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…

La Notte di San Lorenzo

The patron Saint of cooks is San Lorenzo, Saint Lawrence,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 directly…

Carnevale-Berlingaccio

One of the most colorful of all the holidays and perhaps wildest, is Carnevale. Each region has a different way of celebrating some more famous than others. Nearby in Tuscany, we have a huge parade in Viareggio, which I have attended and adored. Huge floats made from paper machè on large structures, often with moving…

Sant’Agata

Yes, winter has a lot of holidays that have wonderful celebrations. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that nothing is being done on the farms right now and it is dark and cold and people need to bring some joy into their lives? Also, not all Saint’s days are celebrated all over…

Giorni della Merla

You really have to pay attention in Italy with all the holidays, festivals and traditions. Although Italy is a Catholic country, home to the Pope, many of the Catholic holidays took over Pagan holidays. At the end of January, are the “Days of the Blackbird”. Based on the weather during these three days, it let’s…