Happy New Year Wishes!

 

Buon Natale e Felice Anno

 

As the sunlight shines over the Amalfi Coast on this last day of 2009, I want to wish all of you reading a new year full of contentment, joy and beautiful memories. I look forward to sharing the adventures of the coming year with you all!

Felice Anno Nuovo – Happy New Year!!

Christmas Eve Fireworks in Amalfi

 

As promised yesterday, here are two videos I made of the fireworks that were set off for celebration good luck at the fountain nativity in Largo Scario in Amalfi. It is traditional before or after placing the baby Jesus in the nativity to set off fireworks for good luck. On Christmas Eve you’ll hear fireworks being set off at all hours of the night (and morning!). The video is in two parts due to technical difficulties (also including operator difficulties). Watch at the end of the second video for when the table of panettone is brought out and the young boys flock toward it. It’s Christmastime!!

 

 

 

 

 

Does your family set of fireworks for Christmas and New Year’s Eve?

Tempting Tuesday: Christmas Presepe Traditions in Amalfi

 

Well, I was quite swept away by all of the Natale traditions and events for my first Christmas in Italy. With all the fish dishes on Christmas Eve, learning Neapolitan card games on Christmas day, walking through the whimsical Christmas lights in Salerno and the food food food food food. Oh, did I mention the food? Although I’m a bit late, I do hope all of you reading are enjoying a wonderful holiday time! To keep you dreaming of Amalfi into the new year, I’ll share with you my favorite nativity scene in Amalfi. 

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Fountain Presepe 7

 

This one is located in a little piazzetta called Largo Scario just opposite the beach along the main road in Amalfi.  During the year you’ll find a few turtles lounging in the Amalfi sun or taking a slow swim around the fountain with the resident goldfish. That is, unless you arrive when the fountain has been drained (don’t worry, the turtles and fish have a mini vacation in a nearby bathtub) to be decorated for the Christmas presepe (nativity).

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Fountain Presepe 1

 

Here is the nativity scene built into a grotto in the center of the fountain. I took these photos a few days before Christmas Eve, so you can see that the baby Jesus figure has not been added yet. (Click on the photos to enlarge them.)

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Fountain Presepe 2

 

This is my favorite nativity in Amalfi because it also represents the restaurants and shops right around the fountain. Here you can see a little sign for the Marina Grande restaurant, which is right across the street on the beach in Amalfi.

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Fountain Presepe 3

 

Above you see the bar Gran Caffe, which is just around the corner from the fountain presepe. Do you think I could get an aperitivo?

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Fountain Presepe 4

 

Here you see one of the fish doing laps around the fountain, as well as the Lo Spuntino bar located in Largo Scario. (Thankfully, in reality there aren’t pigs munching away in the piazzetta today.)

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Fountain Presepe 5 

Where the turtles usually lounge there is now a rural scene of hunters. Watch your step when you get over that bridge!

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Fountain Presepe 6

 

Here you see a charming old style fishing boat moored next to the little representation of the ceramic and coral shop owned by a friend of mine named Michelangelo. He and his family put a lot of work into the creation and maintenance of this presepe every year. Tante grazie!!

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Fountain Presepe 8

 

On Christmas Eve there was a traditional celebration of the arrival of Jesus in this elaborate fountain nativity. First come the fireworks and the traditional music, and then the figure of baby Jesus is passed around the piazza for everyone to kiss or touch before it is placed in the nativity. After that there was panettone for everyone! 

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Fountain Presepe 9

 

Here is the nativity scene in the fountain after the arrival of baby Jesus. Did you see all those fireworks in the last photo? Stop back by tomorrow for some fun videos of the festivities once I get them uploaded. In the meantime, enjoy these last two days of 2009! Buone feste!!

 

 

Related Posts

Tempting Tuesday: Fountain Nativity in Amalfi

Tempting Tuesday: Christmas Arrives in Amalfi

Tempting Tuesday: A Walk in Pogerola

Tempting Tuesday: Fountain Nativity in Amalfi

 

As promised, here I am with photos of the beautiful fountain presepi, or nativities, in Amalfi. Each December, two of the town’s fountains are drained and then carefully and lovingly decorated with elaborate presepe scenes by locals. These are  my favorite decorations of the Christmas season since they change ever so slightly each year and I enjoy seeing how they turn out! This week I’m sharing photos of the fountain presepe in the small Piazza dello Spirito Santo in Amalfi. 

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Fountain Presepe 1

 

Here is the nativity scene in the fountain, which is half underwater and half above water. The manger is empty now, because here in Italy baby Jesus is placed there on Christmas Eve.

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Fountain Presepe 2

 

I love the interaction between the figures above the water and below the water.

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Fountain Presepe 3

 

One of the tradition figures in any Neapolitan presepe  is the pastore dormiente, or the sleepy shepherd, who is always off taking a nap in the midst of the busy nativity scene. Can you find him?

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Fountain Presepe 5

 

Here’s a tip … look for a grotto or cave or someplace where a sleepy shepherd might be able to catch a few winks.

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Fountain Presepe 4

 

There he is! I hope his flock doesn’t wander too far while he sleeps through yet another holiday season! You can see more photos of this presepe from last year by clicking here.

 

Do you have a pastore dormiente in your presepe?

 

 

Related Posts

Tempting Tuesday: Christmas Arrives in Amalfi

Tempting Tuesday: A Walk in Pogerola

 Tempting Tuesday: Autumn Drive to Monte Faito

 Tempting Tuesday: Autumn Drive to Tramonti

Sunday Shout-out: Sicily Scene

It’s Sunday and time to introduce you all to another one of my favorite reads in the Italian blogosphere. We’re still down in Sicily, which is a part of Italy I’m eager to explore some day. In the meantime, I love learning about life in Sicily and its customs, traditions, food and beautiful landscape. One of the blogs that covers all these things is Sicily Scene – “Sicilian life, good and bad, as seen by ‘Welshcakes Limoncello’, a British woman who emigrated to the island in 2005. You’ll find some recipes here, too.”  Let me introduce you to Pat Eggleton, aka Welshcakes Limoncello, who blogs from the beautiful town of Modica in southeastern Sicily where she works as a writer, language teacher and linguist. Here’s Pat with her impossibly cute dog Simi:

 

Pat and Simi

 

Simi the Sicilian Dog

Simone the Sicilian Dog

 

Many of you might have noticed Pat has recently started writing articles on the Italy Magazine website. I love her insight and sense of humor! Many congrats to Pat for her new column on Italy Magazine called Patti Chiari. Head on over there to read her story about a lifelong love of Italy and her adventurous move from Wales to Sicily with Simi and 6,000 books. This is a woman after my own heart!

 

Stop by Sicily Scene  or Italy Magazine to say “ciao” to Pat. Or visit her on Twitter (@Modicana) to get the latest tweets from Modica. Tante grazie Pat & Simi for introducing us to life in Modica, Sicily!

 

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Sunday Shout-out: Keeping Time

Sunday Shout-out: Dual Language Articles Online at Italy Magazine

Sunday Shout-out: Dianne Hales