Christmas, time for markets. From Trentino to Sweden, ideas for all tastesNovember 21, 2018
If there were not that Christmas would it be? Many people ask for it while walking around the stands, the wooden houses and the exhibition banquets. Every year the Christmas markets come back on time, maybe renewed, but taking with them that load of tradition linked to parties. An opportunity to indulge in the luxury of walking without haste, take time to choose home decorations or gifts to put under the tree or simply enjoy a party atmosphere and contagious.
Where to go? TO Trento (from November 24th to January 6th) everything is dedicated to craftsmanship. There are more than 90 houses where the master craftsmen exhibit their artefacts in the historic Piazza Fiera and Piazza Battisti, such as Christmas decorations in wood, hand-adorned using local natural materials, such as pine cones, berries and fruit or artistic candles. scented, floating. There is no lack of natural products for self-care and well-being of the person. Essential oils and creams based on natural ingredients or made with precious thermal waters, up to cushions with Swiss pine, cherry pits and grape seeds, deliciously scented and to be heated, for a feeling of deep relaxation. During the Christmas period, Trento also organizes a rich program of events and lots of fun educational activities to be enjoyed in the city’s museums. If you want to take advantage of the opportunity for a romantic weekend, you can choose the “The Magic of the Christmas Market” (2 nights with breakfast, 1 dinner with typical Christmas menu, starting from € 132 per person).
Dolomites, Valle d’Aosta, Austria. The Christmas of the markets through the Alps
Castione della Presolana (Bergamo) is transformed into a widespread village of Christmas, scattered between the villages of Bratto, Dorga and Rusio, where to treat yourself for the weekends – November 24-25, 1-2, 7-9 and 15-16 December – a dip in magic and in the past. The Nativity Hut, the Borgo dei Mestieri, the pony cart and the Presolana train, the Santa Claus House with the elves’ workshop. And of course the markets, some forty characteristic wooden houses decorated for a party. They are showcases / forges of handcrafted and valuable artifacts, from objects to enogastronomy (special stay packages, starting from 65 euros per person).
To Wing, Avio is Rovereto, always in Trentino, the markets are an opportunity to discover the beauties of the villages and the “City of Peace”. Artisans and artists with their original artifacts are the protagonists in the salons and hallways of the Baroque palaces: fabrics, silks, design objects, while songs and notes give homage to the history of the past and accompany the expectation of Advent. At Castello di Avio, on the other hand, there are two weekends (8-9 and 15-16 December) to be lived in a unique place, lit by fire, heated by food and wine, accompanied by the rhythm of words and music. All to discover hidden paths, enigmas to solve, stories and legends to tell. An enchantment to be discovered among wooden houses, resin scent, a sky of stars above the head is the strength of tradition that lives in Rovereto. A route among the most diverse proposals, which crosses the historic center, where you can discover eighteenth-century palaces, medieval ramparts, museums, squares with a contemporary flavor and accompanied by a rich calendar of shows and events.
To Aosta, the “Rome of the Alps” already the location gives charm to the market “Marché Vert Noël”. The Alpine-style wooden chalets, about forty, are scattered around the Roman Theater area, right in front of the remains of the spectacular facade, built in blocks of pudding, a local sandstone between gray and blue. . What to bring home? The sabot, the typical wooden shoes, certainly an original gift.
Aosta. The market with the background of the Roman Theater (photo by Enrico Romanzi)
TO Rank, the village of Trentino listed among the “most beautiful villages in Italy”, not far from the Baths of Comano, Christmas lasts longer, until December 30th. This is one of the most characteristic, because the whole village becomes a stage for the Street market. A magical fistful of country houses, perfectly preserved in their ancient architecture, which still speaks of a past populated by pilgrims, shepherds with their flocks, merchants and travelers, keeper of lost histories and stories, where to find customs and habits that have been forgotten elsewhere. Time seems to have stopped here. No market equipment with stands or prefabricated houses, but the narrow uphill lanes, the wide halls, the old woodsheds, the squares, the small courtyards and the porticoes and the same old farmhouses, light up the Christmas lights and soak up the perfumes and the sounds of the party. There are over 90 stone vault that support the old farm houses that offer everything that Christmas does. You can buy or simply admire the wonders of local craftsmanship, but above all the typical products and the food and wine specialties of the area: local cheeses and salamis, strudel, apple fritters and walnut cake.
The Christmas markets have been renamed “Christmas gardens” Asiago, a highly anticipated “ritual” made up of lights, colors, atmospheres suspended in time (until January 6th). The exhibitors’ chalets are located in the gardens of Piazza Carli and in the central Piazza II Risorgimento, where the big Christmas fir is also raised, and offer handmade creations, refined decorations for the home, organic yarns, natural products and many delicacies.
L & # 039 South Tyrol (read the specific article), of course, remains one of the favorite destinations for those who choose to stay within the borders. Sconfinato out of Italy, it is worth reaching Innsbruck, the Capital of the Alps, with six fascinating markets, each with its unmistakable character, over 200 stalls and many events linked to the Tyrolean tradition, from the Krampus, to the arrival of St. Nicholas. A magical atmosphere, among sweet melodies, the unmistakable scent of kiachl, cinnamon and caramelized almonds, with the snow reflected in the lights and lanterns that decorate the windows, to be experienced walking on foot through the streets of the center or on board the historic tram Christkndlbahn, the streetcar trolley. The most modern? That of Maria Theresien Strasse, the shopping street of the city, on which the large rock crystal shines with a special setting: along the street sparkling stylized light trees mark the path that leads to the most beautiful shops in the city and to the stalls, which here they offer carefully chosen Christmas products from all over the world (special packages with 2 overnight stays with a rich breakfast buffet starting from € 169 per person in a double room).
Asiago (Vicenza). Photo roberto Costa Ebech
Millions of sparkling lights, scent of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine, and dozens of stalls even at Villach, jewel of Carinthia a few kilometers from the Italian border of Tarvisio. There are three areas involved. The most traditional part of the market (Advent of traditions), with its wooden stalls, is installed near the parish church of St. Jakob. It is certainly worth a visit, especially for those who love cooking, the part dedicated to the gastronomic tradition (Advent gastronomic), set up in the central Piazza “Hauptplatz”, where you can be tempted by the typical specialties of local food and wine. Finally, the craft market (Artistic Advent) set up in the park next to the Parkhotel where, around an always burning brazier, you can find unique pieces made by the skilled hands of local artisans.
Just 3 and a half hours by train from Milan, Zurich enchants with the indoor Christmas market, the largest in Europe, inside the Central Station. It is also characterized by its majestic 15-meter decorated fir with 5,000 Swarovski. Also special is the “Zürcher Wienachtsdorf” on Sechseläutenplatz where, in over one hundred stalls, you can find “sustainable” objects made from recycled materials transformed into gift ideas and you can taste many streetfood delicacies.
Great and festive, the Striezelmarkt of Dresden is the oldest Christmas market in Germany: held from 28 November to 24 December in the old market place of Dresden (Altmarkt). With the pyramid and the giant-sized wooden candelabra, the skating rink, the rides, the typical craft stalls, the culinary delicacies and much more, the Striezelmarkt is one of the first places in Dresden where to go to stock up on gifts. Others are: the Christmas Mile, which extends along the Prager Strasse, the most famous shopping street, and the romantic Frauenkirche Market, full of authentic handicrafts around the Church of Our Lady. In the stables of the Royal Palace, instead, from 28 November to 23 December (and also after Christmas from 27 to 30 December and from 2 to 6 January) is held the Medieval Market: master craftsmen show off their works and knights and jugglers staged their exploits. A curiosity of this market is the ritual of the public bath, in large wooden tubs of hot water (up to eight people) to which you can participate or attend (2-night packages, guided tour of the historic center and a typical Christmas dinner the “Altmarktkeller” brewery cost from € 145 per person).
Innsbruck (Tyrol, Austria)
At the Christmas market of Freiburg, in Brisgovia, a lively university town in the Black Forest of southwestern Germany, held in the beautiful medieval and renaissance squares of the city gathered around the elegant Gothic cathedral, there is a little bit of everything. Even the children find their space: you can have fun in the wax workshop to make handmade candles, or test yourself as pastry chefs, cooking Christmas cookies to take with you home. In the air the aromas of ginger and cinnamon spread, ingredients-prince of Advent cakes in northern Europe.
Further, it is Sweden with Gothenburg to offer magical sets for Christmas. The biggest market is in the Liseberg amusement park. A true “planet of Christmas”, illuminated by five million lights. Here you can browse around eighty stalls, you can skate on the ice rink, meet Santa Claus and his reindeer, listen to concerts, enjoy a ballet on the ice. Gothenburg is famous for all its cafes where you can warm up between a visit to a shop and the other and taste the typical “lussebullarna”, the Christmas saffron sweet sandwiches. From late November to Christmas, many restaurants offer the “Julbord”, a traditional Christmas buffet with a variety of cold and mouth-watering dishes.
To get an overview of all the other markets in Italy and abroad it is worth reading the Guide to the markets and Christmas traditions (published by Morellini and written in several hands). A true mine of information, with curiosity and details on northern Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria (events of different nature are also associated, such as lights festival, concerts, shows and visits to Santa’s house for the little ones) . Because as the authors say, “going for Christmas markets is becoming a way of traveling, of tourism, and more and more are the fans of the genre who take advantage of this opportunity for a little holiday”.
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