Although you'll find Christmas celebrations all over Italy, With decoration starting on December 8th, we listed some of the most unusual or most popular Christmas celebrations, events, and decorations. Naples
is one of the best cities to visit for Nativity cribs. Naples and southern Italy have other Christmas traditions, including the Christmas Eve dinner of the seven fish dishes, although it doesn't really have to be seven fishes and not everyone serves it. Bagpipe and flute players, zampognari and pifferai, are a part of Christmas celebrations in Rome, Naples, and southern Italy. They often wear traditional colorful costumes with sheepskin vests, long white stockings, and dark cloaks. Many of them travel from the mountains of the Abruzzo region to play outside churches and in popular city squares. Rome is another top city to visit during the Christmas season. There's a large Christmas market, nativity displays, and several huge Christmas trees. Here's what to see in Rome during Christmas season. Saint Peter's Square in Vatican City hosts the popular midnight mass given by the Pope inside Saint Peter's Basilica. Those in the square see it on big screen TV. At noon on Christmas day the Pope gives his Christmas message from the window of his apartment overlooking the square. A large tree and nativity scene are erected in the square before Christmas. Torino, in northern Italy's Piemonte region is one of the best places for lights. Over 20 kilometers of streets and squares are illuminated by some of the best illumination artists in Europe from late November through early January. Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, is decorated with hundreds of lights. An illuminated arch with a huge star points to the Christmas market and in the Roman Arena is a display of nativity scenes. More about Verona Near the top of Monte Ingino, above Gubbio in central Italy's Umbria region, shines a huge Christmas tree, 650 meters tall and made up of more than 700 lights. In 1991 the Guinness Book of Records named it "The World's Tallest Christmas Tree." The tree is topped by a star that can be seen for nearly 50 kilometers. Tree lights are turned on every year on 7 December, the evening before the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Città di Castello, in Umbria, celebrates Christmas Eve in on the Tiber River. Towards evening, a group of canoeists, each dressed as Father Christmas, with their canoes illuminated by lights, make their way along the river to the bridge at Porta San Florido where a crib is suspended over the water. When they get out of their canoes, they give small presents to the children gathered there. Lago Trasimeno, also in Umbria, celebrates with Soul Christmas, Umbria Gospel Festival, December 8 - January 6.
Manarola in Cinque Terre has a unique ecological nativity powered by solar energy. More information In Abbadia di San Salvatore, near Montalcino, the Fiaccole di Natale or Festival of Christmas Torches (Christmas Eve) is celebrated. Carols and torchlight processions in memory of the shepherds from the first Christmas Eve. Cortina d'Ampezzo in the Alps celebrates with a skiers torchlight parade - At midnight on Christmas Eve hundreds of people ski down an Alpine peak carrying torches.
Friuli–Venezia Giulia is one of the twenty regions of Italy, and one of five autonomous regions with special statute. The capital is Trieste. It has an area of 7,858 km² and about 1.2 million inhabitants. A natural opening to the sea for many Central European countries, the region is traversed by the major transport routes between the east and west of southern Europe. It encompasses the historical-geographical region of Friuli and the geographical region of Venezia Giulia (known in English also as Julian March), each with its own distinct history, traditions and identity.
Friuli–Venezia Giulia is Italy's most North-Eastern region. It is the fifth smallest region of the country. It borders Austria to the north and Slovenia to the east. To the south it faces the Adriatic Sea and to the west its internal border is with the Veneto region.
The region spans a wide variety of climates and landscapes from the mild Mediterranean climate in the south to Alpine continental in the north. The total area is subdivided into a 42.5% mountainous-alpine terrain in the north, 19.3% is hilly, mostly to the south-east, while the remaining 38.2% comprises the central and coastal plains.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia is famous for its mixtures of dishes stemming from both Friulani and Giuliani traditions. With influences from key cities such as Udine, Trieste and Venice. Friuli-Venezia Giulia is also known for its fine wine.
Famous dishes include:
· Crostoli Angel Wings
· Frittole (Pastry)
· Gnocchi alla spinache
It's in the most mountainous region of Italy, entirely surrounded by the best known, splendid peaks of the Alps: the Monte Bianco, the Matterhorn, the Monte Rosa and the Gran Paradiso. The latter is at the center of a magnificent National Park, populated by beautiful specimens of ibex, chamois and eagle. Numerous glaciers feed a rich web of streams, which at the bottom of the respective valleys flow in the basin of the Dora Baltea. The distinctly Alpine character of this region can be seen in the pine forests, up to rather high altitudes, where they give place to large pasturelands. The small Alpine lakes, little jewels set in majestic mountain landscapes, are numerous. Thanks to the Monte Bianco’s and the Gran San Bernardo’s tunnels, the great historic passes are today important lines of communication.
Aosta is the capital of the region, which is ruled by a special statute, where the Italian and the French languages are officially recognized.
Important traces of the Roman Age can be found in Aosta: the city walls, the theater, Augustus’s Arch, the Pretorian Gate. Visitors can admire the Romanesque Cathedral, which dates back to the eleventh century. The Sant'Orso Church is a good example of medieval architecture. Many are the fortified castles in the Aosta Valley; moist of them are in perfect conditions and open to visitors; many have become museums of local history. The most famous are the castles of Fénis, of Aymavilles, of Issogne and Verrés.
Places to visit:The Matterhorn, the Monte Rosa, the Monte Bianco, which can be reached by the loftiest cableway in Europe; the beautiful National Park of Gran Paradiso; in winter, the numerous ski resorts. There are the typical villages with the quaint local houses (rascards). St. Vincent and its Casino offer a wide range of entertainment.