Holiday Shopping Tour in Tuscany
If the beauty of Tuscany takes your breath away, Tuscany during the Christmas season may cause you to suffocate. What better place to stock up on luxury and hand-crafted Christmas gifts than one of the most beautiful and cultural places in the world?
TCF Italian Journeys has designed a Holiday Shopping Tour in Tuscany for December 7th – December 14th. Details and pricing are available upon request.
Beginning at the end of November and lasting until early January, Tuscany lights up and exudes a Christmas glow that will overwhelm your senses. The streets are adorned with white lights and filled with Christmas markets and nativity scenes, the stores are stocked with their finest merchandise, traditional smells of holiday cuisine fill the air, and the joy and excitement can be heard in the lively hum that floods the markets. The already famous food, entertainment, and culture are at an all time high during this time of the year. This is your chance to experience this magnificent region during a momentous season in the most authentic manner.
Here is just a little taste of what you can expect on a Holiday Shopping Tour to Tuscany:
- Aside from the jaw-dropping shopping that exists year round, the city of Florence brings the holiday season to life with its Christmas markets and seasonal decor. From December 3rd to the 21st experience the traditional German Christmas Market and it’s wooden cabins held in the Piazza Santa Croce. Taste the traditional seasonal cuisine and crafts from both Italy and Germany.
- The San Lorenzo Daily Market, although not specifically for the holiday season, serves as a great source for gift shopping. Pick up some genuine Italian cashmere scarves from our friends Bianca and Giovanni or a fabulous Italian leather handbag from our pal Moey. There is no limit to what you might find at the San Lorenzo Market.
- Treat yourself to a custom fitted Italian Leather Jacket; Just consider it an early Christmas present. The designer will schedule a personal fitting in the comfort of your own hotel room. What better way to stay warm during the holiday season than with a jacket crafted just for you by one of Italy’s favorite leather designers? We can’t think of one.
- As if we needed anything more than the extraordinary shopping and dining of Montepulciano, this charming city presents a month-long Christmas Market from December 5th through January 6th. The traditional Christmas market serves as a place to savor seasonal delights, including cuisine, entertainment, and one-of-a-kind hand-painted Christmas ornaments among other fine Italian crafts.
- In December, the Piazza Navona is transformed into a Christmas Market. Piazza Navona is known for its culturally historic splendor and it surely does not disappoint during the holiday season. The Christmas market offers the traditional Christmas cuisine, gifts, paraphernalia, and much more amongst the picturesque fountains and architecture.
- A trip to Italy in December would not be complete without a visit to Naples. The most important symbol of a Neapolitan Christmas is the Presepe, or an elaborate nativity scene. There is no lack of such symbolic figurines on the street of San Gregorio Armeno. Recognized as a World Treasure, this narrow, cobbled street is filled with nativity scene accessories as well as pizza ovens and other traditional Neapolitan delights. Visiting this famous street is a Christmas tradition not to be missed.
Of course, no shopping trip would be complete without experiencing the regions fine food and wine. In between shopping and site seeing, spend your afternoons at the local wineries and Osteria’s for lunch.
If you’re looking for a way to bring a piece of Italy home to family and friends, there’s nothing like food or a fine bottle of wine. Visit Mercato Centrale (The Central Market) in Florence for two floors of nothing but authentic Italian food and wine. They even offer cooking classes so you can bring home some knowledge of Italian cooking traditions. Learn to prepare Tuscan holiday treats such as Panforte, a dense, sweet cake loaded with nuts and candied fruit. Widely regarded as the best food market in Florence, you are sure to be submerged in the Italian culture upon arrival.
Give the gift of chocolate. Visit the bakery of one of Europe’s most treasured chocolatiers, Adrea Bianchini. This chocolate haven in Florence is the perfect place to pick up decadent chocolates from the simple to the sublime for the chocolate-lover in your family.
* * *
Not the typical tourist season, December is the prefect time to experience Tuscany authentically among the locals during an important time of tradition. But don’t let the idea of a low-tourist season fool you; there is still plenty to do. Starting in late November Tuscany celebrates their first olive crops of the year in during the Olive Oil Festival in Siena, the museums and attractions remain open for locals and tourists to explore, and the arts come alive as performers prepare for customary Christmas shows.
The possibilities are endless in the presence of the Tuscan Christmas spirit.