Christmas Markets out of Rome – Viterbo

If you’re going to be in Rome or in Viterbo late November or December you might fancy a little Christmas cheer. In the countryside to the north of Rome, travelling approximately 90 minutes through outlying towns and villages you notice a much more festive atmosphere with the pretty village lights and the smell of wood smoke from medieval chimneys filling the air. 

We love these places – which can all be reached in the same day if you have you own vehicle, or by train from Rome (St. Peter’s or Valle Aurelia train stations) up to Viterbo. By car you can reach Santa’s Christmas Kingdom just outside of Vetralla, where children can write a letter to Santa, meet some of the elves and maybe even sit on Santa’s knee, visit the grottoes full of Christmas decorations and gifts. The quality is good and the atmosphere very Christmassy. There are a few stalls where you can try and buy from one of the territories hazelnut & chocolate factories, who make special edition chocolates for Christmas. Free entry.

Then, not to be missed would be the magical Christmas Village & Nativity, which is a large affair as it is all set in Viterbo’s Medieval Quarter which is the largest surviving example of Medieval architecture in Europe and the nativity is hailed as the largest in the world. There are many attractions for all ages and in particular for the parents you can try the delicious vin brulé (warm spiced red wine) and purchase food and snacks from various wooden kiosks or take something home from one of the local artisan craft stalls. Tickets required but no time limit as to how long you want to stay (you can pay in cash upon arrival). On account of the time of year we suggest a hearty lunch in Viterbo, which has many delicious options.​

Il Regno di Babbo Natale (Santa’s Christmas Kingdom), S.S. Cassia Km 62.200

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Haute Cuisine out of Rome

Haute Cuisine, or in Italian ‘Alta Cucina‘ can be found in the provinces around Rome, in the Lazio region, but some are easier to stumble upon than others. However, when it comes to winkling-out great food, I am like a pig with truffles – I seem to have a natural instinct for these things! And apart from the food having to be good I also take into account attractiveness, ambience and service. Continue reading “Haute Cuisine out of Rome”

Spring into Summer

Finally the sun has appeared! It’s March and will soon be time to set the clocks forward! Spring is a wonderful time to visit Italy. It’s quieter, the temperature is perfect for sightseeing on foot – and you start to feel that wonderful atmosphere of anticipation for when we can all escape the city at weekends and enjoy “La Dolce Vita” as the Italians do. It might not quite be the same as it was for Fellini but Italian habits die hard. Continue reading “Spring into Summer”