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Christmas markets on Lake Garda

The days have grown shorter, the temperatures have dropped, and we’ve brought out sweaters, scarves, and hats. Winter has arrived, and with it, we already feel the scent of cinnamon and mulled wine, enchanted by the many Christmas lights. Yes, because for most of us, winter is synonymous with Christmas. And for those who love our areas, this means one thing: Christmas markets on Lake Garda.

DISCOVERING THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS ON LAKE GARDA

1. GARDA LAKE NORTH (UPPER LAKE)
2. GARDA LAKE SOUTH (LOWER LAKE VERONA)
3. GARDA LAKE WEST (LOWER LAKE BRESCIA)
4. CHRISTMAS MARKETS NEAR LAKE GARDA

1. GARDA LAKE NORTH

Natale a Riva del Garda
credits: __dbphotography

Christmas Market in RIVA DEL GARDA

Let’s start with Trentino, with the unmistakable Riva del Garda and its countless offerings. From November 17, 2023, to January 7, 2024, the town dresses up for the holidays, hosting the “Di Gusto in Gusto” Christmas Village in Piazza Cesare Battisti and Piazza Garibaldi.

A proposal focused on the flavors of tradition, to discover, taste, and purchase the excellences of Trentino. Can you already smell the cheeses, canederli, and carne salada? But there will also be the delicious strudel and good wine.

The new illuminations will sparkle throughout the historic center, and the typical wooden houses will decorate the streets of Riva, creating an extremely engaging atmosphere. And yet, historical reenactments of ancient crafts, costumed walks, and the cute mascots of the markets, Orso Pom and Renna Lana. In short, an enchanted environment that will make the whole family dream. But the best part is yet to come… Would you like to meet Santa Claus?

Well, I’m about to introduce you to the perfect opportunity because the generous old man has chosen Riva del Garda for his winter vacation… And little he knows that he is not the only one to have chosen Riva…

The most famous Santa in the world has decided to stay on the ground floor of the Rocca. Together with his sweet half Natalina, he will welcome guests into his home, allowing them to explore the various rooms of the house. However, they don’t know that there is someone particularly disturbed by the hustle and bustle all around Santa’s House… Indeed, it’s the Grinch!

This eccentric and whimsical character has decided to take possession of the Bastione di Riva del Garda and transform it into his winter residence, where he lives with his dog Max. Do you feel like taking a look? When he’s away to cause some mischief, it’s the perfect opportunity to sneak in and explore his house.

Opening days of Santa’s House in:

  • Saturday 25 November, 2, 9 and 16 December.
  • Sunday 26 November, 3, 10 and 17 December.
  • Friday 8 December.

Entrance Ticket: € 8,00
Reduced Ticket for children from 3 to 14 years old: €4,00
CHildren up to 2 years: free

Opening days of the Grinch House in Riva del Garda:

The Grinch’s House is located inside the Bastione di Riva del Garda and can be visited for free on these days:

  • from December 1st up to December 24th: Open from Thursday to Sunday
  • from December 25th up to January 7th: Open every day

Moments the Grinch will not be at home:

  • 10:00am – 07:00pm and Friday and Saturday until 11.00 pm.
  • New year’s Eve until 03:00am

Let’s continue our tour of the Christmas Markets on Lake Garda, staying in Trentino, exploring three places to visit on Lake Garda. Let’s discover how Christmas will be in Arco, Canale di Tenno, and Val di Ledro.

Christmas markets on Lake Garda

Christmas Market in ARCO

Infinite possibilities and ideas await you through the streets of the historic center of Arco. In the traditional wooden stalls, the magic of Christmas will reign supreme. From November 17, 2023, to January 7, 2024, this town will host a succession of initiatives suitable for both young and old. While the Christmas Markets open at 10:00, the program is rich with many other surprises!

The Animal Farm, Street Artists, Nativity scenes at the foot of the Castle, creative workshops, and much more will make the eyes of the little ones sparkle. The Archducal Park will transform into a garden full of Christmas elves. Furthermore, music, entertainment, reenactments of ancient arts and crafts, and historical dances in costume will enliven the streets of the center to entertain even the grown-ups.

Christmas markets on Lake Garda

Christmas Village – CANALE DI TENNO

The protected location surrounded by mountains and the proximity of Lake Garda make this village perfect for such initiatives. In addition to the Christmas markets on Lake Garda, there are more intimate markets tucked away in hidden gems. From November 25 to December 17, 2023, the picturesque Canale di Tenno will appear even more magical thanks to the charming markets that will fill the alleys of the medieval village.

Every Saturday and Sunday, you can be enchanted by the typical Christmas atmosphere, amplified by this exceptional location. Did you know that Canale di Tenno is the village of artists and painters, as well as being one of the most beautiful villages in Italy?

Christmas markets on Lake Garda

Christmas market in MALCESINE

Let’s change regions and move to Veneto. The town of Malcesine will dedicate the Christmas holidays to entertainment and animation for children. From December 8, 2023, until January 7, 2024. Specific programm will be announced later.

The center of the event will be Piazza Statuto, which will host stalls with traditional food and wine products and Christmas decorations. An ice skating rink and sleds will be set up, along with a caterpillar ride, concerts, and live music. In the Castle, the little ones can meet Santa Claus and his helpers in the unmissable elf den.

Presepe sul Fiume Aril © Luca Isacchini – @luca_again

Also not to be missed are the many nativity scenes set up for the holidays, including the nativity scene on the Aril River in Cassone, in Navene near the Santa Maria church, and the moving nativity scene at the Palazzo dei Capitani.

We leave the landscape of the Upper Lake, where the mountains slide into the waters of Garda, to move to the towns further south. The Lower Lake hosts some of the best places to visit on Lake Garda…


2. GARDA LAKE SOUTH

Garda

Christmas Market in GARDA

From November 24, 2023, to January 7, 2024, Lungolago Regina Adelaide and the entire town of Garda come to life with the “Christmas tra gli Ulivi” Markets. In addition to the typical wooden huts that liven up the lakeside, you can enjoy all the pleasures of gastronomic tradition with local products at the Borgo del Gusto.

Every weekend offers a different proposal to rediscover the traditional flavors of the Veronese territory. The surprises don’t end here. There will be the village nativity scene, and the Christmas village will host theatrical performances, musical and choral exhibitions, along with many other activities for children, families, and the elderly. This town also organized an amazing New Years Eve.

Christmas markets on Lake Garda

Christmas Market in BARDOLINO

From December 1, 2023, to January 7, 2024, the lakeside and the historic center of Bardolino will welcome thousands of visitors to let them experience the magical Christmas atmosphere. What awaits you is a program full of appointments and events, so get ready.

This year, Bardolino’s Christmas will involve the area of Parco Carrara Bottagisio, offering visitors many unmissable activities. I’m referring to the covered ice rink and the large Ferris wheel. And in Piazza del Porto, the carousel with horses awaits you, along with Santa’s interactive sleigh.

All of this, combined with theatrical performances, traditional food and wine, and local craftsmanship, transforming Bardolino into a splendid Christmas village on the lakeshore.

Lungolago Marconi di Lazise © Anna Maria Jagielska – @amvj.81

LAZISE, the biggest Christmas market on lake Garda

The steam rising from the glasses warms against the winter cold. Among the stalls, the scent of roasted almonds, ginger, and cinnamon lingers. Lights and laughter flood the lakeside and the historic center. This is just a taste of what awaits you in Lazise, from November 25, 2023, to January 7, 2024.

Among the Christmas Markets on Lake Garda, those in Lazise are undoubtedly among the most beautiful. Below are the exact dates when you will find the markets:

November 25-26 / December 2-3 / December 8-9-10 / December 16-17 / December 23-24/ From December 26 to January 7, 2024.

Piazza Vittorio Emanuele and Lungolago Marconi will host the enchanting Christmas event that attracts numerous visitors every winter. In addition to the beauty of the town, a strong attraction is the large ice-skating rink set up in the dirt area of Prà del Principe park. Numerous exhibitors with characteristic wooden huts will make you experience a magical atmosphere, with the colors, flavors, and scents of Christmas.

There will be moments of entertainment such as concerts, animations, tastings, and a Street Food area. Moreover, Santa Claus himself with his carriage will take everyone on a charming journey through the streets of the town.

This wonderful place to visit on Lake Garda offers, this year, not only Christmas markets but also a series of unmissable events. Let me reveal them to you in the following lines.

Hundreds of Santas will crowd the city for the Babbo Lake Run, the run along the lakeside that connects Lazise to Garda and passes through Bardolino. Everyone is welcome to participate, and don’t worry: the red costume will be provided along with the race kit!

Finally, one of the most awaited events: the “Cuccagna della Befana” in Lazise. On January 6th, on the waters of the Old Port of Lazise, the traditional “Palo della Cuccagna” will be placed horizontally. An event that traditionally takes place in summer, in recent years it has been proposed in winter, with participants dressed as Befanas challenging the icy waters of the lake.

Let’s find out what this Christmas season has in store for us in Peschiera del Garda.

© GardaLanding – Il Bosco incantato a Peschiera del Garda

Christmas in PESCHIERA

From late November until early January, Piazza Ferdinando di Savoia will host a beautiful ice skating rink surrounded by a small Christmas market. And there will certainly be areas where you can enjoy the delights of local cuisine, Christmas choirs, and children’s shows. Moreover, to immerse you more in the Christmas atmosphere, there will be musical corners every Sunday in December.

From late November to Santa Lucia, the town will also host the Solidarity Christmas Market for Cystic Fibrosis research. There will be a fundraising campaign organized by the Cystic Fibrosis Research Foundation ONLUS, in the Attic of the Artillery Barracks of Porta Verona.

Peschiera del Garda

But the real star of Christmas in Peschiera is the traditional Submerged Nativity Scene in the Canale di Mezzo!

Created by the Sub Club Peschiera in the Canale di Mezzo, right in the center of the Venetian Fortress, this installation is properly illuminated and equipped with curious scenic effects. These are activated by a common handheld phone, creating an artistic picture admired by tens of thousands of tourists.


3. GARDA LAKE WEST COAST

We have explored together the initiatives that will enrich the Veronese shore, but the Christmas markets on Lake Garda will also involve the Brescia shore. Let’s see what these beautiful areas have to offer.

Desenzano

DESENZANO (to be updated)

Christmas Time lights up in Desenzano del Garda, a period of festivities and traditions, with many initiatives planned until Epiphany. Over a month of traditional events, concerts, decorations and light and sound effects, Christmas shopping with free parking and entertainment for young and old.

As every year, the big Christmas tree will be the protagonist in Piazza Malvezzi, while the floating Nativity scene will be set up in the Porto Vecchio.Via Achille Papa will be festively lit up with spectacular Christmas trees and artificial snow effects, lights and sounds at all hours.

You will find a spectacular skating rink waiting for you along the lakefront, which, to the rhythm of the best songs of the moment, will illuminate your festivities with many colourful lights.

CHRISTMAS IN SIRMIONE

From December 8, 2023, to January 7, 2024, every Saturday, Sunday, and on holidays, Piazza Mercato in Sirmione transforms into a magical place from 9:00 to 21:00. In an extraordinary opening dedicated to the little ones, on December 13, on the occasion of Santa Lucia, the square will come alive with a special atmosphere. A unique opportunity to experience the magic of the holidays, with the joy of children making the experience even more special.

Salò by Gipso Roberto Simpsi

CHRISTMAS IN SALO’

Also in Salò, Christmas comes to life with an enchanting experience in the heart of the historic center from December 2 to January 6, 2024. This holiday season is made magical by an explosion of sparkling lights and melodious musical notes that will envelop the charming village. A perfectly set-up ice skating rink awaits you, where you can glide and have fun on the ice. It’s the ideal opportunity for families and friends to enjoy an active Christmas.


4. CHRISTMAS MARKET NEAR LAKE GARDA

Here we are at the last section. We have finished the list of Christmas Markets on Lake Garda, but if you find yourself in these areas, you cannot miss visiting those of the nearby big cities.

CHRISTMAS IN VERONA

The City of Love and art opens its arms to the most magical time of the year. For a Christmas that tastes of memories and desires, from November 17 to December 26, 2023, Piazza dei Signori and the streets of the center host many emotions. Over 100 stands will fill the squares with handicrafts, gift ideas, decorations, and sweet and savory gastronomic specialties.

  • The markets will be open from Sunday to Thursday from 10:00 to 21:30; Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 23:00.
  • On 24th December from 10:00 to 17:00
  • On 25th December (Christmas) from 16:00 to 21:30
  • On 26th December from 10:00 to 18:00

he Christmas atmosphere is already beginning to be felt at the entrance of the city, thanks to the many lights displayed throughout the center and along Corso Porta Nuova. Another unmissable appointment if you visit the city is the exhibition “Presepi dal Mondo a Verona” (Nativity Scenes from Around the World in Verona), which awaits you at the Palazzo della Gran Guardia.

Between Verona and the many places to visit on Lake Garda, there is an enchanted little spot that I heartily recommend. Read the next lines.

CHRISTMAS IN PONTI SUL MINCIO

Without moving too far from the lake, this year, too, the Living Nativity Scene returns to Ponti sul Mincio in an all-new location! On Saturday, December 16, from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM and on Sunday, December 17, from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM and from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM, immerse yourself fully in the Christmas atmosphere.

Take a stroll inside the charming rooms of Palazzo Sacco and in the garden of the ancient Scaligero Castle to admire the representation of daily life during the period of the birth of Jesus. If you fancy something warm, at the Bethlehem Tavern, you can find drinks, skewers, polenta, and wheat pastries.

For the occasion, there is also the Christmas Market in the parish theater. An excellent idea for both adults and children that will take you back in time and spend a few hours in a magical environment different from the usual.

Mercatini di Natale Mantova – Crediti: www.mercatinidinatalemantova.it

MANTOVA

In addition to the Christmas markets on Lake Garda, there are the large cities that consistently offer many opportunities to spend this anticipated time of the year. One of these is Mantua, which from November 11 to December 26, 2023, will give you the enchantment of Christmas with its markets in Piazza Virgiliana and the historic center.

Let me remind you of the usual ice skating rink set up in Piazza Virgiliana. It is a professional rink of 500 square meters of real ice, for you to enjoy racing to the rhythm of carols and songs.

We conclude this article as we started it, with Trentino. This wonderful region also touches the lake and is rich in places to visit during Christmas 2023.

Trento

TRENTO

Imagine a sequence of soft lights blending with the starlight. Between sips of wine, enjoying a plate of Bohemian dumplings, followed by some Christmas sweets, and breathing in the festive air. From November 18, 2023, to January 7, 2024, Trento also welcomes the Christmas markets, with all the tastes, scents, and colors of tradition.

Everything will take place in Piazza Fiera and Piazza Cesare Battisti, where numerous wooden stands will enchant you one after the other. Think of the magic of the giant Christmas tree in Piazza Duomo, accompanied every evening by a projected light show. From here, you can take a small train to reach the city center. Original illuminations representing various subjects will dress up the streets and squares of Trento for the festivities.

If you were looking for information on the Christmas markets at Lake Carezza and Lake Braies, I regret to inform you that they are not planned for this year.

Here we are at the end. You didn’t think there were so many Christmas markets on Lake Garda, did you? Not to mention those in the many places to visit near Lake Garda. The choice is yours; now you just have to decide which one suits you best.

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