A guide to the main markets in Tuscany, city by city
Lots of markets during the Christmas season make them the ideal place to seek out gifts for yourself, friends and family! Wherever you may be, it is likely you'll find a market nearby on the weekends (and early holidays) starting in November and throughout the month of December. Many will occur on the same days, so you'll have to choose where to head to.
Here is a selection of the main ones we recommend!
photo credit Mercato di Natale Firenze
Every year, there are various Christmas markets in Florence (and surroundings) where you can will find great gifts as well as get the chance to taste delicious food specialties while you roam... or just enjoy a little of the festive atmosphere that abounds!
Here are my favorite Christmas markets in town:
WEIHNACHTSMARKT CHRISTMAS MARKET - PIAZZA SANTA CROCE - November 30 to December 18, 2016 from 10 am to 10 pm
The Weihnachtsmarkt Christmas market is Florence's "traditional" market held in Piazza Santa Croce. The market appears as a small Christmas village with typical wooden houses popular in Christmas markets in Germany and in the north of Italy. Here, you will find Italian and international products that make perfect gifts, including Christmas decorations, candles, tableware, clothing and much more, as well as food and wine specialties to be enjoyed on the spot or taken home. Admission is free.
CHRISTMAS IS THE OLTRARNO - PIAZZA DEL CARMINE - to confirm
Christmas is celebrated in the characteristic area of Oltrarno, between Piazza del Carmine, Piazza Santo Spirito, the square Verzaia and Piazza della Calza, Porta Romana and Porta San Frediano. Here you'll find a Christmas market, music and games for children and light projections. Admission is free.
OPEN DAY FOR THE ISTITUTO DEGLI INNOCENTI - FOUR SEASONS HOTEL IN FLORENCE - December 18, 2016
The luxurious Four Seasons Hotel in Via Borgo Pinti in Florence opens its doors to its beautiful park for a fundraising event in favor of the Istituto degli Innocenti. On December 18, from 10 am to 4pm, , the large park of the old della Gherardesca estate will host many stands where you can buy Christmas gifts, food and wine and enjoy many culinary specialties. A perfect event for families with children, for which there is also entertainment. A minimum donation of 1 € is required to enter the gardens and market.
CHARITY MARKET "NATALEPERFILE" - PALAZZO CORSINI - December 1 & 4 2016 from 10 am to 7 pm
NataleperFILE is a fundraising event for the Foundation of Italian Lenitherapy which provides a Christmas market hosted inside the elegant Palazzo Corsini in downtown Florence. The market features more than 60 exhibitors offering clothing, jewelry and gift items, including many items donated by big brands. Admission is free.
If you want to head out of Florence, or are staying nearby, here are more Christmas markets in the surroundings of Florence:
CHRISTMAS MARKETS AT BORGO SAN LORENZO - to confirm
The center of Borgo San Lorenzo in Mugello prepares for Christmas by hosting a daily market in early Decembere where you'll be ablet to find decorations, gifts and local products.
CHRISTMAS MARKETS AT MARRADI - December 4, 11, 13, 2016
The small town of Marradi, famous for its Chestnut Festival, celebrates Christmas with several days of market where you will find local handicrafts and food items, decorations and many ideas for your gifts. Entertainment is provided including music, puppet shows for the kids and a Santa Clause House!
MAGIE DELL’AVVENTO (MAGIC OF THE ADVENT) AT PALAZZUOLO SUL SENIO - December 4, 8, 11 & 18, 2016
The four days devoted to Christmas in Palazzuolo sul Senio, in the upper part of the Mugello, go to add to another reason why people are drawn to this small town: for the many nativity scenes that fill the village during Christmas time. The "1000 Presepi per Palazzuolo" (1000 Nativities/Cribs for Palazzuolo) will be on display until January 6. On December 26, an evocative recital of Nativity at sunset is planned.
CHRISTMAS MARKETS AROUND CHIANTI (to confirm)
Christmas is also celebrated across all of Chianti, where you will find Christmas markets and artisans, music and entertainment.
Here is the calendar of the event for this year: Greve in Chianti on December 8 and 13, Strada in Chianti on December 12, San Polo in Chianti on December 13, Panzano in Chianti on December 19, Lucolena on December 20.
If you're interested in events around Christmas and December in Florence, take a look at this article.
photo credit Siena Mercato Nel Campo
MERCATO NEL CAMPO IN SIENA - December 3,4 2016 from 8 am to 8 pm
On 3 and 4 December, the stunning Piazza del Campo in Siena will host the stalls of "Mercato nel Campo", which isn't just dedicated to Christmas, but a weekend where you will find many handicrafts, food and wine, gifts, decorations, books and other ideas that are still perfect as Christmas gifts.
CITTA’ DELLE FIACCOLE - ABBADIA SAN SALVATORE - December 8, 2016 to January 6, 2017
The town of Abbadia San Salvatore every year offers a series of interesting events related to Christmas. Abbadia San Salvatore is known as "la città delle fiaccole" due to an ancient tradition that takes place during Christmas eve, when several small bonfires are set afire along the streets of the medieval town and people celebrate Christmas with carols and tastings of typical local food products. The celebrations start on December 5 with the construction of the first piles for the bonfires and continue until January with a calendar of events that will enrich the magic of this local tradition.
CHRISTMAS MARKET AT MONTEPULCIANO - November 19, 2016 to January 8, 2017
Montepulciano at Christmas is transformed into a Christmas market (free admission) with over sixty wooden houses where you'll find handicrafts, delicatessen products, decorations and gifts. Inside the Castle of Montepulciano, instead, children can enjoy the Christmas village set up just for them (this does charge an admission fee).
Read more about Christmas events in Siena HERE.
MARKET IN VIA PAPARELLI IN PISA - to confirm
In Via Paparelli in Pisa hosts the city market every Wednesday and Saturday morning but on the Sundays leading up to Christmas, it turns into a Christmas market offering many items perfect for gifts and decorations, although it retains the air of the city market.
SMALL MARKET UNDER THE ARCADE OF PIAZZA XX SETTEMBRE - to confirm
Enjoy the small Christmas market on the Sundays before Christmas set up under the arcades of Piazza XX Settembre, which faces the Ponte di Mezzo. It will be on your way between the train station and Piazza dei Miracoli, so it will offer the perfect chance to shop on your way (there or back).
photo credit David Butali Fotografia
DECEMBER ANTIQUES IN AREZZO - December 3-4, 2016
The traditional antiques fair which takes place on the first weekend of every month in Arezzo will be Christmas-themed in December. So you will get the chance to find great antiques and much more!
AREZZO CITTA’ DEL NATALE (CITY OF CHRISTMAS) - December 3 to 26, 2016
Arezzo becomes nothing less than the "City of Christmas" during the festivities! During the event, Piazza Grande will host a Tyrolean market with over 25 stalls of products from northern Italy (open to the public every day).
You'll also find workshops for children, the home of Santa Clausa, an ice rink and "Frozen" themed village.
Other Christmas markets will be in Piazza San Jacopo and Piazza Risorgimento, from 3 December to 8 January.
Since the end of November until the second Sunday of January Lucca will be illuminated by projections and Christmas decorations and on the weekends will be held several events and street markets in the neighborhoods of the historic center.
CHRISTMAS FAIR IN PIAZZA NAPOLEONE - from 3 December 2016 to 8 January 2017
Piazza Napoleone in Lucca will be set up again this year with a hawkers market and an ice skating rink!
CHRISTMAS IN THE CITY IN PIAZZA SAN MICHELE - from 3 December 2016 to 8 January 2017
Christmas in the city officially starts in Piazza San Michele on Monday, 7 December.
CHRISTMAS MARKET IN S. ANNA - to confirm
This is an extraordinary Christmas market set up on Via G. Puccini and St. Anna.
In the province:
CHRISTMAS IN THE CASTLE OF NOZZANO - December 4, 2016
On Sunday, December 4 in the Fortress of Nozzano, you can enjoy "Christmas in the Castle of Nozzano", an event especially designed for families with children. The event starts at 10am with a Christmas market all around the fortress.
Starting at 3pm, children will find Santa Claus in his house and in the afternoon, there will be entertainment with music and culinary delicacies in the stalls. Free entrance.
CHRISTMAS MARKET - ROSIGNANO MARITTIMO - to confirm
You'll find a small Christmast Market in Rosignano Marittimo on Dec. 13, with music, lots of food and more that will bring the city center to life with holiday spirit.
IN MASSA CARRARA
UN NATALE DA VIVERE (A CHRISTMAS TO LIVE) - MASSA CARRARA - December 27, 2016 to January 6,2017
Massa Carrara organizes various events for Christmas for kids and adults.In the city center there are the Christmas markets, but also the House of Santa Claus, the elves of the forest and the factory of toys. There will also a skating rink and then musical entertainment, stories and fun for children.
CHRISTMAS EVENT - BAGNO DI GAVORRANO - December 17, 18 2016
The tiny village of Bagno di Gavorrano hosts a Christmas market, with the lights and sounds of the holiday and local culinary specialties to enjoy.