#182 I miss San Silvestro

As far as I know, in the U.S. many people don’t care too much about New Years Eve.

In Italy San Silvestro or l’ultimo dell’anno (literaly ‘the last [day of] the year’) is an institution.

People do big things for New Years Eve, travels, parties. Many people plan crazy activities months in advance. Many people start asking

Cosa fai per l’ultimo dell’anno?” (‘What are you doing for l’ultimo dell’anno?’)

Dove vai per l’ultimo dell’anno?” (‘Where are you going for l’ultimo dell’anno?’)

in October or so.

Big classic of San Silvestro:

Cenone. Literally and actually ‘the big dinner’.

At home or at a restaurant.

Any restaurant offers a special meal. It starts late and lasts for ever, with endless courses, because hey, you have to wait till Midnight… and what is better than eating while waiting?

Veglione, literally ‘the big vigil’ the name of the big party, “vigiling” for midnight. Normally with music, dancing and fireworks at Midnight

Festa in piazza (‘party in the square’). In any Italian city there is one in the biggest piazza. With some form of entertainment.

At midnight bottles of spumante start to pop… and being thrown around… everywhere.






Personal favorite? At home, possibly in a quiet place in the countryside, with good friends and good home made food.



#181 I miss Italian houses for Christmas time – 2

As I said before, in Italy is still Christmas time (see “I miss feste – 1 – 2” https://misshome.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/176-i-miss-feste/ https://misshome.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/177-i-miss-feste-2/)

for people and their homes.

And here’s my mom’s creations for Natale 2013:






IMG_8349 IMG_8350

(See also “I miss Italian houses for Christmas time – 1”

https://misshome.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/153-i-miss-italian-houses-for-christmas-time/ )

#180 I miss Italian creative scaramanzia – 4

Speaking of feste…

They say eating grape for Christmas porta fortuna e soldi (‘brings good luck and money’)

The same for lenticchie (lentils) for capodanno (‘new years eve’). In Abruzzo  they use to serve 7 soups made with 7 different legumes.

Frutta secca (‘dried fruits’) like nuts, figs, dates… will bring prosperity

normally we eat frutta secca at the end of the meal, before or after coffee.

Make sure to sit down while you have your coffee, or you will become poor!

(See also “I miss Italian creative scaramanzia – 1-2-3″  https://misshome.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/150-i-miss-italian-creative-scaramanzie-1/


https://misshome.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/158-i-miss-italian-creative-scaramanzia-3/ )

#179 I miss Italian chocolate candies – 7

Cuneesi al Rhum

the eight wonder of the world.

Black chocolate filled with a cream made of chocolate and rhum,

created by Andrea Arione in Cuneo, in 1923. His café, Bar Arione, is still there

Ernest Hemingway visited Arione’s café in 1954 and purchased a box of Cuneesi al Rhum. Someone says that thanks to his appreciation cuneesi became popular all around the world.

For me cuneesi are part of Feste! I used to buy them at the mercatino di Natale in Pisa every year

(See also: “I miss Italian chocolate candies -1-2 -3-4-5-6″ https://misshome.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/85-i-miss-italian-chocolate-candies-1/





https://misshome.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/159-i-miss-italian-chocolate-candies-6/ )

#177 I miss feste – 2

So, not only Christmas Eve and Christmas day, but also December 26th in Italy is a holyday.

Another day marked red on the calendar.

Santo Stefano, the first Christian martyr.

One more day to be spent with your family, creating new recipes with Christmas leftovers,

playing tombola, a big classic of italian family holidays

or monopoli

From today on, 50% discount on panettoni, pandori, torroni

and welcome panettone for breakfast!


(See also “I miss feste -1” https://misshome.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/176-i-miss-feste/ )

#176 I miss feste – 1

The concept of politically correct has never really reached Italy.

We don’t even conceive that someone might not celebrate Christmas. We barely realize that Christmas is actually a religious holiday. We wish “Buon Natale” (‘Merry Christmas’) to everyone.

We have a more politically correct expression “Buone feste” we might translate that with ‘Season’s Greetings’ or more generally ‘Happy holidays’.

But the idea of holidays is very different. Holidays include not only Christmas Eve and Christmas day, but the whole period between December 24th and January 6th, l’Epifania. 

As we say l’Epifania tutte le feste le porta via ‘the Epiphany brings away all holidays’.