December, the most exciting month of winter! The Christmas Holidays, New Year coming, lights everywhere, weather that needs coziness and a quiet holiday. In this period of time, we are sure you are looking for places where to spend your winter holidays. And even for this winter holiday, WE SUGGEST ITALY!
You have all been asking questions like Which is the best place to travel in Italy in December? Is December a good month to visit Italy? What is there to do in Italy at Christmas? How is the weather in Italy in December?
Well, since we are very careful about your requests, we have decided to provide you the information you have been asking! Below we are mentioning why to visit Italy in December. Let’s start with the first one!
1- Perfect Time to visit Italy’s Best Cities
Italy is quite a wonderful place to visit in December and offers an astonishing winter between the rich history of the cities, the natural beauty of the mountains, the culture, and the culinary traditions. You can’t miss visiting the most important cities in Italy during winter. We are mentioning below the top 4 cities to visit so you can choose from and also what to do while being there!
Florence is one of the most charming cities in Italy and the crown of the amazing Tuscany region! It is where you find the most impressive architecture, museums that house the most iconic artworks and with elements like this, it doesn’t matter what time you are visiting! Florence has always a lot to offer.
Visiting the city in December helps you with proper temperatures, fewer people so you can quietly visit historic palaces, churches, and museums. Some places of interest include the Cathedral, the Uffizi, the Accademia, and the Bargello. Florence is also famous for its proximity to equally fabulous cities like Chianti and Pisa.
Rome is not only the capital of Italy, but it is also called “the capital of the world”. The city offers a wide range of attractions and December is the best time to take advantage of no-crowds and enjoy the beauty of the city!
What to do in Rome?
By the beauty of the city, we mean the 1949-year-old monument with magnificent architecture, so-called THE COLOSSEUM, the Pantheon, the Vatican. While being there this is what most calls you to visit!
December is a good period of time to visit Rome if you don’t like coming around with massive crowds. You can enjoy the atmosphere that offers the city by night, the christmas lights, the artists singing on the streets that makes the whole atmosphere amazing! And during the day, you can explore Roman ruins, museums, main squares and particularly The Vatican quietly.
Milan is a great place to spend December holidays and besides its architectural beauty, it is also a great place for fashion lovers.
What to do in Milan?
Milan has the biggest cathedral in the world and if you haven’t seen it yet, pack your bag! While being there, visit Milan museums, take a day trip to get to know better the place and you have to try the local food and wine!
As the capital of the South Tyrol region, Bolzano offers an incredible cultural mix of Italian and Germanic influences, delicious and varied food, beautiful architecture, and–the highlight–absolutely stupendous natural scenery. The city is surrounded with small mountain villages, seemingly endless vineyards, castles, several, and of course the ever-impressive Italian Dolomites.
What to do in Bolzano?
Bolzano is also the nearest city to the beauty of the Italian Alps! You can cross the Ega Valley that begins at Bolzano and runs eastward between the Rosengarten and the Latemar mountains. You can read from our post HERE how to explore the Dolomites in the best ways possible!
Besides the beautiful cities that we suggest the most, there are also plenty of other reasons that make December a special month to visit Italy and give every corner of Italy a touch of holiday atmosphere!
2- Christmas Markets
Italian cities are also famous for the christmas markets, you can find them in every city all through December.
Between the biggest cities in Italy that have Christmas markets are – Florence has the famous Santa Croce Market, in Milan there’s a nice market near the Darsena, and even though in Rome there’s another one not far from Piazza di Spagna.
The best known Christmas markets in Italy are the ones in Trento, Bolzano, and Merano – but they’re often crowded with visiting day-trippers.
3- Easier to Get Around
Fewer people and affordable prices make everything so much easier! You don’t need to book hotels and trainis ages in advance, and it allows you to change plans as you wish, and decide to travel from Milan to Venice with no advance planning for example!
December may be the best time to visit some of Italy’s most popular and heavily tourist destinations such as Rome, Florence, etc…
Venice is also a might-go place in December, but this time, the city is flooded and we do not advise to visit during this period.
Can you imagine the perfect view of Italy, but without the crowds and selfie sticks? It is a whole different experience to stroll through the enchanted city’s winding side streets, walk through the piazza’s and the best attractions without the struggle of having to
4- Italian Winter Food
Winter in Italy is also the ideal time to indulge in cold-weather comfort food, as well as a tasty array of Christmas sweets!
Pizza and pasta can be enjoyed year-round – in winter, make sure you also try some heartier dishes like polenta, boiled cornmeal served with stewed meat and/or mushrooms, and pizzoccheri, a Lombardia winter dish made with buckweat pasta and oodles of cheese.
If you’re visiting Milan in winter, some old-school restaurants may offer cassoeula, a stew including cabbage, sausages, and various pork pieces – every bit as delicious as it sounds.
5- Christmas Traditions
Christmas in Italy is not all about the markets! It’s also the perfect time to see Italian cities and villages all decorated with sparkling baubles and lights, and marvel at the huge Christmas trees placed in major squares.
Christmas trees and lights are found all over the world, but there’s another typically Italian Christmas tradition – presepi, meaning Nativity scenes.
If you like Nativity scenes, you can’t miss visiting Naples. Not only will you find many intricate Nativity sets on display in churches and squares, but there’s also an entire street in the historic centre dedicated to Nativity sets and statuettes – it’s Via San Gregorio Armeno, sometimes called ‘Christmas Alley’ in blogs and guidebooks.
Carnival refers to the time of fun and revelry just before Lent, and so exact dates change every year depending on when Easter will be. The highlight of the celebrations usually takes place between Saturday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, and usually involves floats, street parties and dancing.
One of the coolest places to be is Ivrea, a town in Piedmont home to the crazy Battle of the Oranges, where teams on foot or on the back of horse carts belt oranges at one another.
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