Celebrate with a meal of pork and lentils for a prosperous New Year
|Firework displays are a traditional part of
New Year's Eve celebrations in Italy
It is not a public holiday in Italy but it is usually a festive time everywhere, with firework displays, concerts and parties. This year, however, the celebrations have had to be drastically curtailed because of Covid-19 restrictions.
A curfew is in place across the whole of Italy from 10pm until 7am, so the gatherings that normally take place in the piazze - the public squares - cannot go ahead.
The bars and restaurants in Bergamo are normally busy with residents and visitors enjoying drinks and meals before seeing in the New Year in the main square, Piazza Vecchia in the upper town or one of the large open spaces in Città Bassa, when the church bells ring out at midnight.
TV station Rai Uno’s traditional New Year’s Eve variety concert is usually an outdoor affair, with a different town or city each year chosen as the venue, with the audience packed together in front of a stage erected in the main square to watch some of Italy’s favourite performers in an entertainment extravaganza spanning more than three hours, culminating in a New Year countdown at midnight.
|Crowds normally gather in the Piazza Vecchia
in Bergamo's Città Alta to see in the New Year
The restrictions ought not to hamper a tradition still followed in some parts of Italy, particularly in the south, of throwing your old things out of the window at midnight to symbolise your readiness to accept the New Year.
Likewise, families can still enjoy a Capodanno - New Year - feast, even if the numbers round the family table are fewer.
Popular menu items at New Year include cotechino (Italian sausage), zampone (stuffed pig’s trotter) and lenticchie (lentils).
|Rai's popular New Year's Eve show L'anno
che verrà is scaled down this year
The President of the Republic delivers an end of year message from the Quirinale in Rome, which is shown on most Italian television channels during the evening.
Sylvester I was pope from 314 until his death in 335, an important time in the history of the Catholic Church.
Some of Rome’s great churches, the Basilica of St John Lateran, the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem and the old St Peter’s Basilica, were founded during his pontificate.