Italy: Christmas Customs and Traditions (Part One)

Christmas in Italy is one of the best dates to travel in this country, because you will not only be able to visit its most emblematic sites such as the Colosseum in Rome, the Trevi

Christmas in Italy is one of the best dates to travel in this country, because you will not only be able to visit its most emblematic sites such as the Colosseum in Rome, the Trevi Fountain, the Basilica of San Marcos or the Uffizi Gallery, but also to experience, with intensity, a part of the Italian culture. And it’s that this date is highly anticipated and truly magical!

In fact, “Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi” (“Christmas with your loved ones, Easter with whoever you want”) is a motto during the vacations in Italy because they get together with their loved ones. But if you are a tourist, you don’t have to worry, you will surely find an Italian who will invite you to the table of his house, and there are activities you can easily participate in. Do you want to know everything about the sights of Christmas in Italy? Read on!


When Is Christmas Celebrated in Italy?


We leave you with some of the most important dates of Christmas in Italy:

– December 6: the Christmas season officially begins. Most Catholic families usually go to mass.

– December 8: The Christmas tree is put up.

– December 24: It is Christmas Eve. It is common to get together to share a meal.

– December 25: It’s Christmas Day in this country! Gifts are opened.


How Is Christmas Celebrated in Italy?

Italy is a beautiful country to spend Christmas in, with a rich culture and history dating back to ancient times. Italians love to celebrate Christmas and do so in many different ways. Some choose to go skiing, while others like to go to restaurants or visit tourist sites. But whatever they do, they make sure to take time to enjoy the holidays and spend quality time with those who matter most, like their families.


This is one of the most wonderful times in our country. It is common for families to come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, as well as the history and traditions of their own families. For example, some choose to light candles and candles on Christmas trees, sing Christmas carols, visit with friends and family, and others eat foods symbolic of the Christmas season.


Typical Christmas Decoration in Italy

How is Christmas in Italy? With lots of lights! The first thing is the Christmas tree which is put up on December 8 and taken down on January 6. This is a tradition that has been going on for hundreds of years. In the beginning, it was decorated with dried fruit, cookies and fruit. Nowadays, there are lights of all kinds that are accompanied by bows and ribbons. At the top of the tree, you can’t miss a bright and striking star.


On the other hand, the decoration of Italy at Christmas includes the preparation of the crib. This one represents the birth of Jesus! The materials used to make them are quite special, as some make oxen, donkeys and sheep out of wood, others out of cardboard. It all depends on the style you want to achieve! Also, what cannot be missing are the animals, a hut with Mary, Joseph and in the center a cradle, where Jesus will be born.


And, of course, the houses are decorated with the Christmas theme and the Christmas lights in Italy are a must. Both inside and outside, there are a multitude of decorations that light up with lights of all colors. In addition, an Advent wreath is usually made, which is a fabric of fir branches and red silk ribbons, in which four red candles are placed and lit one by one on the Sundays before Christmas.



Typical Christmas Dishes in Italy

In Italy, Christmas is the occasion to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but it is also the occasion to taste delicious dishes. In fact, many Italians think that Christmas is a gastronomic holiday, and they are right! Because many of their dishes are well worth the effort. Depending on the region, here are a few must-try dishes:

– Risotto alle Patate: This creamy risotto is one of the most popular Christmas menus in Italy. It is usually made with arborio rice, which is obtained from the hulled grains of a specific type of wheat. This particular recipe calls for potatoes and cream, as well as other traditional ingredients like mushrooms.

– Pasta alla Norma: This pasta dish is part of almost every Italian Christmas menu. It is made with an almond sauce of ground pork or beef, tomatoes and onions. If you prefer, you can add other meats, such as chicken or beef.

– Traditional Italian Antipasti: This is a delicious meal made with cold cuts such as salami and prosciutto, olives and cheese, among others.

– Prosciutto e melone: This dish is composed of layers of ham and melon. It is traditionally served with a slice of bread on top for dipping.

– Torta di Natale: This dish consists of a cake filled with raisins, candied almonds and an orange cream sauce. It is traditionally served during the holidays as part of an antipasti plate.

– Panettone: A traditional Italian cake that is usually shaped like a bell or star. It is one of the most traditional Christmas treats in Italy.


There you are – you now know more about how Christmas is celebrated in Italy. Do you want to learn about specific Christmas customs and traditions in Italy? Come back to check the second part of our blog. Which country you are planning to visit for Christmas? Tell us in the comments below.


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