Italy marks Feast of the Immaculate Conception with 8 December holiday

Holiday marks the start of the Christmas season in Italy.

Italy marks the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a Catholic holy day, with a national public holiday on 8 December.


In 2023 the festa falls on a Friday, with many Italians planning to take advantage of the long weekend by travelling to some of the magical Christmas markets around the country.


One of the main events associated with the day in Italy is the pope’s pilgrimage to the statue of the Madonna at Piazza Mignanelli in Rome.


Pope Francis is scheduled to make a public visit to the statue near Piazza di Spagna at 16.00, the Vatican confirmed.


The day, known as L’Immacolata, is also viewed as the official start of the Christmas shopping season in Italy.


Another Roman tradition on 8 December is the illumination of the capital’s Christmas tree which this year moves from Piazza Venezia to Piazza del Popolo, due to Metro C works.


Traditionally Rome’s mayor switches on the lights of the tree at the same time as the Christmas lights along the along the central Via del Corso. 


We will update this article when the city announces the timing of the lighting-up ceremony.


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