Natale (Christmas) is simply not a one-day affair for the average Italian. With every excuse, the Italian will celebrate the best of all occasion’s; especially Christmas, with preparations like no other on the festive calendar.
Leading up to the big day are many smaller events including our particular favourite, La Festa do San Nicola, taking place on the 6th December (festival in honour of St. Nicholas). This special fiesta brings together family and friends to enjoy the simplicities of life – pasta and wine. Continue the celebrations on Christmas Eve with a Cenone dinner – a traditional eel dish, however, can contemporarily be pared with something a little more scrumptious.
You wont find the crass commercialism threatening the Italian Christmas like many western countries. Quaint traditions replace the materialisation, as children write letters of thanks and love to parents, and no quarrels over gifts are displayed.
One thing you can be sure of in the Italian Christmas is the sweet smell of Panettone (Italian Christmas cake), that can be enjoyed over an Christmas than a customary Italian lunch. The festivities last straight through to January 6th; the typical day children receive their Christmas gifts.
Italy is the perfect Christmas destination; the enticing smells of a month worth of food, the cold winter chill and a love of traditional celebrations late into the night.