Christmas in Italy is a magical time! As the home of the Roman Catholic Church, Italy Christmas time is an especially holy time. Celebrations and displays are prominent around the country, usually beginning on December 8.

Visit Trento for a beautiful and fun Christmas market. Set up inside the historical city walls, the market consists of craft vendors, and food and wine.

Numerous concerts and exhibitions are put on throughout the season in the city's churches and museums. The entire city takes on a fairy tale quality during the holidays.

Naples is the home of many renowned makers of Nativity scenes. The nativity scene is the centerpiece of most Italian Christmas decorating.

For a unique holiday experience, visit Naples and see the artists at work in their crowded shops and stalls. In addition, you can visit the Museo Nazionale di San Martino for a collection that dates to the eighteenth century.

Verona's Arena holds an annual Nativity Scene Exhibition (Rassegna del Presepe), where you can see Nativity scenes from around the world.

For an unusual Christmas in Italy, visit the Christmas market at Bolzano. It is unusual for Italy, because you will find more artists with Christmas tree ornaments than with Nativity scenes.

On a mountain adjacent to the city of Gubbio, you will find the world's largest Christmas Tree! Its base stretches the length of the town, and the tree stretches up the side of the mountain. Over 12 kilometers of cabling and lights make up this sight.

The holiday season is especially festive in Milan. In addition to the annual La Fiera di Sant'Ambrogio antiques fair, the famous La Scala Opera House opens at this time of year.

The Rassegna Mediterranea degli Strumenti Popolari (Mediterranean Folk Music Festival) is held in Erice in late December every year. This beautiful artists' town comes alive with constant music provided by musicians from all over the world.

On December 23 and 24, in towns and cities all over Italy, you can visit living Nativity Scenes. Wherever you visit during Christmas in Italy, you will find sights, sounds, and tastes to help you celebrate the season.

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