I lived in Germany for three years and I loved the way they did Christmas, and while Italy has some fantastic and very Italian Christmas markets they can never quite compare to Germany.
BUT...I recently discovered three unique places nearby that aren't Christmas markets, are wonderfully Italian, and have a magical Christmas charm to them.
The first one is Poffabro. I've actually been there three years in a row now (the other two places were new to me last Christmas). Poffabro is an adorable little mountain town about 30 minutes north of Pordenone in the Dolomiti Mountains. During the Christmas season Poffabro is known for its nativity scenes. Every year the town goes all out as the town folk proudly display various nativity scenes in their windows and yards. In past years I've seen nativity scenes made from bread, scissors, corks, makeup, demijohns and of course pasta. There is no cost but bring a couple euro for a vin brule or to buy a little wooden nativity (prices for the nativity scenes start at around 10€).
The next place is Andreis. A friend told me about Andreis and although I'd lived about 25 minutes from it for the last two years and I had no idea it existed. This town is similar to Poffabro in its adorable buildings and beautiful mountain scenery but instead of nativity scenes they go all out decorating Christmas trees. When I went they had trees decorated with Santas made from CDs, paint brushes, snowballs made from Q-tips. They also have trees made out of things like logs, kitchen wares, and brooms. I actually liked this town more than Poffabro (not at all to dismiss Poffabro, both are magical).
The last one is Jesolo. Jesolo is a little beach town close to Venice. Every year Jesolo has a sand nativity. I'd been wanting to go for several years and finally made it out there. What's more Italian than Catholicism and the beach?
Poffabro and Andreis are both outside activities so dress warm and know that there are no specific opening and closing times. However, you do want to be respectful of the fact that they are towns were actual people live. Both run from early December to mid-January. For Jesolo a quick google search is your best bet for this year’s specific information as it changes slightly each year.
Looking for more Christmas magic? Check out this post on some charming Italian Christmas markets!
Do you have other reccomendations for places to experience Italy's Christmas magic? Let me know in the comments section :)