Discovering Bologna at Christmas: a three-stage journey through the Christmas markets

If you are wondering what is the perfect time to take a tour of Bologna, the Christmas festivities are a magical time to walk among its medieval piazzas and porticoes, and to be inspired by the typical Christmas markets, in search of gift ideas and gastronomic specialities.

Discover the Christmas markets in Bologna: where to go 

The Christmas atmosphere begins to spread through the streets of the city as early as the end of November and continues until the Epiphany, giving those who choose to visit the city an atmosphere of scents, lights and flavors, all typical things of the Christmas festivities in our country. 
Bologna's Christmas markets, as per tradition, are the favorite appointment with the city for all kinds of tourists, whom, in this period, can enjoy markets full of gastronomic delights, typical products and Christmas decorations. 
Among cribs, wooden toys and various types of handicraft products, it is possible to find sought-after gift ideas for all tastes, thanks to the wide variety of exhibitors who will show you their proposals for personalized gifts, gift boxes and Christmas hampers.

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The ancient fair of Santa Lucia

Our journey among the Christmas markets in Bologna begins a few steps from the Two Towers, among the stalls and wooden stands of the ancient Santa Lucia Fair, one of the most characteristic places of Christmas in Bologna. 

This ancient market traces its roots back to the end of the 16th century, when Pope Gregory XIII donated a relic of Saint Lucy to the Diocese of Bologna, which is now preserved inside the Church of the Servants. After the fall of Napoleon, merchants and hawkers began to display their original religious works on the stalls of the Fair.

From the 10th of November to the 26th of December, under the monumental Church of the Servants - a UNESCO heritage site - there are markets that offer visitors numerous stalls full of crib figures, Christmas tree decorations, delicacies and original gifts.  
It is particularly popular with children and families, and it represents one of the most important fairs in the Emilia Romagna region, also it inaugurates the city's Christmas shopping season every year. 
If you decide to visit Bologna during this period, a visit to the Santa Lucia Christmas market is almost a must!


The Christmas fair in via Altabella 

Another Christmas fair that has become a fixed and unmissable appointment to experience the festive atmosphere in Bologna is the fair in via Altabella, which accompanies the city until Epiphany (until 8 January 2024).
A true Christmas bazaar, right in the city center and just a few steps from Piazza Maggiore, where you will find sweets for all tastes and the ideal gift among costume jewelry, accessories and handicraft products to give to friends and relatives.