Come each December, one of Rome’s most famous landmarks, Piazza Navona, is even more packed with smiling, camera-toting people than ever — and for once not just tourists, but actual Romans are flocking to the ancient racetrack-site for its annual Christmas market.
Filling the entire (oval-shaped) square are booths selling Christmas ornaments, little figures of la Befana, and gifts from Murano-style glass to jewelry to plastic toys. There are also plenty of carnival-style games for the kids — and of course more than plenty delicious things to eat, everything from (the already-ubiquitous) roasted chestnuts and candied almonds to techni-colored marshmallows.
Two of the Christmas market specialities I haven’t seen anywhere else, or at any other time of year, are these giant donuts (maxi ciambelle), served hot with either sugar or melted nutella, and candied apples, or mele stregate (bewitched apples) like something right out of Snow White. Indulge at your own risk!