Enjoy all the things you can do this month in Italy
With the season of mistletoe and jingle bells upon us, naturally, the cities and towns of Italy light up with festivities and activities for all. From food festivals to midnight celebrations, your bound to find an activity to suit both your holiday spirit and palette.
This month is rich with music festivals, as Soul Christmas and Umbria Jazz grant us a series of musical performances bound to satisfy one’s ear for rhythm and beat. Enjoy your traditional Christmas Carols adding a touch of groove, blues and swing to your step.
As always Italy is simply brimming with food festivals, yet this particular month is a superfluous of food and wine, needed to satisfy the Christmas frost and palette. Indulge in local traditions such as Polenta and Wild-boar, or opt for a much lighter yet appetising traditional bread, Panettone.
As a gift to all clients, we have just launched the new online site which not only has been optimised to facilitate browsing, but allows you the possibility to book directly online. On top of this, we have also had the opportunity of working with a special guest this month, Michelin star head chef, Tom Aikens at Villa di Petroio. Tom joined Tuscany Now & More for a weekend of local wine and food, but to know more stay tuned to TN&M’s social media accounts.
Sagra del Cinghiale:
From the 27th of November, a town 90 kilometres outside of Florence called Suvereto, holds its annual medieval festival. For 15 days the town hosts local events and activities for all, including medieval competitions and shows, however the main protagonist and star of the show remains the wild-boar. As a regional and local treasure, you are bound to encounter vendors and restaurants serving this local delicacy, in a variety of different ways and techniques.
Festa di San Nicolo (December 6th):
“Il patrono dei vetrai”, otherwise known as San Nicolo, is the Venetian’s patron saint of glass. In honour of his service and gratitude, locals hold a procession on the water, recognised as one of the most important religious processions in Italy. Following on from the procession, one can wander within the local streets of the city, for dispersed within are local markets and vendors selling objects made from glass; especially the famous Murano glass.
La Scala Theatre:
On the 7th of December, La Scala di Milano, one of the worlds leading opera and ballet houses opens its doors to the new season. Having housed some of the greatest operatic artists, many flee to see the spectacular events, from the classics in opera, ballet and concert. The opening on the 7th of December, will feature Giacomo Puccini’s very own, Madama Butterfly.
December 8th is a national holiday throughout Italy, celebrations and festivities take place and most importantly special mass. The most beautiful can be found in Rome, where a ceremony takes place on the Spanish steps where the pope himself kneels in prayer and places a floral wreath on the statue of Madonna in Piazza Mignanelli. There are many other beautiful celebrations throughout Italy, and from big cities to small villages you will find locals rejoicing and celebrating with food and music.
From December 8th to January 1st the winter version of Trasimeno Blues takes place in all the surrounding towns of Trasimeno. Churches and theatres hold sensational gospel, funk, soul and R&B bringing a bit of hip and funk to the traditional Christmas carols.
Midnight Mass (Christmas Eve):
Hop into the Vatican for mass on Christmas Eve, here you will have the opportunity to see the spectacular life-size nativity scene and a 100-foot Christmas tree found in Saint Peter’s Square, let’s not forget the mass service given by the pope himself at exactly midnight!
Italians traditionally celebrated Christmas slightly differently, the main ‘gift giving’ was done on Epiphany and instead of Santa Claus they had La Befana (the witch), however now this tradition has been moulded to suit the 21st century. The one thing they put alot of heart and sweat in is Nativity scene’s also known as Presepe and all across Italy you can come across houses filled with beautiful nativity scenes, but staggering ones can be found in the main cities such as Naples, Vatican, Rome, Celleno and many more. Be the judge and decide which one is the most spectacular.
Having hosted the likes of B.B King, James Brown, Phil Collins and George Benson, the annual Jazz festival Umbria Jazz, has seen it all. Beginning on the 28th of December, and ending after the New Year, both night and day concerts, “jazz-battles”, and competitions will get you grooving, not to mention the events, parties and other local Umbrian activities taking place around the festival.