If the low airfare of the winter is tempting you to plan a quick trip to Italy over the winter, December is easily one of the best times to go. Not only will much of the country be less crowded, the weather will be cold and you can enjoy the holiday decorations as Italy puts on its finery.
Christmas in Italy
Italians enjoy Christmas, but it is Epiphany that is celebrated with the exchange of gifts. As Epiphany doesn’t occur until January 6, it’s possible to enjoy the peak of the holiday season in two countries, but visiting in early December has another perk – the huge number of festivals featuring specialty items.
These festivals are a great find for those searching Italy for unique holiday presents. Browse the wares to find treats and treasures to mail home. Stop and wrap them first and you’ll be able to send a very special Christmas home to your family, even if you’re enjoying touring the cobbled streets of the ancient cities.
Touring Italy in December
It is most certainly winter in Italy although the farther south you travel, the more likely you are to find pleasant weather, even in the coldest months. But there is much to be said for the cold weather. Bundle up in fashionable coats and caps and take to the streets to find the sights. When it gets too cold to continue, simply stop in a café for an espresso or hot mulled wine.
Lines at most tourist attractions will be less than they would be in peak months, with the notable exception of the Vatican. December is a high season around the Vatican, so book rooms in this area early if you plan to stay. If you are in Rome on Christmas Day, you might join the throngs to hear a public address by the Pope as well in the afternoon at the Vatican.
Italy and the Holidays
If Italy was romantic on a warm summer night, it’s even more so as it sparkles with lights and decorations on a cold winter night. Snuggle together as you walk down the road admiring the colossally decorated Christmas trees and the many nativity scenes, or a presepio, displayed in the plazas. While Santa doesn’t make it to Italy for Christmas, you can certainly enjoy your holiday season in a country known for rich traditions and romance.