Shop Like an Italian: 4 Christmas Markets You Shouldn’t Miss
Italy is a beautiful place to visit this time of year, when everything is lit up and the streets are bustling with shoppers visiting their local outdoor Christmas markets. Famous for artisan holiday decorations, scopine scacciaguai (brooms said to rid you of bad luck) and amusements for children, these markets are an essential part of Italian life in the winter.
One of the most well known Italian Christmas markets is located at the Piazza Navona in Rome. Famous year round for its Fountain of the Four Rivers, the piazza sets a perfect scene for holiday festivities. But you don’t have to live in Italy to experience the magic of an outdoor Christmas market; read below to find out where you can visit one a little closer to home.
1. Union Square Holiday Market, New York City
This NYC market is visited by approximately 1 million shoppers each year, and is one of the largest in the country. Populated by local and national artisans, you’re likely to find anything from jewelry and artwork to toys and clothing. Known for its socially conscious goods, shoppers are left assured that their purchases are organic, fair trade certified, and recycled or handmade. Grab a bowl of soup and look around! (Open Nov. 20 – Dec. 24 from 11AM-8PM on weekdays, 10AM-8PM on Saturdays, and 11AM-7PM on Sundays)
2. Downtown Holiday Market, Washington, D.C.
With over 150 booths selling pottery, textiles, paintings and more, this outdoor market is a perfect holiday stop for art lovers. Located on F street near the Smithsonian Museum, the market is unique in that the vendors change daily. So if you didn’t find what you were looking for during your first visit, it’s worth coming back next week. After you shop, enjoy a sugar doughnut while listening to live entertainment. (Open Nov. 28 – Dec. 23 from 12PM – 8PM daily)
3. Georgetown Christmas Market, Colorado
For two weekends in December, historic Georgetown, Colorado is transformed into a holiday wonderland reminiscent of Christmases past. Featuring a European marketplace, hot roasted chestnuts, horse-drawn wagon rides and daily entertainment, the market is a much-loved local tradition. If you visit, be sure to see the Santa Lucia children’s procession each day. You might even see St. Nicholas walking around in his traditional dress! Sing along to a carol or two and take in the sights and smells of this traditional holiday market. (Open on Dec. 6, 7, 13 & 14 from 10AM – 5PM)
4. Winter Village, New York City
This Bryant Park attraction is unique in that each vendor is housed in a custom-designed “glass house” kiosk. Passersby can see into each booth, but those inside can stay warm; it’s the best of both worlds! Shop for decorative goods, artwork, apparel and more. If you still have energy left after shopping all afternoon, take a spin around the market’s free ice skating rink. (Open October 21 – January 5 from 11AM – 8PM on weekdays, 10AM – 9PM on Saturdays, and 10AM – 6PM on Sundays)