Italian Children Await The Arrival of La Befana

Susan Van Allen, author of 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go, shares the Italian legend of La Befana and why Italian children are eagerly awaiting her arrival this week: “There is no Santa Claus in Italy,” my Nana told me when I was a kid. I had nightmares of how awful Christmas must be for children over there, …

What to Eat for An Italian Christmas Eve Dinner

Hard to believe Christmas Eve is just around the corner. Thinking about celebrating it in Italian style? Then get ready to visit your favorite fishmonger, you will be making at least seven seafood courses! That’s because Italians celebrate the Feast of Seven Fishes on la vigilia di Natale (Christmas Eve). As Toni Lydecker writes, “The idea of serving seven fish …

Christmas Events in Tuscany

Our friend Pamela Sheldon Johns writes about her experiences celebrating the holidays in Tuscany in our free Christmas in Italy guide. For those traveling to Toscana this holiday season, she highlights some special holiday events in and around Montepulciano: Montepulciano: Natale alle Logge Christmas market and fair featuring artisanal food and wine products and crafts from the area. Abbadia di …

Two Winter Fests in Puglia

The town of Tricase, almost at the tip of the Italian heel in Puglia, is often called “The Bethlehem of Italy.” That’s because it hosts a living nativity or Il Presepe Vivente di Tricase. Supported entirely by volunteers from civic groups and schools, everyone from children to grown-ups (about 250 residents in total) dress in period costumes that transform the …

The Language of the Italian Holidays

For our free, downloadable Christmas in Italy guide, Dianne Hales, author of La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, The World’s Most Enchanting Language, writes about the language of the Italian holiday season. Here are a few excerpts: Days of Celebrations Festivities such as fairs and torchlight processions begin weeks before and continue weeks after December 25. Here are …

Highlights: Visiting Italy for the Holidays

Our new, free 35-page, downloadable guide Christmas in Italy (filled with great photos too!) is a the perfect resource, whether you’re traveling to Italy for the holidays or want to bring some Italian influences to your celebrations at home. Here are some highlights from the guide: The Holidays in Rome Rome is home to the largest continuous Jewish population in …

Venice for the Holidays: Markets, Concerts and Masses

Our friend Nan McElroy, author of Italy, Instructions for Use (hint: makes a terrific stocking stuffer!) is lucky to live in Venice year-round but like most of us believes the holidays are a particularly special time of year in La Serenissima. There are Christmas markets, a special glass exhibition on the island of Murano, classical music concerts, celebrations in Piazza …

Stock up on Holiday Foods at DItalia.com

If you’re looking to stock up on Italian specialties for Christmas dinner or to give yummy Italian treats as gifts, we wanted to remind you about our friends at DItalia.com We got to know them by being their customers first – bought some of their gift baskets for clients a few years ago – and we continue to do our …