2018 CHRISTMAS MARKETS SPECIAL

susanna copertina

icona nataleDiscover one of the most interesting markets of Rome with me. Join our Air bnb experience: Unità Market in Prati (near Vatican)

This year we’re once again ready to guide you through Rome’s many Christmas markets. We prefer artisan and handmade crafts and places where you can combine shopping with entertainment, workshops and activities. This guide is a work in progress, it will continue to be updated as we hear about last minute Christmas events in Rome’s local markets. 

Piazza Navona’s traditional market. After all the past controversies with bids and security costs, it seems that Piazza Navona’s traditional market will begin as usual until 6 January (La Befana). However, we are still awaiting official communication. If it’s the same as the market held last year, it will not be the market that we have known and loved in the past (too many plastic toys and junk that you can find anywhere). But with the old-fashioned carousel, stalls dedicated to traditional nativity scenes and street performers, hopefully it can recapture a little bit of the market’s previous magic and provide a festive atmosphere in one of the most beautiful squares in the world.

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One of the first Christmas markets to open is the now traditional market on Piazza Mazzini. The year-round antiques market takes place on the first and third Sunday of the month – and from 1 December until 26 December it transforms to include a variety of Christmas stalls. There’s lots on offer from Christmas decorations, ceramics, nativity scenes, to gift ideas such as pashminas, beauty products, regional speciality foods and wooden crafts. The regular Sunday market traders ‘resist’ the Christmas takeover and continue to sell their antique furniture and goods. Among the artisans is Susanna with her wooden creations, Kosedautore and accessories ranging from necklaces to gloves. (1 – 26 December 9am–8pm Piazza Mazzini).

giorgiamktVintage and hand crafted products can also be found in the historic Monti market, where in December the market doubles in size, expanding over two floors, with new dates being added all the time. Each year the number of international visitors increases, not only the number of shoppers, but also the stall holders – you will find artisans from Spain, Greece, England and Portugal. Among the many artists we have met over the years, one who returns every Christmas is Giorgia in the Clouds, mother and craftswoman who has put her artistic talents to use making clothes and accessories for children, taking her inspiration from magic, super powers and the stars. This year she has something new: characters from the world of music, literature and art from David Bowie to the Fab Four, Harry Potter to the Little Price, Frida Kahlo to Coco Chanel become key rings and irresistible charms, perfect as stocking fillers (Dates: 1-2 |  7-8-9| 15-16 | 21-22-23-24 | 29-30 December, Via Leonina 46-48).

 

This year the Japanese market takes place on 15 and 16 December at Ragusa Off, the huge former ATAC transportIMG 9390 depot. In collaboration with the Vintage Market, there will be more than 250 exhibitors. As well as the market itself, not to be missed are the martial arts demonstrations, workshops – including Ikebana with the wonderful Yuri, and an area dedicated to relaxation and shiatsu treatments. You will truly find everything from the Japanese world: manga comics, traditional objects such as kokeshi the good luck dolls, kimonos, lamps and ceramics decorated with motifs reminiscent of Studio Ghibli. Naturally, there will be a food area dedicated to sushi, takoyaki, ramen, yakitor, dorayaki, tea and sake and a children’s area where Marta will transform kids and big kids into their favourite superheroes and comic characters. (Saturday 15 December from 11am–8pm and Sunday 16 December from 11am–9pm. Via Tuscolana 32 / Via dei Rogazionisti 20).


IMG 9404The weekend of the 8/9 December sees the Christmas Edition of Wave Market at Lanificio 159, with more than 100 stalls, music and a Christmas buffet. This year you will also find our favourite bookshop Ponte Ponente (Saturday only) with all the latest books for young readers. From fabric and picture books for the smallest children, through to classic tales, the children’s bookshop from Via Mondovi has a vast assortment of Christmas and other books on sale. New books include “Natale nel grande bosco" (Christmas in the Great Wood) and "La volpe e il tomte" (The Tomten and the Fox), two stories from Nordic authors Ulf Stark and Astrid Lindgren respectively, with illustrations by Eva Eriksson. Our artisan friend Daniela Galluzzo Rocciolo will also have a stall at the market. As a wood crafter, following in the footsteps of maestro Massimo Sansavini, she has developed her own personal style10 making brooches, magnets, mirror frames, and light fittings obtained from old telephones. "This work was born almost as a game, I decided to arm myself with a hacksaw, sandpaper and paints and give expression to my imagination" she told us recently. Daniela will also be at the Vintage Market the following week. (Saturday 8 December 10am–8pm and Sunday 9 December 10am–8pm. Via di Pietralata 159 - 159/A).

Mercato Artigiano Della Citta' Dell'altra Economia - where some of the Biomercato artisans exhibit their   creations, such as Barbara with her uniquely designed original lauracabehandbags and unusual Christmas trees; and Laura who sells crafts and accessories for babies and small children, with the slogan "handmade with love". This young mother and craftswoman makes caps, bibs, dresses and bags in various patterns and colours. Among the most unusual things – clothes pegs with numbers for bingo or ‘Tombola’, perfect for a game on New Year’s Eve. The market surrounds an outdoor ice-skating rink and every Sunday in December, in addition to the artisan market, there will also be an organic producers' market and a car boot sale. There are plenty of options for eating, with typical products of the region such as l’amatriciana from Amatrice, traditional Roman dishes and Christmas sweets and desserts. (10am–7pm 1/2 8/9 15/16 22/23 29/30 December and 5/6 January). 


From the 24 November until 23 December Magico Natale returns to the Villa Mercadante, a beautiful building from the early 20th century in the Parioli area of the city. In the Christmas Garden Market you will find Christmas decorations,monica perline flowers and plants, and traditional handmade sweets for parties. For gift ideas there is a range of accessories, clothing, costume jewellery, crafts and beauty products. There is a bar for tea, an area for children showing cartoons and an aperitivo with DJ sets. Entry is free, and your four-legged friends are also welcome. There are two charity auctions to raise money for the Bambin Gesù and Tesoro di Cane. (10am–8pm Via Saverio Mercadante, 22).

IMG 9684Also this year the Mercatino degli Artisti di Eataly, organised by the Faenas Factory, will take place under the arches of gourmet supermarket, Eataly. Among the vendors will be some of our old acquaintances, such as Monica who will be selling her beautiful beads, Sara of Artesania Kimi with her double-sided scarves, matching gloves, asymmetrical dresses, jackets and bags, and Steffi with her colourful fabric bags and wallets. The market is open every weekend in December from Friday to Sunday. (10am–9pm. Piazzale 12 ottobre 1942).

 This year there are four Sundays dedicated to Christmas shopping at the Mercato Di Borghetto Flaminio, nownatale2015 over 20 years old. For vintage lovers you will find more than 200 stalls full of curiosities: Christmas table decorations, soft toys, greeting cards from the early twentieth century, scented candles, scarves, hats and knitted pullovers, overcoats, trendy tartan jackets and Scottish kilts. For a break from the shopping, Romeo Chef&Baker will be serving their gourmet panini and focaccias. On the 23 December at 12pm a special pre-Christmas Eve celebration will take place – mulled wine, prosecco, panettone and pandoro will be served by the founders, Enrico Quinto and Paolo Tinarelli, to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. After the holidays, on Sunday 13th January  the market returns with "Recycle Day" (with stalls displaying the most unwanted and kitsch Christmas gifts to be resold and reused).

A weekend only for FRA’ (Fiera del regalo accessibile) at the Fusolab on Viale della Bella Vita. FRA’ is a Christmas fair dedicated to being ‘accessible’ – every gift must cost under 50 Euros and must be made and wrapped by the traders themselves. The large three-storey village is divided into four "gift areas": creative crafts, organic and gastronomic products, music, art and books (15 and 16 December from 10am to 8pm). From December 13 to 16, Il Palazzetto (a short distance from Piazza di Spagna) hosts My Cup of Tea - Lifestyle for Christmas, four days where in addition to finding gifts for friends and relatives including clothing, accessories, furniture, jewellery, food and wine and publishing, there will also be some workshops (11am to 8pm Vicolo del Bottino, 8).


The solidarity market of Arché, ‘Mercatino Solidale di Arché’, a non-profit organisation that supports mothers and children in need, takes place on 1 and 2 December at the Hotel Rose Garden Palace. It is a Christmas bazaar where you can find the most original Christmas presents, but is also an opportunity to do some good: all proceeds go to Arché's social projects. An Aperitivosolidale from 5pm to 9pm is an afternoon tea in support of mothers and children in difficult circumstances. (Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 from 4pm to 9pm, Via Boncompagni 19).

IMG 5157The Sant’Egidio vintage market is where shopping becomes a charitable event, with all proceeds going to support community projects. The vintage market is raising funds for Project Dream, a programme for the treatment of AIDS in Africa, dealing among other things with the prevention of HIV contraction in children of HIV-positive women. In the Città Ecosolidale in Via del Porto Fluviale you will find toys, vintage clothes, costume jewellery, gifts and Christmas decorations. Open from 6 December to 6 January, every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 4pm to 8pm.

Porta Pia Christmas Market. In the splendid setting of Porta Pia, the voluntary associations Raccontarsi Raccontando, President AnnaMaria Calore and the Comitato di Quartiere Salario Sallustiano have organised a local Christmas market (18 – 23 December 9am–8:30pm). The stalls range from crafts, collectibles, accessories and vintage clothing, furniture, Christmas delicacies and vintage items of all kinds. As well as the voluntary associations and non-profit organisations, there will be a collection for used toys.

We are sure to have missed some markets and we are certain that other local markets have some great programmes over the Christmas period, let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will add them to our calendar.

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