I really love Christmas atmosphere: the decorations, the adorned trees, the lights. I also love to visit Christmas markets. This year, Matteo and I went off on a weekend to explore three small, little known Christmas markets in Trentino: Canale di Tenno, Rango and Levico.
They all are in the province of Trento and it is possible to visit all three in the same day, as we did. Even if, of course, not at a slow pace. Two of them, Canale and Rango, are among the most beautiful villages in Italy.
Canale di Tenno Christmas markets
A few kilometres from the northern shore of Lake Garda, you can visit Canale di Tenno. It is a medieval village (first written testimony dates back to 1211), perched on a hill, made of cobbled alleys, grey stone houses with wooden windows and roofs. Every now and then, a small aperture towards the mountain and the lake.
After the first world war, the village was abandoned. But later on, some artists fell in love with it. And so did some foreign tourists, who bought houses there. Since the 60s, it houses la Casa degli Artisti, a house were artists can meet, organise exhibitions and also stay. The village has now about 50 inhabitants.
Tenno Christmas market is not on a piazza, but inside the village. Along the streets, inside courtyards, houses and cellars. The products on sale are all made by artisans. For lunch or to drink something, you can rely on some food spots scattered inside Tenno’s houses, including an osteria. Local speciality: carne salada (cured beef meat) with beans and polenta.
Detail I loved: the corns decorating some of the balconies.
Our loot: honey with pine buds. You can find it also in Asiago. It is delicious and very effective against sore throat.
10 minutes or so from the village, you can see Tenno lake (provided with a cute islet on one side). In Summer you can swim here. It was a beautiful sight in Autumn, too. Just past the lake, we found a small stopping place. The lake with the mountains all around was a refreshing view.
Tenno christmas market Info
24 – 25 November/ 1 – 2 – 8 – 9 – 15 – 16 December
24 December: Shepards parade / 26 December: Living Nativity Scene
9.30 am – 6.30 pm
Parking: there are a few, small parking lots, so I recommend you to arrive early or late, in order to find a spot. From the parkings, you have to walk uphill to reach the village, and the road is made of pebbles, slippery and uneven. So: comfy, non-slip shoes. As usual, with my poor ankle, snail pace and patience.
Rango Christmas markets
I was surprised by the beauty of Rango. The few photos I could find don’t give justice to this cute village.
Besides, we came by car from Canale di Tenno. Five minutes past Canal, we entered in a layer of clouds that we got past only when in Rango. So, basically, we were in a medieval village, surrounded by mountains and a blanket made of clouds. Beautiful. You can see it in the photo. From Canale to Rango it’s a 22 minutes car ride.
Like Canale, Rango is made of stone houses all connected by porches, internal courtyards and passages. You park in a field at the foot of the village. And then remember to turn left at the traffic policeman (yes, ha ha). Take a map at the stall and go up at the left of the church, so that you enter from the main village entrance. A cute staircase, adorned by decorations and red ribbons.
The markets are scattered in the village: inside old peasants houses, stables and cellars or under vaults and arcades. Very suggestive. Here and there some temporary taverns, the majority al fresco. We found one that was located inside a cave. We had barley soup (not rich as the one I wrote about at the link) and cold cuts. But the local speciality is walnuts cake, with the local Bleggio walnuts.
Matteo and I loved Rango Christmas markets. The village was fascinating, with colorful corners, quaint decorations, and lots of happy people. But the lady who created a Nativity scene out of corn leaves. You see, someone stole one of the angels. She left a note:
I wish to the thief to become honest.
Detail I loved: the adorned lanterns and the small miniature village in the fountain.
Our loot: some food product to give at Christmas to my in-laws.
Rango Christmas market Info
9.30 am – 6.30 pm
Levico Christmas markets
Levico is 1 hour away from Rango. It is a thermal and mountain resort, very close to Trento (20 minutes or so). Its Christmas markets are scattered inside the public garden, the Parco Secolare degli Asburgo, i.e. Ancient Park of the Habsburgs.
You have to know that the Habsburgs had a summer holiday mansion in Levico, still present (now houses a beautiful hotel, located inside the park).
Sadly, in a terrible rainstorm at the end of October, 2018, many of the century old trees fell. And now the park is half bare. The market is small but evocative, being located among the trees of the park. Yet, the atmosphere must have been way better with all the trees in the past years. And with snow? Lovely. The stalls were selling meats, cheeses, mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, sweets, etc.
Detail I loved:to see some artisans at work, for example a glass maker and a wood sculptor.
And some animals: goats, geese and llamas. With a sign:
Llamas do not spit! 😀
Our loot: Frittelle di mele, apple fritters with cinnamon powder and vanilla topping. Yummy. Accompanied by warm apple juice. The kiosk’s ceiling was adorned by dozens of (real) apples.
Levico Christmas markets Info
November 24,25, 30
December 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21 to 24, 26 to 31
January 1 to 6.
10 am – 7 pm (1, 8 and 15 December until 10.30 pm).
We had a hard time to find a parking spot. After three rides around the block, a car went out from the parking lot and we took its place. But I saw a little tourist train passing by. I was told it arrived from Levico center, so maybe you can park thereby and then take the train.
If you’re in the Veneto and you are looking for closer markets, you could be interested in my articles about Verona Christmas market or Cison di Valmarino Christmas market (the latter is so far my favourite, because the objects you can find are mostly high quality made in Italy. Also the price is different, clearly).