Christmas is such a special time of year in Italy. The Advent season brings communities together to celebrate, including one of the best – and tastiest – traditions, the Christmas market.

Stalls of handcrafts, food, drink and games pop up in city centers, with something fun and delicious for everyone! Here are a few of the best Christmas markets, perfect for visiting during your holiday in Italy in December.

In Italy, food choices are often made based on regional and seasonal factors. Eating seasonal isn't a trend here; rather, it's been a normal part of life for generations.

For example, the hunting of cinghiale, or wild boars, begins in November, so at this time you will find such dishes as cinghiale alla cacciatora, a slow sautée of carrots, onions, celery, and spices.

Autumn is the best time to visit Italy. The weather is beautiful, the crowds of tourists have thinned out, and the fall Italian festivals are in full swing. Attending festivals is not only fun, it is a good way to learn about Italian culture and traditions in Italy.

Most festivals in Italy are based on historic events. They often include processions of people in period costume, local Italian food, contests and fireworks. Most Italian festivals are free but attendance at some events may require purchase of a ticket.

65 countries have joined together for the exciting 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, and the overall theme this year is “Fundamentals”, which pays close attention to the fundamentals of our buildings used by any architect, anywhere, anytime.

Under the auspices of la Biennale di Venezia, the current Venice Biennale 2014 runs through November 23, in the Giardini and the Arsenale. Ongoing national exhibits, as well as numerous collateral events and weekend special events, will be held at various venues throughout the greater Venice metropolitan area.