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Il pranzo di Natale – The Italian Christmas Lunch

Italian Christmas LunchChristmas day, it's a great festivity in the most part of the world. In Italy, is an important moment of the year because is the occasion, more than the others, to reunite all the family around a table.The Italian Christmas lunch is a great challenge for the stomachs of all the participants. Usually, takes place at the grandma's house and it lasts for hours. Many special dishes are prepared, following special traditions of the family or traditional recipes, always revisited by the knowledgeable hands of mothers and grandmothers. Through those recipes, it's an occasion to revive stories and memories about the family traditions. In some families happens that the last part of the lunch is the moment to exchange and open the Christmas presents that every member have received. Continue reading "Il pranzo di Natale – The Italian Christmas Lunch"

Viareggio Carnival – It Takes a Village

Viareggio carnival paradeTravel to the Northern part of the Tuscan coast and you will find a beautiful town called Viareggio. As it sits on the coast, this charming seaside town began as a medieval fishing village, and later became known for its shipbuilding. One of the main attractions of Viareggio occurs during Carnival, which is the period of fun and feasting before Lent.

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New Year’s Cotechino and Lentils

Cotechino with lentilsA Delicious and Rewarding New Year’s Eve Tradition!

Italians have a knack for celebrating traditions with festive meals and, as the year comes to a close, there is none so delicious as Cotechino with Lentils on New Year’s Eve.The tradition behind eating a hearty meal of Cotechino with Lentils on New Year’s Eve is based upon an old Italian custom. Since Lentils are somewhat flat like coins, the idea is that if, at the stroke of midnight, you start the New Year by eating lentils, it will bring you fortune. The more lentils you eat, the richer you will be.

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Christmas Markets in Trentino

Christmas Market TrentinoIt truly looks like Christmas… in Trentino!

You have not truly experienced the Christmas spirit until you have gone to the Christmas Markets in Italy’s northern region of Trentino Alto Adige. From November 22nd through January 6th, the main plazas of towns like Merano, Brunico, Bolzano, Trento and many others, come alive with the true charm of the holiday season.

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Christmas time with Pandoro

PandoroChristmas time is a moment that gather all the family. In Italy, our tradition is to reunite all the parents around a table, where eating and laughing are the main activities. Beside Panettone, Pandoro is one of the most common dessert during the festivities.

Pandoro is a sweet yeast bread composed with flour, sugar, butter and vanilla. Usually is served with powdered sugar on top or with Chantilly cream as a side. Pandoro is shaped like a frustum, with an eight star section. Pandoro is combined in many occasions with desserts wines to strengthen its sweetness and its flavor . Continue reading "Christmas time with Pandoro"

Legends about the Panettone

milan_panettone_cake_christmas_tranditional_dessert_blgPanettone is a sweet bread loaf which is typical of the Italian culture. This sweet bread is a must on every table on Christmas time but also on the New Year Eve. It has a shape like a cupola with a cylindrical base. It contains a lot of different ingredients like raisins, candied orange, citron and lemon zest, but many different varieties are available with creme and chocolate. The Panettone is originally from Milan, in Lombardy, and now that has became, a so spread habit, in all Italy it is produced in an industrial way, but tasting the original one baked by one of the master artisans in Milan is a still a different experience. Continue reading "Legends about the Panettone"

Natale di Vetro in Murano

Natale di vetroIn Murano, one of the major islands of the Venice Lagoon, every Christmas,something special happens. Murano is renowned all over the world for its glass blowers and their incredible capabilities to give shapes and colors to the glass. On the 6th of December, there is the celebration for Saint Nicole, the patron Saint of glass blowers, from this date Murano celebrates, for about one month, the "Natale di Vetro" where all the island rejoices about its art glass. Continue reading "Natale di Vetro in Murano"