One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Venice is a must-see no matter the season. However, when Christmastime rolls around, this canal-crossed Italian city is more beautiful than ever, its streets illuminated with holiday decorations and the scent of baking bocconotto filling the air. If you find yourself yearning to leave the comforts of your luxury home stateside and travel to Europe this winter, make sure to find time for a trip to Venice; we’ve rounded up the city’s essential activities this holiday season:
Shop the Campo San Polo Christmas market
If you’re looking for that perfect gift that nobody else will have, look no further than the Campo San Polo Christmas market. This traditional holiday market is full of charming handmade crafts, like jewelry, ornaments, and artisanal food. Better yet, it’s centered around an ice skating rink, so you can get in a good workout after an afternoon of shopping and snacking.
Attend Midnight Mass at Saint Mark’s Basilica
Celebrate Christmas in true Venetian style by attending services at Saint Mark’s Basilica. Built more than 1100 years ago, this stunning cathedral hosts Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve each year, with live music, readings from the Bible, and views of some of the most beautiful religious artwork in the world, from stained glass to frescoes overhead.
Browse the Mercati di Rialto
Didn’t find what you were looking for at Campo San Polo? You’ll get another shot to browse some of Venice’s unique wares at Mercati di Rialto. With the exception of Sundays, Mercati di Rialto is open every day of the week, with vendors selling everything from vintage clothing to crafts to fresh fish.
Pick up pastries at the Pasticceria Tonolo
What’s Christmas in Italy without some delicious pastries? If you’re in Venice for the holidays, make sure to drop into Pasticceria Tonolo. This traditional bakery has everything you could hope for and more, from coffee to cannoli, and is the perfect place to pick up a box of sweets before a Christmas celebration.
Visit the Piazza San Marco
Just before Christmas, check out some of the performances that take place on the stage set up in the Piazza San Marco. This square in the heart of the city hosts musicians from classical quartets to opera singers in the days leading up to Christmas, with countless visitors descending on the square to enjoy celebratory performances in the days before the holiday.
Enjoy an amazing holiday in one of the world’s most beautiful cities by booking a trip to Venice this year. Whether you’re charmed by the city’s churches or find yourself swept up in Venice’s peerless shopping, you’re sure to have a holiday you won’t soon forget in this stunning Italian city.