Christmas markets, concerts, open-air exhibitions; during December
Venice turns even more magical. Discover all the events.
Venice is the most magical city to spend the holiday season. Decorated with wonderful illuminations, the mere experience of walking through the so-called calle – the streets intersecting the city – and along the canals is all it takes to dive into the true Christmas spirit.
Starting at the end of November, the city’s streets, alleys, churches, bridges and various buildings are festively illuminated, enhancing the magical shape of the lagoon.
In the background are the numerous concerts, whose notes emerging from theatres and churches resound throughout the city. The most prestigious event is at the Teatro della Fenice, a concert that has been carrying spectators into the coming year for almost twenty years.
But Christmas in Venice is way more than this. It is a joyful, bright, month-long journey: a string of events animating the lagoon from the end of November to the first days of January. In the following lines you will learn about the events that will make your Christmas stay in Venice nothing short of unique.
During this period, the streets and squares of the city come alive with colour thanks to the numerous markets displaying all kinds of treasures, from typical food and wine delicacies to handicraft creations. Among the most renowned are those in Campo Santo Stefano, with more than 30 wooden huts where the best Made in Venice products can be purchased.
In between shopping sessions, you can then enjoy a good glass of Vin Brulé at Campo San Polo, the largest on the island, a few minutes’ walk from Hotel Ca’ Bonfadini. Here, from 8 December, a skating rink will be opened where adults and children can have fun skating and admiring the city around them.
Another annual event is the Babbo Running, which celebrates its 12th anniversary this year.
It is a marathon, open to all ages, attracting athletes and non-athletes alike for a run dressed as no less than Santa Claus. A red wave pours through the city streets in the name of fun, sharing but above all solidarity. The event in fact supports research against paediatric tumours. The date is set for 15 December and registration, which is restricted to 1000 people only, will be open from 7 December.
In the Lagoon, the Christmas spirit gets even more special on the 23rd of the month, with the arrival of St Nicholas on a gondola. Once at Campo San Vio, the Saint will distribute hot chocolate and sweets to the little ones. The experience, apart from its undeniable magic, is simply unique: where else can you see Santa Claus arrive on a gondola instead of his famous sleigh?
A chapter of its own should be dedicated to the Christmas of Glass Show in Murano, one of the most photographed events on the Lagoon: during the month of December, the island becomes even more magical, showcasing glass sculptures and artworks and celebrating the art that has brought Murano world fame. Starting on 5 December, the streets of the island will be filled with treasures and artisans will open their workshops to show their centuries-old glass production tradition.
Speaking of exhibitions, do not miss the Tunnel of Lights, which can be admired in the ancient portico at the church of San Pietro Martire, where master glassmakers will lit ten candleholders made especially for Christmas.
The famous little island can be reached from Hotel Ca’ Bonfadini in just a few minutes, sailing directly from Fondamente Nove, less than 2 kilometres from our reception hall.
And to kick off the coming year in style, Ca’ Bonfadini is delighted to complement your stay with a special treat: in addition to the comfort of our spacious suites, the incredible gourmet flavours of Dama Restaurant await you with a menu dedicated to New Year’s Eve featuring tasty and sophisticated dishes. And at midnight, a boat will take you to St. Mark’s Square where you will toast to 2023 in the splendid Venetian setting.
These are just some of the events that make Christmas and the festivities in Venice such a unique experience. We can’t wait for you to discover more and experience with us the magic that only this time of year can bring.