A White Christmas in Tuscany!
“Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire inside is so delightful…” if Sammy Cahn were in Tuscany today he would surely compose the same words he did back in 1945! Tuscany can be covered with snow from north to south and east to west, at any altitude. Winter in Tuscany can be a great time to visit. Renting a villa is an amazing way to enjoy this season. Snow in Tuscany is a pretty common phenomenon. The spectacle is absolutely lovely, and in most cases the snow is quickly removed from city streets and sidewalks, and driving or walking in the city is safe. There are winter sports and few tourists make visiting museums a great experience. One can delight in bringing wood to the fireplace, preparing hot hearty soups, dressing with warm clothes and visiting winter markets. The cold weather in Tuscany does not last long, but long enough to enjoy the winter season and the good sides of it.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to celebrate Christmas in Italy. The Christmas season in Italy is traditionally celebrated December 24-January 6, or Christmas Eve through Epiphany. This follows the pagan season of celebrations that started with Saturnalia, a winter solstice festival, and ended with the Roman New Year, the Calends. However there are lots of Christmas things to see during December prior to Christmas, many starting on December 8, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception.
Christmas decorations and trees are becoming more popular in Italy. Lights and decorations are often seen starting around December 8, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, or even the end of November. The main focus of decorations continues to be the presepe, Nativity scene or creche. Almost every church has a presepe and they are often found outdoors in a piazza or public area, too. Although Babbo Natale (Father Christmas) and giving presents on Christmas are becoming more common, the main day for gift giving is Epiphany, the 12th day of Christmas when the three Wise Men gave Baby Jesus their gifts. In Italy, La Befana, arrives in the night to fill children’s stockings with presents.
Traditionally, a meatless dinner is eaten on Christmas Eve with the family, followed by a living nativity scene and midnight mass. Traditional bonfires are often held on Christmas Eve in the main square of town, especially in mountain areas. Dinner on Christmas day is usually meat based.
Now close your eyes and imagine yourself enjoying a Christmas holiday in your own villa. Buon Natale!