The origin of the Christmas Markets in Europe is lost in the mists of time. According to some traditions, the first markets in Dresden in Germany was set up in 1434 to enable local artisans to sell their products on the Monday before Christmas. Since then every year the North of Europe is colored with lights and decorations from early December until early January. Even in Italy (for years now) there has been widespread tradition of Christmas markets: the most famous are those of Bolzano and Merano.
The tradition of Christmas markets has spread in Tuscany: if Florence is famous for "Florence Noel" and the Christmas Market of Santa Croce, not everyone knows that Mugello has its own traditional Christmas markets.
The most famous is in Palazzuolo sul Senio: in this delightful mountain village Christmas ornaments, nativity scenes and warm decorations are set up every Sunday until December 25th, including the day of 8th December, the "Festa della Madonna". Also on the last Sunday before Christmas there will be a great show of fireworks. Are 7 years now that at Palazzuolo sul Senio takes place "1000 Presepi per Palazzuolo": in every corner of the village a charming "presepe" is created.
Famous is also the Marradi Christmas Market: in "Piazza Le Scalelle" typical Northern Europe wooden stalls are set up. You can find Christmas decorations as well as sweets and typical products, such as polenta with meat sauce, garlic bread and sausages, accompanied by gospel music.
Finally there is the Christmas Market of San Piero a Sieve, smaller but equally impressive, which this year takes place on December 10th: music, local products on the many "bancarelle".