The Christmas Market

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In Italy, but also in many other countries around Europe there is a wonderful tradition. A tradition to create a small, yet magical village of shops and attractions in the square of the local town centre. I say magical as these shops are made of wood, giving the feeling of being in the middle of a mountain village. Although you can’t walk inside these shops, so they are more like a market stall with more protection from the cold and the rain.

The first hut I come to is different from all the others in that it has been painted an incredibly vibrant shade of violet. This is due to the fact that it sells products which originate from the lavender plant.

Oh! What a wonderful fragrance it emits, teasing your senses as you draw closer. However, I continue to stroll through the market and stop at another wonderful stall. The products on sale here are all made of wool. They offer slippers, hats, blankets, a scarf with your name on it, a pair of gloves with the possibility to reveal your index finger. Sending a text message while out in the cold no requires the removal of your gloves.

Passing on to the next stall once again intimidates my taste buds. This time a savoury fragrance entices me to approach the stall. I am greeted with an energetic smile and the offer to try one of around eight different selections of salami meat. Some with wine, some from donkey or wild boar. The taste is very rich, though succulent. Winning my tastebuds instantly, I delve into my pocket and pay the man, going on my way once more.

The next stall I come across was a cheese stall. The smell of mature cheese is so strong it almost seems to burn my nostrils. Another sample is offered to me, though this time I don’t part with my cash.

I come to the mulled wine stall now and immediately ordered a cup. On a cold wintery night there is nothing better than warm wine with spices to starve off the cold.

As I continue to walk around I notice a wonderful atmosphere in the air created by the sellers, the fragrances, the children laughing as they ice-skate around the rink. It is a beautiful scene which does wonders for the community spirit. Something every town should have.

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