Christmas markets through San Candido, Innsbruck and Monaco
Planning the great escape
View from Monte Elmo
If someone does not know, northern Italy, Austria and Germany are famous, during Christmas period, for their theme markets, where you can find a lot of different typical food and particular Christmas presents. The atmosphere is very joyful and unique, red, green and white are dominant colors and make you feel the happiness of Christmas time. So under the desire of feeling part of this joy, we began to organize an escape-weekend to visit the markets. We did not want to lose any of those beautiful experiences, so we organized very rich schedule. The adventure began in the middle of a Friday night: we left Bologna at 2 a.m. in order to be in Innsbruck in early morning, have enough time to visit it, reach Monaco in afternoon, visit the markets, sleep there and then, the day after, leave for San Candido. I understand that this could sound a little bit crazy, in fact I suggest you to visit the same places slowly to enjoy them completely, but still, if you are crazy as much as we are (and you do not have much time), this “squeezed” experience will be unique!
As I said before, we arrived in Innsbruck in early morning so we could admire how the city wakes up, we reached a very cute café were we had breakfast and there, we waited. Slowly every shop began to open, so we went out to explore.
We visited the markets but without forgetting some of the typical places of Innsbruck, as Goldenes Dachl, Palais Trapp and the Inn’s bridge. It was very cold so I suggest to bring with you proper clothing, however, even if in early morning weather didn’t seem good, at 10 a.m. sun suddenly began to shine, and the climate became more temperate. Unfortunately, we arrived there too early to find open all the markets, but still, we enjoyed the city from a particular point of view.
If we were enough lucky with the traffic on the way of Innsbruck, the road to Monaco was not that merciful. Our schedule shifted of two hours, and we arrived in Monaco in late afternoon, but at least the landscape from the car was always interesting: typical mountain houses, trees and snow everywhere!
On the road to Monaco
Once arrived in Monaco, we decide to recover in the hotel for some hours and visit the city after dinner. We ate in a typical alehouse with pretzel, sausages and beers, and then, we went to explore the city and the last open markets. We were too tired to enjoy the nightlife of Monaco, but we saw Marienplatz, the Hofbräuhaus, the Frauenkirche and some other typical places, very picturesque in the dark!
I suggest you to try ice-skating, because we saw a very beautiful skating track in the center of Monaco that we wanted to try, but the closing hour was near so we could not, however it seemed very Christmassy with all the lights and the wood structure around it. I am sure that this city needs a lot of more time to be visited, I felt that we really lost a lot of interesting things, but I am planning to go there again soon to see more of it.
On the road to San Candido
I think that this was the best choice of the whole trip: avoiding the highway and doing the mountain roads to reach San Candido and come back in Italy! I will show you some of the beautiful landscape that we saw!
Road to San Candido
I made a lot of photos and videos of this road because I think it is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen in my life; I think that soon I will do a video of the all clips I took because it is worth to be seen.
San Candido, Italy
Once arrived in San Candido, we decided to eat something in a mountain retreat, so we took a cableway that brought us on the top of Monte Elmo. The landscape was astonishing, all mountains around us, with a breathtaking sunset… I suggest to try this experience to everyone.
Finally, in late afternoon, we decided to visit the Christmas markets, this time we could visit them properly, the atmosphere was so joyful and we bought a lot of typical presents and drank vin brulè with sweets. Everything was perfect and romantic, I really enjoyed this experience.
Time to go home
Unfortunately, this experience came to the end quickly, we saw a lot of different places in a very short time, but I appreciated it. Of course I would like to see them again, to feel more that Christmas joy, but there will be occasion in future, I do not doubt that. In all these cities there are a lot of particular events related to Christmas and I am sure you could enjoy them one by one in different moments. In Innsbruck you could try one of the forty snowshoe pathway, in Monaco you could visit one of the countless museums and in San Candido you could try one of the most beautiful ski area! I recommend to not forget the food! A lot of particular dishes, special sausages, pretzel, vin brulè, and more. I suggest to try one of the many mountain retreats to eat, it is always a good choice, Monte Elmo one is self-service, but the quality is still high, however, if you prefer, “Jagerhutte, baita del cacciatore” is one of the top rated of the hamlet. It will conquer you with strudel, mushrooms, wurstels and much more… But before you have to reach it with a beautiful walk! And please, do not forget to drink the cream bombardino, because after that shot every climb will seem a walk.
Me and my friends
Maybe I love mountains and Christmas too much and this article is biased, but I count the days until December to enjoy these moments again!