From Lake Como to Puglia, here are four fabulous celebrations for Christmas and New Years in Italy. We all love this country during spring and summer, but truth is, during winter it’s just as fascinating. From Christmas markets rimming the cobblestone tuscan streets to a greenhouse-turned-chocolate room up on Lake Como, Jazz nights in Umbria and long lasting dinners filled with endless culinary delicacies – only the best, to kickstart the new year. Read on to discover all the ins and outs.
villa d’este, Lake Como, Lombardia
As you stroll through an illuminated tree-lined avenue, the fairy tale truly begins within the opulent salons, marble columns, and grand staircases adorned with fir trees, golden ivy leaves, and vegetal coils wrapped in luminous threads, resembling a secret garden. In one wing lies the chocolate room—a Viennese-style lounge framed by red curtains—offering indulgent snacks of hot chocolate, pralines, cakes (including the iconic Sacher), chocolate fountains, panettoni, and other homemade delights. On the opposite wing, the greenhouse is transformed into a wooden chalet with sofas and tables around the bar crafting seasonal cocktails infused with citrus and other seasonal ingredients. In this fabulous setting conceived by Vincenzo Dascanio, Christmas and New Year’s lunches and dinners unfold, featuring a traditional menu with occasional flashes of creativity, such as goose with chestnuts and cabbage reminiscent of Lombard cassoeula, and recipes from Italians abroad, like orange and fennel salad. Come New Year’s Eve, two bands take the stage, and the arrival of the new year is celebrated with a spectacle of fireworks and music over the lake. The magic of Villa d’Este continues, where each moment is a chapter in the story of timeless elegance and indulgence. Read more here. WEBSITE SARA MAGRO
Borgo Egnazia, Puglia
The celebration revolves around the square of Borgo, reconstructed like those of a traditional village, where people gather to chat. Even at Christmas, the intention is to create an epicentre with stalls, illuminations, Apuglian sweets, and music. It all begins on December 23 and continues until January 7, with lunches and dinners, cooking classes (including for children) and mixology lessons, vintage car tours to Monopoli, Alberobello, and other characteristic villages, or bike rides around. The festivities include an Apuglian menu on December 24, 25, and a panzerottata on Santo Stefano. On December 29, dinner is served at a table set in the “Lama del Trappeto” among the participants of the Living Nativity Scene. On December 31, the celebration starts with games for children and continues with a family aperitif with folk dances. The New Year’s Eve dinner takes place in the Arena, set up like a blooming garden. The dress code is classic with a floral touch. WEBSITE SM