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Looking for the best things to do in Verona at Christmas? You are in the right place!
When I visited Verona in December I found all the most magical things in the city! I knew instantly after I arrived that coming to Verona in December was the right choice.
This was my second visit to Verona, and my first time visiting during the Christmas season.
There are lots of fun and festive things to do here that make visiting Verona just extra special in winter.
Christmas Market Opening Times & Official Dates 2023
The markets in the city center are open daily from November 11th to December 26th.
Verona Christmas Market Dates
- Sunday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Friday, Saturday, and holiday eves: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- 24 December: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 25 December: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- 26 December: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Festivities in and around Verona end on January 6th with the traditional “Brusa la Vecia” which means “burning of the witch” ceremony which takes place in front of the arena.
On the night of January 5th, La Befana, a good witch, visits Italian children and fills their stockings with gifts or candy if they have been good or coal if they have been naughty. This tradition marks the end of the Christmas season.
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Is Verona Worth Visiting at Christmas?
Northern Italy in particular is a special place to visit. I love Verona more than Florence and just a tiny bit more than Bologna.
Verona is definitely worth visiting, even if for just a day trip, any time from the end of November through the month of December!
I was surprised at how festive the city felt during my visit. The atmosphere in Verona had a unique charm that made it especially magical at this time of year.
Here are some of the best things to do for Verona in Christmas season.
Best Things to Do in Verona at Christmas
If you are coming to Verona to enjoy an array of delicious Christmas sweets, you are in luck!
The food was my favorite part of visiting Verona at Christmas.
Verona Italy Christmas Markets (Mercatini di Natale)
Ever since living in Berlin and visiting a real German Christmas market, I was excited to see how Verona could compare.
At the Verona Christmas Markets, there are exhibitors of over 100 wooden houses held in the following piazzas:
- Piazza dei Signori
- Cortile Mercato Vecchio
- Cortile del Tribunale
- Via Della Costa
- Piazza Sacco
- Ponte Pietra
Verona Christmas Market Map
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Piazza dei Signori
Piazza dei Signori and Piazza delle Erbe have one of the best Verona Christmas Markets in the city! These Piazzas are side by side and are an absolute delight for those seeking a festive and enchanting experience.
You will find Piazza dei Signori located in the heart of Verona’s historic center. This Christmas market is much like the German-Style Christmas market you would find in Nuremberg Germany.
Upon entering what feels like a real German Christmas Market, visitors are greeted by the scent of freshly baked treats, the sounds of cheerful carols, and the warm glow of decorative lights.
The market stalls, adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations, offer an array of handicraft products, unique Italian gifts, and delicious sweets. I can almost taste the gluhwein!
If you are looking for those handmade ornaments and wooden toys for local crafts and artisanal ceramics this is the place! I found the cutest wooden ornament to bring home as a cherished memento of my time at the Verona Christmas Market.
What Can Expect At Piazza dei Signori Christmas Market?
Aside from shopping and indulging in tasty treats, at the Verona Christmas market at Piazza dei Signori, you can expect a range of entertainment and activities.
There are musical performances, live shows, and puppet theaters that provide delightful entertainment for both children and adults. If you are visiting with kids, they can keep busy on the merry-go-round or take part in creative workshops where they can make their own Christmas decorations.
Cortile Mercato Vecchio
Another wonderful Christmas market is at Mercato Vecchio (Old Market). This was one of my favorite places to get into the holiday spirit.
Located in the historic center of the city, Cortile Mercato Vecchio transforms into a captivating wonderland during Christmas time.
As you enter the market, you are greeted by a dazzling array of Christmas lights and decorations that adorn the stalls and surrounding buildings.
The market’s rustic charm and cozy ambiance with a backdrop of Torre dei Lamberti is incredible. The wooden stall, much like the others, is filled with an assortment of unique handmade crafts, local products, and artisanal goods.
Another great place to shop for souvenirs of intricate lacework and leather goods. I found some lovely handmade jewelry and Christmas ornaments.
Typically, I try not to buy too much when traveling, but you need to get a little something to remember your experience.
The market is also a paradise for food lovers, but I will tell you right now, it’s not for those on a diet! You will find stalls offering a variety of regional specialties, including cheeses, cured meats, and delectable street food.
Visiting the Christmas market at Mercato Vecchio in Verona provides a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the festive traditions and local culture of the city.
Bridge Christmas Markets Ponte di Castelvecchio & Ponte Pietra
Visiting the Bridge Christmas Markets at Ponte di Castelvecchio and Ponte Pietra in Verona is a fun experience that combines the charm of the city’s historic bridges with the festive atmosphere of the holiday season.
The unique market, set against the backdrop of picturesque bridges, offers a truly enchanting and memorable experience.
Ponte di Castelvecchio, a medieval bridge spanning the Adige River, is transformed into a winter wonderland during the Christmas season.
The wooden market stalls line the bridge, adorned with twinkling lights and colorful decorations, creating a captivating sight.
As you stroll along the bridge, you’ll find an array of stalls offering an enticing selection of handmade crafts, artisanal products, and Christmas ornaments.
There are romantic vibes walking along this market, even if you are solo it’s pretty special. The ambiance and scenic views of the river make shopping at Ponte di Castelvecchio a truly wonderful experience.
Continuing your journey, you’ll come across the Bridge Christmas Market at Ponte Pietra. This ancient Roman bridge, with its stone arches and historical significance, serves as a stunning backdrop for the market.
Arena of Verona & International Nativity Scene Festival (Presepi Dal Mondo)
Every year during the Christmas holidays the Roman amphitheater holds the most magical crib exhibition. The UNESCO world heritage site is filled with Nativity-themed art from around the world.
The festival and its famously known symbol of the Comet Star designed by Rinaldo Olivieri is in the Guinness Book of Records.
Enjoy music and a festive show all here at the Arena of Verona with your admission ticket.
Walk Along The Adige River
A great place to take a stroll is along the banks of the Adige River. Here you can admire the festive lights stopping along to any pastry shop selling yummy Christmas delights.
Join an Italian Food Tour
When I visited Verona, I was most excited about doing an Italian food tour to sample some of Verona’s amazing culinary offerings.
Indulging in the culinary delights of the Christmas market is my favorite pastime. I would put it up there with one of my “must-do experience” recommendations.
The aroma of roasted chestnuts, sweet pastries, and warm mulled wine fills the air, enticing visitors to sample these delectable treats.
Traditional Italian delicacies, such as Panettone and Pandoro, take center stage, alongside savory dishes like roasted meats and regional cheeses.
As you wander through the market, don’t miss the opportunity to savor these seasonal delights and immerse yourself in the rich flavors of Verona’s Christmas culinary traditions.
🍷 Food Tour in Verona! Check Rates & Availability
Get Tickets for Christmas & Winter Concerts
Experience all of the festive events in Verona such as Christmas concerts, ballet shows, and theatre performances!
The concerts are held in Piazza Bra. Check out the schedule & get tickets here!
Drink Mulled Wine
One of my favorite things about the Christmas markets is warming up with some mulled wine! Even if you don’t drink alcohol you can take part as they typically have non-alcoholic versions.
If mulled wine isn’t your thing you can get some hot chocolate and hang out in the hang out in city’s cozy cafes and bars and relax.
Make a Day Trip to Bussolengo to See Santa’s Village
A wonderful Christmas Village located 30- 45 mins outside Verona is in the town of Bussolengo.
The village is open typically from November 8th to January 8th. For all the official dates and admission information, check out the website.
Italian Christmas Traditions in Verona
Celebrate St Lucia Day Festa di Santa Lucia
The feast of Saint Lucy (feast of Santa Lucia) is celebrated in Verona on December 13. The tradition of Saint Lucy stems from the patron saint who would be said to come down from the heavens with presents and cakes for young children.
Today the Santa Lucia tradition is commenced with a gathering In Piazza Bra where you can expect lots of traditional wooden stalls to be filled with sweets and toys for the children of Verona!
Italian Christmas traditions are rich in history and vary across different regions of the country. Here are some popular Italian Christmas traditions:
Attend Midnight Mass (La Messa di Mezzanotte):
Attending midnight Mass on Christmas Eve is a significant tradition in Italy. Churches are beautifully decorated, and people come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus through prayers and carols.
Attend one of Verona’s traditional Christmas Masses at the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore.
Eat Verona Christmas Cake! Panettone and Pandoro
These are traditional Italian Christmas cakes. Panettone is a sweet bread filled with raisins, candied fruit, and often chocolate. Pandoro is a sweet, buttery bread without fruit and is shaped like a star.
Torrone is a nougat-like sweet made with honey, sugar, egg whites, and nuts. It is popular during the Christmas season and is often given as a gift or enjoyed as a dessert.
Top Things to Do in Verona in Winter
Travel Tips for Visiting Verona in Winter
When planning your trip to Verona at Christmas, there are some practical tips that can make your experience even more enjoyable.
Book your accommodation in advance:
With the increased number of visitors during the festive period, it is best to book your accommodation well in advance.
Many hotels and guesthouses offer special holiday packages to make sure you get the best value for your money while enjoying a comfortable stay in Verona.
The temperatures can drop significantly during the winter months and so make sure to pack some warm layers and winter accessories to keep you cozy throughout your trip.
Pack a book or two:
It’s always nice to have something to do when there’s a lull in activities. Pack a book or two to keep yourself entertained while you’re out and about in Verona.
Bring comfortable shoes:
As most of the attractions are located within walking distance, make sure to wear comfortable shoes that can handle cobblestone streets.
Where is Verona located?
Verona is located in the northeastern part of Italy, in the region of Veneto. Nestled along the banks of the Adige River, Verona enjoys a strategic position between Venice and Milan.
Its geographical location has played a significant role in shaping Verona’s history and cultural identity.
I will include a map of Verona in this post to help you better understand where it is located.
Map of Verona
📍 Get a copy of this FREE GOOGLE Map with the Verona Christmas Markets pinned!
Getting to Verona
Getting to Verona Italy is fairly easy from a few different major Italian cities. When I visited Verona I flew into Bologna and from there to the train to Verona.
If you arrive by train, you are about a 30-minute walk to Piazza delle Erbe (Historic Centre). There are plenty of taxis outside the main train station.
Situated about 120 kilometers west of Venice, Verona is easily accessible by various means of transportation.
The city is well-connected by an efficient railway network, making it convenient for travelers to reach from major Italian cities.
Additionally, Verona has its own international airport, the Verona Villafranca Airport, which serves both domestic and international flights.
Final Thoughts About Visiting Verona at Christmas
Visiting Verona at Christmas is a truly wonderful experience. From the exquisite holiday decorations to the festive events and activities, there’s so much to enjoy in this charming Italian city.
I hope that these tips have been helpful in helping you plan your trip to Verona during the holiday season. Whether you are looking for traditional celebrations or just want to soak up at Christmas atmosphere, Verona has something to offer for everyone!
FAQs Verona Christmas Market
The Christmas Markets are approximately a 30-minute walk from the train station. There are public transit options as well as taxis that can take you from the main train station to Piazza dei Signori where the main Christmas Market is.
Yes, the Verona Christmas Markets open as early as mid-November!
Yes! Verona Italy has some of the best Christmas markets in the whole country! The markets are very charming and much like the Christmas markets you will find in Germany.
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