Christmas markets on Lake Garda

The days have become shorter, the temperatures have dropped, we have pulled out jumpers, scarves and hats. Winter has arrived and with it we are already beginning to smell the scent of cinnamon and mulled wine and to be enchanted by the many Christmas lights. Yes, because for most of us winter is synonymous with Christmas. And for those who love our area this means only one thing: Christmas markets on Lake Garda.

It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t love this time of year. We already start thinking about Christmas presents just after Halloween, what to prepare for Christmas Eve dinner and deciding what decorations to put up.

Like me, maybe you too take advantage of the Christmas markets to find some original gift ideas. Maybe you are with your sweetheart and take advantage of these occasions to spend a romantic day amidst lights, colours and scents. Or maybe you are with friends and choose these places to get together and toast with a good glass of wine and lots of laughter. And games, carols, warmth and Santa… needless to say, families with children love these occasions.

Whatever your motivation, the Christmas Markets are undoubtedly one of the places to visit on Lake Garda. You just have to choose the one you prefer.

In this article I will tell you about the most important ones, you decide which one will inspire you the most. Obviously aware that every town on the lake, with or without markets, is full of magic even in winter.


Since the choice is so vast, I have decided to divide the lake into three sections, so that you don’t miss any opportunity and don’t risk confusion. Here are all the Christmas markets that will be on Lake Garda this winter.



Christmas markets on Lake Garda


Let’s start in Trentino, with the unmistakable Riva del Garda and its countless proposals.

From 18 November 2022 to 8 January, the town dresses up for the festive season by hosting the Christmas Village “Di Gusto in Gusto” set up in Piazza Cesare Battisti and Piazza Garibaldi.

A proposal centred on the flavours of tradition, to discover, taste and buy the excellence of Trentino. Can you already smell cheeses, canederli and carne salada? But there will also be delicious strudel and good wine.

The new illuminations will twinkle throughout the historic centre and the typical small wooden houses will decorate the streets of Riva, for an extremely enthralling atmosphere.

There will also be historical re-enactments of ancient trades, walks in costume, and the friendly market mascots Pom Bear and Wool Reindeer.

In short, an enchanted environment that will make the whole family dream.

But the best part comes now… Would you like to meet Santa?Well I am about to present you with the perfect opportunity, because the generous old man has chosen this place to visit on Lake Garda for his winter holidays. Read more…

From 26 November to 31 December, the world’s most famous Santa Claus decided to stay on the ground floor of the Rocca, where we now find the MAG. Together with his sweetheart Natalina, he will welcome his guests to his home, letting them browse through the various rooms of the house.

You can start in Santa’s study, full of parcels, stamps and letters, where your children can also write theirs.

You can then move on to the Elves’ Workshop and Natalina’s Atelier, with fun creative workshops.

Finally, all around the Throne in the Storytelling Room, where Santa himself will entertain everyone with engaging tales.

But the festivities in Riva del Garda don’t just include Christmas, right?

There are two other special days, and for both the town has surprises in store.

I am talking about New Year’s Eve. The New Year’s Concert will entertain you in the main square and to follow Dj Set until 3.00 a.m.

The other festive day is 6 January. The town will host “Befana Subaquea“, who will emerge from the waters of the lake to give gifts to the children.

We continue our tour of Christmas markets on Lake Garda by staying in Trentino, browsing through three places to visit on Lake Garda.

We discover what Christmas will be like in Arco, Canale di Tenno and Val di Ledro.

Christmas markets on Lake Garda


Endless possibilities and ideas await you in the streets of Arco’s old town centre. In the traditional little wooden houses, the magic of Christmas will reign supreme.

From 18 November to 8 January this town will host a succession of initiatives, suitable for young and old.

The Christmas markets will open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., but the programme is very rich.

The Animal Farm, Street Artists, Nativity Scenes at the foot of the Castle, creative workshops and much more will make children’s eyes sparkle. The Arciducale Park will be transformed into a garden full of Christmas elves.

And more music, entertainment, re-enactments of ancient arts and crafts, and historical dances in costume will enliven the streets of the centre to entertain even the oldest.

Get ready to read the next few lines carefully. I am about to reveal a curiosity that will make you run towards this place to visit on Lake Garda.

It is called Black Christmas and will be held from 3 to 8 January.

What is it all about? Imagine six days of crazy discounts to grab the very latest bargains on sale in the Christmas huts.

I’d say mark the dates on your calendar now, to start the new year off on the right foot!

Christmas markets on Lake Garda


The location protected by the mountains and the proximity of Lake Garda make this village perfect for this kind of initiative. In addition to the Christmas markets on Lake Garda, we have the more intimate ones, enclosed in smaller, more hidden gems.

From 27 November to 18 December, the charming Canale di Tenno will appear even more magical thanks to the picturesque markets that will fill the alleys of the medieval village.

Every Saturday and Sunday from 9.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. you will be enchanted by the typical Christmas atmosphere, amplified by this exceptional location.

An extra touch for two special days: on Christmas Eve you can take part in the Shepherds’ Procession and on 26 December you will admire the evocative Living Nativity.

This year, to make it easier for everyone to reach the village, there is a shuttle bus service from Lake Tenno to Canale. Is is available each day in which the market is opened from 9.30 am to 6.00 p.m.

Christmas markets on Lake Garda


Let’s change region and move on to the Veneto. The town of Malcesine will dedicate the Christmas holidays to entertainment and animation for children.

The days concerned are 4, 5, 8, 11, 12 December and from 18 December to 6 January.

The centre of the event will be Piazza Statuto, which will host 15 small houses with traditional food and wine products. For both children and adults, a skating rink and toboggans will be set up, together with a children’s carousel. Concerts and live music will brighten up your visit. Moreover, in the Castle, the little ones can meet Santa and his helpers.

Cheerfulness, concerts and animation will fill the days, there will also be a real workshop and the unmissable elves’ den.

The programme for New Year’s Eve has not yet been updated, but as soon as it is published you will find it here.

We leave the landscape of the Upper Lake, where the mountains slide into the waters of Lake Garda, and move on to the towns further south. The Lower Lake is home to some of the best places to visit on Lake Garda… imagine them festively decorated. What a sight, isn’t it?




Among the Christmas markets on Lake Garda, these will awake the True Holiday Spirit.

Twinkling lights, garlands and mistletoea… all surrounded by neat stalls decorated in red, green and white.

From 25 November to 6 January, the Lungolago Regina Adelaide and the entire town of Garda come to life with the ‘Christmas among the Olives’ markets.

In addition to the typical wooden houses that animate the lakefront, traditional food and wine together with typical Christmas and local products awaits you at Borgo del Gusto.

Imagine yourself immersed in the heady scent of cinnamon, ginger, sweets and mulled wine. Every weekend a different proposal to rediscover the traditional flavors of the Verona area.

The surprises don’t end there. There will be a life-size nativity scene. The Christmas Village will host theatre plays, musical and choral performances and many other activities for children, families and the elderly.

The Christmas Markets on Lake Garda are among the most beautiful attractions these areas can offer during the winter months. There are many places to visit on Lake Garda and each one can amaze you. Read on and you will see.

Christmas markets on Lake Garda


Christmas markets are not just a place to look for decorations and presents, but corners of tradition, where you can savour the magic of this solemn occasion.

And Bardolino, a wine town full of surprises, knows this well, even at Christmas.

From 26 November to 8 January, the lakeside and historic centre will welcome thousands of visitors to experience the magical Christmas atmosphere.

What awaits you is a programme full of appointments and events, so get ready.

Do you already know the novelty?

For the first time, Christmas in Bardolino will also involve the Carrara Bottagisio Park area, which will offer visitors many unmissable activities.

I am referring to the indoor ice skating rink and the large Ferris wheel. And in Piazza del Porto, the horse carousel awaits, together with Santa’s interactive sleigh.

There are festivities for children and families, but also for couples in love and adults who want to rediscover the carefree spirit of yesteryear.

You can also take advantage of these moments to enjoy a visit to the village, for the occasion illuminated by thousands of lights that will form an artificial starry sky. But that’s not all, the numerous Christmas-themed installations will dazzle you and colour the most characteristic corners of the village.

All this combined with unmissable theatrical performances, traditional food and wine, and local handicrafts will transform Bardolino into a splendid lakeside Christmas village.



The steam rising from glasses warms the winter cold.

The scent of toasted almonds, ginger and cinnamon wafts among the stalls.

Lights and laughter flood the lakefront and the old town.

This is just a taste of what awaits you in Lazise, from 26 November to 8 January.

Among the Christmas markets on Lake Garda, those in Lazise are certainly among the most eagerly awaited.

This year they will be present every weekend until Christmas and then every day until the weekend after Epiphany.

Piazza Vittorio Emanuele and the Lungolago Marconi will host the evocative Christmas event that attracts so many visitors every winter. In addition to the beauty of the town, a strong attraction is also the large skating rink set up in the dirt area of Prà del Principe park.

Numerous exhibitors with characteristic wooden cottages will provide a magical atmosphere, with the colours, flavours and scents of Christmas.

There will also be moments of entertainment such as concerts, entertainment, tastings and a Street Food area. In addition, Santa in person with his carriage will take everyone on an evocative journey through the streets of the village.

This wonderful place to visit on Lake Garda this year offers not only the markets but also a series of unmissable events. I will reveal which ones in the next few lines.

On the 11th of December, hundreds of Santa Claus will crowd the city for the Santa Claus Lake Run, the race on the lakefront that connects Lazise to Garda passing through Bardolino. Everyone is welcome to participate and do not worry… the red costume will be provided with the race kit.

For a special Boxing Day, on the Marconi lakefront you can enjoy the spectacular fireworks on December 26th.

Finally, one of the most eagerly awaited events: the Cuccagna della Befana.

On 6 January, the traditional ‘Palo della Cuccagna’ will be placed horizontally on the waters of Lazise’s Porto Vecchio. An event that takes place annually in summer, for the past few years it has been reproposed in a winter version, with participants disguised as crones challenging the frozen waters of the lake. The aim is to catch the broom at the bottom of the greasy pole.

A fun, goliardic moment to greet the holidays with a smile.



Not many people know that it is this small Italian municipality of just over 13,000 inhabitants that is home to Italy’s largest amusement park.

I am of course talking about Gardaland, which opens its doors to young and old again this winter with the Gardaland Magic Winter event.

The enchanted atmosphere that characterises the Christmas festivities will transform the Park into a magic village, full of decorations and colourful lights.

Everything will be themed and you will be able to enjoy yourself on the main attractions and totally immerse yourself in the Christmas atmosphere thanks to the different shows.

You will be greeted right from the start by mascot Prezzemolo. This year’s ticket will also include admission to Sea Life Aquarium and Legoland’s Miniland.

If you decide to go with the whole family, there will be a beautiful play area for the little ones and

you can play together on soft snow.

Every day make-up artists will be available to paint the little ones’ faces with Christmas themes at the Fantasy shop.

Finally, the star of the festivities awaits: you might meet Santa himself!

When we think of Christmas markets on Lake Garda, it is impossible not to mention those in Peschiera del Garda. Let’s find out what this year has in store for us in this place to visit on Lake Garda.

Peschiera del Garda


In Peschiera del Garda Christmas is to be enjoyed, listened to, breathed in, observed and touched.

From 25 November until the beginning of January, Piazza Ferdinando di Savoia will host an iconic ice rink with traditional Christmas stalls.

During the opening of the markets, stalls and decorations of all kinds will be set up to recreate the true magic of this festivity. And there will be no shortage of areas where you can enjoy local delicacies, Christmas choirs and children’s shows. In addition, to immerse you even more in the Christmas atmosphere, there will be music corners every Sunday in December.

From 26 November to 11 December, the town will also host the Christmas Solidarity Market for Cystic Fibrosis Research. There will be a fundraiser organised by the Cystic Fibrosis Research Foundation ONLUS, in the Attic of the Artillery Barracks at Porta Verona.

But the real star of Christmas in Peschiera is the traditional Underwater Crib in the Canale di Mezzo. If you choose to discover this place to visit on Lake Garda, you absolutely must stop to see it.

At this time of year, in addition to the countless initiatives presented, a curious realisation comes to life: the traditional Underwater Nativity Scene. This year, it will be installed on 8 December.

First built back in 1980, this is the first underwater nativity scene that can be admired effortlessly from the San Giovanni Bridge. This bridge serves as a panoramic balcony that can be enjoyed by all and every year fills up with visitors who flock to see this particular crib.

Realised by the Peschiera Sub Club in the historical Canale di Mezzo, right in the centre of the Venetian Fortress, this installation is properly illuminated and equipped with curious scenic effects. These are activated by means of a common hand-held phone, creating an artistic painting admired by tens of thousands of tourists.

If you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest you do so on Christmas night, when the so-called ‘Laying of the Christ Child’ takes place. This is when a procession of actors in themed costumes animates the canal on barges and illuminated historical boats.

Accompanied by choirs and Christmas carols, and with the support of the Peschiera Sub Club, the Baby Jesus is lowered into his manger on the seabed.


We have seen together the initiatives that will enrich the Veronese shore, but the Christmas Markets on Lake Garda will also involve the Brescian shore. Let’s see what this beautiful area has to offer.



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.

The Brescian shore is rich in places to visit on Lake Garda. During the festive period, from Sirmione to Limone all the villages will be filled with warmth thanks to themed illuminations.

How not to mention the beautiful Sirmione, which in addition to many Christmas lights will welcome visitors with a skating rink at Colombare.

Salò is not to be outdone either. The annual event Natale d’Incanto will fill the streets of the centre with lights and music from 3 December to 6 January.


Here we come to the last section. We have finished the list of Christmas markets on Lake Garda, but if you are in this area, you cannot fail to visit those in the big cities nearby.



The City of love and art opens its arms for the most magical time of the year.

For a Christmas that tastes of memories and wishes, from 18 November to 26 December Piazza dei Signori and the streets of the city centre will host many emotions.

More than 100 stands will fill the squares with handicrafts, gift ideas, decorations and sweet and savoury gastronomic specialities.

The Christmas atmosphere already begins to be felt at the entrance to the city, thanks to the many lights, deployed throughout the centre and along Corso Porta Nuova.

But the most popular installation is the big Christmas Star that seems to come out of the Arena to land in Piazza Bra. This eagerly awaited structure is considered, among metal sculptures, the largest archisculpture in the world, weighing 88 tonnes and 100 metres high.

Another unmissable event if you go to the city is the Rassegna ‘Presepi dal Mondo a Verona’ (Cribs from the World in Verona), which awaits you at the Palazzo della Gran Guardia.

Visiting the city during the winter holidays means immersing yourself in the magical tradition of Christmas in Verona. Here, every Romeo will be able to hold his Juliet, surrounded by a magical fairytale atmosphere, with the Arena as a backdrop. After all, Verona is considered the Italian city of love, so you won’t need mistletoe to kiss warmly. But if you are a traditionalist, go to Piazza Dante, under the statue of the poet, and hold up a sprig of mistletoe for yourself.

Among Verona and the many places to visit on Lake Garda there is an enchanted little place that I heartily recommend. Read the next few lines.


Like every year, Bussolengo hosts a wonderful Christmas Village set up by Flover. This magical place is renewed every year but leaves the dreamlike atmosphere intact: this time you will really have the impression of being in a festively decorated medieval town. You will find yourself inside the walls of the fortified town, stroll through the streets of the old town and discover the enchanted forest where gnomes and goblins meet.

There are many attractions this year to enchant young and old alike: the Flover Express train, the Village Restaurant and the chance to meet Santa.

You will find the ever-present market with Christmas stalls and countless handicraft objects that will give you the right inspiration to give your home that extra touch.

To make your Christmas even more magical and charming, I wouldn’t miss a visit to this village. Admission is free.

Winter in the various places to visit on Lake Garda is never too harsh and the events will make this season an opportunity to experience great emotions.



In addition to the Markets on Lake Garda there are the big cities that punctually offer many occasions to spend this long-awaited time of the year.

One of these is Mantua, which from 19 November to 26 December will give you the enchantment of Christmas with its markets in Piazza Virgiliana and the historic centre.

Let me remind you of the customary ice skating rink set up in Piazza Virgiliana. This is a 500-square-metre professional rink made of real ice, where you can enjoy whizzing to the rhythm of songs and chants.

There will also be plenty of events, and as soon as the final programme is published, you can take a peek at the most important ones here.

We end this article as we began it, namely with Trentino. This wonderful region also touches the lake and is full of places to visit near Lake Garda.



After having seen the Christmas Markets on Lake Garda that I mentioned at the beginning, take the car and visit those in nearby Rovereto.

From 25 November to 6 January art and beauty come together for a Christmas full of joy. Emotions, sounds and colours linked to the values that characterise the ‘City of Peace’ will be the protagonists.

During the Christmas period, the city streets are filled with this magical atmosphere of lights, music and scents.

The traditional market stalls will wind their way along Via Roma and its Urban Courtyard. Here you can enjoy a cup of spiced mulled wine and traditional dishes, while wandering among the countless local handicrafts.

Spectacular installations, art and photography exhibitions, Nativity scenes, themed tours and activities for children will reign throughout the historic centre.

Want to know some of them? Here you are.

On 25 November at 5 p.m. there will be the inauguration of the Natale di Luce in Piazza Battisti.

The big Christmas tree will be lit on Saturday 26 November in Piazza Rosmini, together with traditional carols. In addition to all this, spectacular plays of light will illuminate the facades of the buildings.

Also not to be missed is the arrival of the Befana on 6 January, directly at the Children’s Village.

Rovereto is certainly very close to many places to visit on Lake Garda, but the city of Trento is also just a few minutes away. The magic of Christmas reaches there, that’s what awaits you.



Imagine a succession of soft lights mingling with starlight.

Between one sip of wine and another, enjoying a plate of Bohemian gnocchi, followed by some Christmas sweets and breathing in the festive air.

From 19 November to 8 January, Trento too welcomes the Christmas Markets, with all the tastes, scents and colours of tradition.

Everything will take place in Piazza Fiera and Piazza Cesare Battisti, where the numerous small wooden houses will enchant you one after the other.

Think of the magic of the gigantic Christmas tree in Piazza Duomo, accompanied every evening by a projected light show. From here you can take a small train to the centre. Original illuminations representing various subjects will festively dress Trento’s streets and squares.

In short, Trento will undoubtedly be the brightest city this Christmas.

Another initiative not to be missed is ‘Natale a Tavola’ (‘Christmas at the Table’), which every year sees the city’s restaurateurs propose typical menus of Trentino gastronomy.

Like many Christmas markets on Lake Garda, the one in nearby Trento is also eco-friendly. There are many concrete initiatives in favour of the territory and sustainability, such as the promotion of 0 km products and the use of recyclable tableware.

Did you know that during the market, the electricity used is entirely produced from renewable sources?  Finally, even brochures and maps of the event are made of eco-certified paper with a low environmental impact.

To conclude, I would like to tell you about the ‘Night of the lit stills’, a travelling theatre show scheduled from 8 to 11 December 2022. Dedicated to the art of artisanal distillation of Trentino grappa, it will be the perfect opportunity to learn about the scientific and symbolic processes that lead to the creation of this product.

With the help of an audio guide, you will be able to stroll through the streets of the village and witness scenes, performances, songs and toasts… made with grappa, of course!

Here we come to the end. You didn’t think there were so many Markets on Lake Garda, did you? Not to mention those offered in the many places to visit near Lake Garda.
You are spoilt for choice, now you just have to decide which one suits you best.


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