The truly unmissable things to do and see only in Naples during the Christmas period, including folklore, traditions, gastronomy, art and culture!
Naples it is always splendid, at any time of the year, but during the Christmas holidays takes on a different charm that can make it more lively and animated, more suggestive and enchanting. With the approach of Christmas one has the feeling that among its streets it begins to hover a magical atmosphere, which also convinces its inhabitants, even the most cynical, to get lost among its alleys decorated and illuminated for the occasion, to want to rediscover aspects not yet known, to want to surrender to rituals and to respect some traditions that in Naples, for centuries, they are still sacred and precious.
As in the most beautiful cities in the world, also in Naples there are some unmissable things to do during Christmas, the habits to be repeated every year to be able to immerse yourself in the most perfect atmosphere of parties, customs to follow that belong exclusively to our city and that can not be found elsewhere, attractions to visit that, during the Christmas holidays, take a other meaning.
We suggest you what they are the most particular and characteristic things to do in Naples during Christmas and the truly unmissable things to fully experience the Christmas in Naples, Between folk events, special itineraries, cultural and artistic events, gastronomic specialities and much more!
- 1 San Gregorio Armeno, the street of the nativity scenes
- 2 The Cuciniello Presepe in San Martino
- 3 The Nutcracker at the Teatro San Carlo
- 4 The fish market of Porta Nolana
- 5 Fried pizza for 24 December lunch
- 6 The Cantata dei Pastori
- 7 Neapolitan bingo
- 8 The typical desserts of Christmas
- 9 The Christmas novelties of Leopoldo and Casa Infante
- 10 Christmas markets in castles and villages
San Gregorio Armeno, the street of the nativity scenes
Browse the pastors of San Gregorio Armeno, the street of the nativity scenes
San Gregorio Armeno it is the typical place of the Neapolitan Christmas par excellence, which makes our city the only one in the world to have a street entirely dedicated to Christmas and the art of nativity scenes.
Here, among the craft shops of cribs and shepherds that dot San Gregorio Armeno on both sides, one can know the secular Neapolitan tradition of the realization of the cribs and admire the creations made by the skilled hands of the artisans. Although there is an opportunity to experience it during all the other days of the year, it is especially during the Christmas holidays that this road unleashes its full magic.
Prepare to browse among hundreds of figurines of shepherds and classic characters of the Neapolitan nativity scene, cork and wooden houses, accessories, materials and tools to build your crib, but also stop to identify some "unconventional" shepherds. In fact, for many years, the custom of recreating famous people from television and cinema, from Donald Trump to Belen Rodriguez, from Michael Jackson to Bebe Vio, as well as figures typical of Neapolitan art and culture ( including Totò, Pino Daniele, Eduardo and Troisi).
profit / medium Via San Gregorio Armeno - 80138 Naples
The Cuciniello Presepe in San Martino
Be ecstatic in front of the most beautiful nativity scene in the world
If you are passionate about cribs know that in Naples there is the most beautiful creation in the world. To admire it, you must go to the Museum of the Certosa di San Martino, where you will remain literally entranced by the grandeur and magnificence of the Cuciniello Nativity.
It is an artistic work created between the 1887 and the 1889 from Michele Cuciniello, an eclectic Neapolitan architect full of interests who decided to donate his collection of eighteenth-century pastors (composed of 800 pieces!) to Demetrius Salazar, at the time director of the Museum of San Martino and a true lover of southern art. But Cuciniello established a condition: that he himself would build the entire scene of the nativity scene on which the shepherds would be placed.
Il Cuciniello Nativity that we can admire today is a "rock" on which a very suggestive light comes down from above illuminates the three traditional moments of the crib: the announcement to the shepherds, the Nativity and the tavern. Your eyes will be lost among the many shepherds, characters and details that make up this crib with a unique visual impact in the world and which will transmit you a Christmas spirit in the name of Neapolitan craftsmanship.
economic 081 2294502 Largo San Martino, 5 - 80129 Naples
The Nutcracker at the Teatro San Carlo
Experience the magic of the most beloved Christmas ballet in the world's oldest theater
The spirit of the Christmas in Naples it does not spread only through the streets and squares and is not expressed only through its gastronomic specialties, but also through art. If you are a theater lover and, in particular, classical ballet, we suggest an appointment not to be missed: The Nutcracker at the Teatro San Carlo.
It has now become a fixed annual appointment during the Christmas holidays, usually on stage on the days between Christmas and New Year, The Nutcracker at the Teatro San Carlo will give you the opportunity to experience two emotions in one: the magic of the Christmas ballet par excellence and the extraordinary beauty of the theater of the oldest opera in the world.
The famous notes de The Nutcracker, composed by the famous Tchaikovsky at the end of '800, will immerse you in a splendid fairy tale set just during Christmas Eve, when little Clara receives a nutcracker in the form of a soldier and, as if by magic, everything around her comes to life, in an incredible dream danced on two points. A show not to be missed in the setting of one of the most enchanting theaters that exist.
high Via San Carlo, 98 - Naples 081 7972331
The fish market of Porta Nolana
Get lost in the typical fish market of Porta Nolana nell'Antivigilia
Il Christmas Eve dinner, as everyone knows, is strictly fish and Neapolitan families indulge themselves by preparing many traditional dishes, such as spaghetti with clams, linguine with shrimp, fried shrimp and calamari and the inevitable capitone.
Fish, protagonist of these exquisite Christmas dishes, it must be absolutely fresh and there is a place in Naples where everyone goes to pick up freshly caught specialties: the fish market of Porta Nolana. The appointment is fixed every year during the night between the 23 and the 24 December, known as two days before, and is now a real ritual for all Neapolitans.
In the market of Porta Nolana you can experience the true popular atmosphere of Naples, among lights, noises, colors and characteristic perfumes, and you can spend the whole night buying fish specialties of all kinds, such as clams, calamari, cod, capitoni, telline, lupini, polyps and swordfish, arranged in their tanks as if they were works of art. A real pleasure for the eyes and for the palate.
profit / medium Piazza Nolana - 80142 Naples
Fried pizza for 24 December lunch
Eat the traditional fried pizza around Naples for the December 24 lunch
If you want to fully respect the Neapolitan Christmas tradition, it is not enough to have dinner of 24 December based on fish and the soup for lunch of 25. There is another ritual that should be absolutely honored: for the lunch of the 24 we eat fried pizza!
The reason? Paradoxically we eat fried pizza for lunch to keep "light" for the Christmas Eve dinner. But all the Neapolitans know well that a fried pizza, in addition to delighting the palate, also satisfies the stomach, and therefore this habit, which was born with the intention of being a light lunch and without too many courses in view of the "binges" of the evening and later lunch, it simply became a tradition to be respected according to precise rules.
According to this gluttonous custom fried pizza should be chosen or stuffed with escarole or with cicoli and ricotta and should be savored in a real one food tour between the friggitorie and pizzerias in the historic center. On all we suggest a stop from Fiorenzano alla Pignasecca, From Masardona in the Porta Nolana area, And Aunt Esterina Sorbillo in Trieste and Trento.
Fiorenzano economic 081 5520394 Piazza Montesanto, 6 - 80135 Naples | Antica Friggitoria Masardona economic 081 281057 Via Giulio Cesare Capaccio, 27 - 80142 Naples | Aunt Esterina Sorbillo economic 081 4421364 Piazza Trieste e Trento, 53 - 80132 Naples
The Cantata dei Pastori
Attending the famous Cantata dei Pastori in Neapolitan dialect
Another inevitable theatrical appointment with the Neapolitan Christmas tradition is that with The cantata of the shepherds. If you do not know it, we recommend you to see it, because it is one of the most represented shows during the Christmas period in Naples, both by artists of the caliber of Peppe Barra, which stages his Cantata dei Pastori for over forty years in Neapolitan dialect, both by young experimental and contemporary theater artists. This year we suggest you not to lose The Cantata dei Pastori by Peppe Barra at the Politeama Theater.
The Cantata dei Pastori It is a religious theatrical work of ancient origins and was written at the end of '600 by Andrea Perrucci, under the pseudonym of Ruggiero Casimiro Ugone. The plot tells the long story journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem and the obstacles that the Devils make to them to prevent the birth of Jesus. Obviously, the representation has a happy ending, because the Angels manage to defeat the Devils, and finally we can witness the adoration and celebration of the pastors who "sing" precisely the birth of Jesus.
To the most sacred characters of the story have been added, over the centuries, two of a comic and common nature: Razzullo, a scribe sent to Palestine for the census, and sarchiapone, a barber on the run for having committed two murders, which have made the work ever more profane and ironic.
Politeama medium / high 081 7645001 Via Monte di Dio, 80 - 80132 Naples
Play the original Christmas bingo, but with the original bingo!
In Naples, during the Christmas holidays, every occasion is the right one for play bingo, at home with relatives and friends. There Neapolitan tombola and the Christmas game par excellence but, even in this case, there are some very precise rules that every traditionalist knows.
The original bingo must necessarily be composed of: "Panariello" woven wicker (the one with the red base); the red numerals carved into a wooden cylinder; the cardboard folders, as well as the board. If you do not own an original Neapolitan bingo, better buy it in one of the craft shops in the historic center, like those in via San Biagio dei Librai, in via Bendetto Croce and also in san Gregorio Armeno. When playing bingo, in Naples one must respect the "Grimace", and each number extracted from the "panariello" must be matched with its meaning, which must be announced aloud and in the Neapolitan dialect. Better get prepared and start learning them all!
But if you want to live one different and original bingo we advise you to take part in one of the live shows related to the famous Neapolitan game, very common in the Spanish districts and in the most popular areas of the city. Usually every year at Port'Alba Theater is held Vajassa Tombola, a folk bingo in which a "femminiello" extracts the numbers combining more spicy and sexually suggestive meanings, inventing you on improvised stories.
Port'Alba Theater medium 081 5643978 Via Port'Alba, 30-80138 Naples
The typical desserts of Christmas
Struffoli, roccocò and cassatine: taste the typical sweets of Christmas in Naples
One can not think of living Naples without savoring his typical food, especially at Christmas. If every year you can not wait for the holidays to taste the sweets of the Neapolitan Christmas tradition, you will also know that our city is full of places where to find the best party specialties, like struffoli, roccocò, cassatine and mostaccioli.
Even if all the pastry shops and bars in Naples set their windows and counters of these goodies, it is better not to miss the best! Some examples? From Infante home they are found struffoli more good and original, the size you prefer, monoporzione and the very special black struffoli. For the Roccocoinstead, go to the Carraturo pastry, near Porta Capuana, where it seems that the recipe of these famous Neapolitan sweets is kept secret and that they are the best in the city. If, on the other hand, look for the best ones cassatine you will have to get away from Naples and reach San Giorgio a Cremano, near the famous one Sirica Pastry.
Infante home profit / medium 081 19303598 Via Benedetto Croce, 47 - 80134 Naples | Carraturo pastry profit / medium 081 5545364 Via Casanova, 97 - 80139 Naples | Sirica Pastry profit / medium 081 2551672 Via Francesco Cappiello, 55 - 80046 St. George a Cremano (Naples)
The Christmas novelties of Leopoldo and Casa Infante
Discover the new gourmet Christmas creations of Leopoldo and Casa Infante
Every year the pastry shop Leopold and the ice cream parlor Infante home they like to surprise his fans and his customers with some delicious Christmas creations under the banner of artisan inventiveness.
If you want to enjoy a Christmas special this year you can choose between different specialties, in perfect Christmas theme. The latest news is the Buccacciello with Panettone, a small jar containing an exquisite cream with a varietal panettone flavor with Australian sultanas, candied orange and panettone cubes on top. A unique and original greed to be enjoyed while walking through the streets of Naples!
If you are not satisfied you can choose among other delicious creations of Leopold e Infante home to surprise your family and friends at Christmas, like the Christmas tree of chocolate stuffed with the most popular creams, such as Pan di Stelle, Baiocchi and Oreo. Leopoldo is also famous for his panettone which, despite being some northern specialties, thanks to the craftsmanship of this family of Neapolitan confectioners, become exclusive and typical desserts of our territory, such as the panettone Vesuvio, with apricots and dark chocolate, and the panettone Munaciello, with drops of berries and dark chocolate 80%, cocoa bean grains, 80% dark chocolate glaze and natural cocoa beans.
cheap / medium 081 416161 Via Benedetto Croce, 30 / 31 - 80134 Naples | Via Vittoria Colonna, 46 / 47 80121 - Naples Via Toledo, 8 - 80134 Naples | Via Scarlatti, 168 - 80129 Naples
Christmas markets in castles and villages
Breathe the Christmas atmosphere in the castles and villages of our territory
If you feel that i Christmas markets are the most magical and evocative places in which to dive to breathe the true spirit of Christmas and you have the opportunity to move from Naples, we suggest places really lovely and not to be missed!
In the province of Naples and other beautiful places in Campania are set up every year markets in the villages and castles characteristic of our territory. The most fascinating are: i Christmas markets at the Castle of Limatola, in the province of Benevento but not far from Naples, where the atmosphere is really fairytale; the Christmas markets at the Castle of Ottaviano, at the foot of Vesuvius, considered the best flea market in Italy, with more than 100 stands of typical local products, gastronomic and artisanal, in addition to Christmas decorations, shows and plays of light.
We also report some Christmas markets in our wonderful typical villages, like the Christmas markets of Pietrelcina, the village that gave birth to Padre Pio in the province of Benevento, which is preparing for Christmas holidays, wooden houses where you can taste typical products and where you can browse through decorations and decorations, and Christmas markets of Cusano Mutri, also in the province of Benevento, in whose historic center a real Christmas village has been created.
Castle of Limatola economic Via Castello, 1 - 82030 Limatola (BN) | Octavian Castle economic Via Salita S. Michele - 80044 Ottaviano (NA) Mercatini di Pietrelcina economic Park Colesanti - 82020 Pietrelcina (BN) | Markets of Cusano Mutri economic Historic Center - 82033 Cusano Mutri (BN)