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From big cities squares to small villages narrow streets, numerous Christmas markets dot Trentino Alto Adige in the days leading up to Advent. The whole region lights up with magic.

The shoes sinking into the fresh snow sound like cotton candy. The noise is muted, muffled, yet perfectly recognisable. The typical breeze of mountain air rushing over the face underlines the feeling of shelter from the cold: wearing woollen gloves was essential. However, the biting coolness gives way to an inevitable sensory involvement step by step. The eyes light up together with the lights of the festively decorated trees. The smells in the air are unmistakable and overwhelming: cinnamon, vanilla, orange, pine, musk. Ears dance along with the indistinct chatter of people. Everyone seems to be saying something intimate to each other. Artificial lights illuminate faces. Smiles are everywhere. And then, flake after flake, it starts snowing again. The nose gets frozen, but the heart is full of joy.  The tour of the most beautiful and famous Christmas markets of Trentino Alto Adige is unmissable.

7. Handicraft in Alta Pusteria

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In South Tyrol, during the Advent season, time seems to pass slowly. The wood crackles in the fireplace, creating that pleasant feeling of colour hypnosis. The scent of zelten, the typical fruity sweet bread, is everywhere. It is impossible not to be enchanted by the atmosphere. The market in Alta Pusteria, near Lake Braies, offers an authentic experience in which the magic of Christmas and the enchantment of the landscape find perfect harmony. From the shores of the splendid lake, you can hear the great bells of horse-drawn sleighs on the expanse of water, inexorably frozen by the rigid mountain temperatures. The whole landscape is a feast of music, colours and scents. Browsing among the stalls, then, you can have the privilege of seeing an artisan at work: whether on glass, on wood, in painting or weaving, observing the prodigiousness of his wise work is a joy for the eyes.

Photo credits: Südtirol bewegt - Alto Adige da vivere

6. In Ortisei, you become a child again

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It is said that Christmas is a feast day reserved for children. As regards adults, they try to become children again. In Ortisei (Val Gardenia), this wish comes true. For Advent, the small and charming town immersed in the splendour of the Dolomites turns into a Christmas village. Every alley, every square and every corner is decorated with festive decorations. In the typical markets that dot the town, the melodies and scents of Christmas fill the heart with joy. In the centre of the village, you can also admire a magnificent exhibition of cribs. Here is a surprise: a traditional mailbox is set up in Piazza Stetteneck so that children can post their letters to Santa or whoever they wish. However, who forbids adults to do so too?

5. Christkindlmarkt in Bolzano

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In Bolzano, Christmas takes on a unique charm. Lights illuminate the city centre, and traditional Christmas melodies accompany the strolls every hour. Behind the cathedral, in the magnificent Piazza Walther, there is the so-called Christkindlmarkt. The superb Piazza, the city's beating heart, has been hosting the largest Christmas market in Italy for thirty years. The typical and beautiful wooden houses that surround it contain dozens of exhibitors, with the best offers of local handicrafts. The atmosphere is welcoming. The skilled craftsman helps you choose the perfect gift, enriched by the typical mastery of manual work tradition. While strolling through the market, food stands enchant eyes and smell. The delicious local products and the South Tyrolean Christmas sweets on offer enrapture the senses. Inexplicably, the cold disappears to make way for the warmth of the Christmas atmosphere.

4. Merano: Christmas for adults and children

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The Merano Christmas markets are set in a wonderful landscape and townscape. Just a few metres from the Kurhaus, the majestic Art Nouveau building that symbolises the city, you can stroll through the stands in the typical wooden houses. Handicrafts offering is incredible. The uplifting scent of South Tyrolean delicacies invites you to stop for a sample; it turns into a journey through pure taste. In the run-up to Advent, the city combines the typical markets with a fun programme of activities for children: DIY, handcrafted Christmas decorations and cooking classes to learn how to make typical South Tyrolean sweets. For adults, it's worth stopping off at one of Merano's famous wellness centres: living the warmth of the thermal waters while beholding the enchanting snowy view is priceless.

3. Jingle bells in Sterzing

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At Christmas time, Sterzing turns into a fairytale town. The entire old town centre, recognised as one of Italy's most beautiful villages, is decorated harmoniously. Its medieval feature combines with the Christmas decorations to create a charming atmosphere. The Christmas markets are set up in the main square, behind the mammoth Torre delle Dodici. Here, a magnificent nativity scene enriches the festive scenery. Whether handicrafts or food and wine, the charm of traditional products seduces at every step. While savouring a delicious mulled wine, you can let yourself be pampered by sweet and unusual sounds. A carillon composed of 25 bells has been placed on the bell tower. The melodic harmonies it plays accompany visitors on their Christmas walk through the city.

2. Bressanone traditions

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The ancient town of Bressanone offers an all-around Christmas experience. The eight-hundred-year-old cathedral and its gothic abbey create the perfect setting for an evocative and unforgettable Christmas. Stands full of splendid handicraft products and delicious local delicacies are combined with the charm of the long nativity scenes tradition. Extraordinary craft constructions are placed in the main corners of the old town. The nativity scene collection of the Bressanone Hofburg is one of the most important in the world

1. Make a wish in Bruneck

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The pretty village of Bruneck, in Val Pusteria, offers a real Christmas route. Rich in stands selling typical products, the market extends along the town's main streets. Colours, sounds and scents typical of the festivities embellish Bruneck. Perfumes represent one of the main attractions of the Christmas route: the Fienile dei Profumi, set up in the magical scenery of the Tschurtschenthaler Park, creates a sensory journey guided by the sense of smell. Moreover, within the walls of the beautiful Sternbach Palace, the Silent Point takes place every year: in the middle of the room, there is a Christmas tree where all visitors can hang an expressed wish. The name of the initiative speaks for itself. Christmas means lights and noise and finding the time for a moment of meditation and listening to one's own heart.

Bolzano, Merano, Bressanone, Bruneck and Sterzing Christmas Markets are the so-called Five Original Markets of Trentino Alto Adige, awarded the Green Event certification since 2014. The Green Events are designed and implemented by implementing ecological measures for environmental protection, such as waste management and sustainable mobility. Through the renowned attention to sustainability and preservation of the territory, the Markets of Trentino Alto Adige represent these values.

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