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Planning a visit to Verona during this holiday season? We’re sharing all you need to know about the Verona Christmas market in 2023 in this post.
The Verona Christmas market is one of the best markets to visit in northern Italy – even better than the ones in Milan and Venice.
The city transforms into a Christmas village with lights strewn above the streets, Christmas trees in front of shops, and the charming market located throughout the city.
From local crafts to mulled wine and seasonal treats, experiencing the Christmas market in one of Italy’s most beautiful cities is a wonderful way to get in the holiday spirit.
We have visited the Verona Christmas market several times. In this guide, we’re sharing all of the details you need to make the most of your visit, including some of our favorite foods to try and other important events in Verona during the holiday season.
Verona Christmas Market dates & opening times 2023
The Verona Christmas market is open from Friday, November 10th to Tuesday, December 26th in 2023.
Verona Christmas market opening hours:
- Sunday to Thursday: 10:00am – 9:30pm
- Friday and Saturday: 10:00am – 11:00pm
- December 24th: 10:00am – 5:00pm
- December 25th: Opens at 4:00pm
- December 26th: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Verona Christmas market locations:
- Piazza dei Signori
- Mercato Vecchio
- Ponte di Castelvecchio
- Ponte Pietra
Best time to visit the Verona Christmas Market 2023
The best time to visit the Verona Christmas market is from the last week of November up until Christmas.
More specifically, December 13th is wonderful day to visit during the feast of Saint Lucia. The entire square at Piazza Bra is transformed into a market in addition to the other market stalls around the city. We’ve included more information about this day later on in the post.
We spent the entire month of November in 2021 living in Verona and walked around the Christmas Market almost every night that it was up.
Based on our experience, there were more stalls, festivities, and decorations set up at the end of November. If you want the full experience, then it’s best to visit later in the month and into December.
We also suggest doing the touristy activities in Verona during the day and saving the Christmas market for the evening. Seeing all of the lights lit up at night really adds to the magic of the market.
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 Austria and Germany, the market in Verona is much smaller and less overwhelming making it a more relaxing experience.
The Christmas market takes place in several different locations across the city. We suggest starting your visit at the main market in Piazza dei Signori.
Piazza dei Signori
The Piazza dei Signori is the center of the Verona Christmas market. Here you’ll find locals and tourists alike eating holiday treats, sipping on mulled wine, and shopping for gifts and crafts at the stalls.
The square is lit up by a beautiful Christmas tree and surrounded by medieval architecture. It’s quite a magical experience!
Foods to try at Piazza dei Signori
The food at 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 to try is a plate of 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 and another must-try.
Of course, no visit to a Christmas market in Europe is complete without getting a cup of warm mulled wine. You’ll find a couple of stands selling this at the Piazza dei Signori.
In addition to the food, you’ll find other stands selling slippers, socks, spices, ornaments, and more. If you’re looking for a thoughtful Christmas gift to take home from Italy, this is the place to get it.
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 covered in 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 a local dish.
Join a local tour to experience the Verona Christmas market and historical sights with an expert guide.
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 everything from typical local goods and crafts to cheese and salami. You can find anything at the Christmas market!
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 Pandoro cake
The pandoro is a famous Italian Christmas cake that was invented in Verona in 1894. You’ll recognize it by its distinct star shape.
The cake is quite simple and is made with butter, sugar, flour, and eggs, yet it’s an Italian staple during the holiday season.
You can try pandoro at Michele Turco 1909 in the city. They sell traditional pandoro and panettone here.
There is also a stall at the Piazza dei Signori that sells pandoro slices with the option to add a chocolate or nut sauce (like pistachio) on top. We highly recommend trying it this way!
Events in Verona at Christmas
Verona is a lively city at Christmas time with the market and an good selection of festive events.
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 Saint 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 at Piazza Bra usually takes place from December 10th to 13th.
International Nativity Scene Festival (Presepi Dal Mondo)
From November 18, 2023 to January 14, 2023, 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 inside of 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 people 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 opening times are 9:00am to 8:00pm. Visit the official site for all updated information.
You’ll notice a giant star arching its way across the Piazza Bra from the Verona Arena. 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 the Verona Christmas market worth visiting?
The Christmas market in Verona is definitely worth visiting if you are looking for an authentic Italian Christmas experience!
I have visited the famous markets in Germany and Austria and while Verona isn’t quite on the scale of those markets, it is one of the best in Italy.
With all of the lights and decorations throughout the city, you’re sure to have a festive experience in Verona.
How to get to Verona?
To help you plan your trip to the Verona Christmas market, we’ve put together a guide on how to get there.
If you are already in Italy, then the best and most convenient way to get to Verona is by train.
Arriving to Verona by plane
For international travelers from major European cities, the most convenient way to reach Verona is by flying into Verona Airport, also known as Valerio Catullo Airport (VRN).
For those flying from outside of the European Union, then we suggest flying to Venice or Milan airport and taking a train from there.
Once you arrive at the airport, you’ll find several transportation options to reach Verona’s city center, where the Christmas market awaits.
Taxi: Taxis are readily available at the airport and can take you directly to the city center. The journey usually takes around 15-20 minutes.
Shuttle Bus: The Aerobus shuttle service operates between the airport and Verona’s main train station, Verona Porta Nuova. From there, you can easily access the city center.
Verona by train
If you are traveling within Italy or from nearby European cities, taking the train to Verona is the best option. Verona Porta Nuova Railway Station is one of the major train hubs in northern Italy and provides plenty of connections from Milan, Rome, Venice, Milan, and more.
Once you arrive at the station, you can walk to the city center. This takes approximately 15-20 minutes. Otherwise, you can take a taxi from the station.
Book your train tickets on Trenitalia.
Verona by car
If you prefer the flexibility of driving or plan to explore more of the region during your visit, you can reach Verona by car.
Parking facilities are available around the city center and at the train station. We suggest using Google Maps and searching for “parking lots in Verona” and several options will pop up.
Book your rental car using DiscoverCars – the site we use to book our car rentals in Europe.
Verona by bus
Verona is also accessible by bus from major Italian cities like Milan, Venice, and Florence. If you’re traveling on a budget, then traveling by bus is often the most affordable option.
We recommend checking prices and timetables on FlixBus.
Where to stay in Verona during the Christmas Market
Here is our curated list of the best hotels in Verona for your stay during the holiday season.
Luxury: Due Torri Hotel
A 5-star hotel located in the center of Verona with classic Italian-style rooms and an incredible balcony overlooking the city.
Boutique: Hotel Accademia
A wonderful hotel located in the heart of the old town with amenities like a gym and breakfast.
Budget: Casa Esvael
This charming b&b is located just a 5-minute walk from the center of Verona and offers a lovely rustic Italian stay.
Tips for Visiting the Verona Christmas Market
- Plan ahead – Verona at Christmas is a busy time of year! Many people come into town to visit the market, so we suggest booking your hotels at least a month or two in advance to get the best deals.
- Come hungry – The food at the Verona Christmas market is delicious. We recommend eating your way around the market and trying different cuisines from around Europe. The plates are heavy and filling though, so come hungry!
- Dress warm – November and December in Verona are quite chilly. Plan to layer up with a hat, boots, a coat, and gloves, especially for a night out at the market. You may even get to experience the Christmas market in the snow if you are lucky!
- Visit during the evening – The best time of the day to visit the Christmas market is a night when all of the lights are lit up. This is also the busiest time to visit when locals come to socialize and hang out with family and friends.
- Bring cash – Some market stalls may only take cash. We recommend having some cash on hand just in case.
More Information for your Italy Trip
- Things to do in Verona
- Best Day Trips from Verona
- 1 Day in Verona
- 2 Days in Verona
- Bologna to Verona Day Trip
- Milan to Verona Day Trip
VENICE: Planning to visit Venice? Check out our post on the 15 Reasons to Visit Venice.
BOLOGNA: If you’re planning to visit the capital of Emilia Romagna during your trip, check out our guide on the Best Things to do in Bologna and our Bologna Food Guide. You may also like our article on the Best Gelato Shops in Bologna and a step-by-step guide to walking the Portico San Luca (the longest portico in the world)!
ITALY TRAVEL PLANNING GUIDE
Italy Travel Insurance – Should you get travel insurance for Italy? YES! We always get travel insurance before all of our trips for peace of mind. Check out Safety Wing to find the best plan for you.
Italy Rental Cars – Is it safe to rent a car in Italy? Yes! We’ve rented a car in Italy too many times to count, and it’s definitely the most convenient way to get around the countryside. We rented our car through Discover Cars (our go-to rental agency), which helps you find the best rates no matter where you are traveling.
Italy Phone Plans – If your phone plan does not offer free coverage in Italy, then we suggest getting an eSIM. We used Airalo during our trip to Italy, and we had fantastic coverage the entire time. It’s easy to download and you can even top up via the app if needed.
Italy Hotels – Wondering where to book your accommodations for Italy? We’ve been reserving all of our hotels through Booking for years. Their messaging tool makes it easy to communicate with the hotels, and there are endless options to choose from.