Italy TravelCelebrating New Year’s Eve in Italy

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Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Italy
Published on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 by

It isn’t too late to plan a trip to Italy to ring in 2012! Spending New Year’s Eve (Capodanno)  in Italy can be as much a cultural experience as a celebration. Italians have very particular ways that they say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new one:

  • Natale con I tuoi, Capodanno con chi vuoi. This  Italian expression sums up the holiday — “Christmas with the family, New Year’s with whom you want.” Since many Italian companies are closed between Christmas and New Year’s, this is an opportunity for Italians to travel or visit friends to mark the end of the year.
  • Fireworks and bonfires rule the night, particularly in southern Italy. Many Italian cities and towns light up the night with fire on New Year’s Eve. The most famous fireworks displays take place at midnight in Rome and Naples.
  • Italians cook up special end-of-the-year dishes. New Year’s Eve dinner usually includes cotecchino con lenticchie, sausage and lentils, whose round shapes symbolize coins, promising riches for the year ahead. Another traditional dish is zampone, stuffed pig’s foot. The meal may end with struffoli (Neapolitan honey balls) which represent sweet promises for the new year.
  • Red brings luck.  Italians believe that wearing red underwear on this holiday will bring luck for the coming year. Hey, maybe it is worth a try.
  • Heads up for flying objects. This is an older tradition that you might not see often in Italy but it does happen, especially in the south. Some Italians throw old things out of their windows to symbolize “throwing out the old.” Keep an eye out! 

By Kathy McCabe

Want to spend New Year’s Eve in Italy? Perillo Tours has been leading group trips throughout Italy since 1945 and ItalyVacations.com can custom design an independent itinerary for your dream Italy vacation!

Taking your first trip to Italy? Learn everything you need to know when you get your FREE copy of The First Timer’s Guide to Italy by ItalyTravel.com contributor Kathy McCabe.

Photo by neigesdantan, flickr.com

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