It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … in Amalfi!

Pasticceria Savoia Amalfi

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … in Amalfi! The bakeries and shops are decorated for the holidays, and soon the town will be lit with Christmas lights. With all the recent bad weather, it’s been hard to put up the decorations this year. But last Saturday morning I was out and about in Amalfi and saw the lights were being installed in the Piazza Duomo and along the waterfront. Here are a few photos I snapped quickly while out for a walk.

Christmas light intallation Piazza Duomo Amalfi

Decorations being intalled in Piazza Duomo

Christmas lights Amalfi

Here come the Christmas lights!

Christmas Lights Amalfi

Christmas lights Amalfi

Decorated lamp posts in Amalfi

Photo Friday: Festival of Sant’ Andrea in Amalfi

Sant' Andrea Statue, Duomo of Amalfi

The end of November is a special time in Amalfi. On the 29th and 30th of November, the town celebrates their patron saint and protector Sant’ Andrea (St. Andrew) with special masses and a big procession of the beautiful 17th-century statue of the saint that you see in the photograph above. This year many of the usual events, including the elaborate procession, were cancelled due to the terrible weather and heavy rain. But I was able to visit the church on Monday night for the vigilia, or eve, of the celebrations for Sant’ Andrea. The Duomo was lit beautifully and filled with music – the best way to see the cathedral! You can read about and see videos I made of the events for the Festival of Sant’ Andrea and the miracle of the Manna over at my Amalfi Coast Local Flavor Blog for NileGuide. Enjoy!

Where Woman Cook: Mamma Agata New York City Event!

I have great news to share with those of you reading from the New York City area! My dear friend Chiara Lima from the Mamma Agata Cooking School on the Amalfi Coast in Ravello will be returning to your area on December 10th for an exciting event at Chelsea Market (75 Ninth Avenue, between 15th & 16th) in New York City for the launch of a fabulous new foodie magazine called Where Women Cook. Chiara will be there along with Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman) and many other famous cooks! Here’s a peek inside the first issue with a feature on the Mamma Agata Cooking School and Chiara’s lovely Simple and Genuine cookbook:

Mamma Agata Amalfi Coast Cooking School

If you missed Chiara on her book tour last month, this is the perfect chance to meet her and pick up a signed copy of the first issue of Where Women Cook and Chiara’s beautiful Simple and Genuine cookbook. (A great holiday gift idea!!) Here are the details:

Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Avenue, between 15th & 16th, New York City, December 10th, 2-5 PM

For a little sneak peek of what you’ll find inside Chiara’s Simple and Genuine cookbook, check out this wonderful guest appearance Chiara and her husband Gennaro did on ABC 7 News in Chicago where they prepare their Spaghetti del Contadino (Farmer’s Spaghetti). After watching the video yesterday morning I just had to make this quick, easy and delicious pasta dish for lunch. Enjoy!

Photo Friday: Watching Over Amalfi

Amalfi Coast Duomo St. Andrew

I don’t think I’ll ever tire of taking photographs of Amalfi’s Duomo of Sant’ Andrea. There’s something so intriguing to me about the design and its situation at the top of the grand staircase watching over all the activity in the town’s main piazza. While walking down the 62 steps a few weeks ago, I turned around and looked up to this dramatic view of the facade and campanile. I’m sharing it with you this week in anticipation of the Festival of Sant’ Andrea, which is next week on November 30th. You can see photos and read more about Amalfi’s most important religious holiday over at my Amalfi Coast Local Flavor Blog for NileGuide. This year I’ll be sharing photos and videos of events at both blogs. Stayed tuned!

Happy Friday!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Amalfi Coast!

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Autumn Scala

While Thanksgiving Day isn’t a holiday in Italy, many Italians do know about the holiday. Here it is called il giorno del ringraziamento, which literally translates as “the day of  thanksgiving.” As an expat, it is always hard to be away from family on important holidays. I feel this even more so when those holidays aren’t celebrated here in Italy. The first years I was here in Italy we didn’t do much to celebrate Thanksgiving. Why would I go to all the work to cook a big meal to celebrate a holiday that only had significance to me? Last year on Thanksgiving I realized exactly why I would this year – because it’s enough that the holiday is important to me! Part of being an expat is finding the balance between old traditions and new ones, and holidays are some of the most meaningful traditions to remember each year.

This year I’ll be preparing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner … or at least as close as I can make one here in Italy. We’ll be having turkey, cranberries (brought from America!), homemade stuffing,  mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. The pie is a special treat made by some our of very good friends who will be joining us for dinner. And just to throw things off a bit, Thanksgiving this year will be over the weekend. What did I tell you about old traditions and new ones?!

Wishing everyone … in Italy, America and wherever you may be celebrating  … a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!