E’ arrivato il Natale a Bologna

Disclaimer: this post was written first in Italian, and then translated to English. So all you English speakers will have to bear with my awkward phrasings…


Everywhere in Bologna, there are signs of Christmas, my favorite holiday. This is a time to celebrate and delight in the company of one’s family. In Italy, there’s a famous phrase: Natale con i suoi, Capodanno con chi vuoi. It means: Christmas with your own, New Year’s with whomever you want. This year, though, my family is visiting from the United States for two weeks, and I am so excited! I’ll celebrate both Christmas and New Year’s with them, my family and the people I want.
It has been difficult to control my excitement (the wait is driving me crazy), but I’ve kept myself occupied with a list of things we can see and eat when they’re here. I’ve been buying Christmas gifts and working a lot to be ready for vacation.
They get here the 20th of December, and then we’ll have an adventure!

The signs of Christmas:
– the Christmas tree in the Piazza Maggiore
– the lights under all the porticos
– Santa Clause everywhere!
– sales in all the stores
– advent calendars
– the churches are packed on Sundays

This little band was playing in the Piazza Maggiore under Bologna's Christmas tree.

A little bread market showed up under the tree. Che carino!

The other market participants, peddling vin brulee under a shooting star.

Even the war memorial is decorated.

When Gabrielle was here, we went on a walk at night to look at the lights. This is the Via d'Azeglio, which I take every day on my way to the library.

The Via Farini, which leads to my street.

The Galleria Cavour, some of Bologna's fancier shopping. This is where you'll find Louis Vuitton and Prada, among others.

This is the walk outside the Armani store, and to my knowledge was the first set of lights that went up.

One of Armani's trees.

The plants under the tree in the Piazza Maggiore. They smell so good!

A view up the tree. Isn't it beautiful?

The Via dell'Independenza, Bologna's main shopping drag.

Looking down toward Bologna's famous two towers. They lit up the Asinelli with strings of lights hung from the very top. I can't wait to climb it again!

The Asinelli up close.

I love walking around Bologna by night now. The lights and the trees make what’s already a magical city into a wonderland, where I’ll be content to spend my Christmas even without snow. In addition to all the lights twinkling, many of the stores are playing Christmas carols and there are chestnut vendors on every corner, so I can hear and smell Christmas too. I can’t wait!


Dappertutto a Bologna, ci sono i segni di Natale, la mia festa preferita. Questa è un tempo per celebrare e dilettare nella compagnia di famiglia sua. In Italia, c’è un proverbio famoso: Natale con i suoi, il Capodanno con chi vuoi. Quest’anno, però, mia famiglia visiterà dagli stati uniti per due settimane, e sono contentissima! Celebrerò Natale e Capo d’Anno con loro, le gente tutt’e due comprendono la famiglia e le gente cui voglio.
Era stato difficile di controllare l’agitazione (l’attesa mi fa impazzire), ma mi avevo occupato fare una lista delle cose che possiamo vedere e mangiare durante la visita. Avevo comprato i regali e lavorato molto di essere pronta per la vacanza. Arriveranno il ventesimo dicembre, e poi ci sara un’avventura!

I segni di Natale:
– l’albero di Natale nella Piazza Maggiore
– le luce sotto i portici
– Babbo Natale dappertutto!
– sconti nei negozi
– i calendari avvento
– le chiese Domenica sono affollate


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