Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmastime In This Small Town- Italy

I am often asked what it is like during the Christmas season in my small town called Chiusi. I have spent now a number of holidays here to know what the lineup of festivities are. During the whole month of December, the stores are open on Sundays as well as the other days of the week. The first Sunday in December is devoted to the town fair or "Fiera." The streets are closed to traffic and there are stands outside selling everything from clothing to shoes to food to animals. Every year I get my great wicker baskets at this Fair that I use for magazines, wood, toys, etc. A great bargain. Many people do all their Christmas shopping at the Fair just because the prices are so good.
The last week before Christmas is the most exciting, especially for children. In one of the smaller piazza's, there is a wooden shed named "Santa's House" that is decorated and has a small mail box in the front where children leave their Christmas letters for Santa. On the Sunday before Christmas Santa "drops down from the sky." He actually comes out of a window from a 5 story palazzo and slowly lets himself down a rope while he throws candy down at the children. This takes place in the town piazza and is usually a crowd pleaser. During the week before Christmas there is also the horse and carriage where children or adults can take rides around town.
There may not be the hustle or bustle of Rome, Milan, New York, or London but there is something really comfy and quaint about Christmastime in Chiusi.


last hippie chic said...

Love your blog! My husband, 2 children and my mother and I are visiting Italy this summer. First, my husband is doing a triathalon in Nice. I have always wanted to move to Italy, but I have never visited! haha! Probably, many people think this? I am hoping we will be able to visit Rome and Florence, maybe Venice(?). Would you have any places that you would recommend for us to visit? We live in GA now, but used to live in CA (my husband is from San Diego, I am from Miami). My son is 15 and is a pretty good soccer player and my daughter is 11 and an artsy type of person. We just want to see Italy and eat and experience the people. I want to move there and never have to go back to Georgia- yuck! haha! I have been enjoying reading through your post. Why are there no comments though- it is so fun reading your blog, I would think more people would have found you. Is it true that the schools in Italy serve only organic food in their schools? I have heard this and hope it's true. I think it's wonderful that you got to leave LA and move to such a beautiful world. Wish I could too! I am totally ok with the no power whenever thing, because I think it's a fair trade off!

Anonymous said...

Maybe I am older than you, but this sounds more like a small American town than a town in Italy. I remember Christmas as a religious holyday. There was no Santa..it was Befana on Jan 6. I go back a lot and the more I see Italy becoming Americanized and it really is too bad.

Lucia said...

For Hippie Chic,
Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I am learning more and more it is not where you live that makes a difference. It is your attitude. I found someone once wrote that if you are happy where you are, you will be happy anywhere. I am sure there are a lot of positives about living in Georgia just as there are negatives and positives about living in Tuscany. I want to hear from you!

Lucia said...

For the Anonymous comment, you are right. In some ways Italy is becoming more and more Americanized but there is always the Italian flare on things which makes it all good!