Discover the magic of Christmas in Venice. Lights, concerts, markets and the wonderful Murano glass Christmas will make your trip unforgettable.
Venice is a fascinating city, as soon as you set foot in the lagoon, outside the Santa Lucia station, you realize you have been seduced by its beauty. A few hours, a day or several days together Venice is always worth a visit, Venice at Christmas is elegantly dressed in lights and events that characterize only this part of the year.
We have collected for you 7 things not to miss for a magnificent Christmas in Venice. Romantic, mysterious, fun, Venice can offer many facets, but at Christmas it captures you with a riot of lights and magic that you will hardly forget.
Christmas in Venice: 7 things not to miss
If you have decided to spend your Christmas holidays in Venice, this magnificent city will not leave you disappointed. Venice is beautiful in any season, but there are moments of the year not to be missed when the city is dressed in a new light and ancient traditions shine, one of these is Christmas in Venice. Lights, decorations, festivals, markets, shows and traditions transform this surprising city into an enchanted place. Discover with us Christmas in Venice and the 7 things not to miss, in this article we will take you for a walk under the Christmas lights, with a ferry ride we will take you to the magical Murano Glass Christmas, we will walk with you in the Christmas markets, set up in various places in the city with traditional wooden houses.
During the Christmas period in Venice, many churches echo with music, with splendid and evocative Christmas tones, we will take you to attend a concert in the beautiful Santa Maria della Pietà also known as Vivaldi's Church because here Vivaldi composed some famous symphonies. We will wait with you for November 23rd, the day on which old Saint Nicholas arrives in the lagoon aboard a gondola. We will not fail to take you to St. Mark's Basilica on the night of December 24th for the Christmas mass; the Epiphany that all the holidays brings away marks the end of our article with the Epiphany Regatta, in which Venetians dressed as witches race in gondolas along the Grand Canal. Christmas in Venice is an experience not to be missed and which must be experienced at least once.Discover the Visit Venice Pass❯
7. Walk under the Christmas lights
To admire the Christmas lights in Venice you don't have to wait for Christmas. The city lights up festively starting from the end of November, at the end of the celebrations for the Madonna della Salute, a celebration in which thousands of citizens parade in front of the main altar of the imposing and beautiful church of the Madonna della Salute, to remember the terrible plague of 1600 and renew gratitude towards the Madonna. The church of the Madonna della Salute, which with its whiteness stands out on the Grand Canal and has watched over Venice and the lagoon for more than 300 years.
Calli and campi, streets and squares lit up for celebrations, thousands of lights, and luminous sculptures from Piazza San Marco to the Santa Croce, Cannaregio, San Polo, Dorsoduro, San Marco and Castello districts, the islands, the lido and Mestre, to illuminate every community in the Venetian territory in a sustainable way. Time slots and LED lamps will guarantee low consumption, but a splendid effect. The lights reflected on the waving water of the canals will immediately catapult you into the atmosphere of Christmas in Venice.
6. Visit Glass Christmas in Murano
The second thing not to be missed to make the most of Christmas in Venice is the Glass Christmas in Murano. This is the island of glassmakers, therefore famous for Murano glass.
For the entire month of December, the island will be transformed into a joyful enchantment of glass and lights. The start of the event is December 5th, with the inaugural mass dedicated to Saint Nicholas, protector of glass masters, the mass takes place in the church of Saint Peter Martyr. From this date onwards and throughout the Christmas period, glass sculptures decorated with lights are set up on the island and a full list of events are organized, including glass craft workshops.
5. Walk through one of the many Christmas markets
If you are looking for a souvenir, a Christmas gift or if you simply want to immerse yourself in the evocative folklore of a Christmas market, you are in the right place. Scents, warmth, and typical products will lead you among the various stalls of the Christmas markets.
The Christmas markets in Venice are set up in various parts of the city, the most famous is that of Campo Santo Stefano (a few steps from Piazza San Marco), then there are those of Campo San Bortolo, Campo dei Santi Apostoli and Mestre. Here you will find many wooden houses full of local food products, such as almond nougat and panettone and authentic handcrafted objects, ideal as gifts or as a souvenir of your Christmas in Venice.
4. Attend a traditional music concert
Attending a Christmas music concert combines the pleasure and warmth of music with an evocative setting. There are many churches that in this period open for evening concerts of Christmas music or classical music. It's an experience that if you've never had, you absolutely must do. Let yourself be attracted by the music in the first church you find along the way, or...
We suggest you experience a classical music concert at the Church of Santa Maria della Pietà, also affectionately called the Church of Vivaldi, because it is precisely in this place and in the adjacent Orphanage of Piety that Vivaldi composed some of his most famous symphonies. Immersed in the notes of The Four Seasons, train your ear to distinguish which is winter.
3. Wait for Saint Nicholas who arrives by gondola on December 23rd
Not everyone knows that part of the relics of Saint Nicholas of Myra, the holy bishop who inspired the figure of Santa Claus and Father Christmas, rest in the Benedictine abbey of San Nicolò del Lido, in the Venice Lagoon. Saint Nicholas has always been a highly venerated saint in Venice.
On December 23rd of each year the Saint arrives in the lagoon on board a gondola, if you are traveling with children, you cannot miss it. In Campo San Vio, in the Dorsoduro district, all the gondoliers wear red hats to welcome him.
2. Attend the Christmas Mass in St. Mark's Basilica
Participating in the Christmas Eve mass is always a solemn experience. After the traditional fish dinner on December 24th, it was tradition for families to go to midnight mass; each church chooses a nocturnal time for the Christmas Eve mass.
Entering the Basilica of San Marco on the night of the 24th will be a magical experience with a suspended atmosphere, the gold of the mosaics will reflect the lights of the candles, the priest is dressed in the sacred vestments of Christmas, characterized by white and gold. Christmas mass is a solemn moment, central to the Christian faith, respect must always be observed in these sacred places.
1. Christmas in Venice: one more tip for January
The last event we recommend for your Christmas in Venice is to attend the Befana Regatta on January 6th. The regatta is a boat race, which takes place in Venice to celebrate various occasions, the most important of all being the historic Venice regatta. The Befana regatta is a playful race that takes place to mitigate the sorrow of the end of the Christmas holidays and to start the new year off well.
All participants dress as Befana (the good witch who brings sweets to children on January 6th). The Regatta takes place on the Grand Canal, and it will be a real spectacle if you are lucky enough to witness it. This was the last tip on our list of 7 things not to miss for Christmas in Venice.