The atmosphere of Christmas on the shores of the lakes

Garda Trentino and Valsugana light up with lights and scents

The wait for Christmas evokes lights and scents, warm cabins and snow-capped peaks. In this article, however, we take you into a Christmas atmosphere, which has the lakes as a backdrop, that of Garda, but also the smaller ones of Toblino, Tenno, Santa Messere and Levico.

On these shores the Christmas markets follow one another, offering local specialities and many initiatives to keep the whole family happy.

2021_APTGARDADOLOMITI_Inverno_Riva | © Archivio Apt Garda

On Garda Trentino

In Riva del Garda and Arco

In the period preceding Christmas, the entire northern shore of Lake Garda, the one that bears the name of Garda Trentino, lights up and there is an air of festivity. If you arrive from western Gardesana, you will see a nativity scene on the shore: the bell tower of the church of Sant'Andrea, the houses, the lights and the large tree. It is Torbole, which participates, together with the other towns on the shore, in the great wait.

Continuing down the road along the coast towards Riva del Garda, you will seem to capture the same beauty that caught the eyes of Goethe, Mann and Kafka during their journeys on Lake Garda. The lights and decorations in Riva and Arco enchant everyone, especially the little ones at home. In the market stalls of Arco wooden statuettes, balls and tree decorations, lavender-scented cushions, and soaps, while on the stalls of Riva the protagonists are the local flavours with speck, cheeses , zelten Christmas cakes and strudel.

The Christmas atmosphere here is so real that it convinced Santa Claus to move and make his home right in the Fortress on the port of Riva. Children can enter, get to know it and lend a hand to the hard-working elves, who are busy reading letters and preparing gifts. Natalina welcomes the little helpers and prepares snacks for them of hot chocolate and biscuits.

But if you look up, on the Bastione di Riva you can see the House of the Grinch, the evil enemy of Christmas, who isn't that bad after all, given that he is ready to entertain the boys and girls who go up there with a nice show. .

2021_APTGARDADOLOMITI_Inverno_Canale | © Archivio Apt Garda

The markets in the villages of Canale di Tenno and Rango

The sparkle of Christmas also enchants the villages of Canale di Tenno, just above Riva del Garda, and Rango, thirty minutes by car from Riva. Both are part of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy and host two of the most famous Christmas markets in Trentino. Here everything is gathered together, between vaults and galleries, and peeking among these stalls is like going back to a distant time.


Christmas in Valle dei Laghi

The Christmas atmosphere continues in Garda Trentino, even in the part further north towards Trento, in the Valle dei Laghi, dotted with cellars and bodies of water as its name suggests. On Lake Toblino the castle recalls fairy-tale atmospheres, while Lake Santa Messere leads to the village which, in this period of the year, offers its visitors a widespread market, Vite di luce, which also includes various tastings of Vino Santo, Slow Food presidium, and grappa, excellent products of this valley. On the days of the Immaculate Conception, from 7 to 10 December, Santa Messere comes alive with the event "La Notte degli Alambicchi'": the voice of Patrizio Roversi accompanies the public in the five historic distilleries of the country.

If you choose one of the structures that join the Winter Project, the visit to the Garda Trentino Christmas Markets becomes even more interesting, because you will have a free drink of a typical dish or drink. We recommend the bro brusà or the polenta with milk soup.

Christmas on Garda Trentino

Discover all the dates
What to do at Christmas on the lakes of Trentino

In Valsugana

On the shores of the lake stands the town of Levico Terme, one of the main centers of Valsugana, the first Trentino valley to receive sustainability certification. Levico has a center that still preserves Nineteenth-century architecture, that of the Belle Époque, when nobles came here to take a break from court life. The main attraction of Levico is its hot springs, famous for the arsenical-ferruginous waters unique in Italy and well known in medicine.

During the Christmas period, the center hosts the Nativity in Piazza della Chiesa and the EncontrArte – Wood Sculpture Symposium and The Art of Ice – Ice Sculpture Symposium, where the hands of skilled sculptors work life-size statues are crafted on the spot.

In the Habsburg Park, a few steps from the center of Levico, the fragrant and flavourful wooden houses of the Markets make both grownups and children happy. A cup of mulled wine or a warm apple juice in your hand, your eyes full of lights and your heart full of joy.

What to do at Christmas on the lakes of Trentino

Perzenland & La Valle Incantata (The Enchanted Valley) is in Pergine, just under 10 minutes by car from Levico, and in its center you can find local artisans and artists, including from the Valle dei Mòcheni. All together they retrace the legend, the one according to which the Gnome Miners of the mines dug around Pergine descended into the valley, in the period before Advent, to sell games, decorations, sweets and handicraft products and celebrate together with the people of Pergine. 

The little ones will be the happiest, because in Gnomoland they will find workshops for writing letters to Santa Claus and building small handicraft products. They will also be able to see the Krampus and listen, around the tree, to the legends featuring the White Lady, a figure who has inhabited Pergine Castle for centuries.  

Christmas in Valsugana

discover all the dates
Published on 26/10/2023