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…

Is Santa Claus Italian?

“Is Santa Claus Italian?!?” exclaimed seven-year-old Daughter as she was watching the animated movie “Rise of the Guardians.”  Alec Baldwin voices Santa Claus, who does speak with an accent, although I’m not sure that it’s intended to be Italian. “Mom, listen to him!” she implored, and then really focused on the next few lines of dialogue….

Christmas in Italy: 5 More Reasons to Celebrate!

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. Image Credit In fact, there are five holidays other than Christmas and New Year’s which are part of Italy’s stagione natalizia (Christmas season). What…

What is Il Giorno dei Morti (All Souls’ Day), and why is it important in Italy?

My path crossed with Rachel Vermiglio Smith’s in a most unexpected way at the Palazzo Tornabuoni in Florence a few years back, and we have been good friends ever since, despite being 6,000 miles away. She is an Italian art history expert, and being American with dual-citizenship, she provides a unique perspective to all things Italy. I’m so excited to feature Rachel as a guest writer for today…enjoy!