Dream Holiday Destinations: Italy

If I win the lottery….it’s a conversation most of us have had at some point. “If I win the lottery, I’m going to travel.” The destinations vary from lounging on the beach for weeks to hiking through the jungle to taking a safari. The more outlandish they are, the more fun it can be to imagine actually being able to do it.

While those destinations may not be doable without winning the lottery or a large savings account, there are a lot of other wonderful places you can visit throughout the world that still require planning but are much more realistic. One of them is Italy, and there’s no better time of year to visit than during the holidays. Italy at Christmas truly can be a dream holiday destination.

Here are a few reasons why you should visit Italy throughout the holiday season.

On December 8, many Italians celebrate Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception. This means masses in churches and festivals around the country. The festivals include parades, feasts and music, and in some areas, bonfires and larger celebrations. How cool would it be to experience an entirely different culture on such an important day?

Trivia: Did you know, the word for “Christmas” in Italian is “Natale.” You’ll hear it a lot in Italy over the next couple of months!

Nativity scenes are everywhere. Some are even living nativities. Can you imagine seeing something so real and beautiful in person? Naples is essentially the biggest collection of nativity scenes, but they are literally everywhere.

Trivia: Nativities in Italy are called “presepe” or “presepio.” They started with St. Francis of Assisi back in 1223.

Christmas Mass in St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice is a must-see. You won’t ever forget this once-in-a-lifetime special celebration of this beautiful holiday.

Skiing: most people don’t think of Italy as being a ski holiday, but there are many options. Cormayeur is a traditional Alpine village that will give you the full Italian ski experience. The Dolomites offers ski resorts as does the Milky Way, a series of six Italian ski resorts.

Trivia: Christmas in Italy is not just on December 25. The holiday is celebrated from December 24 through January 6, which is the Day of Epiphany. (That gives you additional travel time!)

If you are visiting Murano, you won’t want to miss the world’s tallest glass Christmas tree.

The Pope leads a Christmas mass in Rome at the Vatican that is publicized worldwide, but being there in person is an amazing experience. Rome is full of beautiful things to see during the holidays, from Christmas trees at the Coliseum to the Christmas market at the Piazza Navona. (There is no shortage of outdoor markets in Italy but this one is at the top of the list.)

A visit to Venice at the holidays could be cold, but picture snow falling on the canals during a ride. Magical, right?

Wherever you visit, be sure to enjoy traditional Italian foods meant for holiday feasts, including the panettone. Unlike what you see in stateside stores, it’s truly a treat to try at least once in its place of origin. Shop to your heart’s content and walk through towns with snow falling around Christmas lights. Your trip to Italy will really be a dream holiday destination, and with our 20 locations scattered throughout the country, Fox can save you money on your rental car. This will leave you more money for the rest of your travel. Book with Fox in Rome, Venice or any of the 18 other cities and get the vehicle you need to travel through Italy in style.