An Italian vacation is exotic enough; if the timing is during Christmas, it adds a whole other flavor to the entire deal. And I was not disappointed with my choice of bringing my family here. We flew into Verona and spent a couple of days in the famous mountainous regions of Trentino, the medieval European city of Bolzano and finished up relaxing by beautiful Verona.
Since Northern Italy had just received a heavy first snowfall, we figured that hitting the ski slopes would be the best thing to kick-start the vacation. Madonna Di Campiglio happened to be an elegant town used as a base for ski vacations by a great number of visitors. With over 9 miles of cross-country ski trails, skiing in the powdery snow among the ‘Dolomites’ was a unique experience. The nearby Adamello-Brenta natural park has lovely hikes in the valleys area in the midst of alpine vegetation and great lakes – an excellent option for those who are not into skiing. If outdoor activities are becoming too much, stop for a grappa and relax at one of the many taverns and bars in this mountain town.
Bolzano, about two hours drive away, is the castle basin of Europe with over four hundred in the nearby surroundings! Once we got to know about the Christmas Market in Bolzano (the biggest Christmas market in Italy), we could hardly wait to go there and experience Christmas like we had never done before. When we arrived in the heart of the city, we found a beautiful Piazza Walther that was gorgeously lit and full of goodies and attractions for both adults and children alike like carriage tours, puppet theatres, music, Christmas tree decorations, handmade crafts, tasty local foods, and much more!
After a physically exhaustive week, the final few days in Italy were spent relaxing in the Romanesque town of Verona. The enchanting tourist trails of Romeo and Juliet in the city are a must for the Shakespearan fans. But, we opted to enjoy Verona in perfect traditional Christmas style… so we immersed ourselves in the full spirit of Christmas in Verona by enjoying the many small markets.
The most famous and largest is the Santa Lucia Christmas market held in Piazza Bra, you can’t miss the huge illuminated shooting star that seems to be flying out of the Arena and landing in the Piazza. Impressive too is the Nativity Exhibition held in the famous Roman Arena. The exhibition hosts incredible nativity scenes from all over the world.
After an eventful vacation, we bid goodbye to beautiful Northern Italy with the hopes of returning once again in the future.