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  • Writer's pictureSu Guillory

A Calabrian Christmas: Unwrapping the Magic of Southern Italy

As the festive season approaches, there's no better place to experience the warmth and magic of Christmas than in the enchanting region of Calabria. The south of Italy comes alive with holiday spirit during this special time of year. From picturesque villages to historical landmarks, here's a guide to the must-see Christmas attractions in Calabria.

1. Christmas Markets in Reggio Calabria

Kick off your festive Calabrian Christmas in the city of Reggio Calabria, where the Christmas markets transform the streets into a winter wonderland. Explore the stalls filled with local crafts, seasonal treats, and handmade gifts. The aroma of chestnuts roasting in the air and the twinkling lights overhead create a magical atmosphere that captures the essence of the holiday season.

2. Nativity Scenes in Catanzaro

Known for its elaborate presepi, or nativity scenes, Catanzaro offers a unique and artistic take on the traditional Christmas display. The historic churches and piazzas are vibrant with meticulously crafted nativity scenes that depict the story of Christmas in a captivating way. Wander through the streets and marvel at the creativity and craftsmanship that goes into these timeless representations.

3. Tropea's Christmas Lights

While Tropea is a hot spot in the summer thanks to its gorgeous beaches, it becomes even more enchanting during Christmas. The city is adorned with dazzling Christmas lights that illuminate the night and create a festive ambiance. Take a stroll through the old town to witness the magical transformation and enjoy the beauty of Tropea at its most festive.

4. Santa Severina's Living Nativity

For a truly immersive Christmas experience, head to one of the many towns that host a live presepio. In Santa Severina, the streets come to life with a living nativity scene. The entire town participates in reenacting the nativity story, providing visitors with a unique and authentic portrayal of the Christmas narrative. It's a captivating blend of tradition, community spirit, and holiday magic.

5. Christmas Concerts and Performances

Calabria's rich cultural heritage is celebrated through various Christmas concerts and performances. Check local event listings for choir performances, classical concerts, and traditional music events happening in cities like Lamezia Terme and Tropea. These performances add a melodic touch to the holiday season, allowing you to experience the joy of Christmas through the region's artistic expressions.

Calabria, with its unique blend of tradition, culture, and natural beauty, offers a Christmas experience like no other. Whether you're captivated by the twinkling lights of Reggio Calabria, the artistic nativity scenes of Catanzaro, or the festive atmosphere of Tropea, or maybe all of it, there's something for everyone in this southern Italian paradise.

Embrace the magic of Christmas in Calabria, where each corner of this enchanting region tells a story of holiday joy and timeless traditions.


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