With Christmas approaching, Rome has become a new city. Beginning in early December, the city streets become decorated with lights. Christmas trees are placed throughout the city. While not a Italian tradition, they can be seen in Piazza Venezia and next to the Colosseum. Along with the decorations, every year Rome has a Christmas market in Piazza Navona. The square becomes filled with vendors offering Christmas goods. WIthin, Piazza Navona, you will also see bagpipers who come to the city to play for Christmas masses. Another small Christmas market can been found by Castel Sant’Angelo near the Vatican. They even have an appearance from Santa. Each year there is also a huge Christmas tree and nativity scene put up in St. Peter’s Square. Unfortunately, for study abroad students, this does not get unveiled until Christmas Eve. Rome also holds what is thought to be the oldest nativity scene. This is located at the church named Santa Maria Maggiore. Another nativity scene can be seen at the Church of Saints Cosma and Damiano.
Brian Anhalt is studying abroad at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy.