Christmas Markets in Verona 2018: all the information you’ll need to attend this special event.
In few weeks the city will transform its old town in Winter Wonderland when Christmas Markets in Verona will open their door to the public. This year the event will start earlier, to be precise on 16th November 2018 and will go on until Boxing Day (26th December 2018).
As last year the little wooden houses will be spread around the city and won’t be limited only to Piazza dei Signori. Hot German sausages with potatoes or sauerkraut, scented mulled wine, pralines but also wooden Christmas decorations, candles, children toys, home accessories, jewels and other small gifts will have their temporary home around the city.
I love the atmosphere wafting around Verona during this time of the year. The town is full of people, even on the coldest days workers spend their lunch outside. Families bring their children to take a photo with Santa, couples roam around romantically and young boys and girls struggle to choose small gifts for their friends.
In order to enjoy all that without any stress, let’s talk organization.
HOW TO REACH & PARKING
Probably the hardest part of your day will be finding a good parking spot. I suggest you, if possible, to reach Verona via train as it is the most comfortable and stress free mean of transportation. Verona is only 1 hour far from Venice and Trento and Bolzano. In circa 2 hours you reach the city from Milan and with high speed Italo trains it only takes 50 minutes from Bologna, 1 and a half hour from Florence and 4 hours form Rome.
The main city station, Verona Porta Nuova is within a walking distance from Arena and Piazza Bra, from there another 5 minutes and you’ll be in Piazza Erbe. Let’s say that in 20-25 minutes you’ll reach the very hearth of old town.
If you want to reach the city with your own car, it will be easier to find parking on weekdays rather than weekends. From Friday on, especially on Sundays, public parking along roads will be full as well as parking facilities (especially the ones in city center). On Sundays some parkings outside the city center, such as the ones near the Fair complex, organize complimentary shuttle buses from your car to old town and back.
Weekends during the event are packed of people, so much that happened in the past that Via Mazzini had to close as there were so many persons that you couldn’t move further. Crazy, uh? but do not despair. First of all, there are other alternative streets you can take instead of Via Mazzini to reach Piazza Erbe. Second of all, consider to visit on weekdays (the best) or at least on Saturdays.
Last but not least, do not be stressed by the amount of people, enjoy some bustling as much as I do, usually in Winter you won’t meet so many people around, and it can be a little bit desolate so get carried away by the excitement and try to enjoy your day. If it helps, get there early on the morning as soon as the houses open ( around 10am) as their are less visited ( the peak is around 5pm on).
WHAT TO WEAR
Verona may be very cold in Winter as the city is very humid. But also if there is a nice sunny day it can also be warm. I know this doesn’t help much, but my advice is dress in layers, cover yourself well with scarves, gloves and hats to avoid getting a cold. Of course, check weather forecasts before arrivingComfortable shoes are a must as you’ll walk a lot around.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
The obvious answer is at the Christmas Markets’ houses. From beer to mulled wine and hot chocolate, from flat bread with speck and onion or German sausages with potatoes and sauerkrauts you’ll find somethings to satisfy your palate.
If you want instead to be seated and enjoy a typical meal relaxing your feet, there are plenty of Trattorie and Osterie around old town where to try some Veronese dishes:
Osteria Romeo e Giulietta
Very popular amongst tourists and locals, it serves typical Veronese dishes such as Bigoli with donkey meat, Tortelli filled with pumpkin in butter and parmesan or Polenta with gorgonzola cheese and horse steaks (that I personally refuse to eat).
La Taverna di Via Stella
This Trattoria is beautiful especially their cellar dining room, so peculiar and fascinating. Their menu offers daily plates you may read on a blackboard just near the entrance as well as Risotto all’Amarone, Bigoli with duck ragout, beef tenderloin in Amarone sauce or Polenta with cheese or cured meat.
For a midday snack or hot tea I truly suggest you my favorite place: Pasticceria Flego. Lots of sweets and pastries you’ll find her time to choose between and a nice almost French atmosphere for this bakery that looks more like a jewelry shop.
Verona’s Christmas Markets are open from 16th November 2018 until 26th December 2018.
From Sunday to Thursday they operate from 10am till 9.30 pm.
Fridays, Saturdays and pre-holiday days from 10am till 11pm.
On Christmas’ Eve (24th December) closure time is anticipated to 5pm.
On Christmas day opening will be at 4pm.
On Boxing day (26th December) the last day of the event closure time will be at 6 pm.
At the entrance of the main area in Piazza dei Signori (the square next to Piazza Erbe) there will be the welcome house that hands out maps with all the locations of the houses.
At this moment there is no official event confirmed, but usually as soon as the opening date approaches there will be more information on the official website (this is the only flaw I notice in the organization every year).
Are you planning to visit Verona’s Christmas Markets this year? Let me know, we may meet around!