Posted date: November 9, 2022
Planning a visit to Italy during this holiday season? The Verona Christmas market is one of the best markets to visit in Northern Italy.
From local crafts to mulled wine and seasonal treats, the market is a wonderful way to get in the holiday spirit.
In this guide, we’re sharing all of the details you need for your visit to the Verona Christmas market, including some of our favorite stands to stop for food.
Verona Christmas Market dates 2022
The Verona Christmas market starts around mid-November and goes until December 26th. There isn’t an official start date for the market, but we spent a month in Verona in November 2021 and the market started on November 13th.
We recommend visiting towards the end of November or on Saint Lucia’s day (December 12-13), as there are more decorations and stands set up.
What to do at the Verona Christmas market?
The Verona Christmas market can easily be seen in one day. Compared to the more famous markets in Europe, like Austria and Germany, the Verona market is much smaller and less overwhelming, in our opinion!
The Christmas market takes place in several different locations across the city. Start your visit at the main market, which takes place in the Piazza dei Signori.
Piazza dei Signori
This is the center of the Verona Christmas market with people crowded in the piazza eating holiday treats, sipping on mulled wine, and chatting with friends and family. The square is lit up by a beautiful Christmas tree and surrounded by medieval architecture. It’s quite a magical experience!
The food in the Piazza dei Signori is some of the best at the market. Let’s go on a little food tour to see what options you have.
One of the most popular foods at the market is sausage and potatoes! While it’s not something you would expect to see at an Italian market, it is a popular dish at most Christmas markets across Europe. Hot tip: it’s delicious and worth trying.
We went for the platter with sauerkraut and potatoes – the mustard hit the spot after all of the pasta we had eaten! We recommend sharing if you want to have enough room to try everything else.
Another favorite is the Palle de Ricotta stand selling fried donuts that are made with ricotta. These are a tasty treat, especially when covered in chocolate!
If you want to try a different take on a pizza, there is a stand selling pizzas topped with either potatoes and cheese or ham and cheese. They are smoked in a wood-fired oven and it is one of the most popular stands at the market. Definitely worth a try!
Now that you’re full, walk around and take a look at all of the other stands selling crafts, clothes, slippers, and even spices.
Make your way over to the Mercato Vecchio that is connected to the Piazza dei Signori. Here you’ll find cheese shops selling cheese from all over Italy, mulled wine, and hot chocolate, too.
If you still have room for more food, try the Peara e Cotechino stand selling a local dish made with boiled meat and a sauce made of grated bread, ox marrow, and broth. This stand also serves different plates with polenta. We didn’t have time to try this, but it looks good if you want to try something more local.
Ponte di Castelvecchio & Ponte Pietra
The market extends to the two famous bridges in Verona – Ponte di Castelvecchio & Ponte Pietra.
The bridges are lined with stands selling typical local goods and crafts. You’ll also find cheese and salami stands.
These are lovely to visit in the evening while lit up, but they are also nice to see during the day while you’re sight-seeing around Verona if you don’t have time at night.
Try the Pandoro
The pandoro is the famous Italian Christmas cake that is tall and shaped like a star. It’s a very simple cake made with butter, sugar, flour, and eggs, yet it’s an Italian staple during the holiday season.
The cake was invented in Verona in 1894, so it’s worth trying some while you’re in the place where it was first made!
There is a stall in the Piazza dei Signori that sells pandoro with different sauces on top. You can also stop at Michele Turco 1909 where they sell the traditional pandoro and panettone.
Saint Lucia’s Day in Verona
Saint Lucia’s day is a big holiday in Verona where festivities takes place on the night between December 12th and 13th. On this evening, children celebrate Santa Lucia bringing them gifts and treats on a flying donkey!
For the holiday, hundreds of vendors put up stands in the Piazza Bra next to the Verona Arena selling crafts, foods, and local specialties.
The market usually takes place from December 10th to 13th.
International Nativity Scene Festival (Presepi Dal Mondo)
From November 19, 2022 to January 22, 2022, you can visit the Presepi Dal Mondo or the International Nativity Scene festival inside of the famous Verona Arena.
The annual exhibition takes place along the arches in the Verona arena. Hundreds of nativities and artworks inspired by the nativity are exhibited from all over the world.
The event is one of the grandest of its kind and many of the nativity scenes come from museums and collectors. One million visitors visit every year, so its best to get your tickets in advance.
The cost to visit is €8 per adult with price reductions for different age groups. You can buy your tickets here.
The official site for the event with opening times and event information is here.
You’ll notice a giant star arching its way from the Verona Arena to the center of Piazza Bra. This was designed by Rinaldo Olivieri in 1984 for the first annual Nativity Scene Festival, and the city has continued to put it up every year since.
Is it worth visiting the Verona Christmas market?
The Christmas market in Verona is definitely worth visiting if you are already visiting Northern Italy in late November or December.
The city of Verona goes all out with decorations lining the streets, Christmas trees in front of shops, and lights hanging above the alleyways. It’s a festive experience with excellent food and craft stands to get a taste of the holiday spirit in Italy.
We recommend visiting if you are within an hour or two of Verona; however, we don’t think it’s worth planning your entire Italian holiday around the market.