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Sunday, February 23, 2020

One of the most beautiful places in Italy to feel the Christmas spirit is Trentino Alto Adige.  The beautiful mountains and valleys provide the ideal holiday backdrop with romantic castles, Christmas markets and a  unique cuisine that is perfectly suited for the season.

The largest city in the area, Bolzano has an ancient downtown that comes alive each December with one of the best Christmas markets in Central Europe.  Colorfully lit up surrounding streets lead you to the town center, Piazza Walther, where eighty vendors vie for your attention with crafts and food specialities from Trentino Alto Adige.  You will find strudels, Christmas sweets, and hot spiced wine, along with various regional meat and cheese products.  The 2019 market is open daily 10 am to 7 pm from November 27 until January 5th (closed on Christmas).

Your best bet to connect to Bolzano is either via frequent trains that connect in Verona to the rest of Northern Italy, or to rent a car and drive from an airport in the region.  Many visitors will want to rent car even if they arrive on train to visit the many interesting destinations  surrounding the area.

Some other Trentino Alto Adige holiday favorites include:

Trento is an important commercial and education center, and has its own more modest Christmas market.  The old town is delightful to stroll through in the winter, and it is always enjoyable to take the cable car from Trento to Sardagna which offers a great panorama of Trento and the Adige river below.

Just outside of Merano, a delightful town near Bolzano, is an excellent Christmas beer garden organized by Forst Brewery.  The “Forster Christmas Forrest” is well worth a visit for the yuletide atmosphere, hearty food and drink.

Taste some of the best Gewürztraminer wines in the world in Tramin, the origin of this special varietal.  Do not miss Cantina Tramin, a best bet in the area to taste and learn about these wines. You will not regret spending some time discovering this amazing wine in its home town!

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