When we think of Santa Claus, we have in mind the iconic image of the gentleman dressed in red, the beard white and soft as a cloud and the sleigh, pulled by Lappish reindeers! We imagine him intent on his work while, darting across the world’s skies, delivers gifts to good children. End of the story?! But no, this is just the beginning!
From Rovaniemi to Italy: Santa Claus plans his itinerary!
Let’s take a step back, going back to the moment when Santa Claus plans his itinerary! For example, let’s imagine the route he could take starting from Rovaniemi, the town where his house is located, up to our country, Italy.
While the elves work hard wrapping, sorting and packing the presents, , Santa Claus is locked in his study and absolutely doesn’t want to be disturbed! Sitting at his desk covered in letters, next to the fireplace, sipping a cup of “glögi”, the Finnish mulled wine accompanied by spiced biscuits, he scrutinizes an old map of Europe, meticulously calculating distances, estimated travel times, the faster route to complete his task!
He also consults the globe placed on the window through which, from time to time, he observes the snowflakes falling. One last sip of “glögi” and the itinerary is decided! The elves secure the reindeer’s reins, check the sleigh’s shock absorbers and even wash it, because as we know, the image counts! The gifts are already placed inside the large jute bag loaded on the back. All it takes is a nod from Santa Claus to leave!
Off we go!
The first place that Santa Claus observes beneath him is the Lappish forest, illuminated by the thousand shades of the Northern Lights that envelop the sleigh like a colorful Northern rainbow. Santa Claus has seen this phenomenon many times, but each one is unique and unrepeatable, an inexplicable emotion.
In Finnish folklore Lapland is a mythical place of shamans, spirits and spells, described in its supernatural sagas and hidden in the wild Nordic nature.
Rovaniemi is a modern city, surrounded by natural areas frequented for hunting, fishing and for picking berries and mushrooms and it has been like this for millennia. Gliding in the sky, the sled flies over Lake Saimaa, the largest in Finland, with 13.000 islands where in Summer you can travel on private boats and in Winter is possible to ice skating.
Santa Claus from Northern to Central Europe
The sleigh hurtles quickly, zigzagging between dawn and darkness, when suddenly Tallinn appears, the neighborhoods of Kalamaja and Lillekula, the Toompea fortress the best point from which to observe the city’s skyline and the village of Kadriorga, lapped by the sea.
Santa Claus has already delivered many gifts when he glimpses Warsaw’s silhouette, the “phoenix city”, the capital of Poland, razed to the ground during the Second World War and rebuilt, becoming a World Heritage city.
Smiling Santa Claus remembers when he walked along the road that starts from inside the Barbican (fortification), liaison between the old city and the new, reaching Market Square and many souvenir shops!
Budapest or the Black Forest?
Near to Krakow, Santa Claus reaches a crossroads: he must choose whether turn to Budapest or continue in the direction of the Schwarzwald, the Black Forest. To avoid the fury of the Buran, the icy wind coming from the Urals, he opts for the second solution.
Everything goes as expected, the stars seem to light up as Santa Claus passes by, palpitating as if to warm the night sky, many pearls embroidered on the night’s velvety blanket. Destination is not so far when the scenery opens onto the Black Forest and its mysteries, a fairy world made of fir trees, stories and a handful of small fairy-tale villages.
The one Santa Claus prefers is undoubtedly Triberg, because of its famous cuckoo clocks! The largest cuckoo clock in the world is located here, in the back of a factory just outside the ity centre, where you can enter to admire it.
Here the sleigh heads in the direction of Bavaria, flying over Neuschweinstein Castle, the fairytale castle par excellence, taken as a model by Walt Disney for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle! Santa Claus would like to stay longer to observe every detail of this wonderful architectural work, but duty calls him!
The reindeers fly quickly until they reach the Stubaital, the Stubai Valley located south of Innsbruck. Santa Claus loves this valley both for its nature and for its well-known carving knives, produced for over 100 years from a special carbon steel alloy!
Santa Claus has now crossed the border and arrived in Italy! Here the children are waiting for him with their noses in the air, to see his sleigh!
Ok we admit it! We haven’t told you the whole truth! Santa Claus made some stops along the way! He stopped at the Christmas markets, then to let the reindeers rest, then to buy some objects… Are you curious to know where he stopped and to do what?! We’ll tell you about it in the next article!