|Decorated trees abound|
in Italy at Christmas
Il giorno dell’immacolata concezione (the day of the immaculate conception) has been celebrated for centuries on 8 December in Italy.
It is an official festa (feast day) when the immaculate conception of Jesus is celebrated in the Christian calendar. It also marks the start of the Christmas season when the lights and trimmings start to go up.
Although the banks and public offices are closed, all the shops in Bergamo will be open as usual and probably doing an even brisker trade, with many people not at work taking the opportunity to do some Christmas shopping.
As in many other countries across the world, Christmas shopping actually starts much earlier than 8 December in Italy, with Christmas trees, lights and decorations going up during November.
Via XX Settembre in Bergamo’s Citta Bassa (lower town), which is known as ‘the shopping street’ locally, will be thronged with activity until Christmas Eve.