New Years Eve in Italy is commonly known as ‘La Festa di San Silvestro’ and is marked by the observation of various traditional Italian rituals, as well as the more widely known celebrations and parties.
Most famous is the Italian tradition to wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve to bring good luck in the New Year. It is also commonplace to throw old belongings out of the window at midnight to symbolize readiness to accept the New Year.
As with most Italian festivals, 31 December is also very much focused on friends, family and food. A lentil stew with zampone (stuffed pigs trotter) is commonly eaten when the bell tolls midnight to encourage good fortune; the round lentils are said to represent coins whilst the pork symbolises the richness of life in the coming year.
As the clock turns 12 elaborate fireworks displays light up the skies above some of Italy’s most iconic cities and prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine, is often used to toast the New Year in street parties across the country. The combination of the friendly locals, fantastic food, stunning fireworks and an electric atmosphere makes for a truly memorable New Year’s Eve not to be missed.
Citalia, the leading Italian specialist, has selected some of its most popular New Year’s Eve breaks, providing the perfect opportunity to celebrate the New Year in style and explore an iconic Italian city at the same time.
Rome comes alive over Christmas and New Year and its historic monuments serve as a breathtaking backdrop to the fireworks and festivities. Rome’s traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations are centered in the Piazza del Popolo where large crowds of locals and tourists celebrate with music, dancing and fireworks well into the night. On New Year’s Day, the square is filled by circus performers and acrobats to entertain children. Alternatively, head to Via dei Fori Imperiali, by the famous Colosseum, to enjoy a local Italian meal and celebrate the turn of the year with live music performances.
Citalia has a four night New Year’s break to Rome from just £545 per person. Departing 30 December 2013, the offer includes four nights B&B at the three star Hotel San Remo and return flights from London Gatwick with Easyjet.
The iconic St Mark’s Square in Venice plays host to a huge New Year’s Eve celebration with music, a large fireworks display and a group kiss at midnight. The countdown is marked by the bell of St Mark’s Campanile, the imposing bell tower of St Mark’s Basilica. For those who want to avoid the crowds of the square but still take in the stunning views and fireworks, the Punta della Dogana is a recommended spot for a panoramic view from across the water. For those looking to enjoy the famous Italian cuisine, many restaurants in Venice offer huge feasts on New Year’s Eve, starting at nine in the evening and lasting until midnight with many courses and lots of wine. On New Year’s Day many bathers take a dip in the chilly waters of Venice’s Lido Beach to recover from the night before.
Citalia has a four night New Year’s break to Venice from just £629 per person. Departing 30 December 2013, the offer includes four nights B&B at the three star Hotel Ca Fortuny and return flights from London Gatwick with Easyjet.
The stunning city of Florence is renowned for its extravagant meals on New Year’s Eve and Italian families commonly get together to enjoy delicious Italian cuisine and wines and celebrate the New Year. Numerous fireworks displays light up the city and can best be viewed from the bridges on the Arno. For those wishing to celebrate well into the night, Florence usually holds public concerts in Piazza della Signoria and Piazza della Repubblica and the city is known for its nightclubs which often hold large New Years Eve parties.
Citalia has a four night New Year’s break to Florence from just £575 per person. Departing 30 December 2013, the offer includes four nights B&B at the three star Hotel San Giorgio and return flights from London Gatwick with Easyjet.
For more information on Citalia’s Italy holidays call 0844 415 1956 or visit www.citalia.com