Dear all,

Now that we are well on our way in December, I thought it was time to share some Italian Christmas experiences.

Christmas in Italy doesn’t seem so different from Christmas in the Netherlands. It’s perhaps a slightly different feeling when shops are being decorated and it’s still 20 degrees C. outside. However, at the beginning of December, temperatures usually start to drop quite quickly, and although it’s colder, the sun and blue skies entirely make up for that. December is often a sunny month in Italy. No snow, little rain and few clouds, with temperatures that vaguely remind you of winter. Nonetheless, seeing all the Christmas lights and trees, and seeing (often also smelling) all the delicious treats you can buy in any supermarket, the Italian Christmas vibe is very apparent. I wholeheartedly enjoy it.

The traditions are fairly similar to what I’m used to. I would say that when it comes to Christmas in the Netherlands, there is a big focus on Christmas Day, some focus on Christmas Eve, and little focus on Boxing Day. In Italy, the main Christmas events take place on Christmas Eve until Christmas Day’s lunch. Even though people often don’t work on Boxing Day, they don’t necessarily celebrate Christmas that day.

It’s all about the food. At least the Chrismas that I’ve experienced in Italy was all about the food. There is some elaborate cooking going on. Meals are endless, but unimaginably delicious. I could now start listing all the types of food eaten at Christmas in Italy, but this obviously differs from region to region. However, I will write a blog post after Christmas on this and share some pictures to give you a better idea of what it’s like.

Just a quick note: indoor decorations are not used before the 8th of December in Italy. Outdoor decorations may already be visible at the end of November, but traditionally houses are decorated from the 8th. So, excitedly preparing your Christmas tree the moment December begins, might come across as a little bit odd in Italy. But only a little bit, I’m sure.

Just another quick note: traditionally, nearly every year, the huge Christmas tree in Galleria Umberto I of Naples is stolen. How they are able to succeed so many times in stealing it, is absolutely unknown to me and many others. But, secretly, I’m almost starting to appreciate the tradition.

From Italy with love,

Merel