06 Dec 2010

23 Christmas-related facts about Tuscany you might not know. And 1 present!

My Tuscan “Advent Calendar”

AdventCalendar

I love advent calendars, those calendars where you have to open a little “door” every day from December 1st to the 24th and every day you find a little gift or a nice Christmas related picture.

So I decided (a bit late, truth be told) to make an unusual Tuscany-themed Advent Calendar! First of all let’s catch up…

December 1st…

Click here to open the first “door”

and if you want to know more about these delicious surprises, you can read this article about Christmas sweets in Tuscany.

December 2nd…

Click here to open the second “door”

and if you want to know more about these delicious surprises, you can read this article about Christmas sweets in Tuscany.

December 3rd…

Click here to open the third “door”

and if you want to know more about these delicious surprises, you can read this article about Christmas sweets in Tuscany.

December 4th…

Click here to open the fourth “door”

and if you want to know more about these delicious surprises, you can read this article about Christmas sweets in Tuscany.

December 5th…

Click here to open the fifth “door”

and if you want to know more about these delicious surprises, you can read this article about Christmas sweets in Tuscany.

December 6th…

Click here to open the sixth “door”

There is a village in Tuscany, Cutigliano, near Pistoia, where you can see 100 different nativity scenes. An incredible opportunity. And if you want to know more about them… check this blog post about presepe.

December 7th…

Click here to open the seventh “door”

December 8th…

Click here to open the eighth “door”

December 9th…

Click here to open the ninth “door”

December 10th…

Click here to open the tenth “door”… You can’t miss this if you are in Tuscany!

December 11th…

Click here to open the eleventh “door”… One of the few paintings that depicts this “woman” in this way, as for centuries it was not allowed.

December 12th…

Click here to open the twelfth “door”… On Monte Amiata these are called “Ciaspole”. You can take a walk in the woods of the highest mountain in Tuscany (called “ciaspolata”)  followed by an aperitivo in a chalet. See this link.

December 13th…

Click here to open the thirteenth “door”… This object is the traditional gift given in Siena on Dec. 13th, on the occasion of the yearly Fiera di Santa Lucia.

December 14th…

Click here to open the fourteenth “door”… the major Italian producers of these plants are in Tuscany, in the province of Arezzo and Pistoia!

December 15th…

Click here to open the fifteenth “door”… it’s actually tropical, but still one of the symbols of Christmas in Italy! And the Versilia area in Tuscany is where most of them are cultivated in the entire country!

December 16th…

Click here to open the sixteenth “door”… part of the Roman Catholic tradition. In small villages like mine, the Novene are a big event, and an opportunity to gather. They are celebrated every evening for 9 days, from Dec. 16th to the 24th.

December 17th…

Click here to open the seventeenth “door”… the most popular Christmas present in Tuscany.

December 18th…

Click here to open the eighteenth “door”… this object in Italy is usually not hung on Christmas day but on January 5th, so that on the following day, the “Befana” can fill it with sweets and coal!

December 19th…

Click here to open the nineteenth “door”… in the old times in Tuscany people used to hang a branch of this plant in their homes, because a legend says that the holy family hid behind a juniper bush to escape from Herod’s soldiers. The Virgin Mary blessed the tree that protected them, so in the rural areas people believed having a branch of juniper tree in their homes around Christmas time would protect the family!

December 20th…

Click here to open the twentieth “door”… now it’s much more common to find a branch of this plant. And if you walk under it, you have to kiss the person next to you.

December 21st…

Click here to open the twenty-first “door”… another plant that in the Tuscan tradition is considered as a sign of good luck and prosperity. The more berries you’ll find in the woods on this plant, called pungitopo, the more prosperous the coming year. A legend says that when winter came, all the animals went to look for a warm place to spend the winter except for a little bird who wanted to wait for the birth of the baby Jesus. When the baby was born, the little bird was starving and freezing so he prayed to the baby that he would let at least one plant keep its leaves and have some berries so that he could never be so cold again, and his prayer was answered.

December 22nd…

Click here to open the twenty-second “door”… another symbol of Christmas. All these plants were the originally the sole Christmas decorations that adorned homes in Tuscany around Christmas time. The Christmas tree is a relatively recent tradition.

December 23rd…

Click here to open the twenty-third “door”… a very popular ornament, the star of the three Wise Kings, which completes the nativity scene with the statue of the baby Jesus on the 24th at midnight!

December 24th…

Click here to open the twenty-fourth “door”… for you or your friends!!! Buon Natale!!!

Comments

  1. What a great and lovely idea! Merry Christmas Gloria!

    Love Rosaly

  2. Ma che figonata!!!! Se avessi tempo ti ruberei l’idea e lo farei per Venezia, ma proprio non ce la fo!

    But next year I am definetely stealing this!!!!!! :)

  3. I love the surprise on December 7th! :-)

  4. Sono un genio. :o)

    Than you all for your comments!!! Spread the word! Maybe somebody will want to use the final present… ;o)

  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gloria CasinadiRosa, Gloria CasinadiRosa and Tuscany Traveller, Food Lover’s Odyssey. Food Lover’s Odyssey said: RT @casinadirosa:Tuscan “Advent Calendar” – 23 #Christmas-related facts about #Tuscany…And 1 present! http://bit.ly/hww8iN #Italy [...]

  6. Carrie Lowe

    I love the surprise on December 7th! :-)

  7. LOVE this post!! How fun!!

    Out of curiosity, do children leave their shoes out to be filled for the Feast of St Nicholas? I grew up in a town that was predominately Italian immigrants from the 1920′s and everyone did it. I went to a Catholic school and we would leave our shoes by our desk during lunch and they would even get filled in the classroom! As an adult, we moved to a non-Italian area and no one even knows anything about the Feast of St Nicholas … another reason why I need to move back to my hometown! :)

    • Hi Gina,

      I have never hard of any such thing, so it must be a tradition of some southern region. Thanks for stopping by!

      • Gina

        That would make sense – my family is from the Naples area and Sicily – definately not the North! :)

  8. PS. Please do another calendar next year with same prize so we can use it in 2013. :)

    • LOL I will, but you skipped to the end! Bad girl!

      • Gina

        LOL, I am guilty of ruining surprizes … at least according to my husband. :)

  9. This is wonderful, found you through Diana and I haven’t peeked ahead!! Difficult as I am one of those people who read the end of a book!
    ciao lisa

  10. CUTE!!! Bellissimo!!! Simo

Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gloria CasinadiRosa, Gloria CasinadiRosa and Tuscany Traveller, Food Lover's Odyssey. Food Lover's Odyssey said: RT @casinadirosa:Tuscan “Advent Calendar” – 23 #Christmas-related facts about #Tuscany…And 1 present! http://bit.ly/hww8iN #Italy [...]

  2. [...] a link, truth be told) to find a tasty tuscan trivia tidbit each day of December http://ow.ly/3lcZcMy Tuscan “Advent Calendar” | At Home in Tuscany23 Christmas-related facts about Tuscany you might not know. And 1 present! View full post [...]

  3. [...]  My Tuscan Advent Calendar – A little bit of food and Christmas all wrapped up in one Tuscany present – At Home in Tuscany [...]

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