The Passeggiata: A Most Italian Tradition

One of the most quintessential of all Italian traditions is the passeggiata, when friends and family take to the streets of their town in the early evening, usually between 5 and 8 pm, and well, wander. The word passeggiata comes from the verb passeggiare, an Italian word for walk, combined with the suffix “-ata” which…

Cheers to all: Cin Cin a tutti!

I never really thought about why we “toast” with our drinks when gathered with others, I just accepted it as a time-honored tradition. But the armchair historian in me was amused to discover recently, while browsing one of my Italian texts, that we have the ancients to thank for this one. This sparked my interest,…

Buon Onomastico or, the Serendipity of Italian

What is an Onomastico, and Why is it Important? “Buon onomastico!” read a Facebook post a few years back on the page of a cherished Italian cousin, followed by several people of the same first name who were tagged with well-wishes and congratulations (auguri). I had no idea what an onomastico was, but I was…

Christmas in Italy: 5 More Reasons to Celebrate!

Street Market Image Credit Here in America we have twenty-four shopping days in December until Christmas, but in Italy, the holiday season starts a bit earlier, lasts a bit longer and is sprinkled with more official celebrations. In fact, there are five holidays other than Christmas and New Year’s which are part of Italy’s stagione natalizia…

Born at Christmas

nativity: the process or circumstances of being born; especially, capitalized: the birth of Jesus. The Italian verb nascere means to be born. Like many words across many languages, nascere was “birthed” from Latin, its meaning connected to the English word nativity: Nativity is one of many words born of the Latin verb nasci, which means “to be born.” The…