It would be so wonderful to spend Christmas in Italy this year, but unless Santa comes early and drops off a ticket, I’ll be passing the holidays in New York. No worries, I’m still going to be celebrating in the most Italian ways possible!
While each region and city of Italy might have their particular Christmas traditions, here are a few you can count on seeing no matter where you go. Here are some fun ways to celebrate all’italiana, and if you want more, let’s book an Italian Christmas event
Presepe: Just as common as a Christmas tree in Italy, nearly every church and home Italy will have a Nativity scene. Presepe translates to "manger" and it’s told that the first one was created by San Francesco d’Assisi in 13th century Umbria. These decorations range from tiny miniature to life-sized and motorized.
Tronchetto di Natale: Have you ever seen those chocolate Swiss cake rolls decorated with frosting to resemble wood logs? Those are Tronchetti di Natale. This tradition started way back in the 12th century when on Christmas Eve, the head of the household would throw an extra-large log on the fire to keep their family toasty for the holiday. A piece of this log was kept and burnt on New Years as a good luck charm. And so, they also made it a cake.
Il Cenone della Vigilia di Natale: The Christmas Eve feast! This fish-centric dinner is a pescatarian’s dream come true. The traditional dishes for this meal vary by region, but you can count on multiple courses of exquisite and festive foods from cured fish, ravioli, soup, whole baked fish, (meat somewhere along the way), winter vegetables and sparkling wine.
Panettone and Pandoro: Both tall, fluffy, buttery cakes originally from Northern Italy, the former include candied fruits, raisins and almonds, while the latter is just cake with a veil of powdered sugar. No Christmas is complete without one!
Want to know more about these dear Italian traditions?Take my Christmas in Italy class: Natale in Italia. It's a fun, festive way to learn more about Italian Christmas traditions and apply them to your own. Want to try pairing wines with panettone? Or send out an Italian auguri in your holiday cards this year? Learn a Christmas carol in Italian? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or reply to this email to book.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday season no matter where you are or how you celebrate!