Traditionally, Christmas represents the moment of the year dedicated to some of the most elaborate and tasty dishes and recipes of Italian cuisine, from North to South. There are, in fact, some dishes that absolutely cannot be missed throughout the Christmas period. Every city and every region boasts its own specialties. In Rome the abbacchio trium...

When it comes to Christmas in an Italian American household, there is one word you need to keep in mind: Food! Everything revolves around what to eat! Now usually American families would think about what to prepare maybe a few days before or they directly made reservations at a nice restaurant. Now in an Italian American family, that is unthinkable...

Italy turns itself into a fairytale dream at Christmas, where everything has a special role. Amazing Christmas trees, colorful streets full of lights, Babbi Natale –Santa Clauses– greeting people in squares, nativity scenes and zampognari playing bagpipes, Christmas markets: all makes the atmosphere magic. Christmas is celebrated everywhere, but th...

With Christmas approaching, I look back fondly and with much nostalgia at the time I spent in my Nonna’skitchen, watching the preparation of  my favorite holiday treats: a chocolate-spice cookie, sometimes called, tatù; and the reigning queen of all holiday cookies, the cuccidati, a fig-filled sweet. I’m not sure whether I was more enchanted by the...

Afew years back, pastry executive Alberto Bauli spoke with a heightened sense of panic during a press conference for an Italian consortium of bakers and confectioners. “Seven out of 10 Americans buying an ‘Italian-style’ panettone are getting a fake,” he proclaimed. Panettone—the world-famous, yeast-leavened cake, whose sales reach their peak durin...

Santa Claus is finally coming to Italy! December 25 is near and Italian kids, just like many other children all around the world, are looking forward to waking up on Christmas morning to see if they have been good enough to deserve some presents from the misterious man in red they call Babbo Natale. However, Santa is not the only protagonist of our...

The trees are shaking off their browned leaves, there is a distinct chill in the air, everything is peppermint and gingerbread and all about Santa Claus. It feels as though our hands are always cold. The pinkness in my cheeks, chapped lips and transition to warm cups of coffee has me nostalgic. I’m not sure if it feels the same for you, but for me,...

During the Christmas period there are still many rituals and traditions that are held in the squares and streets of the Italian cities. One of the typical figures at this time of the year are the bagpipers who travel throughout Italy playing the Zampogna and the bagpipes. Italian traditions will guide you on the discovery of this pastoral tradition...

Every year, on Christmas Eve, many families across the US gather for the Feast of Seven Fishes. Although it is unclear exactly when the grand seafood feast became popular in America, it is considered one of the most popular Italian traditions in the nation. “Wait,” You may ask, “Seven fishes? That can’t be right. Is that like in The Godfather when...

The festive season in Sicily is always such a suggestive time of year to visit the island, where you will find the locals in full traditional Christmas mode. It is a prosperous season, if you don’t mind the cold, as there is always something to see, taste or experience.  Every major city has a Christmas event's calendar to explore, and the colours...