From: Saturday, December 2, 2023
To: Sunday, December 24, 2023
Venice Christmas Markets 2023
Venice is a picture-perfect destination for a Christmas escape. The city, blessed with gorgeous canals, piazzas, and ornate architecture, takes on a unique ambience during the festive season. You’ll find lights and pretty decorations all over Venice, even on the gondolas. Visitors can mingle with locals doing their Christmas shopping and enjoy the city at a more relaxed pace than during the high Summer season.
- Venice is a city that is full of opulence. Enjoy a uniquely Venetian experience with a stay at the Gritti Palace , a luxury hotel on the Grand Canal with stunning views.
The Venice Christmas Markets
Since 1987 Venice and its lagoon have been counted among the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites.
- The busiest Christmas market is in the historic piazza near the Palazzo Grassi. Campo Santo Stefano, near Accademia bridge, is transformed into a Christmas Village throughout December.
- Stay close to the Christmas Market in San Marco. Book your hotel early as this is one of the most popular locations in Venice.
- Shop for gifts such as world-renowned Murano hand-blown glass, carnival masks, ceramics, jewellery, marbled paper and other Venetian craft specialities.
- Discover Italian speciality foods, with more than 30 stalls offering a selection of traditional cakes and sweets, fine olive oils, vintage balsamic vinegar and other locally made gourmet gifts.
- Try some delicious creamy white almond-studded nougat, fruit-filled panettone from nearby Verona, bags of speciality pasta, tiny biscotti, dried porcini mushrooms, candied chestnuts and delicacies made with precious white truffles from Alba. The market hosts live entertainment and shows each evening.
Where to Stay in Venice for Christmas?
- Consider the lovely 3 Star Hotel Santo Stefano, right on the market square with excellent amenities, unique Venetian decor and friendly hosts.
- Meanwhile, the Palazza Pianca perfectly blends the old with the new, having reformed the property while maintaining the hotel’s unique character. Treat yourself to a deluxe room or suite; it is Christmas, after all.
Getting to the Market
- The Venice Christmas market is in the Sestiere of Dorsoduro. The square adjoins the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, close to the Gallerie dell’Accademia.
- The market is easy to reach on foot from San Marco and Rialto via the Accademia Bridge across the Grand Canal. Soak in the festive atmosphere along with one of the many cafes on Palazzo Grassi and Gallerie dell’Accademia.
Other Christmas Markets on the island.
- Campo San Polo – Small market selling traditional lace and glass complete with an ice skating rink. (10 minute walk from the main market)
- Palazzo Zenobio – Indoor market selling upscale goods housed in a stunning Baroque Venetian palace. (15 minute walk from the main market)
- Campo San Vidal – Christmas food village complete with traditional Mulled Wine booths and hot chocolate. (4 minute walk from the main market)
Mestre Christmas Markets
- Off the island, Mestre’s Christmas markets are at the Piazza Ferretto, Iazza Ferretto, Via Poerio e Via Allegri. The markets have stalls selling gastronomic delights, handmade gifts and Christmas decorations. The Christmas stalls on Strada Nova are also worth browsing.
- The markets are a 12-minute drive from the main Christmas Market.
- The best way to get from Venice to Mestre is to bus which takes 11 min and costs €8. Alternatively, you can train, which costs €35 and takes 11 min.
New Years Eve and Epiphany Celebrations
- Christmas Midnight Mass at St. Mark’s and fireworks on New Year’s Eve are notable occasions. Events come to a close on the 6th with the Epiphany Witches Rowing Race.
- New Year celebrations in St Mark’s Square begin at 9pm. A large stage is set up in the square featuring live acts and performances. The square is famous for the passionate kisses shared by those celebrating the arrival of the New Year. At midnight fireworks are shot directly from a barge in St Mark’s Basin with the square offering the perfect romantic backdrop for seeing in the new year.
- On Jan. 6, fifty athletes, members of the oldest rowing club of Venice the “ Bucintoro” disguised as old witches, race from S. Tomà to the Rialto Bridge. The Befana brings gifts in memory of those offered by the Magi to the Christ Child. This charming old lady in the night between 5 and 6 January, flies on a broom carrying a bag stuffed with toys and candy. Then, sliding down the chimneys of the houses, fills stockings left hanging by the children.
- Stay close to all the New Year activities at the Radisson Collection Hotel, Palazzo Nani Venice, rated “Wonderful” by guests with spacious rooms tastefully blending the old with the new.
The Nativity Clock Tower
- On the 6th of January, the Clock Tower in St Mark’s square hosts a show that takes place only twice a year. At the stroke of midday, from the side panel of the clock, you can watch the procession of the Nativity, with the Wise Men parading in front of the Virgin Mary.
The Venice Christmas Santa Run, La Corsa dei Babbi Natale!
- If you are in Venice on Sunday before Christmas Eve Dec 17th 2023, watch out for the annual charity Christmas Santa run, a fantastic sight filled with crazy Santa’s across the city. Dozens of rowers dress as Father Christmas as they race down Venice’s Grand Canal, cheered on by crowds who gather to watch the annual fancy-dress regatta.
- Organised by the University Ca’ Foscari, the race leaves from Saint Mark’s Square, with champions and amateurs competing in traditional “mascarete” boats, once the domain of fishermen.
- The race is followed by a flotilla of fellow Father Christmases in “bissone”, “caorline” and dragon boats, flat vessels with six to eight rowers each.
- Since it began in 2009, the regatta has been held in the run-up to Christmas. Those feeling particularly sporty can take part afterwards in a race through the Italian city’s allies and squares.
- Enjoy a truly exceptional stay at the Ca’di Dio-Small Luxury Hotel, located in one of the best parts of the city with a stunning garden courtyard, exceptional décor and high-end amenities.
Getting Around and Gay Venice
- Venice is approximately 3 miles wide with the major sights concentrated in the neighbourhoods of San Polo, across the Grand Canal from the train station; Dorsoduro a little further south; and San Marco to Dorsoduro’s west, again across the Grand Canal. But don’t worry, everyone gets lost. It is almost impossible to get to your destination in a straight line as Venice is riddled with dead ends and twisted passageways.
- For nightlife, most gay visitors head off the island to Mestre, Venice’s mainland half or nearby Padova (half an hour away) to party. It’s worth noting that Padova is also home to some of the loveliest wandering streets, gelato, and art in Italy.
Recommended Hotels in Venice
Here are the Hotels we recommend that keep you close to all the action:
Gay Map of Venice
Recommended Hotels in Venice By Bookings
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We have chosen hotels in Venice that keep you close to all the shops,restaurants & bars
4 Star, Luxury
Set in a 15th-century building on the Grand Canal, Pesaro Palace is next to the Ca’ d’Oro water bus stop. It offers Venetian-style rooms with free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and flat-screen TV. Rooms are decorated with classic furniture and Murano glass lamps. Each comes with a minibar, carpeted floors and bathroom with hairdryer. Some overlook the Grand Canal.
4 Star, Readers Choice
Set near the Grand Canal in the peaceful Cannaregio district of Venice, Maison Venezia | UNA Esperienze is a 10-minute walk from the Rialto Bridge, and 15 minutes from St. Mark’s Square. The elegant and spacious rooms have flat-screen satellite TVs. Rooms also feature the exclusive Pillow Wow menu, each made from natural, hypoallergenic materials. Free WiFi is available throughout.
4 Star, Great Value
Set in a restored monastery, Hotel Abbazia is in the quiet Cannaregio district of Venice, 100 m from Santa Lucia Train Station. The hotel features a large courtyard garden with bar. The Abbazia’s classic rooms all have modern bathroom and include a minibar and satellite TV. Free Wi-Fi internet access is available in the entire hotel. A varied breakfast is served in the garden during the summer
Hotel Antico Doge
3 Star, Location
This elegant 12th century building was once home to the Doge Marino Falier. Just 300 m from Rialto Bridge, it offers elegant rooms with antique furniture and original paintings. Rooms here are spacious and air conditioned. They have characteristic features such as four-poster beds or glass chandeliers. Every room has satellite TV, a minibar and Wi-Fi access.