It’s early in Amalfi this Christmas Eve morning and the 7:35am church bells at the Duomo are ringing over town. As we wake up here in Italy today it is to the suddenly not so festive color red. That is, red for zona rossa (red zone). According to the Decreto Natale (Christmas Decree), all of Italy is a red zone for the holidays this year with many restrictions around movement and limitations on celebrations. It’s quite complicated, but the short version is: Stay Home.
And that’s exactly where we will be. This year we will miss celebrating the holidays with my husband’s family here on the coast and in Salerno, but it is so little in comparison to how much so many families have lost. We are home and we are grateful for our health and that our family and loved ones here and in America are well. That is all I could wish for this year!
We’ve made our holiday menus for here at home with something special planned for each day. We’ll keep the local tradition of having seafood tonight for Christmas Eve and will make some new recipes in the coming days. For us, this year is about savoring the moment … and local flavors. To that end, we’ve got a bottle of Alta Costa spumante from Tenuta San Francesco in Tramonti. After dinner tonight we’ll celebrate the season with a Panettone al Limone from Pasticceria Pansa that was a surprise gift from our friend Cassandra from Travel Italian Style. (Curious about lemon panettone? You can read more about the Panettone al Limone in this article I wrote for Italia! magazine.)
I took these photos of the Christmas lights in Atrani earlier this week, which was a moment of joy for me as I took my camera and tripod out for a spin on a mild December evening. These moments–quiet times at home, taking photos, cutting into a locally made panettone and thinking of friends–are what I will hold on to from this Christmas. However you’re celebrating the holidays this year, I hope you can find some moments of beauty and sweetness!