My Christmas is going to be very special. I just moved into a new apartment, in an old building that sits just beside one of the town churches. On the stairs that lead to my place, there is a little, wooden door you wouldn’t even notice unless you knew it’s there, as it has been painted the same color as the walls. Well, if you open that little doo...

If you’re an American of Italian descent, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with this mid-20th century masterpiece of Christmas kitsch. Recorded by Lou Monte in the late 1950s, “Dominic the Donkey” tells the tale of a little donkey with a heart of gold who helps Santa traverse the many hills of Italy, where the reindeer cannot tread. The song w...

“The Grinch came last night and stole Christmas from 9th Street,” said Amber Volpe. Volpe, with the Visitor’s Center at the Italian Market is referencing an incident that occurred December 15, just after 12:15 a.m. A man is seen in surveillance video walking away with a portion of the nativity scene near the intersection of 9th and Catharine Street...

The Arena of Verona is home to a selection of the most beautiful nativity scenes in the world, and works of art inspired by the theme of the Nativity. For the thirty-fifth consecutive year the Arena di Verona is home to the International Festival of the Nativity, a unique event with no competitors in the world.

The Feast of the Seven Fishes, or Festa dei sette pesci, is an Italian-American custom where seven different kinds of seafood are served during a meal, usually on Christmas Eve. Why seven? No one has ever really answered this question for me, though conventional wisdom is that the number relates to the seven sacraments or to the seven days of the w...

It seems the month of December is the time of gift giving regardless of your religious affiliation or nationality. This is especially true in the United States, where the image of Santa Claus is emblazoned everywhere since late November. Other countries have their own version of a benevolent older gentleman who gives out gifts in December, usually...

Entering the holiday season (which we Americans kicked off on November 22 with our Thanksgiving), perhaps you’re looking forward to some time with family and friends, some good food, and maybe even a long-awaited vacation. For many of my fellow citizens, this vacation will be a once-in-a-lifetime holiday to Florence or Tuscany. It’s also a time to...

On Sunday, December 16, the The Saint Leonard Choral Society accompanied by The North End Chamber Orchestra will perform its Annual Christmas Concert. The concert will be led by Musical Director Dr. Dan Drzymalski, assisted by Mr. Jake Hudgins. Continuing with tradition, the concert will be held in the lovely setting of Historic Sacred Heart Italia...

I have fond memories celebrating the Christmas season with my Italian family. Besides the religious observances, the exceptional food and baked goods were an enjoyable part of it. The season started early, right after Thanksgiving, with the baking of tons of cookies and cakes.  As cookies go, there were the tarralle, pizzella, mastachioli, which, a...

Started as a Southern Italian tradition, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is a traditional Christmas Eve meal rekindled by Italian-American families. Restaurants around DC have crafted their own renditions, celebrating coastal cuisine with special menus on (and around) Monday, December 24th. Al Dente3201 New Mexico Ave., NWJames Beard award-winning ch...