For a few years now, as is tradition, our little girls and I have been looking for little places to relive the Christmas atmosphere.
The Magical Christmas Village of Govone is one of them.
Here you can breathe in the true magic of Christmas, thanks to Father Christmas’s House and the School of Elves, and the evocative themed decorations and illuminations.
But let’s proceed in order.
What is the Magic Christmas Village?
The Magical Christmas Village is an event involving Govone, Asti and San Damiano d’Asti, in the area between the Langhe and Monferrato.
For the past couple of years, Christmas markets with wonderful handicrafts have been hosted in the historical centre of Asti.
The Castle of Govone, on the other hand, hosts the musical show where, in a fairytale setting, one goes in search of Father Christmas.
San Damiano d’Asti, finally, is transformed into an enchanting living Nativity scene.
Christmas in Govone: dates 2023
The Magical Christmas Village of Govone goes on stage on 18 November 2023 and continues every weekend until 17 December 2023.
Opening hours are 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
How to get there and where to park in Govone
Govone offers some free parking areas (few).
Alternatively, you can leave your car in the designated areas and take the shuttle bus (both free).
If you have a pram, you can easily load it onto the bus.
The last option, is to park shortly after the point where the shuttle passes, and walk up.
The walk is short (it is about 300 metres) but the road is all uphill.
In any case, don’t worry because the police will show you what to do.
Shuttle service from Asti
For those who want to reach Govone from Asti on the occasion of the Magical Christmas Village, there is a shuttle service, the cost of which is €3.40 for a one-way ticket.
It can be purchased directly on board the bus (or on the Trenitalia website).
Address: Movicentro autostazione piazzale Medaglie d’Oro (Asti).
Departure times: one run every hour from 09:20 until 17:20.
The Magic Christmas Village of Govone: Father Christmas’s House
The show La Casa di Babbo Natale (Father Christmas’s House) is an itinerant route in which adults and children move from room to room, accompanied by elves.
Scenography, as well as the acting, is very engaging and at the end there will be a meeting with none other than Father Christmas!
If you are interested, you can have a souvenir photo taken and buy it in the first wooden playhouse that you will find on your way out, at a cost of €7.90.
The Father Christmas House is housed in the rooms of Govone Castle and lasts 25 minutes. You enter through the main entrance.
Prams, for reasons of space, must be left outside.
Dogs are permitted if kept on a leash.
Entrance is only possible with an entrance ticket.
Cost of admission to the Father Christmas House
The cost of the admission ticket is €10.00 for adults and €8.00 for children aged between 3 and 10. Free for children under the age of 3.
I recommend purchasing it in advance on the official website in order to reserve your place.
On the website, the price is lower than what you buy at the ticket office, but you have to add the pre-sale cost so you will end up paying the same.
Father Christmas House hours
Santa’s House is open from 10:00 to 19:00 (with a stop for lunch break from 13:00 to 14:00) and you can enter every 15 minutes until 18:45.
The Magic Christmas Village of Govone: The School of Elves
The School of the Elves is a team competition (parents can also participate) with the aim of proving who is most skilled at being Santa’s elf.
At the end, each child can be awarded the diploma of apprentice Christmas Elf!
The Elf School is set up inside the La Serra multi-purpose hall in Govone, a stone’s throw from the Castle.
To get there, follow the signs with the elves.
You can enter with pushchairs and also with dogs, if kept on a leash.
The game lasts 25 minutes and, here too, you can only enter if you have a ticket.
Opening hours of the Elf School
The Elf School is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (with a lunch break from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.) and you can enter every hour until 6 p.m.
Cost of the Elf School ticket
The cost of the ticket is €7.00, from 4 years of age.
This ticket can also be purchased directly on the official website.
The Castle of Govone: Christmas at the House of Savoy
On the occasion of the Magical Land of Christmas, the main floor of the Royal Castle of Govone opens its doors to visitors with the exhibition Christmas at the House of Savoy.
The visit inside the Castle of Govone, is an itinerant route through the rooms where valuable objects relating to the Savoy Christmas traditions of the past and present are on display.
The visit lasts about 25 minutes and is mainly suitable for adults.
Prams are not allowed.
Dogs are allowed, but only if small and kept in a pet carrier.
Timetable of the Christmas Exhibition at the Savoy House
The Christmas Exhibition at the Savoy House is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (with a stop for lunch break from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.) and you can enter every 15 minutes until 6.45 p.m.
Costs of the Christmas Exhibition at the Savoy House
The cost of the ticket is €8.00, from 11 years of age.
This can also be purchased on the official website.
Govone Christmas markets: where to eat
Although most of the markets have been moved to Asti, you can also find some Christmas markets in Govone .
The characteristic little wooden houses sell Christmas gifts and street food.
The hot apple fritters are very good!
Price is medium-high: a small bag of pancakes costs €4.00, a helium balloon €8.00!
If you want to warm up while waiting to enter Father Christmas, there are several bars where you can sit and have a warm drink.
Where to sleep in Govone
Ca‘ Colomba – Agriturismo wonderfully located in the middle of vineyards, 10 minutes’ drive from Govone.
Swimming pool, parking and excellent breakfast included in the price – Book here.
The Magic Christmas Village in San Damiano d’Asti and the living crib
On 3, 8 and 10 December 2023, the historic centre of San Damiano d’Asti, a small village located about 10 kilometres from Govone and 16 kilometres from Asti, re-enacts the Nativity with the Living Crib.
Along the streets, one can encounter almost 100 figurants dressed in period costumes with the intention of re-enacting ancient crafts.
Among others, one will find craftsmen, merchants, washerwomen, blacksmiths, shepherds with their flocks, centurions, bakers, priests, etc.
On the occasion of the Magical Christmas Village, the underground part of the Church of the Dottrinari Fathers will be opened.
Visitors will be able to admire the vaulted ceilings, the ancient well, the icebox and the display of tableaux vivants from the Jewish tradition.
The Magic Christmas Village in Asti with the Christmas Markets
We have also been to the Asti markets and loved them.
With more than a hundred stands, the one in Asti is one of the biggest Christmas markets in Italy as well as being in the top ten best markets in Europe, according to the European Best Destinations ranking.
If we have intrigued you, you can read more about the Asti markets by clicking here.
Christmas in Govone: conclusions
The Christmas decorations are very nice and the Castle of Govone dominates the surrounding area from above, in a truly evocative position.
As for prices, let’s do the maths.
A family with two children can spend just under €40.00 for the musical show.
This figure doubles if they enter the Casa degli Elfi and triples if they also visit Govone Castle.
Admission to the shows is not cheap, therefore.
That said, Govone’s Magical Christmas Village is truly something sensational for children.
We saw the amazement in our daughters (aged 2 and 4) and in the eyes of the other children present (also much older) so, all in all, it is well worth a visit.
Remember to bring your letter for Father Christmas for the kids to post in the letterbox!