Lazio and its sacred and profane Christmas

And here we are in Lazio! Christmas season here is special for the presence of the Pope in Rome. But also for the traditional folk celebration of Befana everywhere in the region.

Lazio fill in of Christmas events and with Rome and the Vatican city become the centre of the Christian Christmas festivities.

Let’s start with Rome. It dresses up and all the monuments are even more striking under the Christmas lights.


The Vatican city draws big crowds of pilgrims in the city.

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Emilia Romagna and its curious Christmas nativity scenes

Today we are in Emilia Romagna with the Alps behind us. The landscape becomes more gentle with the great Po River, the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine mountains to define the borders.

Emilia Romagna is a region rich in Christmas traditions related to the food and wine culture. We leave others to talk about it. However, we like to tell you some curious Christmas beliefs.

On Christmas Eve tradition is to prepare the famous cappelletti or tortellini, typical Christmas Day dish. The preparation of those should be ended at the sound of the bells announcing the Christmas Eve Mass, so that everyone can attend it.


The Christmas table is decorated by tablecloth printed with rust, especially in Rimini. Linen or canapone were once printed with the characteristic designs of “cockerel” or “grape” by an old machine called “mangano”. The rust obtained by macerating iron in water creates a special colour.

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Liguria and its traditional Christmas decorations

Today we are in Liguria! Christmas is the most awaited festivity of the year. And liguri still hand down and respect many popular Christmas traditions.

Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy with beautiful towns, beaches and hills lying immediately beyond the coast.

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Gallery exerpt from Visit Genoa

In Liguria the Yule log is a deeply felt tradition. In Genoa as well as in other towns a very old ceremony takes place, the Confeugo Ceremony. It is a celebration born in the 1300 and dedicated to the exchange of greetings between the People and State. As for centuries, the Abbot of the People (now an elected representative) brings a bay tree log decorated with white and red ribbons to the Mayor, once the Doge. The log then burns in front of the Palazzo Ducale. The public present at the ceremony wants to win a piece of burnt wood that brings good luck.

This year the Confeugo will take place on 17th December.

An olive or bay tree trunk still burns today in the fireplaces. It burns slowly until the New Year as a symbol of the old year that is ending.

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