Christmas markets are a big deal in Europe, each country has their own version and Italy is no exception. Since we have our home base here now and only a 2.5 hrs drive from historic Rome we decided to finally check one out. I was so excited, the boys were mildly enthused as we set out last Thursday morning on our walking trek through downtown Rome in search of Piazza Navona. We have been there many times before but never during the time of year that would offer up the Christmas market. Luckily we were going to Rome anyway and did not plan an entire trip around the Christmas Market that was scheduled to be in Piazza Navona on Dec 8 - Jan 8, 2017.
No surprise, we got lost of course walking there which is a common problem in the historic section of Rome or any other section for that matter. With all the one way streets and crazy special permitted streets that we are still learning about. We try not to drive in Rome unless we absolutely have too. But if you must drive there here are some tips, click here. So we set out on foot but were coming from a different direction as we chose to stay in a hotel we had not used before. The 20 minute walk ended up being 45 minutes instead but we finally found it with some help from locals. The big surprise was when we finally did arrive the piazza was empty except for the normal beautiful fountains and statues that are always there. Even after checking the sign on the side of the building to be sure we were actually in the right place, and of course we were. FYI- we normally use the Hop on Hop off bus to get around any big city that we visit especially if we are new to the city and sometimes even if we are not, it's cheap and will get you to all the hot spots.
So after getting over the frustration that we were not going to see a Christmas Market I went into the local tourist office in the Piazza to inquire about the article that I had read saying the market would be there during that time. All three girls in the office started laughing at once with my question. When I asked what was so funny they replied with "we should just record this conversation so when the next tourist comes in we could just turn it on for them". So the gist of the whole embarrassing conversation was that, "yes the article was correct and yes the Christmas Market was suppose to be going on then and No I was not crazy". Good to know I am not crazy LOL although my family might disagree with them.
The girls went on to say the Christmas market is "JUST LATE" and I said "late so when is it coming?" they said "MAYBE SATURDAY, come back then to see". Unfortunately I then explained we would be gone by then, boo...so when in Italy just remember you have to go with the flow which means just because the sign on the door says they will be open from this time till this time it's merely a suggestion.
Of course since there is never a lack of things to see and do in Rome, we switched modes and after enjoying a very nice lunch in Piazza Campo di Fiori which is always busy with it's normal flower, food and leather daily market. We stopped into the Museo di Roma and enjoyed the art exhibit which now houses a new feature of electronic consoles with pictures and explanations of the city in general with the history as well. But don't let yourself get lost in the electronic's and miss out of the real art which has been around for 1000's of years and really takes no explanation to enjoy.
So maybe next year we will try to go to the Christmas Market again,
Susan, Rick and Justice