La Befana has been associated with gift giving at Epiphany since at least the 13th C. She is represented as an old witch with a broomstick who descends down the chimney to delivery gifts or carbone to the bad children. All children are known to be bad at some time so they all receive carbone, which is made of sugar and sold at local pasticcerie. Some regions substitute onions or garlic in replacement of the coal.
As the holiday season is upon us, some may wonder how holiday traditions differ from one country to the next. In Italy, as in the United States, traditions vary from region to region and from one family to the next, but there are certain customs that are celebrated throughout the country.
Napoli. The home of pizza. Living here, its hard to resist eating pizza, well all the time. The goey mozzarella cheese, the soft yet wood fired crust, and the best red sauce you will ever have- these are the staples that make up a classic Neapolitan pizza.
This Tuesday, Pope Francis kicked off the Jubilee Year with the symbolic opening of the Holy Doors of St. Peter’s Basilica. This year long holy celebration was designated a Jubilee of Mercy by the leader of the Catholic church. This year’s Jubilee comes nearly 15 years after the last Jubilee Year, held in 2000.
Whether you are planning your next trip to Italy or enjoying a glass of Chianti from home, we have some good news for Italian wine lovers (and Italy’s economy!) After the 2015 harvest, Italy is set to reclaim its spot as the world’s biggest wine producer. This year’s production bounced back from last year when strong rains spoiled yields of popular Italian grapes.