Friday, December 23, 2011

Natale in Calabria

Christmas lights in the Piazza
Maybe “northern Italian/European” traditions are slowly creeping south.  The TV commercials here related to Christmas are tame and not many. We do laugh every time we walk past a mechanical Santa on the sidewalk that is putting out holiday music in English (at least 3 in Scalea). Another sight that brought a chuckle was a young Pakistani lad in Santa suit, without beard, playing jingle bells from some a fake keyboard and asking for cash.  If he had donned a beard, I might have donated.

Nunzia offers much holiday cheer

Decorations and light have slightly increased in our village, but it's still by far more traditionally centered on the family and food. Please enjoy these images of Christmas in town, and an introduction to more of our village. We’ve never compiled a list of the businesses here, so ecco: 5 alimentari groceries (2 are also butchers); 2 clothing shops; 6 bars; 2 pizzerie; 1 flower shop; 2 tabacchi; 2 small casalinga shops; 1 electric/appliance shop; 1 restaurant (summer); 1 shoe store; 1 hardware; a sporting shop for clothes & air guns that we have not been in; and the largest retailer in town is a farm/construction equipment place that also has done most of the ironwork for our apartments.  Lastly, the ESSO fueling station.  Not bad for a town of 1300.

It is a wonderful village with the greatest people, and we are fortunate to live In Santa Domenica Talao.

Cooler weather, but still no killing frosts here
Myriad Christmas cakes (panattone) on sale in Scalea. Doug has watched people take 6-8 boxes thru check-out for weeks.  Each box contains more sugar than Doug could eat in a year! Also lots of sweet sparkling wines and chocolates on sale.  Christmas is sweet!!!

Our 2005 tree in Oregon
We have noticed, and English friends agree, that there is slightly more going on here in advance of Christmas than we have seen before. We refer to more Christmas decorations for sale in stores and an increase of outdoor lighting by families and towns.  We think the locals have done alberi di natale (trees) inside their homes (a lovely one next door) for some time. We, however, have downsized Christmas considerably. On the left  is our 2005 tree at Rainshadow Farm, and on the right our current albero di natale:

 2011--smaller and not real
A festive farmacia

The flower/plant shop with fish pond

Two generations of same family staff the store

Local fischio (mistletoe) that grows on the oaks

Buon Natale & Buon Anno Nuovo,

Di and Doug


  1. Ci sono molti negozi! Vi auguriamo un buon natale e felice anno nuovo. John e Toni

  2. Diana and Guido, Thanks for posting more lovely pictures. It must be nice to celebrate Christmas where the weather is nice. Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year!!!

  3. Thanks, Gil
    Doug has a cold today and feels somewhat grinchy but we had a great Christmas Eve dinner last night. Thanks for the good wishes. di

  4. I like sour small Christmas tree! Makes you feel, that bigger isn't always better, but what's important is the content. :-)
    Merry Christmas!

    Your small town sure seems lively. So many shops!

  5. Your tree still takes up the whole window!



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