Rome is a surprisingly spectacular place to visit during the holidays.
The Christmas markets in Rome are the perfect place to pick up a truly unique gift for loved ones. It’s also a great way to support local shop owners and artisans. After you¹ve taken in breathtaking views of the city skyline from atop the Janiculum hill, hop on over to the Christmas market in Largo Ravizza in Monteverde. Through January 7th, you can browse and shop from more than 30 tents featuring Christmas ornaments, handmade jewelry, trinkets, local produce and lots and lots of chocolate. Buonoooo. At Piazza Sant’Egidio in Trastevere proceeds from the items sold (ethnic arts and crafts, ornaments, handbags and accessories) at Emergency’s 2011 Christmas market go to charity. Last but not least, the most traditional market of them all is at Piazza Navona. Imagine Bernini’s best scupltures on display with carnival rides, games and toys in the background.
The Eternal City hasn’t always been the city of blinding lights, though this year, Rome is definitely in the Christmas Spotlight. Not to be missed is the dazzling lit nativity scene along with a grandiose Christmas tree smack dab in the middle of Piazza Venezia. Via del Corso is illuminated by red, white and green in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. While the famous street for haute couture, Via dei Condotti sizzles and sparkles with golden teardrop diamond-like chandeliers lined up along the street.
We can’t think of a better backdrop to ring in the New Year than the Imperial Forum and the Colosseum. Each year, the city of Rome plans festivities that run the gamut, from fireworks to free concerts.