The Italians are known for their panache and style around the world, right from the swagger in their walk to the charm in their talk to the romance in the air. Therefore, how can they lack in flair while celebrating an important occasion like the New Year. Watching New Year celebrations in various major cities of Italy is an absolute visual treat. Culturally rich, the country is a treasure trove of stunning flamboyant architecture and cuisines. All these facets add to the radiance of the New Year celebrations organized in various cities of the country like Rome, Naples, Venice, Florence, etc. The New Year revelry usually spans over a period of three days, during which the Italians bid farewell to the past year and welcome the beginning of fresh year, il capodanno with great flair.
New Year's Eve Celebrations
The Italians enchantingly call New Year's Eve as La Festa di San Silvestro and celebrate it on December 31 as per the Gregorian calendar. As with all major occasions in an Italian's life, food plays a central role in New Year's revelry. A major highlight of the evening is the grand feast that sees not just the immediate family members in attendance but relatives as well as friends. They all gather together to enjoy the lavish spread of delectable and sumptuous meals. The dinner consists of traditional dishes, such as lentils, cotechino and zampone. Each of this is an Italian signature dish, which has traditional significance and is considered lucky; thus, is eaten on New Year's Eve with great relish. Lentils, symbolize money and good fortune; zampone, a dish of stuffed pig's trotter, signifies the richness of life in the coming year; and cotechino is a large spiced sausage.
Noisy Outdoor Celebrations
Once the feasting is over, the celebrations move outdoors and are marked by magnificent display of fireworks. Usually, these extravagant fireworks shows are public displays. However, private displays are also organized in various parities and get-togethers. The city of Naples is known for the most spectacular New Year firework displays across Italy. Besides this, in many smaller towns, huge bonfires are lit in the central square, where people gather early in the morning, whereas in the coastal areas, one can hear insistent sounds of horns, blown by boats and ships to welcome the New Year. Other than fireworks, many towns also organize public music and dancing events, which include performances of hugely popular pop and rock bands.
Some Quirky New Year Traditions
One of the most favorite New Year party games, be it a small private gathering or a huge public congregation, is 'Tombola', which shares much similarity with Bingo. The traditionally preferred drink of Italians for New Year celebrations is Italian sparkling wine, known as spumante or prosecco and the parties organized on this occasion usually last until sunrise so that the guests can watch the first sunrise of the newborn year. Another interesting old custom followed in the southern part of Italy is throwing old things out of windows. This custom symbolizes one's readiness to do away with the baggage of the old year and eagerness to accept the New Year. Therefore, if you are walking across the lanes of Italy during New Year celebrations, do keep an eye out on the falling objects from the windows of various residential quarters. Most intriguing of all the above traditions is the belief that wearing red underwear on New Year's Eve would ensure good luck throughout the coming year.
Celebrations in Rome
The culturally electrified city of Rome hosts one of the largest New Year celebrations at the Piazza del Popolo, where huge crowds swing and dance to the rhythm of popular rock and classical musical notes. The fireworks are set off at midnight. On New Year's Day, when most adults are asleep, the same venue hosts entrainment performances by acrobats and magicians for children. Besides this, Colosseum on Via dei Fori Imperiali is another well-known venue in the city where musical and firework shows are organized.
Celebrations in Naples and Capri
Naples has a rich tradition of celebrating New Year with great gusto. Here, people gather together at Piazza del Plebiscito, which is located in the city center and enjoy the mind-blowing musical performances given by various bands in different genres of music. The revelry here includes an awe-inspiring show of fireworks as well. In some parts of Naples, old things come clashing down from windows at midnight and the tradition of Lo Sciuscio is still observed wherein groups of young amateur artists go from house to house playing and singing songs on New Year's Eve and people, in turn, present them with a small token amount of money or sweets.
Celebrations in Venice
The ethereal city of Venice also welcomes New Year in a bedazzling style, with its restaurants serving marvelous multicourse meals till midnight on New Year's Eve. Main public celebrations are held at St Mark's Square and Piazza Ferretto in Mestre, where New Year concerts are organized and at midnight, a huge group kiss is held. One can also catch special performances of Venice Golden Opera New Year's Eve concert at the Scuola Grande dei Carmini. On New Year's Day, one is greeted by the numerous bathers taking a dip in chilling waters of Venice's Lido Beach. Without any doubt, the New Year's celebrations in Italy are absolutely mesmerizing.
This article elucidates the enchanting and remarkable New Year celebrations organized in Italy.