Words by Katia Amore

Every year, during the Advent period, many towns in Trentino Alto Adige recreate the magical atmosphere of traditional street markets with wooden huts offering exquisite craftsmanship, local food and wine, children entertainment, Christmas carols and lights.

Trento's market has more than seventy market stalls offering gifts such as candles, Christmas decorations, traditional wooden objects, essential oils, nativity scenes and crafted jewellery. While visiting the market you can drink a hot noggin of mulled wine or steaming Parampampoli, a local liquer, and taste the best of Trentino's culinary tradition like sausage products of every type, game, "canerderli", "polenta carbonera", cheeses, soups, strudel and potato cakes, as you can see in the following videos:

The first Christmas Markets to open are those of Arco, Trento, Levico, Rovereto and Rango.

Levico

In the enchanting atmosphere of the Parco degli Asburgo, Levico Christmas market offers the opportunity to discover the wonderful products of Valsugana.
Dedicated to the local trentino-tyrolean culture, the market displays local handicrafts including toys, decorations for Christmas trees, nativity scenes and typical products such as roasted chestnuts, hot mulled wine, mountain honey, "luganega" and "mortandela" amongst many others typical products. Musicians and folk groups transform the park into a stage with Christmas carols and traditional regional music while Father Christmas welcomes children on his throne accepting their letters.

Arco

Christmas Market in Arco is the first to open its doors, with about 40 stalls offering various Christmas products and local food. The most interesting day to visit the market is the 8th of December, for the Festa dell'Immacolata, for the wonderful firework's display in the Castle of Arco. In Arco visitors are also invited to take a walk around the town which is decorated with Christmas lights and enjoy the entertainment organised for both adults and children, including the rendezvous in the Casino, all immersed in an enchanting mountain landscape.

Rovereto

In Rovereto, the market is set out on the high street and along the historical streets and squares, offering local specialities: craft products, salamis and cheeses, sweets, chocolate and wines. Every year the “Natale dei Popoli” event is dedicated to Christmas traditions from various parts of the world. This year the event pears Christmas traditions from Naples and Salzburg, bringing Neapolitan beautifully crafted nativity scenes and the typical Salzburg Christmas decorations together.

Rango

Included in the list of “The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy”, Rango is a jewel of rural architecture in Bleggio Superiore. Visiting Rango's narrow alleys, large passageways, woodpiles and portec (small courtyards) is always a wonderful experience, but if you get the chance to go during Christmas time you will never forget it, as the village really comes to life.

The market stalls are inside the “vòlt”, the typical cellars with vaulted ceilings, and the Osterie del Borgo offer specialities and local dishes like the traditional sweetmeats, walnut salami, barley coffee and mulled wine, accompanied by the sound of accordions and bagpipes. On the 13th of Decmber, stories and fairytales are told to children in the cellars, rediscovering the tradition of "filò", when grandparents and children used to share their time in the stables telling stories and doing small craft work. On that day jugglers, clowns and strolling musicians announce the arrival of Santa Lucia that goes through the village streets with her faithful donkey distributing gifts and sweets.

For a more detailed programme of events organised during the Christmas Markets visit the website www.nataletrentino.it