Christmas in Bologna: the enchanted atmosphere of the Dotta

Spending Christmas in Bologna means immersing yourself in a unique atmosphere, made of centuries-old traditions, sparkling lights and irresistible flavors. The city turns into a magical place, where the beauty of its historical heritage blends with the joy of Christmas, creating an unforgettable experience for residents and visitors. 

The streets of the old town, with their ancient arcades, become a real open-air theater, filled with music from street artists and musicians.
While walking you can admire the decorations, the sparkling lights and take fabulous souvenir photos under the Christmas tree in Piazza Nettuno. 

Here are some suggestions on what to do in Bologna at Christmas.

What to see at Christmas in Bologna

Among the unmissable events during the festivities of Bologna stand out the characteristic Christmas markets. The oldest, the Saint Lucia Fair, is held under the porch of the Church of the Servants, offering a wide selection of figurines, items for the crib, lights and Christmas decorations.
At the French Christmas Village in Piazza Minghetti, instead, you can delight yourself with typical products and specialties of French cuisine. Finally, next to St Peter’s Cathedral, the Christmas Fair is the ideal destination for those looking for original gift ideas.

The great nativity scenes of Bologna

Another tradition of great importance in Bologna is that linked to the art of crib: an art deeply rooted in the culture of the city and distinctive feature of Christmas celebrations. In addition to representing a religious event, the crib becomes an opportunity to express creativity and craftsmanship, creating a fascinating path that invites visitors to explore the different artistic interpretations of the Nativity. 
The most significant cribs are found in the historic churches of Bologna, such as the motorized one located in the Basilica of San Francesco and the one in the Basilica of San Petronio with life-size terracotta statues. 
Inside the Basilica of Santo Stefano, instead, is kept “The Adoration of the Magi”, the oldest crib in the world and largest in Italy, dating back to the thirteenth century, consisting of statues all over hand painted and made of lime and elm wood. A work that enhances the great Bolognese mastery in this art. Finally, it is impossible not to mention the evocative crib of Via Azzurra, built inside the garden of a private house. An attraction for everyone: adults and children. 
In this enchanting setting, the Christmas holidays in Bologna turn out to be a unique experience. You just have to get lost walking through the streets of the center and let yourself be enveloped by the warmth and atmosphere of the city. 

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