Christmas Markets in Abruzzo


For anyone visiting Abruzzo from the end of November (the 1st Advent Sunday weekend ), you can expect to find Christmas Markets dotted across the region that will run through to the first week of January.

Many of the smaller Christmas markets in Abruzzo (mercatini di natale) are beautifully short and sweet, a long weekend at the most.  There is a glut of them around the week of December 8th as their purpose is to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception which is an Italian national holiday.  Their focus isn’t just on purchases for Christmas but the experience, of eating and drinking with multiple activities planned around children rather than the simple Meet n Greet of Santa.  Small wooden chalets house local craftsmen and artisans selling high-quality products that range from Christmas decorations to arts and crafts interior design accessories, clothes, stationery, handbags and soaps and of course plenty of handmade chocolates.

Generally, they are hosted in the main piazza of the town’s historic centre, but spill out into the surrounding narrow cobbled streets where a slight chill in the air gives the perfect excuse to browse whilst sampling seasonal pastries that burst with the final Autumn harvest; caggionetti, those fried ravioli-like parcels stuffed with chestnuts and chocolate, orange zest and rum or Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Mostaccioli cookies.  Try taking the vintage mountain train, the Ferrovia dei Parchi that that will take you on a picturesque journey up into the mountains to visit the Christmas markets up high in December and the first week of January!  The train departs from Sulmona.

For those that prefer something savoury, try a panino filled with fat fegato sausages (pork, liver and orange zest) or porchetta, or just a frittella, deep-fried bits of dough served hot that is superb alone or stuffed with a slice of prosciutto or bruschetta dribbled with new season olive oil.   Aromatic mulled wine and thick hot chocolate will pull you in and one is never enough!  Those that have gastro food stands expect to find polenta, mushroom and truffle pasta, bean and bitter winter greens dishes that the region does so well and of course, arrosticini will always be on the menu with roasted chestnuts.


Simply click on image to see a zoomed-in view.

Christmas Markets in Teramo Province


Christmas Markets in Chieti Province


Christmas Markets Pescara Province

Christmas Markets in L’Aquila Province



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Sam Dunham
Author: Sam Dunham

Sam is a very lucky midlife 'mamma' to A who is 12 and juggles her work as a self-employed freelance SEO food and travel copywriter and EFL teacher. She is the founder of the Life In Abruzzo Cultural Association, co-founder of Let's Blog Abruzzo. she is the founder of the 'English in the Woods' initiative, teaching English outdoors in a forest style school.

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