Christmas In Venice Italy

Christmas In Venice Italy: Best Things to do 2023

Christmas In Venice Italy

Christmas In Venice Italy is an unforgettable holiday experience, but knowing what to expect and how best to enjoy this enchanting city is essential.

Did you know Venice couples its hauntingly beautiful atmosphere with fantasy lightsgarlands adorning main streets, and unique traditions like a multi-course fish meal?

This post will help you navigate the magical world of Venetian Christmas by sharing must-see sights, hidden gems, local traditions, tips on transportation, and shopping.

Key Takeaways

  • Attend the Christmas Eve Mass at Basilica San Marco for a magical and spiritual experience in Venice’s most famous square.
  • Explore the Christmas concerts throughout Venice to immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere and enjoy live music.
  • Visit Murano for Natale di Vetro to marvel at a glass Christmas tree and witness the creativity of Murano’s renowned artisans.
  • Experience a gondola ride with St. Nicholas for a charming and memorable twist on this iconic Venetian activity.
  • Join the Befana Regatta to celebrate the end of the Christmas season with an exciting boat race in Venice’s lagoon.
  • Dress warmly, discover local cuisine, get a Vaporetto pass for easy transportation, and slow down and enjoy the ambiance during your visit to Venice at Christmastime.
  • Shop for unique gifts in Venice’s charming boutiques or explore market stalls filled with artisanal crafts.

Christmas In Venice Italy: What to do

Attend Christmas Eve Mass at Basilica San Marco, explore the Christmas concerts in Venice, visit Murano for Natale di Vetro, experience a gondola ride with St. Nicholas, and join the Befana Regatta.

Attend Christmas Eve Mass at Basilica San Marco

A Stunning Nighttime Photograph Of The Basilica San Marco With A Bustling Cityscape, Featuring Diverse People And Beautiful Architecture.

The Christmas Eve Mass at Basilica San Marco, an iconic gem of Venice, is a must-attend event. This celebration, cherished by locals and tourists alike, transforms the ancient basilica with extra candles lighting up every corner.

Thousands of shimmering lights on the Christmas tree brighten up Piazza San Marco creating a captivating festive atmosphere. The mass offers a unique spiritual experience that captures the true essence of Venetian traditions during Christmas.

Beautiful melodies echoing through the grand interiors will make you feel enchanted and moved by this magical event in Venice’s most famed square!

Explore the Christmas concerts in Venice.

Ornate Musical Instruments Displayed On A Rustic Wooden Table In A Beautifully Decorated Venetian Concert Hall.

Indulge in the beautiful symphony of Christmas concerts in Venice, a beloved holiday tradition.

  • Seek out Christmas concert posters sprinkled around Venice to find an event that suits your taste.
  • Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere as you attend your chosen concert.
  • Experience the holiday spirit through live music, a favorite among locals and tourists.
  • Choose from numerous delightful concerts held throughout the city during the Christmas season.
  • Plan your day around these concerts, as they are a huge part of Venice’s cultural identity.
  • Join the tradition of attending Christmas concerts, providing an authentic Venetian experience.
  • Enjoy the rich variety of music played in historic buildings and churches like St Mark’s Basilica or Teatro La Fenice, adding extra charm to your holiday season.
  • Use this opportunity to explore different areas of Venice with concerts held all over, from Riva Degli Schiavoni to Campo Santo Stefano.

Visit Murano for Natale di Vetro

Every year, the glass capital of the world, Murano, hosts an enchanting event called Natale di Vetro, or Christmas in Glass. From December 5th until January 6th, visitors can marvel at a seven-meter-tall Christmas tree made entirely of shimmering glass.

Perfectly situated in Campo Santo Stefano square for all to admire, this sparkling spectacle showcases the exceptional skill and creativity of Murano’s renowned glass artisans. Tourists often find their festive spirit ignited by this magnificent display during their winter visit.

Indeed, seeing Murano’s unique yuletide tradition is one of the best things to do in Venice during the holiday season.

Experience a gondola ride with St. Nicholas

A Gondola Decorated For Christmas Floats Through The Canals Of Venice, Capturing The Bustling Atmosphere And Diverse Faces.

Gondolas, the iconic boats of Venice, take on a festive twist during Christmas in Venice. In Campo, San Vio, gondoliers decorate their gondolas with cushions and other Christmas items to welcome St.

Nicholas. This charming tradition adds an extra touch of magic to your gondola ride through the picturesque canals of Venice. Gliding along the waterways, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and soak up the holiday spirit.

It’s a unique and memorable experience that children and adults will cherish during their visit to Venice at Christmastime.

Join the Befana Regatta

Venice Canal. Christmas In Venice Italy

The Befana Regatta is an exciting boat race in Venice to celebrate the end of the Christmas season. This popular tradition brings together locals and tourists alike in the lagoon of Venice to witness the thrilling race.

The origins of the Befana, a witch-like figure associated with Christmas in Italy, can be traced back to ancient beliefs tied to rebirth and the coming of spring. Don’t miss out on this unique event that offers a glimpse into Italian culture and adds extra excitement to your family vacation in Venice.

Tips for Enjoying Christmas in Venice

A Gondola Glides Through Canals At Dusk, Adorned With Christmas Lights, Showcasing The Bustling Atmosphere Of A Cityscape.

Dress warmly and in layers to stay comfortable in the winter weather.

Dress appropriately for the weather

A Vibrant Umbrella In The Rain With A Diverse Group Of People, Capturing The Bustling Atmosphere Of A City.

Venice’s Christmas weather can be quite chilly, so it’s important to dress warmly when exploring the city. Pack comfortable bootscozy sweaters, and a rain jacket to stay dry in case of showers.

Don’t forget to bring an umbrella as well! The winter season in Venice is much colder than the rest of the year, so be prepared for low temperatures and a cold sensation. By dressing appropriately for the weather, you’ll ensure you and your family can enjoy all that Venice offers during this festive time of year.

Plan your meals and discover the local cuisine.

Close-Up Of Vibrant Fruits &Amp; Vegetables At Market, Featuring Diverse Individuals, Well-Lit, With Clear Focus.

Plan your meals during your family vacation in Venice and discover the delicious local cuisine. Here are some tips to help you experience the unique flavors and traditional dishes associated with Christmas in Venice:

  1. Explore cicchetti bars: These bars offer a delightful way to sample Venetian cuisine. Enjoy small, bite-sized dishes called Cicchetti, which often include seafood specialties like fried calamari or marinated anchovies.
  2. Try roasted vealTraditional Italian Christmas food includes roasted veal, a popular dish enjoyed during the holiday season in Italy. You can find this mouthwatering dish at various restaurants in Venice.
  3. Indulge in fish dishes on la Vigilia: Italians do not eat meat on Christmas Eve, known as la Vigilia. Instead, they enjoy a variety of fish dishes as part of their festive meal. Try some delicious seafood specialties like baccalà (salted cod) or sarde in saor (sweet and sour sardines).
  4. Visit local markets: Explore the Christmas markets and stalls scattered throughout Venice. Here, fresh produce, regional cheeses, olive oil, and other local products add an authentic touch to your meals.
  5. Discover traditional sweets: Treat yourself to some delectable sweets that are popular during the holiday season in Italy. Look out for panettone (a sweet bread loaf), pandoro (a golden cake), or torrone (nougat candy) – perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth.
  6. Experience locally brewed drinks: Besides enjoying delicious food, don’t miss the chance to taste locally brewed drinks such as Prosecco (sparkling wine), Aperol spritz (a refreshing cocktail), or Venetian wines produced in nearby regions.

Get a Vaporetto pass for easy transportation.

A Person With A Vaporetto Pass Navigating Through The Venetian Canals, Capturing Different Faces And Bustling Atmosphere.

Vaporetto pass is necessary for easy transportation in Venice during your Christmas vacation. With unlimited travel for 75 minutes from the time of validation, this pass allows you to explore the city at your own pace.

The cost of a 75-minute ticket is 7.50 euros, but if you plan on staying longer, consider getting a Tourist Travel Card which can save you time and money with one to seven-day options.

Don’t worry about navigating the city’s intricate waterways or dealing with crowded public transport – grab a Vaporetto pass and enjoy hassle-free travel around Venice during the holiday season!

Take time to slow down and enjoy the ambiance.

City Streets Adorned With Christmas Lights And Decorations, Featuring Diverse People With Different Styles And Outfits.

Immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of Christmas in Venice by taking a moment to slow down and appreciate the ambiance. Stroll along the narrow streets adorned with beautiful lights and decorations as you soak up the festive spirit that fills the air.

Listen to the church bells chiming and feel the warmth of holiday cheer radiating from every corner. Whether sipping hot chocolate at a charming café or gazing at breathtaking views of the canals, savoring these small moments will make your family vacation in Venice truly memorable.

This is also an opportunity to connect with your loved ones and create lasting memories. Engage in conversations about your favorite parts of the trip or sim; ply hold hands as you explore this enchanting city.

Christmas Shopping in Venice

Venice is a perfect destination for Christmas shopping, especially for families looking for unique and special gifts. The city comes alive during the holiday season with stunning decorations that create a magical atmosphere.

While exploring the streets and canals, traditional Christmas cribs are displayed in churches, shops, and hotels. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Christmas markets in Venice, where you can find bespoke gifts and treats.

From artisanal Italian craftsmanship to beautifully decorated masks, there’s something for everyone on your list. Whether browsing charming shops or strolling through market stalls, Venice offers an unforgettable shopping experience during the festive season.

Enjoying a stroll along winding streets adorned with twinkling lights is a must-do activity while shopping in Venice at Christmastime. Immerse yourself in the festive ambiance as you discover local boutiques and specialty stores offering unique items that reflect Venetian artistry and tradition.

Take your time to explore hidden gems tucked away among historic buildings and picturesque squares like Piazza di San Marco or Campo Santo Stefano. With smaller crowds compared to other popular destinations, enjoying stress-free shopping becomes even easier here in Venice.

The Acqua Alta and How to Prepare for It

During the winter season in Venice, a natural phenomenon called “acqua alta” refers to high tides that occur periodically. These high tides can flood certain city areas, especially Piazza San Marco.

During an aqua alta event, the water level can rise to 110 cm (43 inches) above normal levels.

If you plan to visit Venice during this time, it’s important to be prepared for the possibility of acqua alta. Pack appropriate footwear that can withstand wet conditions and carry waterproof gear like raincoats or ponchos.

This will ensure you can still explore the beautiful city without worrying about getting wet or uncomfortable.

Despite the challenges that acqua alta may bring, Venice still has many things to do and see. You can visit indoor attractions like museums or historic buildings where you won’t have to worry about flooded streets.

Additionally, many shops and restaurants remain open even during high tide periods.

So remember, when visiting Venice during the winter months, be aware of the acqua alta and come prepared with suitable clothing and gear. Embrace the unique experience it brings and make the most out of your trip by exploring indoors and outdoors while enjoying everything this wonderful city offers!


Boats With Christmas Lights Sail Through Canals At Night In A Bustling City, Capturing Diverse Faces, Hairstyles, And Outfits.

In conclusion, spending Christmas in Venice offers a truly enchanting experience. From attending Christmas Eve Mass at the Basilica San Marco to exploring the festive concerts and visiting Murano for Natale di Vetro, there is no shortage of holiday cheer.

With its beautiful lightsdelicious cuisine, and unique traditions, Venice is the perfect destination for creating unforgettable memories during the Christmas season. Don’t miss this magical opportunity to celebrate in one of Italy’s most stunning cities.


What is Christmas like in Venice, Italy?

Christmas in Venice is a truly magical experience. The city’s historic buildings and canals are adorned with beautiful Christmas lights and decorations, creating a festive atmosphere that’s hard to resist. The Grand Canal, in particular, is a sight to behold during this time of the year. Special events such as concerts and markets are held throughout the city, and ice rinks, such as the one in Campo San Polo, have become a favorite spot for locals and tourists.

Are there any traditional Christmas foods or treats in Venice?

Yes, Venice has a rich culinary tradition that comes alive during Christmas. Some popular Venetian Christmas dishes include panettone and pandoro, sweet bread loaves that are a staple in Italian cities during the holidays. Fritole, fried doughnuts dusted with sugar, are another local favorite. Many Venetians enjoy a hearty capon broth for a traditional Christmas Day meal.

Are there any specific Christmas traditions unique to Venice?

Venice has its own unique Christmas traditions. One of the most notable is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th. This national holiday is marked by a large procession that winds through the city’s streets and ends at St. Mark’s Square. Another unique tradition is the Santa Claus Run, a festive race where participants dress up as Babbo Natale (Santa Claus) and run through the city center.

Are there any special events or activities for children during Christmas in Venice?

Absolutely! Venice offers a variety of activities for children during the Christmas holidays. Many churches, such as the Frari Church, set up nativity scenes that families can visit. Puppet shows and storytelling sessions are also organized in various venues across the city. One of the best places to visit with kids is the Campo Santo Stefano, which transforms into a Christmas Village with a carousel and stalls selling toys and sweets.

What’s the best time to visit Venice for Christmas?

The best time to visit Venice for Christmas is in early December when the Christmas markets open and the city is beautifully decorated. This is also a great time to enjoy fewer crowds and a more relaxed atmosphere. However, the Christmas spirit is palpable throughout December. It even extends into early January, culminating in the celebration of La Befana, an Italian holiday tradition, on January 6th.

Are there any Christmas concerts in Venice?

Venice hosts several Christmas concerts, offering a great way to soak in the festive atmosphere. The La Fenice Theatre, one of Italy’s most famous opera houses, often hosts special concerts during Christmas. Churches across the city also hold midnight mass on Christmas Eve, often including beautiful choral performances.

What’s the best way to explore Venice during Christmas?

The best way to explore Venice during Christmas is on foot. Take a walking tour of the city to see the Christmas decorations, visit the nativity scenes in churches, and enjoy the festive atmosphere in St. Mark’s Square. A gondola ride along the Grand Canal is also a great idea, offering a unique perspective of the city’s Christmas lights.

Are there any Christmas markets in Venice?

While Venice is not as well-known for its Christmas markets as some other European cities, you can still find markets selling various goods during the festive season. Campo Santo Stefano is known for its Christmas market, where you can find everything from handmade crafts to traditional Italian holiday treats. It’s a great place to pick up unique gifts and souvenirs.

What are some must-see sights in Venice during Christmas?

During Christmas, Venice’s iconic landmarks like the Rialto Bridge, Doge’s Palace, and St. Mark’s Square take on a special charm with festive decorations and lights. The island of Murano, famous for its Murano glass, is another must-visit. You can see beautiful Christmas tree decorations and other holiday-themed glass art here. Don’t miss the chance to see the Christmas tree in Piazza San Marco; it’s a truly spectacular sight!

What can I do on Christmas Day in Venice?

Many families attend midnight mass on Christmas Day at St. Mark’s Basilica or another of the city’s beautiful churches. Afterward, it’s traditional to enjoy a festive meal with family. Many restaurants offer special Christmas menus, but book in advance, as places can fill up quickly. After your meal, a stroll around the city to enjoy the Christmas lights and decorations is a must.

Are there any New Year’s Eve celebrations in Venice?

Absolutely! Venice is a fantastic place to ring in the New Year. The city hosts various events, including a traditional New Year’s Eve concert at the La Fenice Theatre. St. Mark’s Square becomes the center of celebrations at midnight with a huge fireworks display. It’s a truly unforgettable experience.

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