THE AUTHENTIC APULIA
The Christmas Tradition in Italy reveals all its richness.
Christmas in Puglia, the heel of the boot, is not only a time for celebration but also an opportunity to reconnect intensely with past traditions.
The holiday season exalts some of the region's most important features: craftsmanship, culinary art and the local friendliness so warm in this region of southern Italy
What to taste and look for at Christmas in Apulia?
Decorated cites and villages
During the Christmas period, you can find the main cities of Puglia all dressed in bright giant Christmas trees enthroned in their central squares, with street artists and musicians playing all around.
To name but a few, you will certainly find surprising decorations in Piazza Ferrarese in Bari, Piazza Sant'Oronzo in Lecce, Piazza Cavour in Foggia and Piazza Immacolata in Taranto.
Don't forget to visit nearby cities too, as they are even more beautiful during the Christmas holidays with Christmas lights and garlands decorating homes, shops and streets.
In the Itria Valley, around Ostuni, Cisternino, Locorotondo, Alberobello and Fasano,
you will feel the true magic of Christmas in Apulia between the stalls of the colourful markets and the trulli, where craftsmen show one of the best talents of Apulia.
Crafts and traditions
Christmas around the world and in particular in Puglia also allows you to rediscover ancient traditions. The crib is interpreted in different ways by local craftsmen.
In Lecce, the art of papier-mâché is used to make masterpieces. The nativity scene exhibition to be held in Lecce, in the former Christmas Eve of the Theatine, is one of the most popular destinations in Italy. The tradition of Christmas in Italy takes on its full meaning here!
Here you will find local masterpieces of art, featuring papier-mâché puppets with terracotta figurines representing villagers, animals and workers. Here again, the small villages, with their faithfully reconstructed scenes of the past, will take you on a journey through the simple art of living of this region.
THE WONDER OF LIVING NATIVITY SCENES
A typical aspect of the Salento region (South Apulia) is the creation of "living nativity scenes" in many municipalities.
Their beauty is due to the uniqueness of each of them, always made in beautiful settings such as countryside, antique "corti" or palaces.
One of the most famous living nativity scenes in Salento is the one in Tricase. It extends through the woods outside the city over four hectares, involving hundreds of extras, who animate it as if you were really inside an old village.
Visiting Christmas around the world is always a moment of AUTHENTICITY !
Masterpieces by artists can be found in many churches in Apulia.
The church of Santa Maria Assunta, in Polignano a Mare, houses one of the most impressive nativity scenes in Puglia, while in the church of Madonna del Carmine in Grottaglie, a town near Taranto known as the kingdom of ceramics, you can find one of the oldest Christmas cribs in the world, made in 1530.
Bari, Santa's house
Finally, you want to impress your children? Don't forget that Bari is the home of the real Santa Claus: Saint Nicholas of Myra, patron saint of the city.
Christmas around the word : apulian culinary specialities
The Christmas tradition in Italy necessarily involves the pleasure of traditional sweets and dishes.
It is not Christmas in Puglia until you see delicious, fine and crispy cakes made with honey or vinocotto appear in bakeries and pastries. These are Cartellate: strips of dough, made from flour and wine, in the shape of rosettes, fried and topped with wine cooked with figs, quinces or locust beans. Some people prefer to use honey, to which they add multicoloured vermicelli.
Do you also know the Pasta Reale, almond biscuits and candied fruits.
The New Year's Eve meal is always an opportunity to prepare specialities. Fried cod, cooked fennels with anchovies, panzerotti, linguine with red fish sauce, raw seafood, broccoli leaves, eels... These are just some of the many dishes that brighten up family tables and that vary from one city to another.
At any time of the year, APULIA IS A VERY INTERESTING REGION where you can find generosity of the local people, many hisorical sites and an ART OF LIVING simple and precious !