That magical atmosphere that only Christmas markets can create...
Christmas has always been that holiday that brings people together, where the act of showing affection becomes spontaneous. One may be a believer or not, but everyone feels, in one way or another, the magic of Christmas, that mixture of merriment and lightheartedness, with a hint of nostalgia. Christmas lunch is the culmination of a celebration that, ideally, begins days before, when the streets begin to glow with colourful lights, Christmas carols play everywhere you go and you wake up to a landscape blanketed in a layer of fresh snow.
Amidst chalets, lights and the scent of cinnamon from mulled wine and praline almonds, the Christmas markets provide the true Christmas atmosphere.
Strolling through the streets filled with stalls, one can warm oneself up with a hot chocolate or, since we are talking about our Piedmont, with a nice cup of hot zabajone, perhaps dipped in some torcetto. For the older ones, a glass of vin brulé: sweetened red wine into which spices, such as cinnamon, cloves and star anise, are infused while hot.
Browsing around the chalets can solve many problems regarding Christmas presents, as there are many special and very often handmade gifts to be found.
Its proximity to the mountains makes Piedmont one of the places in Italy where one can experience this atmosphere the most, so there are many Christmas markets scattered around the region, some famous throughout Italy.
The Asti Christmas markets are the largest in Italy. They count the beauty of 130 chalets lining the streets and squares of the historic centre. Those with a sweet tooth can find all sorts of street food at the stands in Piazza Alfieri. The markets will be held until 18 December inclusive, from 10 am to 8 pm.
Once again this year, 'Christmas is Real' will be held in the magical setting of the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi. An event suitable for adults but especially for children, who can visit the elves' village and leave their little letter in Father Christmas's house. In addition, one can visit the fascinating mechanical nativity scene and find various gift ideas. The 'Christmas is Real 2022' event will continue for the next weekend, 17 and 18 December.
On top of a hill, nestled in the Roero, is the small village of Govone. Village legend has it that its castle, a Unesco heritage site, is home to Santa Claus himself. This is an excellent opportunity for children to experience the true magic of Christmas. The event is called 'The Magic Christmasland' and, of course, in addition to the visit to Santa's house, there are multiple chalets for your Christmas shopping.
Christmas markets take us back a few years. They make us enter an alternative world alternative world, consisting of a fantastic atmosphere, then you end your walk and return to
But thinking rationally, it is better to be a child again; to believe in magic, in the fairytale and never stop believing in Father Christmas.