Italian Christmas Decorations

Sally Painter
Rome window

Window Decorations

It's easy to add some traditional Italian Christmas decorations to your holiday decoration collection. Many of these decorations include ornaments, nativity scenes, and even food used as centerpieces for Christmas feasts.

This window is located in Rome, Italy. It is an elaborate decoration that includes deer, gold balls and Christmas trees decorated with white balls and gold bows with flowing gold ribbon garlands.

Presepe

Presepe (Nativity) Display

The presepe (crèche or nativity) is one of the most popular Italian Christmas decorations. It depicts the birth of Christ with the key figures of Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus, the Christ.

Many nativities are more elaborate, such as this Neapolitan style creche displayed in an Amalfi fountain in the city centre. Live nativity scenes are popular in many Italian cities and towns and often include live animals, such as sheep, goats, and others.

rustic centerpiece

Rustic Centerpiece Display

This table centerpiece display was found in an Italian store. It's a good representation of rustic natural elements and purchased ornaments. The greenery is often cypress, cedar or fir boughs.

Other natural materials, such as pine cones, gourds, and berries and are mixed with candles of varying sizes, shapes and colors. A gold cherub takes center stage in this centerpiece design.

pandoro bread

Pandoro Centerpiece

This classic Christmas bread originated in Verona, Italy. Pandoro or "golden bread" color is created by using many egg yolks in the recipe.

Pandoro is made using a star-shaped mold. Once assembled the bread has the appearance of a Christmas tree and is sprinkled with confectioner's sugar to simulate snow on the branches.

Murano glass ornaments

Murano Glass Ornament Balls

The famous hand-blown Murano glass is a must for any Italian Christmas. Indulge in a few colorful hand-blown decorative balls to add to your tree ornament collection.

Made exclusively on the Venetian island of Murano, this hand-blown glass has been a prized possession for centuries.

Babbo Natale figures

Babbo Natale in Verona, Italy

Babbo Natale (Santa Claus) is becoming more popular in Italy than in the past, although La Befana (old woman) is a more traditional figure for Italian Christmas than Santa Claus.

Gift giving is also becoming more prevalent in Italian Christmas traditions. Children have eagerly embraced Babbo Natale and hang stockings by their fireplaces so the jolly fellow can leave Christmas goodies.

Italian-style cherub

Christmas Angels

The cherub is a traditional angelic depiction and has graced many artworks and religious artifacts. Porcelain statues can be found with chubby cheeks, flowing robes and various muscial instruments to use in home decorations, such as mantels as well as tree ornaments.

You can purchase Italian Baroque-style cherubs and replicas of Borghese Gallery's angel statues by Gian Lorenzo Bernini to recreate an old world Italian Christmas décor.

Italian cottage decorations

Christmas Italian Cottage Décor

This adorable Italian cottage has several great ideas for a traditional Christmas decorative style. A red bow with sleigh bells graces the door that's framed with a garland of greenery featuring lemon slices, roses pine cones and red ornament balls.

The side garland also has strings of red beads. Notice the cute facade plaque by the door and most importantly, the broom for La Befana.

This kind woman has magical powers and flies on her broom to deliver gifts to Italian children on the eve of Epiphany (January 6). She wears a black shawl and is soot-covered from descending chimneys to leave those gifts of candies and gifts.

Panettone bread/cake

Panettone Cake Centerpiece

This is another traditional bread from Milan that makes a great Christmas dinner centerpiece. The sweetbread is often made with candied lemons, oranges and limes.

Some recipes call for raisins while others are plain dough and have a chocolate icing then decorated as a holiday cake. This bread also takes a long time to prepare (several days for the proofing process similar to sourdough).

Turin Christmas tree
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Turin Christmas Tree

Located in Piazza Castello central square in Turin, Italy, this modern tree uses elaborate designs as part of the Luci d'artista (Lighting Artist) event. Turin first sponsored this annual cultural event in 1998 and in 2006, Salerno began a similar program.

The event features contemporary artists who display their symbolic and conceptual work using high-tech lightart that illuminates streets and squares throughout the cities.

This is created by colorful high-tech lighting electronics for a modern Italian Christmas tree display. While it's a modern approach, this tree captures the intricate artistic style often seen in Munrano handblown glass.

Modern tree decorations

Modern Tree Decorations

This pink and white tree was found in Taneto, Italy in the Great Christmas market "Villaggio di Babbo Natale" in the Mondoverde garden center. Stylized ornament glass balls and a green wire ribbon make this a colorful tree design choice for a modern look. Even though Italy may have lots of Old World decorations, there are contemporary takes on the holiday as well.

Star of Bethlehem
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Star of Bethlehem

The star is a popular symbol for the Star of Bethlehem that shone over the birthplace of the Christ child. Many of the street decorations in Italy depict the star with a shooting trail behind it that's lit up like the star. You can use this type of shooting star ornament for Christmas tree ornaments.

festive window packaging

Window Package Fun!

This clever series of window displays on this building also uses cypress boughs, oversized ornament balls, and garlands. Many Italian city buildings aren't just shops, but house numerous apartments and flats. Decorating an entire building like this is an extraordinary way to celebrate the holidays!

banners and wreaths

Banners and Wreaths

In Vipteno, Italy this home is decorated with very simple but colorful style. Below each window drapes a red banner that backdrops a lighted wreath. The bay window flower baskets are filled with faux red packages with bows and ribbons to complete the look.

window vingnettes

Window Vignettes

Discovered in the small alpine village of Chamois, Italy, are two adorable window vignettes. This is a creative way to add exterior decorations to your home, especially if the windows feature a windowsill.

If the sill is too narrow, consider using a window planter to support a cut to fit board to create a faux ledge to support this kind of window vignette.

painted ornaments

Painted Ornaments

This tree is another good example of traditional Italian Murano glass, hand-painted, and other types of ornaments that give any Christmas tree that special touch. Look for painted ornaments that have specific cities, villages, and Italian sights and start a tradition of ornament giving to build up your collection gradually.

Regardless of whether you enjoy the more traditional religious Christmas decorations or would like more unusual Christmas decorations, you can use Italian styles as your inspiration.

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Italian Christmas Decorations