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Thursday, December 23, 2010


The first living Nativity Scene (Presepio) originated with St. Francis of Assisi upon his return from the Holy Land. St. Francis' living nativity took place in a cave near Greccio Italy.  A typical presepio has figurines of Mary and Joseph, the infant Jesus in a manger, and three shepherds bearing gifts. If you are celebrating Christmas in Italy and will be in Rome, visit Vatican City to see  a living nativity scene. Other cities with presepio displays include Trento, Verona and Naples. The largest and most elaborate presepi can be found in Rome at the Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Euclide, and on Capitoline Hill. 

On Christmas Eve you can follow the mass celebration with Pope Benedict XVI and stream the live mass from anywhere in the world. The mass will be celebrated in 5 languages: English, Italian, Portuguese, French and Spanish.

Buon Natale e Nuovo Anno Felice,

Ciao e a presto,
My Italian Hideaway and All Things Italian

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Festa Dei Sette Pesci

Festa dei sette pesci.  

The Feast of the Seven Fishes 

Is a Christmas Eve tradition consisting of serving 7 different seafood  dishes; baccala (salted cod fish) eel, squid, shrimp, octopus, smelt, and lobster. Why 7 fishes?  Some say that the number 7 relates to the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church; seven gifts of the Holy spirit; seven Virtues; and the seven deadly sins.

Here's how to prepare your Festa Dei Sette Pesci 
Buon Appetito

Ciao e a presto,