Every year I get more and more excited as Christmas approaches. It’s just that feeling you get as people whisk through the street in the crisp air with their shopping bags and smiles on their faces. It’s really the build up to Christmas that I love. The gorgeous decorations that fill your city’s streets and the insides of your home, the Christmas music playing that can be heard from restaurants and bars as you pass by, and all the chocolate and christmas treats you wait all year for that are very specific to the season.
I’m all about tradition and since living in Italy, it seems as though I could be loaded with them. With a tradition for just about everything. there is definitely one tradition that I feel particularly lucky to be a part of. Every year in Florence for Christmas the well-known German Christmas Market in Piazza Santa Croce, also known as the Heidelberg Market, comes to the city and dresses up the square brilliantly. The wooden stands are set up with their red and white striped covers displaying all the wonderful goods they’re selling. This German market brings brings loads of German Christmas confectionaries, wurstel, strudel, and my favortie, vin brulee (hot mulled wine). Beyond the stands with traditional German food, there are handmade toys, traditional ceramics, and articles of clothing and accessories to make the winter weather a little easier to enjoy.
I spent part of my day at the picturesque market and enjoyed all it had to offer. I set off from home bundled up to the brim and headed out towards Santa Croce. Within 15 minutes I was in the midst of the market shopping and searching for goodies to buy. My first stop obviously being the vin brulee, I mean a girls got to stay warm in this weather afterall. So while I delightfully sipped (or guzzled depending on your interpretation) my hot spiced wine, I browsed the stands, one by one. I ate the traditional wurstel with sauerkraut and bought a pretzel for later in the day. After I was properly stuffed with delicious food I bought a few Christmas gifts, most of which were handmade.
The Christmas market is always something to look forward and feels even more whimsical by night, lit up to the tee. So if you’re in town, come celebrate, stroll by the market and find me hanging close to the mulled wine.