Candelara – Christmas Markets in Italy

Candelara Mercatino Natalizio – Marche 2016


  • Dates  26-27 Nov. 3-4 Dec. 8-9-10 -11 Dec.  2016
    Times : 10:00 – 22:00

Three weekends of the Italian feast of Candles

 This unique Christmas festival is becoming increasingly popular and is held over three weekends in the lead up to Christmas. “Candele a Candelara” takes place in the ancient medieval village on the hills around Pesaro where every evening artificial lights are turned off and the village is only lit by the soft glow of candle-light for 15 minutes three programmed times. During “Candele a Candelara”, for 45 minutes there is a shut-down and there is the warm and reassuring glow of the candles. This year there will be something new: the fire games, that will come to life during the programmed shutdown, at the same time some bright balloons will be released or, in cases of favourable weather conditions, some mini hot air balloons will magically light up the sky above the village.

There is a great program of events planned, there is “The Path of the Cribs” where you will be able to admire nativity scenes created by craftsmen from all over Italy and made from all sorts of materials – wood, wax, stone, earthenware, silver or cork. Visitors will also be able to watch live preparation of candles, made exclusively from beeswax, as they were made in medieval times.

There will be life-sized nativity silhouettes set in the little park inside the castle walls, these will remain here until the feast of the Epiphany, 6 January.

Young visitors will be able to join in with the making of wicker, wrought iron or wooden products and be taught by genuine craftsmen.

Visitors will be able to admire Candelara in all its charm thanks to the thousand flames which will illuminate the village in an ecological way. The silhouettes in the streets will be brought to life with the flickering flames of the candles, all this will be done in conjunction with ACI – Italian Association of Candle-makers.

With the special beauty of this Christmas Festival it draws a very special visitor – Santa Claus, who will be hosting a workshop for children where they will be able to come and work with different materials such as clay, wax, paper and wood, with which they can make decorations and figures relating to Christmas. Children will have the opportunity to personally meet Santa and present him with a letter and their wishes for Christmas.

Further events in Candelara will include traditional music from the bagpipes and full musical bands. The program will be completed by street artists, acrobats, jugglers and storytellers.

The central Piazza del Popolo will become the “Square of Flavours”, where there will be tastings and sales of gastronomic excellence of the region. Visitors will be able to enjoy diner by candlelight at one of the many restaurants in the Old Town. Once again this year there will be a limited number of places available in the 18th century Palazzo Gradari for diner by candlelight.

The 50 small wooden houses of the market will be set along a flowing pathway along the central street of the village, they will offer handicrafts, gifts and candles of every shape and size. There will also be two large heated structures where visitors can sample some of the regions wonderful delicacies : Polenta with mushrooms, Salt cod with potatoes, Pasticciata and cooked herbs, grilled meat, piadina, fried olives, apple pancakes, roasted chestnuts and novello wine.

There will also be opportunities to take guided tours at the parish of the XII century and cultural excurtions in Urbino, San leo, Gradara and other locations in the province where other Christmas festivities are taking place.

With the popularity of this wonderful feast the organisers have prepared designated parking stop areas for motorhomes. These visitors will also be able to take advantage of the shuttle bus service that will link every 20 minutes from the parking ares to Pesaro and the centre of the village. The shuttle runs from 9.30 am until 22.30 .

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