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…

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…

May 1- Worker’s Day

Primo Maggio, first day of May is international worker’s day. The immage above shows worker’s striking for their rights. “Otto ore di lavoro, otto di svago, otto per dormire”  8 hours of work, 8 hours of relax, 8 hours of sleep… For most now it is a day to be with friends and have fun….

Florentine New Year’s Day

March 21 is the official beginning of Spring, Primaver but here in Tuscany we celebrate New Year’s day, on March 25th, which was the feast of the Annunciation, in the Catholic church. Pope Gregory created the Gregorian Calendar in 1582 and declared January 1 as the beginning of the new  year but Florence kept March…