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Christmas Holidays in Italy

27 Dicembre 2021

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.

On December 24, 1223 St. Francis of Assisi commissioned Giovanni Vellita, a villager of Greccio, in the province of Lazio, to create what was to be the first Nativity scene in the world. It was created in one of the caves of the local monastery. A layer of straw had been spread on the stone floor and a primitive crib had been placed in a corner. Around it were a donkey, an ox and a dozen of peasants. From that moment on, the Italian tradition of the “presepe” was born.

Today, the Presepe consists of small, hand-carved figurines, usually made in the region of Naples, set in scenes representing Jesus’ birth. However, the Italian presepe often consists of more than just a traditional nativity crib with the Holy Family and baby Jesus in the stable. Italian families usually build an entire scene or village consisting of hand-made houses, bridges and shops, using cork to create mountains, to which electrically powered wells and lights are added. Baby Jesus is only added to the scene on Christmas night. 

It is one of the most beloved and enduring symbols and activities of the Christmas season.

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Besides the “presepe” and the Christmas tree, there are many other traditional decorations that you will find in Italian houses during the Christmas period. We’re talking about garlands, lights, candles, centerpieces and all types of greenery that are typically used to enhance the Christmas atmosphere and make the house joyful, colorful and warm. 

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In Italy, Christmas Eve is usually a family gathering. Traditionally, the “cenone” (Christmas supper) is served at home and the menu varies from region to region, but traditionally it excludes meat items and is based mainly on fish. 

Family parties continue until almost midnight when everyone attends church services and worships.

The Christmas Day dinner is the most important Christmas family tradition in Italy. Usually It is a large meal complete with appetizers, starters, first and main course, and desserts. 

The main course can be stuffed cappone (capon) or tacchino, mixed roast, roast beef or cotechino.

For dessert, there are all kinds of fancy holiday breads, such as panettone, filled with candied fruits, and such sweets as cannoli, a cheese-filled pastry, and many other delicacies. Another famous Christmas bread is pandoro which originated from Verona. The Torrone (nougat), with honey or chocolate almonds or pistachios, is the most typical of the Christmas sweets. 

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Saint Stephen’s Day, the day after Christmas and the Feast of the first Christian martyr, is a public holiday in Italy.

It is not uncommon that couples decide to marry during Christmas, to enjoy the magical atmosphere of traditions and holidays that surrounds wintertime in Italy.

If you wish to explore this possibility too, our advice for the best locations during Christmas are for sure the Alps, Dolomites and Apennines but also Sicily and Apulia are becoming more and more popular in winter.

We wish you a joyful, serene Christmas holidays and to spend some beautiful holidays.

See you next time!

Wedding theme & Moodboards

You are engaged!What are the next steps for your Wedding in Italy?

29 Ottobre 2021

You are engaged.. What are the next steps for your Wedding in Italy?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.

  1. You and your partner should talk and decide the location, the “mood” and the style of your wedding. What are the locations that you like and reflect your style the most?  As mentioned before, in Italy there is enough to go around: mountains, sandy and rocky beaches, countryside, glamorous towns, historical villages, etc. Regarding the style, do you prefer a rustic and country mood or an elegant decor? Or maybe a fairy-tale atmosphere or a boho chic style? It is important to stop and reflect on which one most appeals to you.
  2. Your next step is to set the budget and decide how many guests you want to invite. The 2 factors are obviously strictly correlated –  the more guests you have the more costs you have to bear
  1. Now it’s time to choose the wedding planner, who will help you pick the best places and venues based on your mood board. It is also important to consider: where International Airports are located, to save you and your guests lengthy trips, and transportation service, for your guests that would like to avoid driving.
  2. The wedding planner will then help you choose the theme of the RSPV (abbreviation of the French phrase “Repondez, still vous plait” that means “Respond, please”) that are the cards that will be sent to the guests to know if they will come to the wedding.
  1. Once you’ll be sure of the number of guests, you can send the invitation. This step is important because the theme and the customization of the RSVP and invitations will carry through the whole event and will influence the details, decorations and the stationery of your wedding. This is obviously not mandatory, but is certainly one of the not-so-little things that gives the idea of a well-planned and cared for in detail event.
  2. At this point, the wedding planner will start to search for the perfect catering company, a fundamental part of an Italian wedding.All the points previously mentioned such as the budget, the theme and the number of guests will be taken into account to choose the best offer

We know it could be overwhelming to start thinking about planning a wedding in another country.. that’s why we wanted to give you some information to sort things out! And don’t worry, it’s much less complicated than it seems, just start following these steps and the wedding of your dreams will easily take shape.We hope we have made some clarity and if you have any other doubts, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Have a great weekend!