Mercatini di Natale, or Christmas markets, are an import from northern Italy but Umbria – which remains deeply tied to its history of small farms and artisan workshops – has embraced the traditional wholeheartedly. The Italians call them “Mercatino delle Strenne”. The word “strenna” is a gift you give or recieve during the Christmas. It stems from a tradition from ancient Rome in which you exchange presents during the Saturnalia in honor of the God Saturn before the day of Natalis Solis Invicti.
The Christmas market in Perugia is set in the atmospheric basement of the Rocca Paolina, where every stone and brick tells us about the history of Perugia.
Founded in the sixteenth century by order of Pope Paul III , this impressive fortress which today retains the perhaps less noble but certainly impressive, was at the center of events in the city for many centuries and may therefore be justly regarded as one of the landmarks of Perugia.
His immense spaces , sometimes indecipherable result of the overlap between the ancient and medieval quarters imposing Renaissance structures , produce a surreal effect where time seems suspended.
Only reopened in the 70s to accommodate a modern route of escalators which currently connects the modern part and the old town of the city, Rocca Paolina hosts events throughout the year in various types, which is ideally close with the exhibition – Christmas market, NATALE ALLA ROCCA.
From December 6 to January 6, take a walk in the shopping – ancient market of Perugia, taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity to visit the artistic wonders of the city starting from the Rocca Paolina.
Holiday shoppers can find silk scarves, little troll figurines, ornaments, a small selection of food for purchase, and a number of a handmade crafts from local Umbrian artists.If you’re looking for a last-minute, not-so-expensive gift, this market could be the perfect spot for you.