To celebrate the holiday season and the upcoming new year, Arezzo has reintroduced its weekend “City of Christmas” tradition. Residents are more ready than ever to bring festivity to the people of Tuscany by hosting a market and an all new Ferris wheel in a setting filled with Christmas decorations. The venues require a Super Green Pass (issued to those vaccinated) and a mask in order to enter and participate in the festivities, with the exception of children ages 12 or under.
The first thing to catch a visitor’s eye when entering Arezzo are the decorations lining the buildings and walls. Ornaments will be installed all throughout, as well as projected light designs on the city’s cathedral, parish church, library and the entirety of Piazza Grande. These decorations will shine all the way until January 9 of next year.
What truly brings this festive event to life is the vast number of markets found throughout Arezzo, along with the variety of products each vendor carries. The first one to note is the Market of Wonders, which houses many wooden stalls that sell local street food and handcrafted Christmas gifts. This market will operate until January 9, 2022 and is accessible on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday from 10 am to 9 pm. Special openings will also take place on December 22, 23 and 28, as well as January 3, 4, 5 and 6.
For those who want a taste of Tyrol, Germany and rest of Austria, the Tyrolean Village holds 32 wooden stalls. These hold a variety of traditional crafted goods, with two of the vendors serving Tyrolean dishes and beer. This market will be held through December 26 and will open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday from 10 am to 9 pm.
To give the “City of Christmas” even more vibrancy, a 400 square meter exhibit of a model city, made entirely of interlocking plastic bricks, will be displayed in Piazza Grande on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is €5, with free attendance for those ages 3 or younger. The display will remain through December 26.
Also in Piazza Grande is the house of Santa Claus, featuring a talking tree display, a model of Rudolph the red nosed reindeer and a construction of Santa Claus lit up by thousands of LED lights. There will also be a “post office of the Arctic Circle,” where Santa Claus will accept wish letters from children. The space will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 12:30 pm, and then again from 2 pm to 5:30 pm. Like the model city set, admission costs €5 and kids ages 3 or younger enter for free. The house of Santa will be open up to December 19.
To top off the decorative spirit of Arezzo, a Ferris Wheel will be set up in the Prato delle Meraviglie. Constructed on one of the highest points in the municipality, visitors will be given a grand view over the city. From Monday to Thursday, the Ferris wheel will be open from 3 to 11 pm, Fridays and Saturdays will allow entry from 10 am to midnight and Sundays open the wheel between the hours of 10 am and 11 pm. December 24 and 31 will be the exception by closing at 6 pm. Entry costs €8, with a reduced price of €6 to those between the ages of 3 to 10 or for those older than 65, while children who are 2 or younger get to ride the Ferris wheel for free.
Some other markets include those in Piazza San Jacopo and Piazza Risorgimento, which will present an extraordinary selection of food products and wine from Tuscany everyday from 8 am to 8 pm through January 9. There is also the Handmade Arts Market and the Cloister of Wonder, both selling aesthetically pleasing goods for those wishing to hold onto something to remember this year’s holiday season.
For more information on Arezzo’s attractions this year, visit https://www.arezzocittadelnatale.it/attrazioni/ (nelson matos)