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Christmas

Monday, January 2nd, 2017
Befana
  Yes, in Italy l'epifania, which we celebrate on the 6th of January, marks the end of Christmas festivities. But in typical Italian style, it does so with a bang. Gifts are exchanged, little traditional markets trail off those, usually larger, prepared for Christmas, and we usually gather, once again, around gargantuan amounts of delicious food. If you are religious, this is the day you celebrate the coming of the Wise Men to Bethlehem and you place their statuettes –usually along with that of
Thursday, December 22nd, 2016
christmas italy
  Waiting For Christmas   Available in Italian: Natale in Italia Related : St. Nicolò: The original Santa Claus                An Italian Christmas Table, North to South   Christmas in Italy: Alba (by rglinsky at depositphotos.com)   Christmas is considered the most important holyday of the year everywhere in the world. Celebrated on the 25th of December, for us all it is the day of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Thursday, December 22nd, 2016
cinepanettone
  Faces of the Cinepanettoni: Jerry Calà, Christian De Sica, Ezio Greggio and Massimo Boldi in 1985. Ph. public domain on wikimedia   It all began in 1983 with Vacanze di Natale (Christmas Holidays), a comedy by Italian directors and screenwriters Carlo and Enrico Vanzina. The movie reunited most of the actors who played in the successful movies Sapore di Mare (Taste of the Sea, 1982) and Sapore di Mare 2 - Un Anno Dopo (Taste of the Sea 2 - One Year Later, 1983). The two
Wednesday, December 21st, 2016
chrismas italy
Every culture and country have their own traditions for Christmas. In Italy, there are some interesting things people do during this time of year. Much depends on the region, even the town, and also on the age of the participants. Here are some typical traditions of Italy we love to enjoy in during the Holidays!   Christmas market in Bolzano (by AntonioGravante at depositphotos.com)   Christmas Eve This day is celebrated all over Italy with a cenone, which is
Tuesday, December 20th, 2016
christmas italy
Christmas Holidays lights on the Naviglio in Milan   Are you planning a trip to Italy during the winter holidays or are you just curious about Italian Christmas customs? These are Italy's main festivities during Christmas:   13th of December Santa Lucia 25th of December Christmas 26th of December Santo Stefano 1st of January Capodanno 6th of January Epifania     Santa Lucia   This festivity marks the opening of the Christmas season. Like in
Monday, December 19th, 2016
christmas history
Traditional nativity scene from Naples   The very roots of our modern Christmas belong in Italy. Christmas, the Feast of the Nativity, was decreed by Emperor Aurelian in A.D. 274 to take place on December 25th of each year. Although many biblical historians believe the actual birth of Jesus took place some time in the Spring, early Roman Christians felt it was important to create a feast that coincided with the many pagan celebrations taking place in Winter for solstice. The
Monday, December 19th, 2016
italian christmas cakes
  Christmas is a time for happiness, joy and fun, but also food! Italy has a long culinary tradition and several typical dishes find place on our table this time of the year. Fish, meat, cotechino and zampone are some of our favorite specialties, but cakes and sweets remain queens of the Italian Christmas pantry. The tradition of the dolci di Natale is long and varied: hundreds of types of cakes, cookies and sweets are prepared from North to South, all of them
Monday, December 19th, 2016
Christmas Illumination Italy
  In Italy, it is not only people who gets ready for Christmas, but cities, too. It is especially Christmas street lights and decorations that help creating that special holiday mood everywhere, so much so that walking around, shopping or simply strolling enjoying the atmosphere, is one of people's favorite activities this time of the year.  There is more than Christmas trees and ornaments: center stage is usually taken by famous luminarie, urban Christmas lights. 
Sunday, December 18th, 2016
natale valle d'aosta
Trentino Alto-Adige is not the only region in Italy to embody the ideal Winter wonderland. Westward, enclosed within Piedmont, Switzerland and France, lays Valle d'Aosta, Italy's smallest region. An entirely Alpine region, Valle d'Aosta has a long and amazing history dating back to Roman times, of which its capital, Aosta, still holds beautiful vestiges.  Coming Winter, Valle d'Aosta turns into a paradise for snow sports lovers. And not only for them. If you are into Christmas spirit, this is
Saturday, December 17th, 2016
italian christmas presents
Christmas is just around the corner and, if you are anything like me, you are getting pretty excited about it.   Have you bought all your presents yet? (Kris Mouser Brown/flickr)   For those among us who believe in God and are, of course, Christians, this is an immensely beautiful and intense moment of the year, when something much more important and poignant than presents and glitzy trees permeates the air, the minds, the hearts.   Anyway, whether you are a believer or not, Christmas remains
Saturday, December 17th, 2016
Christmas mistletoe
  Mistletoe Mistletoe  is a plant with an influential Christmas reputation that has antique beliefs attached to it. It is a plant common in Europe and in North America and is considered a symbol of love. It is the most legendary of plants. Some used to call mistletoe an "all heal" plant and thought there was no illness it could not cure. However, mistletoe is, in fact, poisonous, particularly the berries. European customs regarding mistletoe (its scientific
Friday, December 16th, 2016
tombola Christmas
Playing games on Christmas day is almost a necessity. You know, as much as you love your family, you may need to catch a breather from gossip and personal questions every now and then. That's when Italians take out the tombola box from the cupboard and fun begins.    In truth, tombola is not only a way to escape your nozy aunt's questions about your private life, but a real Italian Christmas habit, with deep roots in the history of the country. If this wasn't enough to make it an important
Friday, December 16th, 2016
Italian Christmas Kitchen
Let’s go so, and let’s begin with the region by many considered the cradle of Italian cuisine: la bella Emilia-Romagna. In the first part of this article, I let my memories take over and told you a bit about my childhood Christmases and my grandparents. The recipes of the Northern regions of Italy are mostly familiar to me and so are those from Emilia-Romagna, which you will find below. Culinary tradition, though, begins to change once we get to Lazio and our trip takes us South: it will be a
Friday, December 16th, 2016
Italian Christmas Kitchen
(See the second part of this article, dedicated to the Centre and the South Italy!)     As you would expect, an Italian Christmas becomes a true Christmas in the kitchen.   When I was a child, Christmas was my grandmother's time to shine (or I should say, to shine even brighter, because the woman was a goddess in the kitchen all year round): she would prepare cappelletti  by hand, twisting and turning them one by one, with the skill and the artistry only women of that generation – she was born
Thursday, December 15th, 2016
christmas in Italy
  My Christmas is going to be very special. I just moved into a new apartment, in an old building that sits just beside one of the town churches. On the stairs that lead to my place, there is a little, wooden door you wouldn’t even notice unless you knew it’s there, as it has been painted the same color as the walls.   Well, if you open that little door, you’ll find a flower-shaped window that overlooks the basilica: it’s amazingly beautiful and it gives me an enormous sense of peace, this
Wednesday, December 14th, 2016
panettone pandoro
  Christmas is just around the corner and, where Italians are concerned, food is one of the main components in the festivities. There are many traditional products eaten by Italians during the Christmas season, and two of the most famous are the pandoro and the panettone.   Pandoro   Pandoro, Italian Christmas Cake Ph. depositphotos/marcomayer Pandoro is a traditional Christmas cake made with flour, butter and eggs, which was originally produced in Verona. Verona is
Monday, December 12th, 2016
celebrate christmas italy
  Italy turns itself into a fairytale dream at Christmas, where everything has a special role.   Amazing Christmas trees, colorful streets full of lights, Babbi Natale –Santa Clauses– greeting people in squares, nativity scenes and zampognari playing bagpipes, Christmas markets: all makes the atmosphere magic. Christmas is celebrated everywhere, but there are some places particularly beautiful in this period, which are definitely worth a visit. These cities and towns are
Monday, December 12th, 2016
presepe
A small forward... The Presepe is truly a piece of Italy's tradition and heritage. As you are about to read, the history of Presepe is well rooted in that of Italy and even those who are not practicing Catholics tend to consider it an integrant part of their Christmas.  It is important to underline it because, in the past bunch of years, our beloved Presepe has been under attack. Italy has been developing – not always happily and not always successfully – into a more culturally
Sunday, December 11th, 2016
christmas vocabulary italy
If you  have decided to visit Italy around Christmas, there are some words and expressions you absolutely need to know and recognize: from albero di Natale to presepe, our typical decorations for this time of the year, to the names of our best loved seasonal cakes and sweets; from the characters who make our Christmas a real Christmas, to the most typical events of the period, here comes our –almost!– complete Italian Christmas dictionary  
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016
street markets christmas italy
Christmas Market in Italy   Christmas is probably the most loved festivity in Italy. Lights, Christmas carols and trees decorate every corner of the country, from the smallest villages to the largest cities. During this time of the year, Italians love going for walks, shopping and breathing in the magic atmosphere of the season, especially if there is an authentic Christmas market to visit.   In a way, Christmas street markets are the true protagonists of the Christmas
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Available in English: Christmas in Italy   Natale a Milano   La festa del Natale e' considerata, quasi in tutto il mondo, la festa piu' importante dell'anno. Viene celebrata il 25 dicembre e per il popolo Cristiano si festeggia la nascita di Gesu' Cristo.   In realta' il Natale ha origini pagane. Ai tempi dell'antica Roma era il giorno dedicato all'adorazione del Dio Mitra, che rappresentava il Sole, ed era appunto legato al passaggio del sole. Successivamente intorno
Friday, June 1st, 2012
    From New York to Paris, from Toronto to Milan, Christmas is the time when boutiques and department stores allow their creativity to flow right onto the sidewalks outside their shops. Whether designers are making statements or stores are trying to draw in customers, Christmas windows (or vetrine di Natale as they are called in Italian) are usually the talk of the town because of their glitz and glamour. Milan, a city famous for fashion, is obviously no different. From