Now something for the kids. Please see below a cartoon of a reindeer sliding down the hill. Just Print out this page, cut out the cartoon and have lots of colorful crayons for your bambini. Only 6 more days!

 

In 1993 Italy began one of its newest Christmas traditions.  During this time after the fall of the wall, many East Europeans like Albanians  and nuovi Romani came to Italy for a new life.  The majority of these people are indigenous  and without shelter. Just like Live Aid in  1985 there has been a wellspring of philanthropy in this generation of business and entertainment environment.

 

Stefania Scorpio , an entrepeneur not unlike Bob Geldof of Live Aid sought out musician, artists and the like to participate in this philanthropic event.

Such names as Dolcenera, Dionne Warwick and Andrea Bocelli have graced the stage  in the past .Since its beginning the venue has changed from Rome to Monte Carlo and the latest edition being in Malta on December 21.    The music ranges from opera, to folk to classic and even gospel. It is

a true celebration of the diversity and richness of life and possibilities that we now have in the 21st Century. 

IL Babbo Natale is Santa Claus in Italian .  Piazza  Navona in Rome is a famous market for Christmas Shopping many

items can be found including miniature figurines for the presepio, small Babbo Natale and puppets and marzipan cookies.

Incidentally, the center fountain in Piazza Navona appeared in the movie Angel and Demons.

 

Pizzelli are another Italian tradition for Christmas. Pizzelli come from the region of Abruzzo. Incidentally, this is the part of Italy where my family comes from.  The basic ingredients are egg, flour, sugar and butter. A pizzelli iron is used  to press  the ingredients into a light snowflake -like waffle.

 

Il Presepio or the nativity scene is another Christmas tradition that has come down through the ages. It has its origin with San Francesco d’Asissi

Saint Francis was born the son of a noble with many riches. However his fate brought hm to another journey . It brought him to a life of poverty, simplicity and humility. He gave up all his worldly goods to serve God and his flock. In 1223 Saint Francis  worked with local artisans to create the first nativity scene. 

Today many Christians have followed this tradition of having their own Nativity scene in their home.

Natale is coming soon, Christmas is fast approaching . Today we will  listen to the shepherds of Abruzzo play their special bagpipes.

Tu scende dalle stelle.  This is one of the many Italian traditions we will see in the coming days. Only 13 more days.

Il campanile ( bell ) The first trip I took to Firenze was many years ago as a young student. I studied Italian literature
at the Universita” per Stranieri a Firenze. Every Sunday on the hour every hour from 7am to noon all the bells
of every church rang ……………….. Che e’ una grande sinfonia!

Ponte Vecchio is the famous bridge in Florence that crosses the Arno. During the Middle Ages it was home for many tradesmen and guilds. Today it houses many jewelry stores that sell silver and Gold . By the way the GOLD is 18K

A little history

Florence had a great flood in 1966 and many art treasures were ruined and destroyed. However, thanks to the great  labor of  many patrons of the arts and historians the original beauty has been restored.  Grazie mille (thanks) to the modern artists who have followed in the footsteps of Donatello, Raphael, Michelangelo, Caravaggio and others to bring this remarkable beauty to the art lovers of the 21st century.

Incidentally, the next time you visit Florence and walk across the Ponte Vecchio to the other side towards the Boboli Gardens. Look on the left side of the bridge in the middle there is a small open area where you will find young students playng music, smoking cigarettes, and eyeing each other.  You will find a plaque that states that during WWII every bridge in Florence was destroyed by bombs except the Ponte Vecchio- even the occupying German General recognized the historical significance  of this magnificent bridge and left it miraculously untouched .

If you like live music from Italy this is the place to be.  You can  hear all the new Italian music on  live radio. Ascolta ( listen) to  singers like Dolcenera, Nek,

 Laura Pausini. If you have listened to Italian music in the past like me you will also hear singers from the 70’s and 80’s like Umberto Tozzi, Claudio

Baglioni and Patty Pravo.  When you arrive at the link below just  CLICK on ASCOLTA   and imagine yourself having a cappuccino in Piazza  Navona watching the world go by feeling like a real Romano.ASCOLTA

In recent years Italy keptup the tradition of popular music (musica leggera)
with such artists, as Nek, Jovanotti and Dolcenera. This song I discoverd my latest trip to Italy in 2009 when my neice accompanied me during Spring break. We both discovered this song on MTV Italia which was begun in Milano in 1992.