Buon Natale – Celebrating Christmas in Italy


Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash 

Buon Natale – Merry Christmas! December really is the most magnifico time of year. In Italy, Christmas celebrations last about a month, starting on 8th December, the day of the Immacolata, on which traditionally, the presepe (nativity scene) and the Christmas tree are set up. The festivities last until the Epiphany, which celebrates the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus on 6th January. It is a very festive time, mostly centered around gatherings of friends and family enjoying fine wine and delizioso food – all the things we love the most at Lupa.  

Traditional Italian Food – Christmas Eve 

Italian Christmas food varies from region to region, but traditionally, it excludes meat items and is based mainly on fish. For dessert, there are all kinds of exquisite holiday breads, such as panettone, filled with raisins and candied fruits, and rich delicacies such as cannoli (cream cheese-filled pastries), as well as endless jars of biscotti that the children are sure to leave out to tempt Babbo Natale. 

Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash  

Traditional Italian Food – Christmas Day 

Christmas day dinner is the most important Christmas family tradition in Italy. While Christmas Eve dinner is a meatless meal, on Christmas Day, Italians celebrate with a magnifico meat meal. Traditional dishes include stuffed cappone (capon / chicken) or tacchino (turkey), but roast beef is also a firm favourite. Panettone is served as dessert or as breakfast (sounds like a lifestyle we could get used to). Another well renown Italian Christmas bread is pandoro which originated from Verona. Nougat with honey, chocolate almonds, or pistachios is a typical Christmas sweet. 

Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash 

Leftover Panettone? 

Try Chris Black’s Panettone Bread Pudding with Amaretto Cream Sauce. This Italian version of bread-and-butter pudding is great for using up any leftover Christmas panettone and is delicious served with ice cream or on its own. 

View Recipe

Lupa Christmas Menu 

Would you like to celebrate the season in true Italian style? Book a table at your local Lupa Den and experience the taste of authentic Italian cooking. Order from one of our Christmas set menus which include a starter, main and dessert. Set menus from R215 per person.  

Christmas Menu 1

Christmas Menu 2

Lupa Wine 

Have you tried our Lupa wine? Lupa owners and founders, Guy Cluver and Chris Black, made a special trip to Paarl to meet with Charles and Anthony, the award-winning wine and cheese makers from Fairview Farm. After a memorable and scenic tour of the vineyards, they sat down with the expert vintners who helped them hand select two premium wines that they knew their guests at Lupa would enjoy. The Lupa Merlot and the Lupa Sauvignon Blanc are two well-structured wines that are delicious on their own or with our food.  


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