Christmas in Italy

Posted by Luci Ackers on 30 November 2016
Related property: Stigliano
Christmas in Italy

Christmas in Italy: differences and similarities

Father Christmas in Italy is known as Babbo Natale; 'Natale' being a derivative of the Latin word natalis meaning 'birth'. It's from here we also get the route for the word noël.

It has only been relatively recently, though, that the Italians have adopted Babbo Natale as their Christmas present-giver. Many countries have some form or other of Santa Claus, a figure who has evolved from the tales of 4th century saint, Nicholas. Saint Nicholas was known for performing several miracles, doing kind deeds and leaving secret gifts for people, as well as his kindness towards children. You can see how Santa Claus developed over time from this image.

Though many European countries have a form of Santa Claus, Italy traditionally has its very own Christmas figure who is unique to their culture. Befana is an old woman or witch who visits children's houses on the eve of the Epiphany (the 6th January) and leaves presents for them. The story goes that Befana was an old house keeper who was approached by the Three Magi or Three Wise Men prior to the birth of Jesus and, though different versions alter the specifics, essentially Befana tried to locate the baby Jesus herself by following in their wake, planning to bring him a gift. To this day she searches, leaving presents at the houses of all the children she passes. You will often see Befana figures or decorations in the streets at Christmas time; a little old lady either riding or holding her broom.

Buon Natale! - Merry Christmas!

The Christmas season in Italy usually lasts a few weeks, beginning around the 6th December which is the Feast day of Saint Nicholas, and concluding around the 6th January, which is the day of the Epiphany. In some households children will leave their shoes out on the evening of the 5th December ready for Saint Nicholas to fill with presents to be opened the next morning. In other households they will wait for the 6th January and the Befana. But the majority of people in Italy now do their present opening on the 25th December, same as in the UK.

Food is a really big part of Italian Christmas and throughout December you will see a range of Christmas markets laden with different foods and regional goodies. The traditional Italian Christmas cake is the panettone which is a deep sweet bread that is baked with dried fruit. Variations of the recipe also exist and chocolate panettone is becoming increasingly popular. The cake is served in slices and usually enjoyed with coffee.

Luci Ackers

Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

How can I find out more?

The Holiday Property Bond could do as much for your quality of life as it has done for many thousands of families who have already invested. That's why we invite you to get in touch with us in any of these 3 ways and please don't forget our unique 'Money back promise' and 'interest free loan' options.

Request our brochure Speak to a representative Explore one of our UK sites

Please request our fully illustrated holiday property brochure

Please read "How HPB works" and then we will be delighted to send you our brochure, including our property portfolio, and your FREE copy of Insight Magazine. See the beautiful holiday homes and magnificent locations where you can spend your holidays as a Bondholder and learn how impressed Bondholders have been by our handling of the problems caused by coronavirus.

Please complete and submit the form or, alternatively, telephone our FREE brochure request line on 0800 230 0391

Request a brochure
Title *  
First Name *  
Surname *  
Email address  
Postcode *  
Telephone number
How did you hear about us?

We will use the details you provide above to send you our detailed HPB brochure and keep you updated about HPB holiday offers.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

SUBMIT SUBMIT
* Indicates required fields
HPB’s holiday booking service has been rated 4.8 out of 5 based on 44 customer reviews on Feefo.

COVID 19 / CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Last updated
3rd December 2020 at 17:50


Our Statement on Covid 19 / Coronavirus

Last updated
3rd December 2020 at 17:50


Operating safely with covid-19

Last updated
3rd December 2020 at 17:50


Frequently Asked Questions

You can speak to one of our representatives

Your local HPB representative will be happy to call or video call you at a convenient time for an informal chat. Simply fill in your details and we'll do the rest.

Most of our representatives are Bondholders themselves and all have visited a number of Bond sites.

The representative will give you all the information you need and then leave you to make up your own mind. He or she will talk to you about your holiday requirements and what level of investment is needed to secure the kind of holidays you want.

Video chat now available with a local representative
Title *  
First Name *  
Surname *  
Email address  
Telephone number *  
Post code
iBy giving us your post code we can find a representative near you.
How should we contact you? *  
How did you hear about us?
Your message

One of our representatives will contact you using the information above.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

SUBMIT SUBMIT
* Indicates required fields

See our stunning holiday properties for yourself

Having a Private Tour at an HPB holiday location is an enjoyable way to see the high standards of furnishings and facilities you could enjoy with HPB. One of our representatives will show you around the site and answer any questions you may have.

Alternatively, you are welcome to book a Personal Presentation at a hotel near you. You can chat to one of our representatives, ask your questions and view the complete portfolio of HPB locations.

BOOK A PRIVATE TOUR OR PERSONAL PRESENTATION

This advertisement is issued by HPB Management Limited ("HPBM") registered at HPB House, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8EH. HPBM is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is the main UK agent and the property manager for HPB, issued by HPB Assurance Limited ("HPBA") registered in the Isle of Man and authorised by the Financial Services Authority there. The Trustee of HPB is HSBC Trustee (C.I.) Limited registered at HSBC House, Esplanade, St Helier, Jersey, JE1 1GT. The Securities Manager is Stanhope Capital LLP of 35 Portman Square, London, W1H 6LR.

Holders of policies issued by HPBA will not be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if the company becomes unable to meet its liabilities to them but Isle of Man compensation arrangements apply to new policies. No medical examination required. HPB is available exclusively through HPBM who will only charge for their services if you invest. HPBM promotes only HPB and is not independent of HPBA.