How Do Italians Celebrate NEW YEAR’S EVE?

How Do Italians Celebrate NEW YEAR’S EVE?

Dec 30, 2019Donatella Mulvoni

Ring in 2020 in style with our guide to your Capodanno Italiano, one of the most exciting nights of the year. The key ingredients? Good food, great company and a lot of prosecco.



Few things are more exciting than ringing in the New Year in Italy. The festivities begin on December 31st, with Festa di San Silvestro (the feast of Holy Sylvester) with a couple of mandatory goals: have fun and enjoy a great dinner! On the last day of the year, friends and family gather together for an epic celebration. On this festive occasion, many big cities such as Rome, Naples and Milan host public and free concerts with big-name musicians, all broadcast live on tv.



New Year’s Eve dinner is traditionally rich and abundant with meat, fish and vegetables. The pasta course may include lasagna and tortellini in a meat broth. There are a few traditions that cannot be missed. First, your NYE table should have lenticchie (lentils). This legume is an ancient symbol of good luck and also money for the new year. The lenticchie plate is served with zampone or cotechino. Zampone is the pig’s trotter; cotechino is a spiced and tasty sausage made from pork, fatback, and rind. It may sound unappetizing, but the taste is really delicious! 



At midnight, “in alto i calici!” Lift a glass with your spumante, prosecco or franciacorta, the most traditional Italian sparkling wines. If you still have room for dessert, here they come: pandoro and panettone; two classic sweet bread cakes of the holidays! The good news is that you can also have them here in the US. Check here our stunning selection!



We love fireworks for special occasions, but New Year's sparklers are the most spectacular in every single city and village. Naples deserves a special honor, the capital of fireworks. There, pyrotechnics  can be hugely impressive. Sometimes, they are elaborate to point of being almost dangerous. Some of the most beautiful coastal cities, like in the Amalfi Coast, have fireworks on the sea…a wonder to see at least once in a lifetime.



In Southern Italy, people throw old things out the window, to represent the new beginning. Another bizarre tradition, is to wear red underwear, this color is considered to be very lucky and a symbol of good health, power, and fertility. 


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