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Christmas Traditions and Festivities

Dec 18th, 2010 | By | Category: Our Blog

BUON NATALE A TUTTI! December 8, heralds one month long Italian Christmas festivities with the special holy day of “Festa of the Madonna”  and presepio – nativity scenes are on display all over Italy and initiated in 1223 by San Francesco, St. Francis of Assisi, to show the arrival of the three wise men

Italian food is always taken very seriously any time of the year and at Christmastime, even more so.  Christmas Eve dinner is always without meat, normally fish.  Pranzo di Natale – Christmas lunch is a feast and a lengthy affair.  Delicacies such as crostini with liver pate to start or the classic tortellini in chicken stock,  Lamb is mostly the favourite for Christmas lunch with accompanying mediterranean vegetables and also lentils  Desserts come in many forms from the classic Panettone with candied fruit and raisins to Pandoro, gingerbread with hazelnuts, honey and almonts and of course Panforte – a rich desert from Siena.

In fact, most Christmas sweets contain nuts and almonds as, according to folklore, eating nuts aids the fertility of the earth and people, increasing flocks and family.

Candlelights, Music and Mass

Bagpipes and Flutes is the music you will hear around the medieval piazzas in towns and cities throughout Italy and of course Italian opera.  If you are in Italy at Christmas, go to midnight mass on Christmas Eve, even if a tiny church there will always be a presepio, emotional singing and a profusion of candelights.


Right in the ancient centre of Rome lies the very beautiful Piazza Navone, with its famous two fountains either side and this is where Rome’s largest and most traditional Christmas market takes place.

The sights and smells are wonderful and being this time of the year is everything dolce! *sweet”.  Whether in the form of delicious chocolates, biscuits, nougat, Christmas cakes and the famous Italian Panettone dessert – It certainly is a feast for the eye as well as the tongue.  Walk through the ancient little lanes around the piazza and you will find handicraft shops, leather, glassware, jewellery and mix in mulled wine, roast meats, hot chocolate and chestnuts. creates an unforgettable atmosphere, right in the very heart of the eternal city.
There are various events in and around the Piazza Navona throughout the Christmas period.  Why not take a trip!


Prosecco.…truly wonderful.  It makes the perfect start or finish to any dining experience and is a masterful accompaniment to meals designed not to overpower the delicate sparkling wine. A tall flute of prosecco is simple: visually perfect. Not much need be done to enjoy it, but it brings added pleasure to anything it is paired with and therefore truly perfect.

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