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Christmas in Genoa: dates 2023


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Like every year, Genoa is preparing to welcome Christmas with illuminations, themed decorations, markets, and many other novelties.

Let us see all the events in detail, with the dates updated to 2023.

Christmas in Genoa: dates 2023

Father Christmas comes to town

Christmas in Genoa 2023

This is no joke! Father Christmas will arrive in Genoa this year on a sleigh pulled by his elf helper.

His goal is to dispense lots of candy to young and old, and to take souvenir photos together with his little admirers.

There will also be Christmas readings and many other surprises!

Below are the routes of Santa’s sleigh:

Saturday 2 December : in the city centre, from 3.30 pm.
Father Christmas departs from Piazza Fontane Marose, arrives in Piazza De Ferrari, and goes down Via XX Settembre before returning.

Sunday 3 December : Porto Antico, from 3.30pm.
Father Christmas leaves from Piazza Caricamento, arrives at the Magazzini del Cotone, and returns.

Monday 4 December: Piazza Martinez, from 4pm.
Father Christmas will be in and around Piazza Martinez to read a book together with the children.

Christmas markets

Christmas markets are located in various parts of the city and the historic centre of Genoa.

Below you will find the locations and dates updated to 2023.

St Nicholas’ market

san nicola
Christmas in Genoa 2023
Christmas in Genoa 2023

The San Nicola market is the oldest Christmas market in the city, established in 1989.

You can find many stalls where you can buy gift ideas, local products and handicrafts.

Perhaps not everyone knows that the St Nicholas market was created for charity.

The more than 70 Genoese associations present at the market will be able to finance their activities thanks to the proceeds of sales.

This could be a good incentive to buy Christmas presents for friends and relatives here.

The three projects that will be financed are: assistance to the families of patients at the Gaslini Children’s Hospital by the Band degli Orsi; Experimental Gardens for Genoese schools by Helpcode, and Il filo, a support for families in difficulty by theAssociazione Sei.

Moreover, as every year, at San Nicola you can find the Nativity scene corner and the Nativity recreated in the stable with animals from the Fattoria Didattica di Tiglieto.

For children there are workshops on Thursday 7 December, and on Saturdays 9, 16 and 23 December.

St Nicholas’ Market: where

In Genoa in Piazza Piccapietra. The market is indoor.

St Nicholas’ Market: when

From Friday 1st December to Saturday 23rd December 2023.

Christmas Fair

fiera di natale genoa

At the Christmas Fair, in addition to little presents – Christmas-themed and otherwise – to buy for Christmas, you can find many other objects and furnishings, such as balls to decorate the tree, characters for the nativity scene, illuminations, paper for wrapping presents, cards, etc.

There are also stands selling clothing, and stands selling food and wine.

Christmas Fair: where

In Genoa in Piazza della Vittoria. The market is indoor.

Christmas Fair: when

From Saturday 2nd December to Sunday 24th December 2023 (some stands until Epiphany).

Mercatale: the Christmas Village

The Mercatale, or ‘Christmas Village’, is characterised by the typical wooden huts, festively decorated.

Here, too, food products alternate with clothing and handicrafts.

Mercatale: where

In Piazza de Ferrari around the fountain. The market is outdoors.

Mercatale: when

From Friday 8th December to Sunday 24th December 2023.

Market in piazza Matteotti

Also in Piazza Matteotti you can find the characteristic little wooden houses selling handicrafts and food and wine products, clothing and other gift ideas.


In Piazza Matteotti, opposite the main entrance to the Ducal Palace. The market is outdoors.


From Saturday 2 December to Sunday 24 December 2023 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Also in Piazza Matteotti, from 26 December 2023 to 7 January 2024, you can find the Befana Market.

Market in Soziglia

The historic market between Campetto and Soziglia returns again this year.

Mostly handicraft creations can be found.

Market in Soziglia: where

Campetto and Piazza Soziglia, in the historical centre. The market is outdoors.

Market in Soziglia: when

From Friday 8 December to Sunday 24 December 2023.

Christmas Cairol’s

mercatino di via cairoli

Finally, in Via Cairoli you will find Christmas Cairol‘s, created to enhance the streets of the historic centre, which displays quality handicrafts.

Christmas Cairol’s: when

Saturday 2, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 December 2023.

The Genoa Crib Passport

On the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the Greccio Crib, the first depiction of the Nativity created by Saint Francis, the Crib Passport is born, a beautiful initiative promoted by the City of Genoa that encourages Genoese and tourists to visit the numerous cribs set up in the city.

The initiative consists in visiting the cribs located in the city’s various churches or museums and getting a stamp certifying the visit.

On 4.02.2024, you can take part in the competition in which those with the most stamps in their passport will be rewarded.

You can look at the participating cribs here.

In the centre of Genoa you will certainly find the nativity scene in the Cathedral of San Lorenzo (from 8 December 2023 to 7 January 2024, time to get stamped 8:00-12:00/15:00-19:00).

The nativity scenes in Palazzo Rosso (Strada Nuova Museum Bookshop, from 7 December to 18 February – upon payment of the museum ticket.

Hours for getting stamped 9:30am-6:30pm, closed Mondays).

The St. Matthew’ s Crib (from 8 December 2023 to 17 January 2024, hours to get stamped weekdays: 10 a.m.-12 p.m. 3 p.m.-7 p.m. – except Monday mornings; public holidays: 9.30 a.m.-12 p.m.).

And finally, the nativity scene in the St. Nicholas Market (1 December to 23 December 2023, opening times 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.).

The Book Fair

Christmas in Genoa 2023

Like every year, Galleria Mazzini hosts the Book Fair, now in its 97th edition.

The Fair dates back to 1926 and hosts books of all kinds (novels, classics, science fiction, children’s books..), CDs, DVDs, vinyls, and vintage and modern prints.

In short, lots of nice Christmas ideas for reading enthusiasts.

Book Fair: where

In Galleria Mazzini. The fair is indoors.

Book Fair: when

From Friday 1 December 2023 to Sunday 7 January 2024 with opening hours 9:00 – 19:30.

The Book Fair is closed on 25 December 2023 and 1 January 2024.

The Father Christmas Walk

Now in its 7th edition, the Camminata dei Babbi Natale (Father Christmas Walk) in favour of the Gaslini Hospital, is a non-competitive walk established for charity purposes.

The walk, accompanied by a band, is 2.5 kilometres long and is suitable for the whole family.

The registration fee is €15.00 with a Father Christmas costume (which stays with you) and gadgets from the sponsors, or €10.00 if you already have the costume.
Children aged between 0 and 5 years participate free of charge.

To pick up your costume (unisex and one size fits all), you must go to the My Trekking office in Piazza Piccapietra 85 from 9.00 am.

Father Christmas Walk: where

Piazza De Ferrari, strictly dressed as Father Christmas.

Father Christmas Walk: when

Saturday 23 December at 10.30 am.

Lighting of the Christmas Tree

As per tradition, on 8 December, on the occasion of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Christmas Tree will be lit in the picturesque Piazza De Ferrari.

Below is the programme of the Christmas Show.

16:00 Snack with focaccia and Christmas cakes.

17.00 White Voices Choir and lighting of the square with Christmas lights.

17.30 Christmas Show. An enthralling show, accompanied by the most famous Christmas songs.

18.00 Lighting of the Tree.

18.30 Gospel Choir.

Continue reading:

1. The Magic Christmas Village of Govone

2. The Markets of Asti

3. Christmas in Grazzano Visconti

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