The centre of the Catholic faith revels in old traditions during the Christmas season. Experience a meaningful Christmas that has less to do with extravagant decorations and more with the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christmas season kicks off in Rome on December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. On this day, the Pope heads to the Spanish Steps to offer flowers to the statue of Mary and holds a mass at the Santa Maria Maggiore Church.
Christmas decorations in the country are mostly nativity scenes, the most famous of which is the life-size display in St. Peter’s Square. The Piazza Navona and Roman churches also showcase such Christmas display, some of which feature day-into-night lighting effects. In Sala del Bramante by Piazza del Popolo, there’s a large exhibition of the nativity scene.
As in any part of the world, Christmas shopping in Rome is both fun and festive. Shopping streets sparkle with lights while musicians in Santa costumes play fun Christmas tunes. Red carpets, inflatable Santa Clauses, and a giant Christmas tree are some of the sights to be enjoyed.
Wondering where to grab some Christmas presents? Food shops are scattered all over the country, with loads of Christmas goodies available. Kitsch souvenirs and gloves and accessories are some of the ideal Roman gifts. Bottega del Cioccolato on Via Leonina and Fabriano on Via del Babuino offers Italy-themed items. Some shops provide free gift wrapping in shiny packaging.