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Christmas Market, Piazza Navona

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 | 14 comments

Here are the rest of my photos from the Christmas Market in Piazza Navona. The market always brings back good memories for me, as I remember coming here when I was a student studying in Padova. That trip to Rome was the first time I thought about moving here, and several years later it actually happened. The piazza was crowded with people because it was the holiday weekend. You’ll see the ciambella cart, which is a classic. A ciambella is essentially a gigantic sugar donut which is then pressed in a panino press to make it hot. You can even have it slathered with nutella. Looking at the photo now it’s a bit funny because the crowd looks like it’s about to kill that poor guy trying to serve them as fast as he can.

I find that around the holidays candy is always found. Take note of the cart full of sweets, which are always rolled out during the holidays. Funny to think that this type of candy by the pound store is something found in most malls in the US, but here it’s more reserved for the holidays. There is also the beautiful carousel which is brought out every year. As Arlene points out in her blog, it was built in Germany at the end of the 19th century.

And lastly, the puppets! This booth is always here and they have everything from classic commedia dell’arte characters to Bart Simpson. Very much ala’ Punch and Judy.


  1. Those are colouful photos,Beautiful.

  2. That is something I’ve always loved about the old countries .. the festive mood you find everywhere. You just don’t get the same feeling over here in the US. Looking forward to more of your posts.

  3. Great photos.

    That poor guy. I could use a ciambella right now but I don’t feel like walking the five blocks in the rain. sad. (or it’s a good thing for my waistline).

    Thanks for the shout out.

  4. Snap – It’s funny though, because it’s a different kind of festive. In some ways, because xmas is less commercialized here, it actually doesn’t even feel like Christmas. You go around the city and I don’t get the same Christmas atmosphere that I do at home with all the lights etc. I spent Christmas here a few years ago and that was the thing that struck me most.

    NYC – You could always wait for a break in the rain and then make a mad dash! I feel bad for those guys though, especially out in this weather!

  5. Love these photos! I wish I was there!!

  6. Very colourful photos! The last one reminds me of something I shot with lots of masks. You can check it if you like on my travel blog under Guatemala on labels.

  7. JM – I checked them out, beautiful photos and I can see what you’re talking about with the masks. Love all the colorful textiles.

  8. I’m jealous-it all looks so inviting-great color in your photos. I too feel bad for the guy selling ciambellas-

  9. Thank you. Yeah, poor ciambella man 🙁

  10. Love the photo of the puppets.

  11. bellissime :-))))))

  12. Great shots! This market was great! I had one of those donuts with nutella. Then I went over to Blue Ice near Campo di Fiore and had some gelato. We needed to take a long walk that night after all the sweets.

  13. Hi Jessica,
    I love the Christmas Market and have headed there more than once in both of my last trips to Rome. That’s why when I come back again it will be in late November to mid December again–unfortunately not until 2010 instead of original plan of 2009, thanks to stock market, where I have my bit of travel money.
    Buon Natale–a bit late or a bit early,

  14. I agree on what you say about the festive mood. But now with a child in my life, I HAVE to bring the Xmas spirit on, if only to reduce the commercial side and make him feel the real Natale.

    The images of Piazza Navona are beautiful, but the merry-go-round night shot is stunning.


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