Cena della Vigilia di Natale – The Neapolitan Christmas Eve Dinner


on December 18, 2010 | 8:05 pm | 0 Comment

During the Christmas season in Napoli the streets pulsate in every corner of the city. Along Via San Gregorio Armeno the Presepi Napolitani seem to come to life as do the mannequins in the windows of the upscale stores along Via Chiaia, Via Toledo, and Via dei Mille. Pastry shop displays sparkle with the colored sprinkles and Jordan almonds that adorn the traditional Neapolitan struffoli and pyramids of boxed panettone rise to the ceilings of every salumeria. From the Pignasecca to the Vomero, Centro Storico to Centro Direzionale, every neighborhood is in fine spirits and the sounds of a thousand buon natales ring through the air as the Neapolitans run to and fro, gathering last minute gifts and the all important ingredients for Cena della Vigilia di Natale, Christmas Eve dinner.

Only the freshest fish, fruits and vegetables and the finest sweets will grace the Neapolitan table. By Christmas Eve day, the characteristic green bins of the fruit and vegetable stands will be picked clean and over at Porta Nolana, Naples best fish market, shoppers will be crowding into the stalls to buy the most important ingredients of the meal, the eel – il captione, the clams – le vongole, salted cod – il baccalà, and the sea bass – la spigola.

A menu filled with simple, yet flavorful dishes that have been lovingly prepared by hand.

Cena della Vigilia di Natale – The Traditional Dishes

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Passionate about my adopted home, for me Naples is the perfect canvas. From its breathtaking vistas to its rich cultural heritage, I could live here a lifetime and never see it all, photograph it all, or write about it all.

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