Planning to visit Tuscany during the Christmas season?
Arezzo is probably the best choice for you!
Where is Arezzo?
Arezzo, capital of the homonymous province in Tuscany, is known worldwide as the City of the Joust of Saracen, gold, the hometown of Francesco Petrarca and Guido Monaco. It was also home to the oldest university in Tuscany, and one of the first in Europe.
The city of Arezzo is located in the northern part of the Valdichiana, and the territory of the municipality is very wide and varied: from the plain of the Val di Chiana, to the hills, and in the south of the city, to mountainous areas. It was built in pre-Etruscan times in an area inhabited since prehistoric times, and was then one of the main Etruscan cities along with Cortona, Chiusi and Orvieto. It is also famous for the battle of Campaldino, between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines (1289), which took place near Poppi, and in which Dante Alighieri also participated for the Guelph part.
The Christmas Village of Arezzo
For a few years now, precisely four, the narrow streets and main squares of the flourishing and ancient city of Arezzo are vividly animated not only by the charming antique fair, but also in the period that goes from mid-November to Santo Stefano.
The Christmas market is in typical Tyrolean style: food stands and products from northern Italy with small wooden banquets and a characteristic huts, giving a touch of magic and authentic Christmas spirit in true Nordic style.
Visitors can admire thirty-four stands that will remain open to the public every day. The stalls are managed by some Tyrolean operators, veterans of the Christmas markets from Trento, Merano, Bolzano and from the European Christmas markets (Rasp, Thun, Alpidee, Amadeus). They bring in Arezzo their pretty craft products, which are typical of the Italian-Austrian Tyrol: edelweiss, wool slippers, soft plush toys, Tyrolean tablecloths, jewellery and ornaments, candles, cups and teapots, food as well, like bacon, pretzel, strudel, liquorice, chocolate and other specialities.
New for the 2019 edition: two chalets dedicated to the tasting of beers and Tyrolean sweets. You can taste the Strauben and the Kaiserschmarrn and enjoy hot chocolate or the characteristic apple cider. There is also the Christmas Garden with plants, artworks of wood carvers, the traditional House of Santa Claus in the Palace of Fraternita. This year also returns the Great Tyrolean hut, a large space equipped for catering of over 100 square meters where you enjoy beer and can take the opportunity to taste delicious hot dishes typical of Trentino: dumplings, Tyrolean meatballs, cheese and polenta raclette, or a fusion Tuscan-Tyrolean menu.
Tuscan Christmas traditions
Our beautiful Tuscany is rich in wonderful and delicious products that alternate on the family tables at this time of year. The celebration starts on Christmas Eve with dinner, and continues on the 25th with Christmas lunch, and at last, there is the Epiphany on the 6th of January, when the festivities officially ends.
A typical Tuscan menu for Christmas Day contains liver croutons, revisited with variations on the theme depending on family recipes, such as a pure chicken liver paté or a mix of livers, spleen and more with bread toasted or soaked in meat broth to soften it, or for special occasions first toasted and then soaked in Vinsanto.
Among the main dishes it worth to mention the famous cappelletti or tortellini in capon broth, grilled steak or roasted meats seasoned with rosemary, sage and garlic, usually chicken, or guinea fowl, if not even something more special as the thrush or pigeon.
Christmas sweets are almost entirely of Siena’s origin, they are also consumed on Arezzo’s tables: the panforte, a compact soft cake with candied fruit and nuts, the ricciarelli, biscuits made with almond paste and sugar, or the cavallucci, biscuits of rather hard consistency with a pronounced taste of aniseed, mixed with finely chopped nuts and candied fruit. But cantucci soaked in Vinsanto and the inevitable nougats, panettone and pandoro are in the menu too.