Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. In the north, especially Lombardy and Piedmont, lasagna is covered with anchovies, parmesan, and seasonings. Other typical fish dishes include brodetto (fish soup from Le Marche), pezzetti (battered and fried vegetables and ricotta from Rome), sautéed broccoli and shellfish from Naples, baby octopus and caponata (stewed sweet and sour aubergine from Sicilia). Especially the children look forward to the start of the Christmas season in December when Christmas trees are put up and houses are decorated. For morning tea (taken around 10-11am) Italians tend to eat sandwiches with very thin slices of ham and/or cheese. Some day I’ll try, preferably in Sicily, at Christmas. Lamb 5. What I remember of those years was that, after church on Christmas morning, my father … In Italy the Christmas season lasts for a few weeks up until Epiphany. with loved ones.But customs also vary from city to city, from exactly which dishes are served, to when to open presents, making every region an interesting place to enjoy the holidays. Most regions prefer to celebrate with family and friends on Christmas Eve, I mean if your part of an Italian-American family you probably do the same, while in the northern regions you must have lunch on the 25th altogether. This one is very unusual for a Christmas menu. For Italians, La Festa dell’Epifania on January 6th is as significant a holiday as Christmas Day; especially for Italian children! Lunch is the main meal. The biggest meal is served on Christmas Eve (la vigilia) and usually involves a course—or more!—of fish. Take a 1/4 teaspoon of filling and place in the centre of a square. Recipes for various Christmas fish dishes from Puglia. After you’ve (ahem) refrained from indulging on Christmas Eve, you’re allowed to really tuck in on Christmas Day. Walks of Italy, Via Caio Mario 14A, Rome, Italy, Update your browser to view this website correctly. Italians aren’t generally big on desserts, but when it comes to sweets and the Christmas season, all bets are off. The traditional main course was capon although in modern times, turkey is more common. In the Center and in the South the most important moment is la Vigilia dinner , while in the North the big celebration takes place on the 25th lunch. One of the best things about Christmas is the amount of sweet pastries, biscuits and desserts on offer. In Rome, a favorite local dish is the pezzetti, which are fried cubes of ricotta or pieces of artichokes, zucchini, or broccoli; in Naples, a starter is a sauteed mix of broccoli and seafood. As a child growing up in an Italian American family, it also meant that our family followed the same traditions year after year. The Italian Christmas dinner includes at least 5 courses. Thanks for visiting! Across Italy, Natale tends to be a family-centric holiday, a time to stay at home (and eat!) In northern Italy on Christmas day, the traditional first course is stuffed pasta (tortellini, sorir, cappellacci or cappelletti – different shapes and stuffing depending on the region) served in capon broth. Lunch is the main meal. What do Italians eat on Christmas?The answer is that there's no dish in particular that can be found on every single Italian holiday table. Instead they just dabble, in a small meal known as The Feast of Seven Fishes. It begins with a starter. Your email address will not be published. Pasta in brodo—pasta in broth—is a common kickoff to the meal across Italy, but particularly in the north. In Milan, the land of Panettone, we usually do not celebrate the Vigilia, we have a huuge lunch on Dec 25th, I don’t know why, but Milan have often different religious tradition, Milan is not under the Roman Catholic rite, but under the Ambrosian Catholic one (Advent, Lent, Carnival and so on are a little bit different). Branzino in sale (sea bass baked in a salt crust). Ahhh. There is something very important to keep in mind when talking about Italian Christmas traditions: there is no such thing as just one tradition! Pasta in brodo—pasta in broth—is a common kickoff to the meal across Italy, but particularly in the north.In Bologna, it’s all about meat-filled tortellini in capon (eel) broth; in Ferrara, the pasta’s stuffed with pumpkin filling. food as that is, though, Italians aren’t done! These days, many are more relaxed about the rules of fasting. But I think though it’s a rare type this one is nice to try sometimes. Italian holiday foods are often symbolic as well as delicious. 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