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From Grazzano Visconti to Cesenatico: the best Christmas destinations in Emilia-Romagna

by /// December 13, 2023
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

72 h

72 h




72 h

72 h




Christmas is back, and in Emilia-Romagna you can already smell the typical atmosphere characterising December every year.

The streets are lightened up with vivid colours, nativity scenes decorate shop windows and churches in the historical centres, and traditional markets fill up the squares with stands full of gifts and tasty treats.

Christmas is a magical moment in Emilia-Romagna, the perfect time to spend some days with your friends and family, to the sign of serenity and joyful fun.

The magical Grazzano Visconti

Grazzano Visconti (PC)
Grazzano Visconti (PC) | Grazzano Visconti at Christmas

Especially at Christmas, Grazzano Visconti is not a village like the others. During the Christmas holidays, it gets surrounded by a timeless and magical atmosphere to fully experience and savour.

It is just the perfect place for those who look for that Christmas spirit made of lights, markets and entertainment for the little ones.

Designs and lights make the small village on the outskirts of Piacenza very unique and surprising, so much so that is visited by curious people and visitors who come here from near and far to spend their Christmas weekends.

Lights, installations, Santa Claus’ home, an ice-skating rink: Grazzano awaits you with a true Christmas village, where you can get lost among market stands, gifts, the smell of cinnamon and roast chestnuts.

What else to say? Come here with your children, they’ll thank you for it!

Spectacular lights on the canals in Comacchio

Comacchio (FE) - Presepe galleggiante Ponte dei Trepponti
Comacchio (FE) – Floating Nativity scene under the Trepponti bridge | Credit: Vivida Photo, via Shutterstock

Comacchio, in the province of Ferrara, really has a charm beyond words. The picturesque canals and monuments make this small city – immersed in the Po Delta Park – a compelling destination all year round.

During the Christmas holidays, the “small Venice” is surrounded by an even greater appeal, with trees of lights rising on the canals, coloured sets and artistic nativity scenes under the bridges of the historical centre.

In addition, you will find markets on boats and the Comacchioland Christmas Village with itinerant shows and funny activities dedicated to the little ones.

Spending your Christmas holidays in Comacchio doesn’t only mean visiting one of the many spectacular villages in Emilia-Romagna, but also experiencing a very surprising territory rich in interesting places, such as the nearby Ravenna.

A floating nativity scene in Cesenatico

Cesenatico (FC) - Presepe galleggiante della Marineria
Cesenatico (FC) – The traditional floating nativity scene of Marineria | Credit: Vivida Photo, via Shutterstock

Have you ever been to Cesenatico? If your answer is yes, you may have already admired its canal port, which is the background of the social life and promenade of citizens and tourists.

And this is right the place that – during the Christmas holidays, from the first Sunday of December – hosts a unique and charming attraction: the traditional floating nativity scene of Marineria.

The historical boats become a setting and host aboard a nativity scene with more than 50 life-size statues surrounded by lights reflecting on the water.

All around it, the voices of people walking by the canal, the smell of roast chestnut and mulled wine, the windows of shops and restaurants, the rich stands of the markets where you can buy or taste typical products, but also decorations, ornaments and gifts.

Fanano (MO)
Fanano (MO)
Presepe vivente © Roberto Leoni
Sant'Agata Feltria (RN)
Sant'Agata Feltria (RN)
Rocca Fregoso © Davide Camporesi
Longiano (FC)
Longiano (FC)
Longiano dei Presepi
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Other unmissable locations

If these fascinating proposals are not enough for you and you want more, we also recommend:


Fanano is located at the foot of the biggest ski circuit of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, the one of Mount Cimone. It is a timelessly charming village, bound to the ancient traditions that you can still breathe by walking in the historical centre.

Every two years, it also hosts the suggestive representation of the Nativity and of the ancient crafts along the streets of the village (alternating with the Living Crib in Fiumalbo). Highly recommended!


Made of wood or stone, small or big, animated or still – every year the traditional nativity scenes flood the village of Longiano, located on the hills of Romagna (which was also honoured with the Orange Flag by Touring Club).

The result is a charming itinerary, which gets even more unique thanks to the Christmas lights and the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the place. Perfect for dreamers!


In the days before Christmas, Sant’Agata Feltria – known for the sale of truffles –  hosts the traditional national fair “Il Paese del Natale”.

The fair, which has become one of the most important winter events in central Italy, attracts thousands of visitors, who come here to discover its rich markets characterised by a fascinating atmosphere and ancient traditions. Only for real Christmas lovers!


Davide Marino

Davide Marino was born archaeologist but ended up doing other things. Rational – but not methodic, slow – but passionate. A young enthusiast with grey hair

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