In the heart of Naples, a unique Christmas decoration unfolds every year — the Neapolitan nativity scene. Far beyond a religious tradition, the presepe is an anthropological display that weaves together centuries of history, artistic research, and contemporary resonance. The fascinating genesis of the Neapolitan nativity scene dates back to the ear...

“There's degrees of messiness,” The Bear’s prop master Laura Roeper tells me over the phone from Chicago. “Chris [Storer, the series creator] is like, ‘no, [it has to be] chaotic craziness’... So we’re in the kitchen, and we got to throw spaghetti sauce over everything, because the mess wasn’t big enough for Chris. He goes, ‘no, way more’,” Roeper...

When it comes to food, every region—and every family, to be honest!—has its own traditions, especially at Christmas. Minestra maritata and pasta al forno in Naples, canederli in Trentino-Alto Adige, tortellini in brodo a bit everywhere: the variety and choice are endless. But we all have our favorites, don’t we? So what would your ideal Christmas d...

More than a third of U.S. states say Italian Christmas cookies are the ones preferred in this time of the year. Google Trends shared a map with USA TODAY of uniquely searched Christmas cookies by state in 2023. The map shows cookies that were "overrepresented in a state" compared with the country as a whole. Though cookie variations seem endless, c...

December is a month filled with Christian religious festivals, celebrated with profound devotion on the island of Sicily. These festivities could be seen as precursors to Christmas, as the island tradition integrates them into a celebration that is not solely religious but also significantly culinary. Indeed, the kitchen, once the center of daily l...

The medieval village of Greccio is one of Italy's most beautiful yet lesser-known villages. Perched on the hillside of the Rieti province, approximately 80km north of Rome, a row of rustic stone houses crawls along the edge of the hill, peering down onto the expanse of the valley below. For most of the year, Greccio's 1,500 inhabitants live a peace...

In Naples, the Christmas season is marked by a delightful array of sweets, with roccocò standing out as a traditional favorite. These treats, which share the spotlight with other popular festive delights like struffoli, raffioli, mostaccioli, and susamielli, are essential to the festive atmosphere in Neapolitan homes.  Characterized by their donut-...

Fish has been enjoyed during the Cenone, or Christmas Eve meal in Italy since antiquity. The Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes is a traditional Italian American banquet-style meal usually comprised of several different seafood courses.  The number of courses or types of fish served at the meal is open to interpretation. Some people maintain t...

The Christmas Gift (Il Dono di Natale) is a book written in 1930 by the Italian (Sardinian) author Grazia Deledda (1871 - 1936). She studied literature on her own and started writing when she was very young following the inspiration provided by Sardinian peasants and their struggles. One of the features of her work was the presence of a strong conn...

Christmas sees on the tables of Italians the triumph of two traditional desserts par excellence: Pandoro and Panettone. During the Festive season of 2022, according to research by Unione Italiana Food, the total production of the two leavened products amounted to 73,502 tons, worth 552.1 million €. Pandoro and Panettone also very popular abroad: th...