What sounds more wonderful than indulging in all the goodies of an Alpine Christmas Market and skiing down the slopes of the Italian Alps? Nothing. Most think of Italy for its dreamy summertime beaches and sunsets, but I promise winter is just as spectacular. As the holidays creep closer and closer, I wanted to provide a guide of all the best (and most beautiful) Christmas Markets Italy has to offer along with their neighbouring Ski Resorts. When you’re done reading, I guarantee you’ll be dreaming of visiting one (or more) of these amazing places!
This is without a doubt one of the most well-known and glamorous ski resorts in Northern Italy. It was even the location of the 1956 winter Olympics, so that should tell you how cool it is. Other than magnificent slopes and breathtaking views, though, it’s also home to an immaculate Christmas Market. The market starts up 1 December, so get your skis and your stomach ready for an unbelievable holiday getaway.
Another very well-known ski resort, but this one found in northwestern Italy, Aosta is SO much more than just skiing. There are kilometres of walking trails and loads of winter wildlife found in the neighboring Gran Paradiso National Park. Its Christmas Market offers more than 50 stalls with artisans selling anything from furniture and handmade crafts to wines and pastries popular in the region. This market is open until 7 January.
Images: Castel Fragsburg
Merano, in the Alto Adige region of Italy, might be best known for Trauttmansdorff Castle and the Terme Merano thermal baths, but you’ll also find a lovely ski area that’s great for a winter holiday. The town itself is a popular destination for those on holiday, and Christmas time is no exception. The Christmas Market begins on 25 November and is nestled in the beautiful historic streets of Old Town Merano (this alone makes it worth the trip).
Bolzano may also be in the Alto Adige area, but its scenery is quite a bit different. Think rolling hills and lots of vino—just my kind of place! This city acts as a gateway to a portion of the Italian Alps, so there’s still lots of skiing and, of course, another fantastic Christmas Market. This is one of the largest in Italy with 80+ vendors!
Last but certainly not least—Verona. More than likely the first thing to pop into your mind is Shakespeare and/or Romeo and Juliet because, yes, this is the setting of their tragic love story. The city itself, though, is far from tragic. I think it’s a magical place with its idyllic location nestled right on the Adige River. Although the city of Verona isn’t necessarily a ski town, there are two resorts in the province of Verona on the northern edge. You’ll also find quite a few of incredible Christmas Markets throughout the province all beginning in early to mid-November.
Christmas Markets and skiing are both holiday traditions that I’ll always love—especially with an Italian twist. Any other markets or resorts you’ve been to and love? I’d love to hear about them!