Thursday, February 22, 2024

My favorite pictures of Audrey traveling on holiday, and my article about Italy and the Italian culture.

Audrey on the boat in Venice Italy

Audrey with Windmills in Holland

Audrey on the Big Island of Hawaii

Audrey in traffic trouble on the Lido, Venice Italy

Audrey in the , Paris France

Audrey in Rotterdam Netherlands

As you can see Audrey has had a tough childhood, just kidding.

It is funny to me, that when Americans first go to Venice Italy, they say "please take me to Lido Island", the Italian's smile and know for sure you are an American visitor.
Because in Italian Lido means beach. So they just say let's go to the Lido.
Venice Italy is a fantastic place to visit and I hope to go back there someday.
It was many years ago, when I took a train ride with my daughter around Europe.
My daughter still talks about that trip today, and she is an adult now with a job as a Financial Controller for a large corporation.

Italian culture is unique and has many facets, Italy is steeped in the arts, family, pride of workmanship, loyalty to friends, architecture, music and food.
Home of the Roman Empire and a major center of the Renaissance, culture on the Italian peninsula that has flourished for hundreds of years.

If you are of Italian decent, then you may recognize some of these holiday traditions your Italian ancestors brought with them to America.

The Day of the Immaculate Conception
This observance begins on December 8th with the celebration of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. The famous Christmas markets are officially open for the season on this special day. Between the nativity scenes, staged plays, bonfires, and strung lights, Italian cities become Christmas wonderlands. There are far less tourists in the winter time.

Christmas Eve – Feast of the Seven Fishes
Known as “la Vigilla,” this observation celebrates the birth of Jesus at midnight, hence the widely attended tradition of Midnight Mass. Vowing not to eat meat until Christmas Day, many partake in the Feast of the Seven Fishes, or “Festa dei Sette Pesci.” Hailing from Southern Italy, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is more prominent with Italian Americans than with Italians.

La Befana
In the same way that children expect Santa Claus to stuff their stockings with presents, Italian children look for the witch, “la Befana” in Italian, to fill their shoes with gifts and candies. The difference is that Italian children wake up to presents on January 6th instead of Christmas morning.

January 6th marks the end of the Christmas celebrations, on Epiphany, when the Three Mages brought gifts to baby Jesus. As the story goes, the Three Wise Men met La Befana on their way to the manger in Bethlehem. Generous and humble, the old woman hosted the Wise Men in her cottage, giving them food and drink. In the morning, they invited her to join their trip. But she declined, only to regret her decision later. She hurriedly gathered gifts for Jesus but did not reach Bethlehem in time. Traveling the skies on her ragged broomstick, la Befana continues her search to this day, leaving treats for the nice children and coal for the naughty and evil children.