My husband, Mr. Secondi, is from a city in Italy called Pavia. It is in the Northern part of Italy, close to Milan. If you visit Italy one day and you travel to different regions, you will notice that they are all different- the people, the culture, the traditions. Just like here in the United States.
Italy is a small Mediterranean country in Western Europe that is shaped like a boot. Italy has a long and colorful history. Rome was once the seat of the vast Roman Empire. It is also the home of the Pope. Italy once became a Fascist Regime, but now she is a Constitutional Republic, and one of the many countries apart of the European Union. The people of Italy are called Italians.
Usually Italian breakfast is plain. Maybe it consist of some bread or pastry and a cappuccino (a foamy coffee drink). Italians are big coffee drinkers and they usually drink their coffee plain and strong. Espresso is the only true coffee to an Italian. You may have a pizza for lunch in Italy and it is nothing like pizza in America. The pizzas are smaller and more simple there, with usually a thin crust, sauce and a couple of toppings. Italian meals, especially dinners are served in several courses. Real Italian spaghetti (or any other pasta) would never be served with meat mixed in. The meat would be served in its own course. When my husband came to the United States, he did not recognize any of the food Americans called “Italian.” 🙂 🙂 🙂 Also, each region in Italy has it’s own signature cuisine. When you travel to new cities, you will taste new delicious recipes.
ITALIAN FOLK DRESS:
Although folk culture and traditions are becoming less and less important in Italy, people in the South still try to pass theirs down to each generation. It is a sad loss when these things begin to disappear.
Italian language is a Romantic language related to Old Latin and apart of the Indo-European family. In writing they use the Roman Alphabet, just like we do in English, except their alphabet has only 21 letters! Can you find what letters they do not have that we do?
Most Italians are Christian. As mentioned before, Italy is the home of the Pope who is the head Bishop in charge of the Roman Catholic Church. Italy is world renowned for their breathtakingly beautiful churches. This building pictured above is the very famous Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Vatican City is little City-State within the city of Rome. This is where the Pope lives.
TOYS AND GAMES IN ITALY:
Italian children are just like most other children. They love to play with cars and dolls. Soccer (what the rest of the world knows as Football) is a very popular game/sport in Italy. Unfortunately they did not win the most recent World Cup. 😦
MUSIC IN ITALY:
Claudio Monteverdi was one of Italy’s famous composers who created beautiful music during the Renaissance Era. During the Renaissance, Madrigals were very popular. A Madrigal is a secular piece of music (meaning non-religious), sometimes called a partsong, that is made for 4-8 different parts. Many times there is a soloist or main part, like this song by Monteverdi, Lamento Della Ninfa (The Nymph’s Lament):
Italian’s also enjoy music from around the world. Young people like American and British pop/rock music. They even have their own pop/rock music as well. Here is a popular Italian pop song:
DANCING IN ITALY:
Folk dancing in Italy is disappearing. It’s only still very popular in the South. This song and dance is called the Tarantella and it is from the Neapolitan part of Italy (Naples).
La Befana is the Good Witch of Italy, and like Santa Claus, she brings good children gifts. She comes on the Eve of the Epiphany (6th of January) and she fills socks and/or boots full of little toys and candies. She is symbolic of the wise men who brought the gifts to baby Jesus. This is the story of La Befana:
CARNEVALE DI VENEZIA:
There is a magnificent carnival festival in Venice, Italy. It begins on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday/Carnival Day), the day before Ash Wednesday, and it ends right before Lent begins (the Christian fasting holiday before Easter). It is famous for the masks and elaborate costumes.
We made La Befana Lunch sack puppets. The dollar store did not have regular brown paper bag lunch sacks so we found some colored gift bags lol. I found some light blue/grey colored gift confetti for her hair and we had some scrap ribbon, buttons and plenty of construction paper around the house. We went out side and collected some dead stems w/ leaves from a tree outside for her broom.
Our carnival masks were made out of paper plates, markers, glitter glue, and Popsicle sticks.