Learn Italian vocabulary by celebrating Christmas!

Learn Italian vocabulary by studying habits and culture of Italy! It is one if the most effective way to deeper not only the language but to remember it!

Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus (“Nativity”): it falls on December 25th for all Christian Churches: but the Gregorian calendar for the Roman-Western Churches and the Julian calendar for the Roman-Eastern Churches, i.e. January 7th (with a current delay of 13 days).

We are Italian and, you know, the food is really important!! To learn Italian, you can try to eat like Italians: in this way you’ll make less effort to increase your Italian vocabulary. On Christmas Day, we have the Cenone (literally meaning ‘big dinner’) that varies from region to region, but there are two typical sweet breads that, everywhere, in challenge: panettone and pandoro!

Today, you’ll learn something about Panettone! Next week we’ll discover Pandoro!

Hailing from Milan, panettone is a sweet, dome-shaped bread loaf studded with raisins and candied citrus peels. Interestingly, the dough takes several days to make: Like sourdough, it has to be cured. Serve it up with either a hot beverage or a sweet wine like Moscato d’Asti.

Around the typical Christmas cake, born in Milan and now consumed throughout Italy, many legends have flourished.

Read the legend of Panettone to learn Italian words

The Pan de Toni. One of the most credited tells that this dessert was born at the court of Ludovico il Moro. It was Christmas Eve and the preparations for the Christmas banquet were in full swing in the kitchens. According to legend, the Sforza’s cook forgot the cake in the oven that burnt to a crisp. Desperate because he had nothing to serve on his lord’s table, he was helped by a humble tramp named Toni, who had kept a little mother’s yeast for himself and his family. The young man offered to work it with the few remaining ingredients and so he made a very soft and leavened dough with eggs, butter, orange peel, sultanas and candied fruit. The result was a success because the “pane di Toni” brought to the ducal table was very much appreciated by the Moro and his guests.

Legends certainly feed the tradition, but the true origin of the panettone is to be found in the widespread medieval custom of celebrating Christmas with a bread richer than the daily one.

Here you can find a lot of word correlated to Christmas!!

Do you know other Italian dessert? Have you an Italian favorite sweet? Share with us!

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