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Italian Christmas traditions Naples

The Italian Christmas traditions in Naples.

Christmas in Campania, and especially in Naples, has a special flavour, the taste of the good and beautiful things of the past.

From the acclaimed tradition of Pastors of San Gregorio Armeno, in the oldest part of the city, until you get to the many gastronomic specialties that make this festivities even more special and unique.

From the month of November, in the ancient area of Spaccanapoli in the middle of the old city, Neapolitan artisans proudly display the products of their labor, all strictly hand made.

You can find (accompanied by the lights, the decorations and the Christmas songs) beautiful compositions of the Nativity on the benches and in the shop windows, pastors of all sizes, ceramic made, lined with silk and embroidery.

In addition to St. Joseph, Santa Mary and the little baby Jesus you can be found all the characters of the Christmas tradition like the Three Kings, who bring gold, frankincense and myrrh, and the ox and the little donkey that heat the the Nativity Cave.

Added to these there are the characters of everyday life, introduced by the Neapolitan culture, intent in their daily activities, such as the baker who cook the bread in the oven, the butcher who cuts the meat, the innkeeper who spill the wine, women who sew and converse in the courtyard of a building, and the passers who follow with his eyes the star comet that leads to the cave.

And then there are the rivers with the water flowing really, fruit baskets that seems true, houses made of cork and papier mache and many other objects specially created to customize the Nativity.

You can also find stalls selling the Tombola, the typical game that the Neapolitans do in family during the holidays. It is a billboard with numbers and a container to extract them, according to the drawn numbers you can complement the folders and you can win the money up for grabs.

Walking to San Gregorio Armeno in Christmas time means stroll in the history and culture of the people of Naples, also from a culinary point of view.

In fact it’s easy to meet bakeries from which comes a delicious smell of freshly baked pastries.

Do you know what are those typical of Christmas?

  • Struffoli, balls of pastry fried and wrapped in honey and candied fruit
  • sfogliatelle (good in every season) consisting of pastry and delicious lemon cream
  • mostaccioli, a kind of crunchy chocolate cookie covered in dark chocolate and the Caprese, a soft cake with chocolate and almonds.

According to tradition, the taste of these sweets should be accompanied by a glass of limoncello, a typical and tasty homemade liquor with typical lemons of Sorrento.

So, what you waiting for?

This is the perfect time for a vacation in Naples to enjoy all its particularities.


I'm a Italy lover, mom of two, living in central Italy and I love travelling. I have a degree in Tourism economics and management and now I'm a consultant helping businesses working in tourism.

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