While each town in Tuscany will get into the Christmas spirit to some degree, shopping aficionados will want to make sure to visit the cities and towns that include good Christmas markets in their celebrations. There are several Christmas markets in Tuscany, so you shouldn’t have to travel too far to find one close to where you’ll be. And if you plan your days right, you could visit quite a few of them.
Tuscany’s capital city of Florence has a big, traditional German Christmas market in Piazza Santa Croce each year, where you can buy not only Italian treats and crafts but German ones as well. Look for the market starting in early December. Closer to the edge of the historic center near the Piazza della Libertà is the Florence Noel Market and Village, which boasts an outdoor ice skating rink along with market vendors selling food and crafts.
In Siena’s historic center you’ll find Christmas markets that spring up in streets and piazzas – including the city’s main square, the Campo – throughout much of December. Vendors sell handmade crafts as well as food. The “Mercato del Campo” is the big attraction, right in the main square, but that only lasts for a weekend, often in the early part of the month.
The Tuscan city of Arezzo is known for the antiques fair that is held in its main piazza, the Piazza Grande, on the first Sunday of every month (and the Saturday before it, whether or not it’s in the same calendar month). So it stands to reason that Arezzo would also be home to a great Christmas market. You’ll find Arezzo’s Christmas market between the Piazza San Jacopo and the Piazza Risorgimento.
In the town of Greve in Chianti, the Piazza Matteotti hosts a festive Christmas market for a week or so in December, with music performances in addition to the crafts and food vendors. Gaiole in Chianti also has a Christmas market for a few days in December in Piazza Ricasoli. And in the historic center of Certaldo, the Christmas market is usually spans the few days leading up to the holiday, which is great for any last-minute shopping you need to do. You can visit many of the Chianti towns on one day trip from Florence or Siena.
Towns of the Mugello Valley
If you want a departure from the typical tourist towns of Tuscany, head for the towns of the Mugello Valley and their Christmas markets. Marradi hosts a big market on the weekends leading up to Christmas in Piazza le Scalelle. The small market of San Piero a Sieve is usually a one-day affair mid-month. And in Palazzuolo sul Senio, the Christmas market runs on Sundays in December. As a bonus, there are Nativity scenes set up all over town, and on the last Sunday before Christmas there is often a fireworks display.