Snow and lights, wooden stalls, the fragrance of fresh biscuits and cinnamon, gourmet food and wine: nothing creates the festive atmosphere more than the traditional Christmas Markets. And in the days leading up to the festivity, every town and village throughout Trentino boasts its own market. Many of them continue until early January, usually until Epiphany. The Christmas markets are just as we imagine them and visiting them is a little like becoming a character in a fable: they are perhaps the ideal place for an outing, a chance to buy your first Christmas gifts or some original decorations for your tree while enjoying the magic of the Christmas season with family and friends.
In Trento, the capital of the Region, the markets have already reached their 22nd year, and there are around 90 stalls (70 in the Piazza Fiera and 20 in Piazza Battisti).
Among the new attractions in 2015 there is a stand dedicated entirely to gluten-free products, and there will be events and workshops at which the public can see craftsmen at work (for example creating decorations in felt), local artists (you may even see a wooden gnome emerge from a section of tree trunk), or you can even try your hand (perhaps making greetings cards or candles).
Also planned there are tastings of herbal infusions and black bread with butter and aromatic herb salt, milling of corn used to produce biological whole flour, and the free distribution of mother dough. Don’t forget to post your photos on the social media: the hashtag is #nataletrento!
In Levico Terme the atmosphere is made even more magical by the location of the market: the Habsburg Park with its centuries-old trees. Perhaps the children will best enjoy coming into direct contact with farm animals, but they can also deliver their Christmas letters to Santa in the Elves’ Wood. And the kids won’t want to miss the famous “Strozegada di Santa Lucia” when, according to a ‘noisy’ tradition, they run up and down the streets pulling “strozegade” – wire strings to which they attach empty tin cans. Of course, adults will discover plenty of new experiences as well: one of these is called “Parampampoli”, a typical coffee-based beverage with ‘grappa’, wine and sugar – the ideal way to warm up after a cold day!
In Arco, as well as the traditional markets, on week-ends you can discover the historic town centre in the company of a guide, visiting the exhibition of nativity scenes and seeing the centre from a miniature train; while Mezzolombardo is the ideal place to tour the numerous wine cellars. In Pergine Valsugana the traditional markets recreate the day-to-day life of the past and an ancient legend which recounts the gnomes and elves which come down into the village from the mountains and woods during Advent bringing decorations and pastries. Sweet-toothed visitors to Siror can taste the local doughnuts known as Brazadel, while at the Christmas markets in Cavalese you can enjoy craft beer made in Fiemme. In Cimego, try the local Valle del Chiese polenta, made using “red” corn flour. And if you wander from stall to stall underneath the arches of the village overlooking the Brenta river, the market in Molveno is just a stone’s throw from the lake. The decorative stalls in Rango make this village one of the most beautiful in Italy. Let the festivities begin!