December’s Holidays

December is filled with so many holidays that it is hard to make plans. The 8th is the Immaculate Conception, and has always been when the cities turn on their lights for the holidays and the Christmas Markets start. The city of Milano celebrates their patron saint, Sant’Ambrogio on the 7th, so they get an…

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…