Italy does Christmas very well, but there are a few traditions which may seem confusing or downright bizarre to the uninitiated. Here are six of the key ingredients for a truly Italian festive season, explained. 1. A month of festivities We've all got that one friend who wants to put on the Christmas music and dig out their reindeer jumper in Septe...

No Christmas would be complete without some good fireside stories! And Italy is full of interesting tales. So from good Christmas witches to dynamic processions of fire, here are some of the most interesting Christmas legends & festivals to come out of Italy! La Befana La Befana is hands down Italy’s most interesting Christmas character. Known as t...

The very roots of our modern Christmas belong in Italy. Christmas, the Feast of the Nativity, was decreed by Emperor Aurelian in A.D. 274 to take place on December 25th of each year. Although many biblical historians believe the actual birth of Jesus took place some time in the Spring, early Roman Christians felt it was important to create a feast...

La Sacra Famiglia, il bue, l'asinello, i pastori e tanta tanta acqua. È il "Presepe galleggiante" di Formia, la città costiera in provincia di Latina, unico del suo genere in Italia. Una realizzazione strettamente legata alla tradizione marinara del centro del sud laziale. Le 23 grandi forme sono state, infatti, costruite in legno da barca, e poste...

Christmas is probably the most loved festivity in Italy. Lights, Christmas carols and trees decorate every corner of the country, from the smallest villages to the largest cities. During this time of the year, Italians love going for walks, shopping and breathing in the magic atmosphere of the season, especially if there is an authentic Christmas m...

From the shop windows of Naples, hundreds of faces lure us with their expressions: proud, sad, joyful, lewd, angelic, humorous. Few artistic traditions have this ability to pull at our heartstrings, to surprise and delight us, to make us laugh out loud. More than any other Neapolitan tradition, nativities (called o’presebbio in Neapolitan dialect)...

In Italy, it is not only people who gets ready for Christmas, but cities, too. It is especially Christmas street lights and decorations that help creating that special holiday mood everywhere, so much so that walking around, shopping or simply strolling enjoying the atmosphere, is one of people’s favorite activities this time of the year. There is...

It all started in the spring of 1972. The perks of my job in Temple University’s Athletic Department included my use of the facilities on a regular basis. One particular lunch hour, I decided to go out to the tennis courts and practice hitting backhands against the big, green wall outside of McGonigle Hall. After about a half-hour, I felt what is b...

Hoboken, NJ is considered a Mecca of Italian American Pastry, with something for everyone, from world-famous brands to the most authentic family-owned Pasticceria you could ask for! At Giorgio’s Pasticceria Italiana, second generation pastry chef Mary Grace Castiello follows in the footsteps of her late father, the Pastry Shop’s namesake Giorgio, i...

Here we are again: the year is almost over and a new one will start soon. So, I thought I would take a good look at what expressions are typical of this period of time, of December, of Christmas, and generally speaking of the end of the year. Let’s begin!  First, let’s look at the month of December. Starting from the beginning, Italians say Santa L...