If you read my post last month, you might have picked up on the fact that I’m not a fan of the gorgeous weather we were having this fall. I know, sacrilege, right! What person in their right mind lives in the Mediterranean and complains about warm, sunny days in November??? Well I’m complaining no more. These last few days of the month have given me that feel of brisk air against my cheek I was longing for and I was finally able to break out my (very light) winter sweaters, wrap a scarf around my neck, slip into a light jacket and even don my favorite bootie slippers at night. I can finally say, bring on the holiday season!!!
Seems the shop owners and the Comune di Napoli felt the same way. I’d been watching the preparations for the last week or so and then just like magic, every shop window in Chiaia seemed to have donned their holiday best and the Comune di Napoli turned on all of the lights, be it by happenstance or design, on Black Friday. I am in holiday spirits heaven. And if I didn’t know better, with lights on just about every alley in Chiaia, I’d think I was living around Carnaby street in London. Of course the weather here is still quite a bit better!!!
So without further ado… here’s what’s on tap for the holiday season.
The Christmas Round Up
Naples Christmas Alley – Via San Gregorio Armeno – A tiny alley in Naples Centro Storico, along with the fish market at Porta Nolana, Via San Gregorio Armeno is the heart and soul of the Neapolitan Christmas. And by the first week of December, it is jam packed with shoppers seeking to add to their nativity scenes and thousands upon thousands of curious tourists.
The Neapolitan Creche – The Art of the Presepio – A traditional craft that is said to date backto Saint Francis of Assisi’s commissioning of a Nativity scene in the 13th century, Naples elevated this craft into high art. By the 18th century, thanks in part to the patronage of King Charles the III, the art of the presepio was in its golden age.
In Search of the Neapolitan Presepe – The hunt always starts where so many of the presepi do, Naples Christmas Alley, Via San Gregorio Armeno, home to many of the artisans that craft the presepi. From there, I revisit the city’s Permanent Collections, and then… the adventure begins.
Porta Nolana Market – Rarely frequented by tourists, Porta Nolana is the best seafood marketin Naples. It is where locals go in search of ingredients to make their Xmas Eve Dinner, a menu that is rich in fresh seafood like clams and cod. If you don’t mind crowds, chaos and confusion, this market is not to be missed.
Cena della Vigilia di Natale – The Neapolitan Christmas Eve Dinner – By early evening on Christmas Eve, the streets will become eerily deserted as families gather at home to prepare the meal. From every kitchen in the city, the scents of generations old family recipes will waft into the air as it draws nearer to the time-honored Cena della Vigilia di Natale.
Don’t Miss Holiday Events
- Salerno Luci d’Artista – A holiday festival of lights
- Christmas village in Piazza Garibaldi – an ice-rink, food stalls, a stage for shows and events and many coloured lights: this is the project for the large village of Father Christmas, thought up for the area around the Central Station in Naples.
- Santa Claus Village Napoli at Mostra d’Oltremare – Inside, there are magic places. On a map of the world there are no traces, but… be guided by your imagination and it will open its doors before your eyes!!!
- Nativity in the World – Presepe Exhibition at Santa Maria la Nova
- Christmas at the Cloister – a season long series of events at the cloister of Santa Chiara
- Concerto di Natale a San Carlo – Concert by the San Carlo Theater’s Children’s Choir led by Stefania Rinaldi
- And more Christmas Events are being posted every day
Naples In the News
- Plymouth/Naples – How Italians deal with unfair reputation – Naples and the Campania region continue to fight misconceptions
- Naples subway station wins prize for underground work – And the Oscar goes to…
- Italy showcases stolen pre-Roman frescoes – Greek era frescoes stolen from a tomb in Paestum on display in Rome
Naples on the Blogs
- Georgie Knaggs Reviews the third book in the Elena Ferrante series – Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
- An Australian Blogger with a passion for Naples – Back to Naples – September 2015
- Pompeii Revealed – 8 things you (probably) didn’t know about Pompeii
Naples in Video
The Month Ahead
Though clearly the Christmas season has started already, December 8th (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) is the traditional start to the holidays. It is also the day the city honours the Virgin Mary by placing a wreath in the hands of the copper sculpture on top of the Obelisk of the Immaculate One, the Virgin Mary in Piazza Gesù Nuovo.
The weather is still quite beautiful, so get out and explore some of the many treasures of Naples: Ancient Ruins, Buildings Great and Small; Museums & Galleries; Parks & Gardens and of course, there’s much, much more.
For the Napoli Expat – the Naples Naples International Happy Hour is Wednesday the 9th (vice the 2nd) of December, 19-22 at Barril in Chiaia and the AIWC Meeting is Saturday, 12 December. For those of you with access to the NATO Base, the International Bazaar is Friday and Saturday the 4th & 5th of December and we will of course be out there with the NU Guide to Naples. There is also Cinema in Original Language at the Cinema Academy Astra (presented by CLA – Centro Linguistico di Ateneo) and at Multicinema Modernissimo. And as usual, there are English language services at Christ Church Naples every Sunday, but a few special services and events have been added for the holiday season.
- Sunday 13 December at 16.00 – Christingle Service for children with interactive nativity play
- Sunday 20 December at 16.00- Traditional Candlelit Carol Service
- Christmas Eve at 23.30 – Midnight Mass
- Christmas Day at 10.30 – Informal Family service with communion.
Find all of Naples English Speaking events.
And in other news… There are a ton more events for the holiday season. Holly will be keeping us up to date on all of those and she will be sending out a weekly News & Events Newsletter. Please sign up here!!!
And don’t forget – our NU Guide to Naples is available in paperback and EPUB3 eBook for iPad (and most other devices). We are working on the conversion to Kindle now and hope to have that available soon.
To those of you who have already purchased a copy and to those of you who have left reviews on Amazon and Good Reads we are eternally grateful. Your purchases help us to support the work we do here at Napoli Unplugged.
Order the paperback book from:
- Partenope Press – serving customers in the US, Mexico, Canada, the UK, Europe Australia and New Zealand
- Amazon US – serving customers in the US and Canada
- Amazon UK
- Amazon Italy
- Amazon Germany
- Amazon France
- Amazon Spain
Have a fantastic holiday season!!!