Modern day Bolzano presents a magical convergence of the area's rich, ancient past with its modern, vibrant present. One of the best times to visit is from mid-November through most of December, when the area is transformed into a winter wonderland and is bustling with visitors who come to experience the famous Christmas Market of Bolzano.
Nestled within the province of Alto Adige in beautiful South Tyrol, Italy is the charming town of Bolzano. Once a city of merchants, it has since evolved into a city of art, culture and relaxation and is the perfect destination for year-round getaways.
Bolzano is lovely any time of year, but it's particularly spectacular during the Christmas Market, when the atmosphere is abuzz with holiday preparations and age-old traditions. Everywhere you turn you are confronted with the sights, smells and sounds of the season from the soft melody of Christmas music permeating the air and the inviting scents of wine and pastry wafting out of local shops, luring visitors in for a taste.
During the Christmas Market, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy some of the delectable local cuisine for a good deal with many of the area restaurants offering fixed price menu items. Dine on some traditional European dishes and try a taste of authentic fare. Wash it all down with a glass or two of exquisite locally produced wine. All set against the heart-warming backdrop of this quaint old town.
And, of course, what would a Christmas Market be without shopping? Visitors can peruse a huge variety of seasonal gifts peddled out of charming little huts by local merchants. Some 80 vendors line the market square offering everything from handcrafted items made of wood, glass and ceramic, holiday decorations and unique gifts as well as delicious specialty food items and cauldrons overflowing with traditional mulled wine. There is also a craftsmen's market and a variety of children's attractions and activities making the market perfect for the whole family.
When you're tired of shopping and your belly is full of delectable treats, relax by enjoying a horse-drawn coach ride through the ancient streets of the town. Take a moment to savor the enchanting atmosphere that permeates the whole town. It's a magical air that will have you feeling like a child again.
The Christmas Market of Bolzano is held each year from November to December in the Piazza Walther. The 2012 market is scheduled to run through December 23.
Experience the Christmas Markets yourself! Check out the Experience Christmas Market Magic & Ski the Magnificent Dolomite Slopes itinerary!