Many cities and towns in the Umbria region get dressed up for the holiday season in December: discover with me some of the interesting events dedicated to Christmas and the magic of the themed markets in this territory.
Perugia: Special Christmas and Christmas at the Rocca
In December the beautiful historic centre of Perugia turns into a real Christmas village and houses the themed crafts market, with national and European exhibitors, fun activities and creative workshops open to both adults and kids to make original Christmas decorations and sweets. A very interesting section is the one dedicated to winter ornamental plants, but you can’t miss the kids’ favourite attraction: Santa Claus House. The Christmas spirit reaches also the fascinating Rocca Paolina that opens the door to the most beautiful market in Italy, as it did for the last twenty years during Christmas time. In the square there is a food court to enjoy mulled wine and hot donuts in addition to the inevitable sausage sandwiches.
A tree from the Guinness World Records in Gubbio
In the medieval town of Gubbio you’ll find the largest Christmas tree in the world, with a base of 450 metres up to the height of 750 metres. Every year since 1981 a group of volunteers has set luminaries of various type and colour on the slopes of the Ingino Mount to recreate the shape of a giant tree: over 250 green lights delineate the contours, more than 300 multicoloured lights cover its body and at the top 200 bright lights draw an impressive comet with a surface of about 1,000 square metres. The tree is officially switched on with a heartfelt ceremony on the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and remains active until Epiphany. I suggest you enjoy the spectacular view in the evening, when it gets darker. During this period the historic town centre offers the traditional Tyrolean style Christmas market in the squares Piazza Bernini and Piazza San Giovanni, where you can also find many goodies and chocolate treats. In the streets of the centre, you can even see a life-size nativity scene and a living nativity scene with performances and animations.
The magic of Christmas in Assisi
You cannot fail to be enchanted by the Christmas markets of Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis. The event “La Magia del Natale ad Assisi” (the Magic of Christmas in Assisi) takes place every year during the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in the squares Piazza del Comune and Piazza Santa Chiara with several initiatives to involve kids, including workshops, Christmas tree decoration, entertainment activities, readings, face painting and shows performed by jugglers and puppeteers. You also shouldn’t miss a tour on Santa Claus train! The entire holiday season is rich in plays and concerts.
Spoleto, Orvieto and much more
Spoleto, one of the greatest historic cities of central Italy, plays host to the event “Natale in Mostra” (Christmas on Show). It is an indoor market of arts, handicrafts and vintage items held in the square Piazza Torre dell’Olio during Christmas time, on the weekends and the days before Christmas until Epiphany. The traditional market is organized into pretty wooden houses within the walls of the historic centre and you can also take part in the famous event “Tradizioni in Piazza” (traditions in the square) with handicrafts displays and food products from all over Italy. Don’t fail to visit the city of Orvieto with its Christmas lights, decorations, cribs and markets. Nestled among the narrow streets surrounding the Cathedral in the heart of the historic centre, there are many shops and workshops where you will find a bit of everything, for that special someone or for yourself! If you want to spend your holidays in a serene, warm and welcoming atmosphere, visit also the other cities and small towns of the region such as Terni, Todi, Norcia, Citta di Castello, Sigillo, Scheggia or one of the villages overlooking the Trasimeno lake.
Want to find out more about this region?
In this article you’ll find a mini-guide all dedicated to Umbria: its landscapes, the main cities, what to see and eat!
To enjoy your stay in Umbria and experience local habits and traditions of this territory, I suggest you these three villas, equipped with every comfort.
Are you ready to leave?
Casale San Francesco – Assisi (PG)
Villa Erica – Todi (PG)
Villa Seba – Perugia (PG)