Tutti Santi e Defunti (Morti)

While the rest of the world is celebrating Halloween, Italy is commemorating their lost ones. November 1 is Ogni Santi, All Saint’s Day. November 2 is Commemerazione dei Defunti, or All Soul’s Day. As in many other Catholic communities, visiting your loved ones at the cemetery is expected. Most Italians live and die in the…

Ferragosto

August 15th is my sign summer is almost over. In Italy, so many things close down. Small family owned businesses may close the whole month or simply a week. If possible, families leave town and head to the beach or the mountains to stay cooler and have some nice fresh air. These signs are all…

La Notte di San Lorenzo

The patron Saint of cooks is San Lorenzo, perhaps because he was grilled to death? Folklore has it that  he was placed over an open fire on a grill and asked to be turned over as he was done on one side. He is also seen holding a grill in his hand. or over the…

San Giovanni – June 24th

In Florence, June 24th is important as St John the Baptist is the patron saint of the city. We have a historic soccer game called Calcio in Costume, which can be rather violent. A rough combination of rugby and soccer played on sand in the Piazza Santa Croce. I adore the parade which happens before…

Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost Sunday is really like the opening of the “Buona Stagione” here in Italy. In religious celebrations, it is when the Holy Spirit came down and gave the “gift of tongues” meaning language to the Apostles, 50 days after Easter. ( Penta means 5). All over Italy, there are celebrations with flowers, often using petals…