It’s not even December 8th yet, but already the city is preparing for another Christmas season. The Feast of the Immaculate conception, not to mention the birthday of Horace, Mary Queen of Scots, Flip Wilson, and Jim Morrison, is traditionally the start of the holiday season in Naples.

But as went the States and the UK, so goes Italy, and more recently, Napoli. Since the end of November, lights and decorations have been making their debut in neighbourhood shops, and last weekend local store owners kicked off the holiday season by opening their doors to Christmas shoppers on Sundays. As the song says, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”

The purists will rail against the over-commercialisation of Christmas and there is certainly some merit to that. But for myself, it’s a welcome addition to the deeply rooted Neapolitan Christmas Traditions I’ve come to adore.

This year, the city seems to be intent on melding traditions old and new, in an inclusive program of events that will have something for everyone. At a press conference held December 5th, the city unveiled Napoli, la città del Natale: Il Natale di Tutti, the 2012 Naples Christmas Program with some 450 initiatives that will start on December 8th and conclude on Epiphany, January 6th.

The program is the result of a variety of cultural initiatives organised by public entities, municipalities and private organisations with the city providing promotional support to the organisers and an informative guide to the events for residents and tourists.

A huge program of events that will be “carried out thanks to the creativity of individuals and the contribution of innumerable people that the administration has the privilege to represent, and to bring together, to foster and promote a sense of belonging to the city.”

Comune di Napoli invites residents and tourists to discover and rediscover the charms of Naples as a city of Christmas. In it’s streets, its rich Neapolitan traditions, and in its great museums. In the alleys of Centro Storico, along Via San Gregorio Armeno, and up and down the historic Stairways of Naples, le Scale di Napoli. And in the creativity of the Neapolitan artists and craftsmen expressed in the art of the presepe, music, poetry, performance, and in the local products of ingenuity and craftsmanship.

This years events will include:

Christmas at the Museums and the Natale>artecard
Art and Presepe Exhibits
Live Presepe Exhibits
Christmas Fairs and Markets
Guided Visits
Concerts, Shows and Performances
The Christmas Eve Fireworks who now have a new home on Naples Seafront, Lungomare

We are working to get some of the more important events in our Christmas Events listings, or you can download the entire Napoli, la Città del Natale Program now (in Italian only).

Here’s to an exciting Christmas Season in Naples!