Christmas in Italy starts eight days before Christmas and lasts till after the Feast of Epiphany. Musical salutes are made at the shrine of the Virgin Mary and songs are played at the homes of carpenters in honor of St. Joseph. Eight days before Christmas, a special Novena of prayers and church services begin.
It all ends on Christmas Day. On December 23rd, sometimes earlier, children dressed as shepherds with sandals, leggings tied with crossing thongs, and wearing shepherds’ hats, go from house to house playing songs on shepherds’ pipes and giving recitations. They receive money to buy Christmas treats.
In cities like Rome real shepherds sometimes carry out the performance. A strict fast is observed 24 hours before Christmas after which a meal with many dishes without meat is served. The traditional Christmas dinner, Cenone, is made up of spaghetti and anchovies, an assortment of fish, fresh broccoli, tossed salad, fruits, and sweets.
It is a pleasurable experience to witness all these activities while you are in Italy on a holiday around this time. It is a good idea to hire a car to check out all the celebrations in various places in Italy. car-rental-italy provides world class options for those who need to meet up to their local commuting needs within Italy while on a holiday there.