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Italy in December
There are few tourists who would want to visit Italy in December; most of them prefer visiting during summers. It is obvious that some of the tourists come to Italy for Christmas and other tourists who visit Italy in December do not have a specific reason to visit, they just come for amusement, however during December you will find out people putting on their ceremonial dresses. The airfares for Italy are inexpensive due to the dull winter. See our Holidays in Italy Section
The majority of the tourist destinations are open during December, you may want to take a note of this for the twenty fifth and twenty sixth so when you visit you do not have to face any challenges. You may want to make sure that you reach these tourist destinations on time since the opening hours are short and you don't miss out on your favorite destinations just by an hour.
Weather in December
December is one of the coldest months in Italy the winters are cold in most of the country. The days are the shortest in December. It is the holiday season in Italy and though tourists are less in number, though plenty of people do travel to Italy for New Year and Christmas. Northern Italy is especially the coldest in December with most of the mountain peaks covered in snow. There are great skiing opportunities in north during December. Central Italy too is cold and wet in December. Though in comparison, southern Italy is less cold, even the sea cost experiences some rainy days and the nights are definitely quite cold even at the sea side resorts in the month of December. If travelling to Italy in December, be sure to pack warm clothes.
Northern Italy is definitely the coldest part of Italy in December. In Milan and other parts of Northern Italy, the average temperature is from -3 to 7 degrees Celsius (26 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit). In December the nights can be quite harsh and cold with mostly wet days.
In Central Italy including cities like Rome the temperature is the coldest at this time of the year and is approximately between 6 to 14 degrees Celsius (42 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit). In December, be ready for really cold nights and some of the wettest days of the year. Still the average maximum temperature is wam enough that you may get lucky and get a nice enjoyable 65 degree day, just do not count on it .
In Southern Italy and in Sicily, the temperatures are lower and the days get shorter. In December, the temperatures remain between 12 to 16 degrees Celsius (54 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit). In Southern Italy the nights are cold and many wet days.
In December, precipitation is definitely experienced throughout Italy. Northern Italy especially is quite prone to snowfall, especially the locations around the Alps.
Where to Visit in December
Rome and the Vatican City would be really crowded in December around Christmas since people from all over the country and the world travel to listen to the Pope addressing the crowd. Its best to avoid these two locations in December, unless interested in listening to the Pope. The best place to visit in December is the northern mountains of the Alps and the Dolomites due to their fantastic ski resorts.
See also our Holidays in Italy Section
In the month of December lot during Christmas lot of events and celebrations take place. Italians in this month celebrate Feast Day as a flawless commencement, they celebrate Christmas Day and Eve and St. Stephens Day. 31st December is celebrated as New Year's Eve in Italy.
Florence Noel is a family event that starts towards the end of November and continues till the first week of December. This event is mainly for children since there are lot of children activities which also includes Babbo Natale, father Christmas. You will also find nativity village, chocolate, music and food.
Wild Boar Festival: This festival takes place in the medieval city of Tuscan of Suverto, which is in the province of Livorno. Wild Boar Festival is a 10 day festival which begins by the end November and continues till 8th December and there is an extensive meal as well. Other than wild boar, you will find products like wine, honey and olive oil from the area. During this festival people wear medieval outfit and medieval competitions which makes the event more exciting and interesting.
For Christmas - Perugia for You: This festival takes place in Perugia, which is the capital of Umbria from 3rd December - 6th January. This festival is popular for Cinema, Music, Food, family shows, art and craft
Saint Barbara Day: This day takes place on the Mount Etna Volcano slopes and is celebrated on 4th December in the Sicilian city of Paterno. During this celebration a parade takes place and after the parade you will get to see a nativity scene. Saint Barbara is city's patron saint and considered the protector of the fire work makers and the firemen. She has been looked upon number of times as a protection against the eruptions of Mount Etna.
Positano and the Amalfi Coast December 2009 and New Year Images
San Nicolo Feast Day: This day takes place on the 6th day of December in many areas of Abruzzon region. People celebrate this day with taralli, firm round biscuits which are often consumed along with wine and loaves of bread.
Saint Ambrogio Day: This day is celebrated on the 7th day of December at Sant' Ambrogio region of Milan. Sain Ambrogio is Milan's patron saint and since this day is celebrated with food, stalls and various items are set up in the neighborhood for sale by the vendors.
Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception: this day is observed as a national holiday, the 8th of December. You will see celebration across Italy and special masses are held by churches, you will also find music, parades and feasts at various places. In the region of Abruzzo people celebrate this day by singing traditional songs and bonfires. Rome celebrates this day with flower wreaths and the pope presides the ceremony at the Spanish Steps. As this a national holiday banks and offices will remain closed, however most of the stores will be open for holiday shopping.
Soul Christmas: This is a big festival of free gospel music in the theaters and churches of Lake Trasimeno, this is celebrated on 8th December-6th January
Santa Lucia Day: This day is celebrated on the 13th day of December in various Italian cities. Sicily has one of the biggest celebrations, a big parade is held in the city of Sircusa where the saint is carried to the Church of Santa Lucia on a golden coffin. On 20th December another celebration takes place for bringing her back to the tomb. These celebrations are throughout the week and number of pilgrims visit to Sircusa. Big fireworks are displayed over the harbor while ending the festival.
Christmas in Italy is taken very seriously and is a very important holiday for the Italians, here Christmas might not look as the Christmas in other countries. In Italy, Christmas is known as Natale and is very important to the locals. In Italy the nativity scenes are more prevalent and seen widely in place of Santa Claus. The nativity scenes in Italy are known as Presepe and are seen in churches and everywhere in the outdoors.