Last winter I had the opportunity to visit some Christmas market in Great Britain: Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds. Edinburgh and Manchester were great, and also very big, but they were pretty German: all the sellers, the handmade products, the food were from German-speaking countries. There were almost no made in England/Scotland stuff. That was kind of a disappointment: it was almost as Scotland and England didn’t have anything to offer, despite the beautiful squares were the markets took place.
I grew up in a town which is quite famous in Italy for its Christmas market, despite the small dimension both of the town and the Christmas market. In Trento live about only 130 thousands people, but it can be proud to have the best Italian university, a beautiful city centre and thousands of years of history. Moreover, starting in November, the whole town becomes magical, with all the Christmas lights on the ancient buildings in the centre. It’s so magical that you can almost forget about the cold, but if you don’t, you can always count on mulled wine. You can find little wooden houses which sell mulled wine, hot chocolate, chestnuts or bombardino (a liquor made of eggs served hot with whipped cream on top) all around town. Believe me, when uni lectures go on till 7 pm what you need against the cold it’s a nice cup of mulled wine, besides often being the only kind of social life we have during exam time.
In the Christmas market itself, besides buying some handmade presents, you can also try some typical food. Here in Trento, our typical food is the same you can have in Austria or Bavaria: so we have knödeln, sauerkraut, tortei, sausages, cheese, speck, polenta, etc. If you don’t know what they are, you can either google them, or just come and try! (hehe)
Another beautiful Christmas market here in my region is the one which takes place in Rango, a little village on the mountains which is ranked as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. The peculiarity of this little market is that it is spread all over the village, in the little old stone-arched sellars. Here as well food is a must-try!
So what are you waiting for? Come to live some Christmas magic!!!!