This large-model Nativity set is most commonly found in churches, not homes. The donor’s father, Joseph Marchetti, worked as an artist for the Joseph Poli Company. Established in 1890 in Pittsburgh's Lower Hill District, the company specialized in decor for churches such as statuary, altars, railings, fonts, and sacramental robes. This Nativity set...

Seymour resident and international opera singer Donata Cucinotta grew up loving to sing, and being an Italian descent, she learned at a young age the secret to making great pasta sauce. “It’s a scientific fact that if you sing to your pasta sauce, it will taste better,” she said. Cucinotta described herself as one of those kids who would not stop s...

For many Italian-American families, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is as synonymous with Christmas as presents under the tree. A Christmas Eve tradition brought by immigrants from Italy in the late 1800s, it has evolved from an effort to abstain from meat into one of the most anticipated celebrations of the year. From its humble Roman Catholic begin...

On January 1, billions of people around the world will eat a meal that's not just nutritious or delicious — but lucky. In the Southern U.S., they'll have Hoppin' John with greens (symbolizing money). In Spain, each person will eat 12 grapes (one for each month of the year). Italians eat grapes, too, but they also have their own tradition: Lentils....

Catholics around the world eagerly await for the Christmas period to celebrate the most festive holiday of the year, and food is a big component of that celebration. From Polish kolaczki to Spanish polvorones, the Catholic world counts on a diverse and vast selection of Christmas treats. In the Italian city of Siena, Tuscany, Christmas would not be...

South Philly has a new holiday anthem, courtesy of a local clothing store. "If You Give Me Seven Fishes" celebrates the pescatarian spread enjoyed by many Italian-American families on Christmas Eve. The tune was written and recorded by the owners of South Fellini, the Philly-themed clothing shop on East Passyunk, and it comes with its own music vid...

l presepio, the nativity manger scene, is one of the most enduring symbols of Christmas for Italian families. The Italian word comes from the Latin word praesepium for crib. Displaying mangers in homes, churches, piazze, public areas and throughout the streets of the country is a treasured and time-honored tradition. The origin of a nativity displa...

Dressed in traditional sheepskin and woollen cloaks with peaked hats, the zampognari pipers come into the city from their mountain homes, performing traditional music and hymns including the much-loved Italian carol Tu scendi dalle stelle. The zampognari are important figures in the folklore of Italian regions including Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabri...

Travelers need to be aware of the public holidays in Italy when planning a trip—as one should do when preparing to visit any destination. On public holidays, museums and other attractions may be closed and transportation schedules are often modified to accommodate reduced commuter demand. In addition, banks, post offices and schools are closed, and...

While we feel there is no bad time to drink wine… there certainly is no better time than to enjoy it than with family and friends during the holiday season. Wine is an important part of bringing us together, and a fundamental element in the Italian festive season. Italians typically bring out special wines to celebrate Christmas Eve, Christmas Day...