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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