A guide to the main Christmas markets in Tuscany, city by city - UPDATED for 2021
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 mid-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 this holiday season!
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 our favorite Christmas markets in Florence:
WEIHNACHTSMARKT CHRISTMAS MARKET | Piazza Santa Croce | November 20 to December 19, from 10am to 10pm
The Weihnachtsmarkt Christmas market is Florence's "traditional" German 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. For further news, follow their e Facebook page.
FLORENCE ICE VILLAGE | Fortezza da Basso gardens | from December 4 through Janaury 16, 2022
Florence's skating rink returns after last year's stop due to the pandemic, and for the first time ever in Florence, we get to enjoy a ferris wheel! The gardens of the Fortezza change their appearance for the Florence Ice Village, with Santa Claus, a large Christmas tree and lots of games and shows for children and the entire family. The Santa Claus Village (from December 4 to 24) will host a Christmas market, food stalls and various events, such as the official lighting of the Tree on the 11th of December and shows on the 19th and 23rd of December. The Ferris wheel, 55 meters high, will be open from December 3rd until January 16th, just like the skating rink. For up-to-date news on the events, follow their Facebook page.
CHARITY MARKET "NATALEPERFILE"| Palazzo Corsini | December 9-12, 11am - 7pm
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 stalls offer many choices, from clothing, jewelry and many gift items, many donated by big brands that support the association. This year you will also find Santa Claus Company singing Christmas songs within the Grotta del Ninfeo on the afternoon of Sunday the 12th. Admission is free. More details on their website.
These are outside of Florence, in the province:
MAGIE DELL’AVVENTO/ADVENT MAGIC | Palazzuolo Sul Senio | December 12 & 19
These two days devoted to Christmas in Palazzuolo sul Senio, in the upper part of the Mugello, add just another another reason to why people are drawn to this small town: the many Nativity scenes showcased across the entire village during the holidays. The "1000 Presepi per Palazzuolo" (1000 Nativities/Cribs for Palazzuolo) will be on display until January 6.
NATALE IN CORSO | Barberino di Mugello | December 5, 8, 12 & 19
Market through the historical center's streets with various entertainments, live statues, street artists and nativity scenes.
EMPOLI CHRISTMAS TOWN | Empoli | from November 13 to January 16, 2022
The 2021 edition of #Empolicittadelnatale returns this year to offer us a magical, memorable Christmas. The streets of the historic center will shine bright with the light installations and the large Christmas tree will fill and warm everyone's hearts. All around, you'll find many attractions: from the fair with the ice skating rink to Christmas markets, from the magical world of Santa Claus to the tourist train, a treasure hunt on December 8th and Christmas concert on December 19th. Another attraction is "the great snowfall"... wonder what it will be? ;-) For a full program and information on where to park, visit the event's official website.
CHRISTMAS IN VAGLIA | Vaglia and surroundings | December 8-19
You will find traditional Christmas markets and the bonfire on the last night of the year, as well as the contest "Christmas, I decorate" in Vaglia this holiday season. There will also be music, games for the children, fundraisers for local organizations and a torchlight procession in nature. The season kicks off with the market on December 8th in Caselline, then on the 10th in Pratolino, then on Saturday, December 18 you'll find the market in Vaglia and the last one on Sunday, December 19th in Bivigliano.
→ If you're interested in events around Christmas and December in Florence, take a look at this article.
DECEMBER EVENTS IN FLORENCE & SURROUNDINGS
For more events taking place this December in Florence and surroundings, take a look at the article on December events.
MERCATO NEL CAMPO | Siena | December 4-5, from 8am to 8pm
The stunning Piazza del Campo in Siena will host the stalls of "Mercato nel Campo", which isn't just dedicated to Christmas, but an entire 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 - January 6
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 on 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 traditional local foods. The celebrations start in early December with the construction of the first pyres for the bonfires and continue until January with a calendar of events that enrich the magic of the local tradition. For further details (in Italian), check out the official website.
CHRISTMAS MARKET | Montepulciano | November 20-21 and 27-28, December 4-12 and December 18 - January 6
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 children can enjoy the Christmas village set up just for them (this does charge an admission fee). The market will be open every day from December 18th through January 6th from 10.30am to 7.30pm. For more details, check out the official website.
AREZZO CITTÁ DEL NATALE | Arezzo | November 20 - January 9, 2022
Perhaps it would be easier to say what is not in Arezzo for this Christmas! ;-) The "Prato delle Meraviglie" or Garden of Marvels, has a Ferris wheel, then there are traditional Christmas markets across the city, light installations on monuments, the Christmas Brick Arezzo, the Tyrolean Christmas Village, Santa's House and many other attractions from November 20th through January 9, 2022.
Original light installations dress up monuments across the city including the Cathedral, the Pieve, the library and Piazza Grande. Spectacular video mappings created specifically for the event and traditional lights connect every street of the historic center, bringing the spirit and lights of Christmas to the whole city, offering an unprecedented interpretation of the city architecture, its alleys and squares.
You can find the Market of Marvels at the Prato, the large green area that sits at the highest point of the city, with many wooden "houses" offering local street food, handicrafts and local products. Strolling in a fairytale atmosphere, here you can find magnificent ideas for Christmas gifts and lots of yummy treats to satisfy everyone. The market is open only from Friday to Sunday in this period, from 10am to 9pm, with special openings on December 7/8/9, 22/23 and 28/29 and January 3/4/5/6, 2022.
As in Florence, this year you will also find a Ferris wheel to offer breathtaking views over the city! Also located in the "Prato delle Meraviglie", the highest part of the city, you can enjoy a wonderful view of Arezzo dressed up for the party. From Monday to Thursday from 3pm to 11pm, Friday and Saturday from 10am to 12pm, Sunday from 10am to 11pm (24 and 31 December closing at 6pm). Cost: € 8 full, € 6 reduced from 3 years to 10 years and over 65, free from 0-2 years up to 100 cm in height.
The Tyrolean Village in Piazza Grande is the center of the party with 32 wooden houses where exhibitors from Tyrol in northern Italy, Germany and Austria offer traditional products and crafts. Here, two small huts serve the best beers and traditional Tyrolean dishes. From Friday to Sunday, from 10am to 9pm with special openings: December 7, 8 and 9, 2021.
Also in Piazza Grande at the Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici you will find Santa Claus's House. The ancient frescoed rooms will offer workshops for children and many surprises such as the Talking Tree, the reindeer with the red nose, a Santa Claus lit by thousands of LEDs and the Arctic Circle post office, where children can meet "live" Santa Claus to give him their Christmas letters. Open Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 17:30 with special openings. This requires reservations, for which I recommend you visit the official site and book from there.
For further Christmas gifts, you can find several markets: Piazza San Jacopo and Piazza Risorgimento, from 8am to 8pm every day, while the Handmade Arts Market in Piazza Guido Monaco will only be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 7.30pm, with special opening on December 8th.
The Cloister of the Library becomes the "Cloister of Wonders" and hosts the excellence of local craftsmanship: it begins with "The Jewel on Display" on December 4 and 5, sponsored by Confcommercio Arezzo, and continues for three weekends with "The artisans of Christmas "(December 8-12, December 16-19 and December 22-24) initiative promoted by Confartigianato Imprese Arezzo and ends with appointments dedicated to antiques for the monthly Antiques Fair, which will take place in the historic center of Arezzo on January 1 and 2, 2022.
THE SECRET WORLD OF SANTA CLAUS | Lucca | November 26, 27 and 28
In the splendid setting of the Real Collegio, the "Secret World of Santa Claus" places children at the center of the magic of Christmas, where together with the elves they can prepare fantastic Christmas decorations, make magnificent toys and many gift ideas with their own hands. They can also have fun writing and posting their Christmas letters directly in Santa's post office, watching magnificent puppet theater and Baby dance shows, LEGO workshops, wooden games, Magic Globe, Santa's Sleigh with Reindeers, the enchanted forest and much more. Finally, Santa Claus awaits visitors in his home, a truly wonderful setting that will enchant all those who visit with the most beautiful atmosphere of Christmas. For more information, go to the official site.
Last update: December 3, 2021