The holiday season is a perfect time to go shopping and the Christmas markets in Rome are the perfect destination for all your gift buying needs. You’ll find a plethora of items among the many markets, from one of a kind crafts and handmade ornaments to vintage and antique collectibles.
Whether you are looking for souvenirs to bring home from your travels abroad or gifts for those also spending Christmas in Rome with you, you will be able to choose from so many different options. Not only are the Christmas markets in Rome a great place to shop, but visiting these bustling centers are also an event in and of themselves.
From festive light displays to remarkable Nativity scenes and a little bit of something for everyone in your group, the markets are a perfect way to get in the holiday spirit and enjoy the lavish and traditional customs of the Eternal City.
Enjoy mulled wine or roasted chestnuts, ride on a vintage carousel or perhaps try your skill on an ice-skating rink, all while surrounded by the bustling stalls of the many unique vendors found throughout the city. Each one is different and unique, so be sure to check out as many as possible to take advantage of this festive time of year in Rome!
Christmas Markets in Rome not to miss!
Tips for visiting!
As with most open air markets and events, the general rules for the Christmas markets in Rome are much the same. Cash is preferred to credit, if credit is even available as an option. With the advent of Square and Paypal, you’ll find the occasional stall or salesperson that accepts credit cards, but it is better to play it safe and bring cash while shopping in the markets.
Some negotiation and haggling is acceptable, but you should keep in mind that the artisans of one of a kind wares are trying to make a living from these items that are crafted by hand, so be respectful of the skill, time and dedication that goes into each piece.
For vintage or antique collectibles, the act of bartering is generally okay within moderation and reason, but when it comes to artisan wares, you should assume that the price is not usually open to negotiation.
The Christmas markets in Rome were not always a huge part of the holiday season for the city, and generally not as widely celebrated as a tradition in most of Italy. You will find that the markets are very different than those customarily found in northern European countries, but the presence of the Christmas markets in Rome is becoming more and more customary for the holiday season.
Because of the colder weather and transient nature of holiday markets in Rome, you’ll find that they are more like flea market stalls or tents and occasionally even hosted indoors to avoid inclement weather. Some locations only host markets on the weekend, while others hold extended hours throughout the week and late into the night during the Christmas season.
It pays to research ahead of time to be sure that you visit when the market is open and pay close attention to the weather on the day of, as rain or particularly cold weather might affect the number of stalls that are open on any particular day.
Regardless of when and where you visit, you’ll find plenty of Christmas markets in Rome to fulfill all your holiday shopping needs!
You can spend a day visiting popular attractions in Rome and then swing by and do some shopping after.
One of the most popular Christmas markets in Rome is held annually in Piazza Navona. Stunning year round, the Piazza Navona is home to stunning architecture and Baroque fountains, but during the holiday season, the area becomes even more breathtaking.
As the largest of the Christmas markets, they generally host extended hours throughout the entire Christmas period from December 8th to January 6th and are open late into the night to take advantage of travelers and locals who come out to enjoy the festive decorations and holiday spirit.
Several Nativity scenes can be found throughout the stalls, each one selling something unique. You’ll find toys, artwork, Christmas decor, ornaments, handmade crafts and decor items as well as all sorts of delicious treats to enjoy. Grab some roasted chestnuts and meander through the market stalls, admiring not only the wares but the twinkling Christmas lights overhead.
The excitement is augmented by carnival games for children (or the young at heart) as well as vintage carousels and live street performers singing carols or performing acts to entertain the visitors. With so much to see and do in one area, it’s no surprise why Piazza Navona is considered one of the best Christmas markets in Rome!
Mercato Monti is a shopping destination on weekends almost all year long, but during the holiday season, it becomes another one of the most popular Christmas markets in Rome. Held inside a conference hall, this urban market hosts independent designers and small businesses every weekend from September through June, but during the month of December the market nearly doubles in size, taking up two floors of space to sell indie wares and vintage goods sourced by independent business owners.
In addition to Christmas themed items and decor, you’ll be overwhelmed by the gifting potential as you wander past dozens and dozens of stalls and tables, selling everything from vintage clothing and accessories as well as jewelry and clothing created by up and coming young designers from all around Rome, Italy and places beyond.
This collection of undiscovered young talent and design is one of the prime places to find unique and special gift items for everyone on your list and is one of the most popular shopping destinations for those trying to avoid the commercial brand name stores popping up in shopping centers and malls in and around Rome.
Mercato Monti is worth a visit no matter what time of the year you are visiting Rome, but during the holiday season, you have the perfect excuse to peruse the unique and specialty items you’ll find in this chic urban market space. Another added benefit? Hosted indoors, you won’t have to worry about the cold weather or threat of rain!
This quiet and quaint Piazza is home year-round to an antique market, but during the holiday season they offer extended hours and the market grows in size to accommodate a bustling Christmas market. Festively decorated for the holidays, you’ll find antiques and vintage finds in addition to stalls displaying lavish Christmas decorations, ornaments, gifts, toys and plenty of food and wine throughout.
One of the things that makes this one of the most popular Christmas markets in Rome is the high volume of Italian candy sold throughout the area. The neighborhood around Piazza Mazzini is generally a bit quieter and less populated by tourists when compared to the more centrally located plazas and sights, making this a perfect destination for those who want to avoid the large crowds.
Filled with lush Christmas decor, twinkling lights and plentiful Christmas confections, the market at Piazza Mazzini is the perfect choice for those seeking a more traditional Christmas market experience!
The Auditorium Christmas Market
For an opportunity to experience everything Rome has to offer during the holiday season, a visit to the Auditorium is a must. Not only is this one of the most popular Christmas markets in Rome, but it is also home to an ice-skating rink and a music and entertaining venue that boasts a remarkable line-up of entertainment throughout the holiday season.
Specializing in fair-trade and locally made artisan goods as well as traditional and locally sourced food, the outdoor portion of the market has upwards of two dozen stalls displaying all manner of wares including clothing, art, hand-crafted pieces and Italian confections.
The ice-skating rink is one of the most popular rinks in Rome and in the event of particularly cold or inclement weather, you’ll find additional stalls indoors at the Auditorium.
There is a bar alongside the skating rink to warm up with mulled wine or hot beverage and afterward, you can continue the festive holiday spirit with a Christmas concert or performance! Lavishly decorated throughout, this winter wonderland experience is a perfect way to surround yourself with the holiday spirit during Christmas in Rome!
Generally considered a food market, Mercato Testaccio hosts additional vendors for the holiday season, making it a popular stop for those exploring the Christmas markets in Rome. This covered market runs special events year round and the holiday season is no exception!
From kid-friendly events and experiences to live music and dancing, this lively market specializes in food and wine from around the region. Pop-up restaurants as well as beloved establishments around the market feature traditional and re-imagined offerings of Italian cuisine, as well as delicious wines and cocktails.
Stroll through the vendor stalls to find souvenirs and gift items for everyone on your list and be sure to sample all the delicious offerings from food carts, restaurants and pop-ups along the way.
You’ll have to plan ahead to be sure you are visiting during one of their special events to take advantage of the live music and dancing that often breaks out in the market place during the weekend!
Pop-up Markets and Events
Every year during the holiday season, you’ll find a number of pop-up Christmas markets in Rome. These events are generally scheduled in different locations depending on who is hosting them and usually last one to two weekends unlike the more permanent markets found throughout the city.
With some advanced planning and research, you’ll be able to find all sorts of different special events throughout the holiday season, all of which have a Christmas market of their own. From benefit markets and charity events to aid causes regional and worldwide to artisan markets hosted by churches or historic sites throughout the city, the special events held throughout the month of December are varied and plentiful.
You’ll be able to take advantage of child-friendly events and experiences or special wine-themed events, as well as all sorts of local and regional art and craft sales events. The dates, locations and times of these various events change annually and usually aren’t announced until the end of October so if you know your travel schedule ahead of time, it pays to research and keep an eye out on the various events calendars and resources for announcements about events and pop-up markets being held during your time in Rome.
Because these events are shorter and generally held on only one weekend during the holiday season, you’ll be able to take advantage of the entertainment, food and market stalls that are scheduled for the special occasion, likely ensuring you’ll find something unique and special!
The holiday season is a festive and memorable time and the Christmas markets in Rome are the easiest way to surround yourself with the Christmas spirit, while also checking off a number of people from your holiday shopping list!
From the delicious food to the lush decorations, the holiday markets are an experience sure to inspire that nostalgic love of Christmas past and a unique way to explore Rome during the holiday season. Whether you are searching for toys or clothing, food or art, you’ll discover that the Christmas markets in Rome have a little bit of something for everyone on your list!
All throughout the city, you’ll be able to score vintage goodies and antiques in addition to the one of a kind artisan wares, making the markets a perfect source for special and unique gift ideas unlike those you’ll find in big box stores or commercial chains.
Even if you aren’t in the market for a Christmas gift, visiting the Christmas markets in Rome is a perfect way to surround yourself with the excitement of the holiday spirit and made even more special by the breathtaking sights and sounds unique to the Eternal City!
Whether you are ice skating through a winter wonderland or shopping amid ancient and historic buildings, the Christmas markets in Rome are a special and memorable experience unlike any found elsewhere in the world!
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