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Epic bucket list experiences to try in Italy in December

The philosophy of Italian life is rooted in their admiration for finer things. No wonder they appreciate art so much; they won’t reserve a good feast, a cheerful drink and a classic dance for “occasions”. They would rather live every day like it’s the end of the world, only to wake up the next day to live life to the fullest. Now think about Christmas! About New Year. Especially in December, Italians treat life like walking down a ramp all styled up, amidst cheers, celebrating their flair for celebrating life. Well, who won’t, in a cultural virtuoso like Italy? And that’s precisely why your trip to Italy in December is like no other.

Read on to find why visiting Italy in December is the best decision and about the must-have experiences during your stay there.

Explore Italy countrysides

Any travel connoisseur would say day trips in Italy are beyond compare. That good are its quaint, dashing countryside towns weighed down by cultural goodness and immaculate beauty. It’s easy to get carried away and not look beyond Michelangelo-inspired Chapels and Venice gondolas, but a day in seaside Portofino, Athens-like Alberobello, Disneyland lookalike Castelluccio or wine-infused Tuscany could but prove Italy is much more than intellectual art. You might soon come back, just to explore them more.

Visit Christmas markets

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It’s time we mentioned—we can disagree all we want but Christmas markets are the reason why we deliberately pushed our Italy trip to December. Festive lights are strung on cartoonish fir trees, freshly baked savouries fill the air tempting us to forget our diet while the harmonious Italians share smiles with delighted strangers. Milan’s Oh Bej!, Trento’s Alto Adige, Rome’s Lazio, Bussolengo Christmas village are some of the best Christmas markets to visit in Italy. No matter where you are, be prepared to lose it while attempting to stay away from “buying too much”. Don’t listen to your inner voice, load yourself with heavenly pastries and Santa souvenirs already!

Savour the seasonal treats

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Italy is but a cynosure of one thing we all love the most. Food. (No, Fooood!) Just today, do your darndest to not order that loaded Margherita pizza. Panettone (Italian sweet bread) topped generously with choco chips, pandoro with a heavy mustard coating, Austria-inspired apple strudel with a lemony twist and whipped cream (Inglorious Basterds movie, anyone?), fried cannoli with ricotta filling, all or any of these paired with ristretto (stronger espresso) or vin brulé (mulled wine)—this should explain Italian Christmas treats in a nutshell, although this is not even half of the list!

Take advantage of dropped accommodation prices in the seaside towns

Visiting Italy in December is the perfect excuse to stay a bit longer in regions like eye-popping Amalfi Coast or fairytale-inspired Cefalu which otherwise are mere pit stops on your road trips. December if off-season is Italy and hence you can expect cheaper accommodation prices. Indulge in early evening la passegiatas, taste Cinque Terre’s authentic pesto, or spend time photographing Amalfi Coast oblivious to the dimming daylight. After all, when will you get to explore these sides of Italy if not now?

Much importantly, experience Italy without the crowds

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Italy is indeed colder during December and daylight is limited. But international and local crowds are much much lesser compared to the peak seasons. Winter in Italy could remind what it is like to slow down in life—to be able to eat the last slice of pizza in your own pace, to stop to capture the perfect angle of Trevi in pictures, to admire Sistine’s colourful frescos devoid of jumpy fellow travellers standing in your queue. If not for anything, this should be the only sufficient reason to visit Italy in December.


Hope this gives the much-needed headstart for your trip to Italy in December! Happy tripping!

Akshaya Devi

Scared of driving in Chennai traffic but also planning a solo bike trip to Ladakh. Don't be surprised if you find me all hyper, someone somewhere in the world must've misquoted Martin Scorcese or justified a bad coffee saying "C'mon, coffee is coffee".