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Italian Celebrations: The Holiday You Might Not Know About

The blur of the holiday season may seem to be fading into the background, but the Italian celebrations continue for one more day- La Epifania.

The Epiphany takes place on 6 January (the 12th day of Christmas), and is a national holiday in Italy.  While Babbo Natale has the 25th of December covered, the real star of the season is La Befana, who visits on the night of January 5th.

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Cook Like an Italian: Mussels in White Wine Recipe

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via Shutterstock

This Thursday is New Year’s Day, and it’s one of our favorite holidays because it’s celebrated by all kinds of people all over the world. Whether you’re in New York or Milan, religious or not, a new year is cause for festivity.

New Year’s Day is also an excuse for a good meal surrounded by family and friends. Seafood is always a popular choice for New Year’s, as it’s thought to bring good luck, so we’re sharing our favorite mussels and pasta recipe with you this week in preparation for the holiday.

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How Many Italian Christmas Songs Do You Recognize?

Are you ready for the holidays yet? We’ve had so much fun preparing for the festivities right along with you – we’ve taken you on a tour of some of the best European-style Christmas markets in the U.S., we’ve cooked up a holiday meal, and we’ve shared how to celebrate the holidays like an Italian.

In the whirlwind of shopping, cooking, and wrapping, sometimes it’s hard to slow down and enjoy the holidays. So this week, we’re encouraging you to sit down, relax, and enjoy the company of those around you.22

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In Italy, relaxation time often involves music (and wine, of course!), so this week we’ve rounded up some of our favorite Italian Christmas songs to accompany your holiday parties. Take a listen and sing along! Read the rest of this page »

6 Italian Christmas Traditions Americans Can Do

After hitting up the Italian Christmas markets, with all your gifts wrapped and Babbo Natale (Santa Claus) on his way, it is time to settle in and celebrate Christmas like an Italian.

1. Take in the lights | During Christmas, the concept of bella figura extends to cities and streets as well.  It is all about image, beauty and presentation.  Head out on foot to experience the twinkling lights, and never say no to roasted chestnuts and mulled wine along the way.

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2. Set up il Presepio | While Christmas trees are gaining in popularity, most Italian homes still set up a presepio, or manger scene.  All of the usual cast of characters are included, but to really deck out your holiday set up, you can opt for optional figurines like pizzaioli (pizzamakers) and tiny casks of wine (of course) to fill out the scene around Mary and Joseph. Read the rest of this page »

Speak Like an Italian: 3 Italian Phrases You Should Know

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If you’re planning on visiting Italy anytime soon, you might be worried about the language barrier.  Learning Italian can take some time, and is sometimes easier said than done.

While Rome wasn’t built in a day, there are some easy phrases that will help you communicate in Italy and sound like a natural in front of the locals. Whether you grew up listening to Nonna and Papa’s fluent Italian, you’re trying to remember what you learned in high school, or you’ve never heard a lick of Italian in your life, these four quick tips will provide a boost of confidence when you’re not sure what to say to your new Italian friends!

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Eat Like an Italian: Easy Chicken Recipe

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With the holidays coming up, it’s easy to get stressed about what to feed the army of relatives that will soon be on your doorstep. We’re a big fan of this easy chicken recipe for large reunions. It’s an old family recipe brought straight from Italy, and can easily be doubled or tripled depending on how many mouths you have to feed.

And the best part? You’ll have these chicken breasts prepared and grilled in under a half hour so that you can spend more time catching up with Uncle Joe and less time standing over a hot stove. Pair with Mazzoni Pinot Grigio and enjoy. Salute! Read the rest of this page »

Shop Like an Italian: 4 Christmas Markets You Shouldn’t Miss

Italy is a beautiful place to visit this time of year, when everything is lit up and the streets are bustling with shoppers visiting their local outdoor Christmas markets. Famous for artisan holiday decorations, scopine scacciaguai (brooms said to rid you of bad luck) and amusements for children, these markets are an essential part of Italian life in the winter.

One of the most well known Italian Christmas markets is located at the Piazza Navona in Rome. Famous year round for its Fountain of the Four Rivers, the piazza sets a perfect scene for holiday festivities. But you don’t have to live in Italy to experience the magic of an outdoor Christmas market; read below to find out where you can visit one a little closer to home.

Piazza Navona in Rome (via Shutterstock)

Piazza Navona in Rome (via Shutterstock)

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