Christmas in Italy: The Original Saint Nick

In some parts of Italy the feast of San Nicola, patron saint of Bari, ushers in the Christmas season with the giving of gifts on the eve or morning of December 6, his onomastico (name day). Although many stories of San Nicola’ s life may be mythical, he did inspire...

St. Martin’s Summer in Italy

Long ago on a cold and rainy November 11, a former Roman soldier named Martino came across a man stumbling and shivering on the road. Although he wanted to help, Martino had no money or blanket to offer. And so he took out his sword, slashed his cloak and gave half to...

Summer in Italian: The Sweetness of Doing Nothing

il dolce far niente by Jody Paglia Goode This guest blog by  an Italophile in Des Moines is one of the most popular posts I’ve ever run. I’m re-publishing it to savor as the end of summer approaches.   Buona lettura!  (Enjoy the read!) A few years ago...

Summer in Italian: Buon Ferragosto!

Years ago I celebrated my first Italian Ferragosto in Capri, a most fitting (though crowded) place to be on August 15. The Roman emperor Augustus, whose name graces summer’s last month, was so enamored with the beguiling island of Capri that he appropriated it from...

Summer in Italian: Vacation Time

  Italy goes on vacation in August.  Even in not-yet-normal times, shops are shuttered, restaurants closed, streets quiet. Cities empty as residents join the esodo estivo (summer exodus), the  mass departure of Italians heading off for their ferie estive (summer...