The holidays in Italy are always a little overwhelming as they involve huge amounts of food and drink. This year I decided to slide though the holidays, avoiding over-doing it.
The weather has been mild, and the hills near my house are filled with these tiny blossoms which are so sweet. Not sure when winter will catch up with us, but it has been nice to have more light and warmer temperatures through December.
Tradition in Italy is that the Befana brings the stockings filled with sweets and goodies for the Epiphany, January 6th. This means the lights and festivals continue until then.
If you are good, you get chocolates, candies and toys. If you are bad you get coal!
Of course, the coal in made of sugar, so it can't be all bad!
Once the Befana (Epiphany) is over, we begin with getting ready for Carnevale. Venice is probably the best known for the parties and costumes, but locally in Tuscany we have a huge tradition in Viareggio for huge floats and parades. I will be going this year as I adore Viareggio, being at the sea, and the fun atmosphere.
If you want to watch a parade, the opening day is February 15th with the first parade on Feb 16th. They have a site in italian . You can see the dates, but let me know if you need more information.The parades go on for several weekends, there are special offers for those that train in for discounts for admission to the parade grounds.
The real reason to love Carnevale are the huge amount of regional sweets, usually fried, that are only available during this holiday.
I am getting some recipes ready for you to try and celebrate with us.