Hanukkah – The city’s large Jewish community gathers in Piazza Barberini where candles on a large Menorah are lit each evening during the eight-night holiday. The area near Campo dei Fiori is also festive during this time.
Christmas Markets – From early December to early January, visitors will find festive markets in Piazza Navona filled with stalls selling handmade gifts, nativity crafts, children’s toys, and seasonal treats.
Nativity Display – 100 Presepi, a display of Nativity Scenes from around the world, is on display in Sala del Bramante near Piazza del Popolo through January 6.
Christmas Eve – The night when nativity displays are traditionally completed by adding the baby Jesus are unveiled, such as the life-size nativity in Saint Peter’s Square.
Christmas Day – Everything in the city can be expected to be closed, aside from churches.
St. Stephens Day – A public holiday observed on December 26. The day is typically an extension of Christmas Day when families venture out to view nativity scenes in churches and visit Christmas markets.
New Year’s Eve (Festa di San Silvestro) – New Year’s Eve and the Feast Day of Saint Sylvester are celebrated with much fanfare in Rome. Piazza del Popolo holds Rome’s largest public celebration with music, dancing and fireworks.
December 24 - La Fiaccole della Notte di Natale, Abbadia San Salvadore. A very ancient festival of bonfires and torch-light parade through the town. Taverns remain open throughout the night. Similar Natalecci are held in the villages of the Garfagnana in northern Tuscany.
Venice - Campo Santo Stefano Christmas Market. Taking place from mid-December until mid-January, the festive Christmas market in Campo Santo Stefano is filled with stalls selling high-quality and frequently handcrafted Venetian items including nativity scenes, children’s toys, and delicious seasonal treats.