A Final Blog: Looking Back–and Moving Forward

With a heart overflowing with gratitude for the joys Italy and Italian have brought me, I am ending original posts on my blog. Previous posts will be available at, categorized both by subject and date. I will continue to host the La Bella Lingua group on FACEBOOK and to post on Instagram and Twitter.

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Celebrating Italy’s Good Witch

Long after many Americans have taken down their Christmas trees and packed away the decorations, Italians continue to celebrate. The final feast is l’Epifania, on January 6, which commemorates the arrival of i re magi, the three kings who followed the bright Christmas star (stella cometa) to bring gifts for Baby Jesus (bambino Gesù).

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Celebrating A New Year in Italy

“Anno nuovo, vita nuova!”  This Italian saying literally means “new year, new life,” but it also translates as “Let’s have a fresh start!”—the perfect greeting for the dawn of 2022!

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Christmas in Italy: The Nativity Scene

Centuries ago, in 1223, San Francesco (Saint Francis), the charismatic friar of Umbria, wanted to bring to life the story of il natale di bambino Gesù  (the birth of Baby Jesus). In the little town of Greccio, he placed a manger in some straw and added a living Madonna, San Giuseppe (St. Joseph), shepherds (pastori) and actual cattle (bue), sheep (pecore) and donkeys (asinelli), the animals that, as the story goes, once warmed the infant with their breath.

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