AAA Traveler - Holiday 2019 - 27

The Flavors
of Christmas

Vienna

Christmas markets of Switzerland as well as charming markets
in Munich, Vienna and Vaduz, Liechtenstein.
Whether a European land tour features a specific holiday
focus, visitors can be certain to experience the finest Christmas
markets by simply choosing to travel late in the year. Join a Tauck tour to
Italy in December to explore the Venice Christmas market, famous for its
sweet, fruit-filled panettone bread, colorful carnival masks and Murano
glassware. The Christmas market on Florence's Piazza Santa Croce includes
Italian leather goods and tastings of panforte fruitcakes and ricciarelli cookies.
And travelers can wrap up the seasonal journey with a holiday concert in
Rome.
Insight Vacations offers a sampling of the finest Christmas markets in
Eastern Europe. Visit the city centers of Wroclaw or Krakow to sample
Polish Christmas treats and shop for locally-made gifts. Evergreen and tiny
white lights adorn stalls selling hand-embroidered table linens, locally-made
ceramics and amber jewelry from the Baltic Sea. Dresden's famous
Christmas market, the Streizelmarkt, sells holiday decor famous around the
world. Brightly-painted wooden nutcrackers, candle-powered Christmas
pyramids and incense-burning smoking men were all invented in Germany's
Ore Mountain region, an hour or so to the southeast.
Insight even offers tours to Russia's Christmas markets. Stroll
St. Petersburg's Pionerskaya Square to see the city decked out for the
Christmas season. Vendors sell Christmas pastries, holiday gifts and fur
outerwear, and across St. Petersburg music lovers enjoy holiday concerts and
ballet productions such as "The Nutcracker". In Moscow, travelers can visit
the Kremlin Christmas market, where vendors offer traditional nesting
matryoshka dolls and kozulya cookies. And not far away stands the Red
Square Christmas fair with a towering Christmas tree and an ice rink.
And lucky for visitors, Russia celebrates Christmas according to the
Julian calendar used by the Orthodox Church, placing the holiday in early
January. That's a whole extra week of celebrations - and an extra week of
opportunities to explore Europe's Christmas markets.

Taste the unique flavors of the
season at Christmas markets
across Europe. In Germany,
perhaps the world's original
gingerbread, lebkuchen, is sold
in Passau, while Dresden serves
up slices of powder sugared
fruitcake called stollen and
Nuremberg grills their worldfamous bratwurst. Christmas
means chocolate in France, with
the yuletide favorite bûche de
Noël, and in Vienna, home to
rich Sachertorte.
The Spanish indulge in
turrón, an almond nougat, at
Christmastime, while in
Budapest, locals feast on a
sugar-coated, fire-roasted pastry
called kürtös kalács. In Prague,
Christmas always includes a
plate of carp, breaded, fried and
served with potato salad and
apple strudel.

Create holiday memories in
Europe! Call your local AAA
Travel Agent at 800-750-5386.

TRAVELER HOLIDAY 2019

27



AAA Traveler - Holiday 2019

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