travel diaries: italy [bolzano]



deck the halls with boughs of holly! fa la la la la la la la la la … christmas markets make me jolly! fa la la la la la la la la…. wait?
another weekend, another christmas market!  we are seriously squeezing in as many as we can this last christmas in italy!  sad to stay, but this is probably the last one this christmas.

on saturday, we road-tripped up to bolzano with some friends for the day. we arrived mid-morning around 10:30am, and started our day in a small park with a carousel and mini ice-skating rink.  the rink was so cute, and they had these little bears that you can use for little ones to sit on or push for practice when skating. maybe next year when holden is a little bigger we can try ice-skating in colorado!
once we figured out the right direction, we made our way to the town center where many of the booths were set up. people were flooding in in all directions. the bolzano market is supposedly the largest christmas market in italy.  i will definitely give credit it being large! we walked for quite while that day.  we meandered through the crowd in the centro checking out all they had to offer. we had a little vin brulè to warm us up as we walked. most christmas markets have very similar items for sale, so we knew what to expect. we found ornaments, soaps, candles, toys, hanging gnomes, jewelry, leather goods, woolen goods, and food/beverage.  considering these trips to markets are mostly to appease me, matt enjoys a good pretzel and beer when he can find one while we walk. it’s a win-win situation!  after checking out the town center, we wandered down some side streets full of vendors. we stumbled on a woman with four miniature horses offering five euro rides in a small circle for children. it reminded me of my childhood. [i had a miniature horse named wildfire. shes was the cutest!] down the streets we made our way through the produce vendors [christmas orange! chestnuts for roasting!], floral vendors [fresh floral wreaths!], and onto the shopping area of bolzano. unfortunately, around lunch time holden became ill with an upset stomach.  we stopped into the closest farmacia, and they provided us with a seltzer powder to ease his tummy troubles. by this point we were all so hungry for lunch, and we needed to find a place to thaw out from the cold and relax. we happened to find a perfect hotel restaurant (stadt hotel città on the main piazza, Piazza Walther von Vogelweide, bolzano’s main square named after the famous medieval troubadour.) that could fit our strollers. that is definitely a problem that we always run into. restaurants should advertise, “we fit strollers!” ha!  we could tell that holden was starting to feel better, and that his tummy complaints had decreased. we spent the end of the afternoon listening to carolers and drinking succo di mela calda con rum [hot apple cider with rum, vin brulè bianco, and we even tried some cioccolata calda [italy’s version of hot chocolate is not at all like american hot chocolate — more like hot pudding.]  the sun was beginning to set>> which is like 4:30pm here!>> and the chill beginning to rise  so we decided to head back home.  despite deanie not feeling well it turned out to be a pretty good day.

until we almost ran out of gas on the autostrada because italy. allora. how many miles apart can they put gas stations? too many.  when your options are limited to one company that is…





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