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WEEK FORTY-THREE MENU: JANUARY 12-17

La Festa di Sant' Antonio - Coming Together Cercina is not a little town or even a village – it is merely a cluster of simple country houses and farms, two trattorias, a tiny grocery store and an 11th century Romanesque church. The main event every year that draws hordes of Florentines to make the trek to this idyllic countryside enclave is La Festa di Sant’Antonio d’Abate, the Feast of Saint Anthony, protector of farm animals. Every other year, the parade starts at Trattoria i Ricchi, led by a marching band and locals on horseback to the church square where the animals are blessed. La Festa di Sant’Antonio brings everyone together for three days of card games, communal lunches and...

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WEEK FORTY-TWO MENU: JANUARY 5 - JANUARY 10

La Befana – Italy’s Own Christmas Story The story of La Befana has been an Italian classic since the thirteenth century. It is a story of a lonely old woman and her endless search for the Christ Child. For Italians, La Festa della Epifania, The Epiphany, is as significant a holiday as Christmas Day, especially for Italian children. The legend continues that on the night of January 5th, Old Befana flies on her broomstick and goes down chimneys to deliver candy (dolcetti) or lumps of coal (carbone) to deserving children. January 6th is a national holiday and marks the end of the traditional Christmas season. It commemorates the 12th Day of Christmas when the Three Wise Men arrived at the...

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WEEK FORTY-ONE MENU: 12/29, 12/30 & 1/2 ONLY

CAPODANNO – New Year’s Eve Traditions and Superstitions In the two weeks between December 24 (Feast of the Seven Fishes) and January 6 (Epiphany), Italians find themselves at the holiday table six times for six different celebrations! There are various traditions and specialty ingredients featured depending on the region, but food is always the main event. Second only to the Christmas feast, il Cenone di Capodanno or New Year’s Eve “Big Dinner” is the most important gathering of friends and family filled with traditions and superstitions that enrich the holiday, marking the beginning of the new year. In Italy, a traditional New Year’s Eve meal is all about symbolizing abundance, wealth and good luck. There are specific foods that no...

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WEEK FORTY MENU: DECEMBER 22, 23 & 26

Christmas in Rome – Ancient Traditions Bag pipes? Bag pipes in Italy! I quickly learned that no Italian Christmas would be complete without the sound of bagpipes. Everywhere from the piazzas of Rome to remote hillside villages, Zampognari (pipers) continue the tradition of festive bagpipe playing that dates back to ancient Rome. Christmas in both Abruzzo and Lazio remains a holiday deeply rooted in ancient traditions where true values are passed down through the stories of the elderly from generation to generation. This week’s menu stars many ingredients popular in these regions and found on their holiday menus.

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NEW YEAR'S EVE DINNER: DECEMBER 31

Welcome to our 31st New Year’s Eve celebration! The feast of Saint Sylvester is traditionally celebrated on New Year’s Eve night when Italians believe they should eat lentils as a symbol of wealth and pork as a symbol of life’s fullness.   $89 *Includes NYE party hats & noise makers  

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