Of course, even in Perugia at Christmas , as in any city of the Christian world , there are plenty of large shopping malls, with Santa Claus distributing sweets to the children, we have also the lights and decorations that dressed up shops and streets of the city , but the tourist who chooses Perugia as a destination for their Christmas holidays , once left aside the most commercial part of this feast, has the unique opportunity to discover ancient traditions and experience the true meaning of Christmas. One of the most beautiful things to share with our family at this time are without a doubt the many nativity scenes in churches or in the villages surrounding the city .
The tradition of the crib is in fact very dear to the Umbrian also because St. Francis of Assisi, the most famous umbrian inhabitant in the world , was the its creator . A special mention goes to the crib of Corciano , an ancient town far a few minutes from Perugia.
The absolute originality of this show on the nativity is the fact that it is not a static crib but an itinerant one: visitors literally walk in the crib , among the beautiful streets of the city and inside the old castle. All the residents contribute to its realization, decorating shops and streets with scenes of yore , life-size terracotta statues reproduce moments of rural life of passed times while shops and workshops show scenes and reproductions of ancient crafts.
Other medieval towns celebrate the birth of Jesus with beautiful cribs , among these the most interesting are the “ living crib” where the real persons interpret scenes of ancient Palestine . The most beautiful in Bettona , Petrignano, Castiglione del Lago, Passignano , Alviano and more outside Perugia, in Arrone , Acquasparta and Terni. Another tradition that we don’t have to miss are the Christmas markets where one can buy works of local crafts or souvenirs and gifts for their loved ones.
There is a picturesque market set within the beautiful Rocca Paolina in Perugia , which transforms the known fortress in a colorful and festive place. Even the city of Foligno at Christmas organizes a great market by the streets of the city.
In this period we can also join concerts of sacred music , with choirs singing Christmas songs , mostly arranged in beautiful churches and cathedrals. The most important is certainly the Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Piazza IV Novembre .
During this time you can also attend concerts of gospel music with famous artists coming from overseas who come to present their repertoires . Worth a visit just at Christmas also the city of Gubbio, already beautiful in itself Gubbio has become famous for setting up every year the biggest Christmas tree in the world: 12 km of electric cables, 450 lights and a width that runs throughout the surface of the mountain Ingino. At the foot of the tree, entered fully into the Guinness Book of World Records , is also a huge crib.
And how not to play in the tracks of ice present in various areas of Umbria ?
In short, the Christmas atmosphere in Perugia certainly not lacks and to make it even more enticing there are the windows of bakeries and pastry shops displaying the local Christmas cakes : the “torciglione” with almond paste , the “pinoccate” rich in pine nuts, the “Maccheroni dolci”, the classic pasta topped with sugar , nuts and cocoa. A real delight to watch and eat , ever present at Christmas on every table set in Perugia.