave, children can play and work on their own creations in the workshop; then they can taste the delicacies prepared by Mrs Santa before meeting Santa and listening to his entertaining stories. It will be in Italian but if you need an interpreter, this can be arranged. That evening in Verona surround yourself in a warm atmosphere at Osteria La Fontanina and do not forget to try their Agnolotti di pasta fresca con ripieno di Grana Padano e tartufo nero della Lessinia!
On the 3rd Day of Christmas
Pop over by train to Venice. Soak up the atmosphere by walking through the streets and squares, head into the churches to listen to the angelic choirs singing and the church bells ringing. The whole of Venice is alight with Christmas from its shops to its markets, like the Campo San Polo and the Rialto. Pop over to Murano and Burano for the afternoon and keep warm with a lovely hot chocolate or why not a glass of quality brandy. That evening, head to a local bacaro and enjoy some Venetian treats, Venice’s version of Tapas. Places like Al Bottegon which yes wait for it you can enjoy thinly sliced lard topped with honey amongst a range of other delicacies. Alla Vedova where polpette (crispy pork meatballs) can be savoured and All’Arco with its emphasis on seafood……
On the 2nd Day of Christmas
Head to Palermo and enjoy the characteristic Christmas markets where you can buy absolutely everything but also take advantage of the street food markets which are just so colourful and alive and a doorway into the past. Markets like Ballaro, Capo, Vucciria, Borgo Vecchio, Palermo’s ancient markets. In the afternoon why not watch one of the most amazing living nativity scenes in the world, performed by the many churches in the main squares. Go on get spiritual and celebrate this wonderful moment.
On the Last Day Before Christmas
On Christmas Eve, head to Camogli for your boat which leaves at 2240 which will take you to the illuminated hamlet of San Fruttuoso. Celebrate midnight mass at the San Fruttuoso Abbey which is simply magical and enhanced by the choral music. At the end of the celebration, it is possible to visit the Abbey and enjoy a Christmas toast with a hot wine vin brûlé and Pandolce Genovese. The silence, the darkness, the mysterious and the magical makes this moment the perfect start to Christmas day.
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