This week we want to stop one moment and dedicate a post to Christmas holidays, and to the endless, secular, heartwarming Christmas traditions in Italy. Here in Italy, Christmas celebration lasts about one month, starting on December 8th, the day of the “Immacolata”, on which traditionally the “presepe” (Nativity scene) and the Christmas tree are set up, and lasting until the Epiphany, celebrating the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus, on January 6th.
Dear lovely readers, today I would like to share some tips to follow, according my knowledge and experience, about the importance of the decorations. Especially during a wedding or a private event the flowers, decorations and setting tables become the background of your memories and pictures.
First of all, congratulations for your engagement and for choosing Italy for your Destination Wedding! The Italian “I dos” make for memorable destination weddings, rich with history, quality and unique food, fine wines and spectacular venues, from the Tuscan countryside to the charming Venetian Villas, to the beaches of the Italian Riviera or to the Apulian Masserias. But we’re sure you already know this! Now, it’s time to start planning your dream wedding, let’s talk about the most important steps.
Lake Como, the third largest Italian lake. It is famous all over the world for its wonderful and romantic landscapes, the perfect destination for a luxury wedding in Italy. On its shores you can find many picturesque villages, like Bellagio, Menaggio, Lenno, Tremezzo and Varenna, with their beautiful villas and gorgeous gardens.
Cypress alleys, patchwork fields and crumbling castellos. Everyone can picture Tuscany, but it’s not always easy to capture the immensity of the endless waves of green you see with the naked eye, or the timeless quality of ancient stone streets.
Franciacorta is in the heart of Lombardy, a stone’s throw away from Milan and overlooking Lake Iseo in an area measuring around 200 square kilometres and comprising 19 towns in Brescia province. Its gentle hills, delimited to the west by the River Oglio and to the north-west by the Rhaetian Alps, owe their origin to ancient glaciers which carved out the future Franciacorta amphitheatre as they melted over 10,000 years ago.
Lazio is the heart of Italy, not only for its central position within the country, but due to the country’s capital city of Rome, the city par excellence, renowned for Italian excellence, romance and history.
There is nowhere quite like Rome, home to some of the world’s most important historical sights such as the Colosseum, the Trevi fountain and the Pantheon, not to mention the Vatican, the birthplace of Christian culture. It is exciting, magical, romantic… in short, Rome weddings are whirlwinds of emotion.
A land of sea, hills and endless plains, the Apulia region attracts visitors for its amazing coastline (more than 800 kilometers across Adriatic and Ionian Sea), but also for its art cities and picturesque historical villages, where old religious traditions still live untouched, its countryside masserie immersed in olive groves, and its plenty of farm products that tell of unique ancient flavors.
Puglia can surely now take its place in the first rank of Italy’s famous regions. Clearly, everything the Italophile craves is there in abundance: ancient towns heavy with the tangible past; extravagant churches dreamt up by Europe’s finest architects; the footprints of an endless procession of conquerors and cultures, stamped in stone, gold and marble; seas of olives; olive – green seas; and food the equal of any in Italy.
Travellers bored or worn down by the crowds of Campania and Tuscany can find still release in the baroque splendour of Lecce, ‘Florence of the South’, or one of many lesser (but no less beautiful) Pugliese towns.
Let’s continue our gastronomic journey towards the tip of the boot of the Italian Peninsula.
Many of Italy’s most famous pasta dishes, including spaghetti alla carbonara, cacio e pepe, and pasta alla gricia originated in LAZIO, home to Rome.
This region is mainly famous for long strand noodles like spaghetti and fettuccine rather than short-cut pasta.
Another extremely popular dish is saltimbocca, imitated all over the world, and the pasta sauce arrabbiata.
For many, PUGLIA is their first stop on any Italian gastronomy tour.
Orecchiette is the pasta of choice here, which translates into “little ears” and are made with just flour and water. Typically served with cime di rapa (turnip greens), or aged ricotta and fresh tomatoes, orecchiette is ideally shaped for soaking up and enjoying sauces.
Puglia is also where much of Italy’s olive oil is produced and we highly recommend tastings.
The food of CAMPANIA is more commonly known as Neapolitan, and the region is responsible for two of Italy’s most appetizing exports, spaghetti and pizza. You’ll have no trouble finding spaghetti alla Puttanesca (a seafood pasta featuring anchovies, capers, olives, tomatoes, chili peppers, and garlic) and the most authentic pizza in almost any restaurant or pizzeria.
But the most appreciated treat of Campania is for sure mozzarella di bufala, a buffalo soft cheese with very ancient origins that you cannot miss.
As a region, SICILY is amazingly fertile, and the variety of crops that can grow here (from oranges to eggplants, tomatoes to pistachios) is nearly unparalleled. Combine this with a wealth of seafood found just off the coast, and you have the recipe for a fantastic gastronomy scene.
Among Sicilian delicacies there is sfincione, a rectangular, thick, and doughy crust, actually quite similar to focaccia. As for toppings, you’ll find the traditional tomatoes, onions, anchovies, and herbs for seasoning, as well as local cheese, like caciocavallo, a stretched-out curd cheese made of goat’s milk.
When it comes to Sicilian snacks, we cannot speak about arancine, which consist of fried risotto croquettes stuffed with meat and mozzarella cheese.
And for dessert, don’t forget cannoli, the signature deep-fried pastry tube of Sicily.
Hope this guide helped you understand which dishes you definitely don’t want to miss!
See you soon and have a good day!
today we’ll talk about food, again.
Yes, because we all know that if you choose to tie the knot in Italy, you must be a foodie 🙂
Joking aside, the gastronomic part of a wedding is extremely important, and for an Italian destination wedding, it is even more central.
If you look for tasty, well-prepared and high quality food, no matter the region you choose, you know you won’t be disappointed.
But, menus should also suit your personal tastes and the variety of Italian dishes really is endless.
That’s why we want to give a brief description of a few regions’ main specialties, so you can grasp some of the different gastronomic styles and cultures.
Let’s start with our beloved VENETO, a region steeped in dramatic shifts: from the mountains down to the shores of the Adriatic.
Venetian food varies greatly, both from Italy as a whole and even within the seven provinces that make up the region.
Tortellini, polenta, bigoli and risotto are very common dishes.
On the shores of the Adriatic, seafood risotto is popular, but the further inland you travel, you’ll find plenty of variations including pumpkin, radicchio, and Amarone wine.
Talking about desserts, the world-famous Tiramisù was born here.
Nestled between the mountains and the sea in Northwest Italy, LIGURIA is synonymous with the Italian Riviera. And being a coastal region, it also has a close association with fresh seafood, particularly fish, mussels, and squid.
But, pesto is the most appreciated ingredient in Liguria cooking: you can trace its origin back to Genoa, Liguria’s capital city. It is usually paired with trofie (typical Ligurian pasta), potatoes and green beans.
Hearty, simple, and seasonal, a trip through TUSCANY is like a trip through Italy’s culinary heart.
You’ll quickly notice almost all meals in Tuscany are served with a simple loaf of unsalted bread. This tradition dates back to the 16th century when a tax placed on salt forced local bakers to get creative with their baking. The salt tax is long gone, but the tradition has carried on and in many ways is the signature element of Tuscan bread. Initially, this bread may seem a little flavorless, but you’re missing its main purpose, to soak up leftover sauce and juices on your plate after the meal is done.
Bread shows up throughout Tuscan meals, from fettunta (a traditional bruschetta) to ribollita (a twice boiled soup). You’ll even find bread salad, better known as panzanella, which is day-old bread mixed with a medley of sun-ripened vegetables, drizzled with olive oil and vinegar.
Pasta is also (unsurprisingly) popular, particularly pappardelle alla lepre, which is an egg noodle dish served in a wild hare sauce. For many, this is the signature Tuscan meal. Other meat dishes include cinghiale in umido (a wild boar stew) and bistecca alla Fiorentina—a Tuscan steak that comes from the Chianina breed of cow.
In UMBRIA, it feels as if everything good to eat comes from the woods. Game such as cinghiale (wild boar) works its way into every course — except dessert, of course. Then there’s tartufo. The black truffle grows just below ground level in deciduous forests all over the region.
Still more prized is the tartufo bianco (white truffle) that appears around Gubbio in late autumn. The dish itself could hardly be simpler. Simply toss fresh, handmade pasta strands with a little butter and some grated Parmigiano to taste, and as much truffle as you’re allowed.
That’s enough mouthwatering recipes for today, let’s leave it there.
See you next week for the second part!