1. Piazza Maggiore
Since the Middle Ages Piazza Maggiore is Bologna beating heart, the gathering place for excellence. On occasion of Chirstmas the city embellishes the square with a Chirstmas Tree which is different every year. This year it is a red spruce, about 14 mt tall decorated with lights and micro-lights, red and gold bulbs and it is topped with a 3D comet. The tree is always placed near the Neptune Fountain, one of the most beautiful Renaissance fountains of Italy, which was reopen to the public after a long restauration one year ago.
2. Santa Lucia Christmas Market
This is the most traditional and ancient Christmas Market of Bolgna: Fiera di Santa Lucia. It takes place along the elegant walkway of the church of Santa Maria dei Servi on Strada Maggiore since the XVI century. Originally the market was opened on occasion of the celebrations for Saint Lucy, one of Bologna patron saint. At the market one could find preyers, little statues and portraits of saints made of terracotta, chalck and papier-mâché. Lateron this market became a fixed appointment for all Bolognese. Here is where you go to buy Christmas decorations, any kind of sweets such as nougat, dry fruit, gifts and many hand-crafted products, including statues for your nativity scene. In Bologna like in Naples the nativity tradition is very ancient, statues must be all hand-crafted and include two original characters: Meraviglia - "wonder" who is a lady and represents the amazement in front of the nativity, and Dormiglione a man who sleeps without realizing what's going on. The fair is open till December 26 from 9:00 to 20:00.
3. Via Altabella Chirstmas Fair
Via Altabella Chirstmas Fair develops along the right side of Bologna Cathedral, San Pietro. Here you can find stands with Chirstmas gifts and decorations, sweets and hand-crafted products. Traditionally, Bolognese make their shopping here after the Sunday Mass and buy here Chirstams stocking and all sweets for the Epifay. It open everyday from 9 to 20 till January 7.
4. The French Christmas Village
The French Christmas Village takes place at Piazza Minghetti till January 21. It is a new market which in the last years has become very popular among the locals. Here you can find little cottages with French vendors selling hand-crafted products and typical French specialties such as crèpes, cheeses, and of course champagne and oysters!
5. Santo Stefano Complex
Piazza Santo Stefano is one of the most fascinating squares of Bologna dominated by a religious complex known as the 7 Churches. At Christmas time locals like to visit this place to admire the amazing nativity made of terracotta set in the Church of St. Vitale and Agricola. This nativity represents places and churches of Bologna such as San Luca and some of the statues date back to the XIII century.
6. San Giovanni in Monte
At San Giovanni in Monte Loggione - gallery takes place the 24th edition of the International Nativity Fair. Here you can see modern and traditional nativities made of all kinds of materials. The authors can be wellknow artists such as cummon people. Bolognese are asked to vote their favorite nativity.
7. Corte Isolani
Corte Isolani has bcome in the last years an elgant shopping walk. Here you go to buy last minute "tortellini pasta", to sip hot choccolate or a glass of wine, to get inspiration for your Chirstmas gifts, to meet friends.
8. Christmas Concert at Santa Maria dei Servi
Inside the basilica of Santa Maria dei Servi one can admire an amazing pipe organ Tamburini opus 544 built in 1968 under the direction of Maestro Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini and in the respcet of a long tradiotion in music. In 2006 Bologna was named Unesco creative city of music, both for its past excellence and for the great variety of today’s proposals. The Christmas Concert at Santa Maria dei Seri is another "must do" in Bologna at Chirstmas time!
9. Shopping at Bologna food market
Ask to a Bolognese wehre to find the best meat for "tortellini" pasta broth, the finest tortellini and the most delicious certosino cake and he will answer the Mercato di Mezzo! Bologna food market also, called the Quadrilatero, is the most ancient and crowded one. Anytime of the day you can find locals queuing at the traditional food shops to buy the finests produce. Maybe here prices are higher than elsewhere in the city, but you find the best quality, the freshests ingredients and the finest delicacies.
10. Bologna Chirstmas Menu
What do Bolognese prepare at Chirstmas time? Well, as you probably know Bologna is renowned as foodie capital of Italy and how you can immagine food here is consider like an artwork. We love cooking togheter, dine togheter and most important decisions are always taken around a table! Traditionally, a few months before December, we start preparing the most traditional pasta creation, tortellini and the typical cake, the certosino or panone. A traditional Christmas menu will always include a little amouse-bouche such as Mortadella, salami and parmesan cheese with a glass of Pignoletto wine. Then tortellini in broth, followed by bollito or roasted meat with mustard or friggione. Mamma mia che fame! Write us to receive our traditional recipes book.
We wish you a delicious Chirstmas in Bologna!