Where History and Cultures Meet
Italy is an ancient land, we all know that by now, and what goes under the definition of "italian traditions" is a vast account of what, over some very long periods of time, ancient peoples and civilizations, the italic populations, have left behind them (or before them?) in both very and less visible ways, in the shape of the territory, in habits that endure still today, in some typical recipes and ingredients, typical expressions, historical and religious celebrations.
In Italy, past and present meet without solution of continuity: land of conquest and passage, it gave birth to one of the most significant and powerful empires of all times, while still holding a predominant role in the matters of this part of the world.
With the classical age coming to an end, more and more Italy and the italian traditions were assimilated in the religious spirit and perspective brought forth by Christianity.
In a period that lasted for many centuries, the layer of preceding cultures was, here more than in possibly more than any other christian nation, absorbed and many of those past traditions digested and proposed with a catholic connotation.
Even so, an innumerable amount of gestures and habits we have in Italy are an extraordinary account of the italian traditions, which were established long, long before Italy became a nation.
In this section of this site, I will try my best at giving you an account of these traditions, filtered through my eyes of a national italian, who has always lived among very specific familiar culture and has at the same time critiquely observed traditions from Italy with a spirit perhaps belonging more to the pages of a history book than to those of a newspaper.
As a note, I would like to make it clear that I am no historian or scholar, and that I will reconstruct and recount the items of my interest and memory, gathering information from both my personal experience/knowledge and from coded forms of knowledge, like books and other writings (always mentioning the source, where possible).
For this reason, please do not expect to find here what you would be able to most probably find in a much more complete account in some specific texts; but expect to read of those traditions that I feel most sympathetic with and that my own sensitivity will many a time let me express in my own feelings and words.
I hope you will enjoy the reading.
Easter Breakfast in Italy
Christmas in Italy: what it means and how it is celebrated
From Italian Traditions to Homepage