Christmas and Festive Season in Venice / by Marco Secchi

What can you do if you are visiting Venice during Christmas time?

 VENICE, ITALY - DECEMBER 08:  Three gondoliers chat near a Christmas decorated Rialto Bridge on December 8, 2011 in Venice, Italy.



First of all, you can have a quiet walk in a less crowded city, with a magical mist and Christmas lights on the houses and on the canals. In St. Mark square you will find the Christmas Tree, and you can walk under the porticos of the Procuratie, where the ceilings are decorated with luminous rows that recall a cascade of snowflakes.In Calle XXIII Marzo, the street of the luxury shops, you can make shopping under luminaries that create a unique atmosphere with the ancient palaces.

Soak up the festive atmosphere by strolling through the streets and lingering in squares or churches to listen to choirs singing and the church bells ringing. On Christmas Day itself, the bells ring out all day from St Mark's Bell Tower.

If your walk has left you chilly warm up with a hot chocolate in Caffè Florian on St Mark's Square.

Do you want to buy some typical food or some artisanal gift?

Take advantage of the Christmas Market in Strada Nova and Accademia area, maybe drinking a glass of Vin Brulè (typical winter hot wine) to warm up a little.

In Campo San Polo there is the ice skating rink, fun for adults and children.Are you classical music lovers?

If the answer is yes, the Venice Christmas season offers a variety of concerts. Many Venetian churches for Christmas o organize evening shows: from traditional Christmas songs to more modern tunes performed by international singers, in short, shows for all tastes.And you cannot miss the Santa Claus Run on 16th of December, starting from Campo San Giacometto, close to Rialto Bridge.

Venetians have their main Christmas celebration on Christmas Eve or “La Vigilia”. Families traditionally tuck into a fish dinner of several courses before heading to midnight mass. If you want to join them, services at St Mark's Basilica start at 11:30 p.m. and are conducted in English, French and German as well as Italian.