Finalmente è Natale! Is the most wonderful time of the year…despite the pandemic

Finalmente è Natale! Is the most wonderful time of the year…despite the pandemic

Dec 23, 2020Donatella Mulvoni

This year celebrate safely and smoothly! Here you have the most beautiful and tasty Italian rituals.


Celebrating Christmas during Covid-19

This will not be a Holiday like the others. Although lights and decorations adorn the Italian streets and piazzas, as well as the American ones, it will be a very different Christmas for all of us. Our main task is to keep our family and friends happy and healthy during these unprecedented times. As Covid-19 case numbers rise (in Italy and the US), Christmas will look unusual this year. You know, we Italians love huge and crowded Christmas tables. However, this year it will be necessary to make a sacrifice for the good of the community! That does not mean we cannot celebrate it during the pandemic! For 2020, we will have to give up crowded parties, but we can still host a cozy and intimate family dinner! Here are some Italian traditions that you can share in the intimacy of your family.


Christmas Eve and Christmas Day: two celebrations, two menus!

Let's forget about numerous and crowded dinners with relatives and friends! This year the watchword is safety! In any case, if you want to celebrate "Italian style" with your inner family circle, do not forget to celebrate both the 24th and the 25th of December! Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, two celebrations call for two menus. According to the Italian tradition, the Christmas Eve menu involves a multi-course seafood dinner with fish and vegetables. The family waits for the birth of the baby Jesus at midnight and then goes to the Midnight Mass. Unfortunately, this year it will not be possible to go to a church, and you will have to be content to follow the solemn mass live from the Vatican on TV. If you have been to an Italian restaurant in the United States on Christmas Eve, you are sure to have found a special menu called the "Feast of the Seven Fishes." This is a typically Italian-American tradition invented by immigrants from the South. On the table, you will find dishes based on seven different types of fish. On the 25th, the Christmas Day menu consists of more meat-based dishes. As our readers know by now, Italian cuisine is distinctly regional. Therefore, every city and every area of the country have their own peculiar Christmas tradition. Only one is the common thread: the table's opulence and the abundance of food and wine. 


It is not a Christmas table without...

In the shortlist of the most famous dishes of Italian Christmas, there are without a doubt the meat-filled "tortellini in brodo," in a rich capon broth. Among the main courses, you will find a succulent lasagna: sheets of pasta layered with ragù, cheese, mozzarella, boiled, and eggs. On many tables, there is the "abbacchio," roasted lamb with potatoes. From north to south, from east to west, it would be unthinkable for Italians to celebrate Christmas without panettone and pandoro. These sweetbreads represent the very essence of Christmas. If you want to "sweeten" the Christmas of your loved ones, you can give them a delicious panettone or a panettone, accompanying them with a bottle of Italian bubbles. Please choose from our refined selection of Fraccaro Spumadoro gourmet specialties.


Not only food! Let's build a beautiful presepe 

A very peculiar Italian tradition is the Nativity crib, "il presepe", one of the oldest Italian traditions created by San Francis of Assisi. The nativity scene is widespread in every home. Each family has its own personal tradition, with the main characters of the nativity scene handed down for generations: Mary (the Madonna), Joseph (San Giuseppe), Baby Jesus (Gesù Bambino); the ox the and the donkey (il bue e l'asinello); the manger (la mangiatoia); the shepherds (i pastorelli) and the three Wise Men (i re magi). Furthermore, there are those who also add some beloved celebrities. This year, for example, the Neapolitan presepe will have a very special guest, Diego Armando Maradona, the soccer legend who left us a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, this year, due to the pandemic, it will not be possible to visit the most beautiful crib market in Italy, in San Gregorio Armeno, in Naples. We hope for the next year!

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