New year's day and Christmas in Italy (December holidays)

New year's day in: Sicily, Tuscany, Sardinia, Apulia, Liguria, Campania, Latium, Calabria

In Sicily the Sicilians fast from December 23rd at sunset to the December 24th at sunset. They then have a great Yule log which is kindled. After prayers and songs are done around the Presepio or crib the feast begins.

The foods that might be served are eels and larks, boiled pasta, fish, sweet bread and Torrone a type of nougat.

The children are visited by La Befana on January 6. She was said to have been so busy cleaning her house that she missed out on going with the three wise men to Bethlehem. She was also considered to be a witch. Children hang up their stockings so that she will fill them with toys and gifts.

Sardinia is one of the fastest growing and most fascinating wine regions in Italy. Using centuries-old cultivation methods, locals have developed varieties seldom seen anywhere else, including spicy reds (Cannonau, Carignano, and Nuragus) and crisp whites such as Vermentino. Sardinia's rare breeds are now considered among the very best wines in Italy, and the rest of the world is starting to take notice.

Winter time is coming, and as usual, many families are discussing about where to spent a short holidays during this period.

Winter time, especially the Christmas time are lived in a very evocative way in Tuscany: from the big town to the little medieval village are enlightened of a magic and emotional atmosphere.

For the old people of Tuscany, those who lived in the countryside, Christmas, was really a big feast, and still today, in the countryside as in the towns, the atmosphere is really special.

Florence, Siena, Lucca, Pisa, offer you in the month of November, December and January a show of unrepeatable light, music, traditions, and tastes.

Maybe more than in the summer, there are antiques market, fair, cultural events (also related to the harvest in the vineyard and of the olive, that are usually made from the half of September to the end of November) that will make your holidays in Tuscany unforgettable.

In Florence, than, starting from the 30 of November, all the shops - from those who sell used books, to the hi-fashion and the outlet shops as Gucci, Prada, Armani, Ferragamo - will be open every sundays till Christmas.
Siena, besides the pastry cook's and delicatessen shops, offer you excellent winery with huge selection of Italian and Tuscany wines, antiques shops and local art crafts (textiles and terracotta).

But going out from the thousand of lights that start to illuminate the biggest town, you merge iiinto the beauty of the Chianti Tuscany countryside's hills.