One of the best Italian Christmas traditions is that it is celebrated for much longer than other countries. In Italy, the Christmas season officially starts on December 8th celebrated with the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception. For the children, December 6th – St. Nicholas Day – is the kick off. Children write letters to St. Nicholas and hang their stockings. The celebration continues all the way through until January 6th, the 12th day of Christmas, known as the Epiphany.
It is not only Santa who brings Christmas gifts in Italy. On January 6th, marking the end of the holiday season, there is a visit from Befana (good witch). Legend says that on this date she would fill the stockings with candy for the children on the good list – leaving coal for those that were not. Befana also would sweep the floor – sweeping away the problems of the previous year and leaving the family with a clean slate to go ahead into the new year.
Festivities and markets are everywhere throughout Italy during the season – especially in Northern Italy. The Christmas Market in Bolzano (Luigi’s home town) is actually the most popular in the country.
Did you know that the nativity scene display originally stems from Italy? Nativity displays or presepe are very popular especially in southern Italy. These scenes are works of art and some take months and years to complete. Typically, the nativity scene is put up on December 8th. Baby Jesus is added on December 24th and the wise men are added on January 6th.
Select wines from the region - available in flights or by the glass.
Come join us as we celebrate our favorite holiday!