Candelara is a small town in the Province of Pesaro-Urbino, famous for its suggestive Christmas Markets. The village counts around 1200 inhabitants and lies on top of a hill, nestled by the countryside, 7 km away from the city of Pesaro.
An interesting legend inspired the town’s coat of arms that shows three candles on top of three hills. The story behind the emblem is linked to the historical events that led to the creation of the city. According to the legend, to find the right area for building the town, three candles were lit on top of three different hills. The first inhabitants of Candelara settle on the least windy, where the candle didn’t quench.
As you might imagine, Candelara markets are dedicated to candles of any color and shape. Lit candles all around the village dimly illuminate every alley, creating a warm holiday atmosphere. Many wooden kiosks follow one another, selling local handicraft, artisanal soap, Christmas decorations, and, of course, candles. A food court is set up just outside the main street, selling sweet and savory delicacies.
Candelara Christmas Markets: what to expect
Aside from the charming beauty of the town lit by candles, Candelara’s Christmas markets offer various activities, many of which designed for children: the elves’ workshop, the Christmas garden, the Santa Clause parade, and the puppet show. Street artists such as stilt walkers, dancers, and musicians provide entertainment for visitors.
The highlight of the event occurs twice a day, at 5:30 and 6.30 pm, when public lighting is turned off, and the village is lit solely by hundreds of candles. This lasts for fifteen minutes, during which stilt walkers wearing LED lights will perform in the crowd.
If you come to Candelara in daylight, I recommend you to go hunting for street art. A few years ago, the mysterious street artist Blub left its mark all around the city through the realization of artworks representative of his project: “L’arte sa nuotare” or “Art can swim”. Blub uses historic or contemporary icons like Dante and Freddy Mercury, or even figures from famous paintings, and places them in underwater scenes. Blub’s work doesn’t do any harm to the architecture as he creates his art on small posters and wheat-pastes them on gas or electric meter boxes.
How to get to Candelara:
Driving will be the easiest way to reach Candelara, but If you don’t have a car you can take one of the free tourist shuttles that operate from Pesaro. Moreover, travel agencies from many cities in the sourroundings organize trips to Candelara during Christmas markets at reasonable prices.
The entrance ticket for the event is 4 euros after 1 pm, 2 euros before 1 pm, and it is free for children under 12 years of age.
Every Saturday and Sunday during Holiday Season, from November until Mid-Dicember. Check the official website for further information.
Candelara: what to do in the surroundings
– A visit to the city of Pesaro and the birth home of the renowed composer Gioachino Rossini (16 minutes by car)
– A visit to Gradara and its castle, home of the tragic love story of Paolo and Francesca, told by Dante in the Divine Comedy (24 minutes by car)
– Stop for a quick cascione (a big stuffed raviolo made with “piadina” dough) at Drive Eat, the restaurant at the exit of Highway A14 in Cattolica, Rimini ( (25 minutes by car)
– A visit to the city of Cattolica and its aquarium, the second biggest of Italy (30 minutes by car)
– A walk along the waterfront of Senigallia and a visit to its fortress, Rocca Roveresca (39 minutes by car).
Have you ever been to Candelara Christmas markets?
Let me know by leaving a comment below.