April Fools’ Day in Italy is called Pesce d’Aprile, or April Fool Fish. It literally translates as April’s Fish, and stems from a school children’s custom of sticking a paper fish on the back of a school mate. As he or she is the only one who doesn’t know about the fish, that person then becomes the April Fish, or fool. Continue reading The April Fools’ Spaghetti Hoax [Video]
Though often thought of as a French dish, Italians equally love their lumache! And our village is no exception! In our area of Abruzzo, it’s known as the snail-loving village!
A lover of snails himself, my husband fits in well with these villagers. Who, in this area are known as the sciumacchini or ‘snail eaters’! In fact, he looks forward to our town’s snail festivals, those few times a year when he gets to eat his fill of them. Continue reading Italy’s Snail-Loving Village
I like odd holidays. Like Tooth Fairy Day on February 28th! Although here in Italy, we’d have to call it Tooth Topolino Day, in honor of Italy’s very own tooth mouse!
No one seems to know the origin of this holiday or even why it started. But I think probably it all began in Spain, with Pérez Mouse, who worked for the king. Back when the king sold all his baby teeth to Pérez. Continue reading The Italian Tooth Mouse
Wherever you go in Italy, it seems that is love in the air! Italy, with Venice and its gondola rides, and Verona with Romeo and Juliet’s fake houses, is known as one of the most romantic travel spots in the world. But Italy isn’t only for lovers. There’s something for everyone! Continue reading Love is in the Air: Valentines in Italy
Folks in our town often have an interesting mentality. Hint: sometimes antiquated, backward, impractical, and unrealistic. Which often comes as a surprise to us.
Because they are in many ways a practical and down-to-earth people. Which probably stems from Italy’s odd mix of old and new. An ancient land of timeless monuments, producing the Ferrari, the Lamborghini, and the world’s latest fashions. And while proud of these achievements, Italians love and tenaciously cling to their traditions. Continue reading Tradition, Tradition
Many people on Groundhog Day (February 2) wait for groundhogs to emerge from their holes. For according to Anglo-Saxon folklore, if the groundhog sees its shadow, we’re sure to have six more weeks of winter. And of course, he can only see his shadow on sunny days, so a bright, sunny day foretells more winter. A cloudy day and no shadow supposedly means spring is on the way. Continue reading Groundhog Day in Italy
The fire didn’t heat better out of the fireplace. Though no one would ever convince the dear, stubborn, old man of that! Yet we fondly remember those simple evenings of reading by the fire as some of the most cozy and delightful evenings of our lives, even with the choking smoke and watery eyes!
They were simple days in a rural village. Mostly untouched by time, with little entertainment: no cinema or shopping mall, no bowling alley or spa. Papà didn’t even have a phone or TV, and it was before PCs and mobile phones were common. Continue reading Chestnuts Bursting on an Open Fire
Roman Summer, that is! Otherwise known as Saint Martin’s Summer. According to legend, one cold and windy November 11th the saint, warmly wrapped in his mantle, met a ragged beggar freezing in the rain. Moved by compassion he divided his ample wrap, and giving half to the poor man, continued on his way.
Wind and rain soon subsided, until it became so warm that he removed the cape altogether. Folklore adds that God sent the unseasonable warm spell, which continues to this day, to reward Martin for his kindness. Continue reading It’s Summertime in Italy!