|Bergamo's streets sparkle even more
with Christmas lights
And if you are a food lover, Bergamo is a good place to visit during the festive season because the focus is firmly on the feasting in the city’s restaurants.
On la Vigilia di Natale (Christmas Eve), a fish meal is traditionally consumed by Italians, consisting of several different courses, after which any adults who are still able to move may go to midnight mass.
But on Natale (Christmas Day) it is the time for the serious feasting to start. Some of the bars and restaurants will be open to serve church goers after the morning service and many families choose to go to a restaurant for their Christmas lunch. Booking in advance is essential, with restaurants taking names and contact numbers months in advance.
If you go to a Christmas feast in a friend’s home, the meal will begin with an antipasto course, which is likely to include Parma ham or bresaola - dried, salted beef - with preserved mushrooms, olives, and pickled vegetables.
|Panettone is a traditional part of the Christmas
table for families across Italy
Tortellini in brodo, traditionally served in capon broth, is a classic Christmas day dish and for the main course, turkey or capon is likely to be served with potatoes and vegetables as side dishes.
The traditional end to the meal is almost always panettone, served warm, accompanied by a glass of sparkling wine.
Italian folklore has it that panettone was concocted by a Milanese baker, Antonio (Toni), to impress his girlfriend one Christmas in the 15th century. The result was so successful that ‘Pane de Toni’ has become a regular feature of the Christmas season all over Italy and now even abroad.
The feasting and family parties continue on 26 December, the festa di Santo Stefano (Boxing Day).
A Happy Christmas and Buon Natale to all my readers!