My Christmas visits in Italy

by Malcolm Wallace
(Watford Hertfordshire England )


Thanks to my work I have had the opportunity to spend time in the Veneto leading up to Christmas. It is a truly wonderful experience and a special place to stay.

The thing I noticed during my first visit was the lack of the commercialisation and the respect given to the reason behind Christmas.

But Italy is more than a name place or buildings but a place where warmth exudes from the local population. None more so than Vicenza. and the surrounding villages and towns.

I consider myself half Italian due to the love and warmth given to me by the people. I returned for a December wedding and my wife and I were presented with a wonderful gift from the family- a hand blown tray and glasses complete with bottles of Grappa to thank us for going to the wedding plus a confetti at the wedding.

During my Christmas stay I was able to hear the wonderful choirs in a number of local churches in the Vicenza area, I will always remember sitting in the Cafe Garibaldi in the piazza Dei Signori opposite the Basilica Palladio listening to the wonderful xmas music and walking around the square afterwards and viewing the murals on the ceiling of the town building.

è il popolo del Veneto che rendono il luogo magico. Nel mio cuore sono Vicentino

Maria's reply:

I'm so happy when others love Vicenza, my family comes from a little town in the province of Vicenza and they have lived there for countless generations. It means the world to me when people take the time to share their love for this area. Thank you Malcolm.

I also agree with you about Christmas being magical in Vicenza and indeed throughout the Veneto. Christmas has mantained its true meaning here and there is very little of the tacky commercialisation that you'll find in so many other countries.

It isn't only Christmas though, all of winter is a great time to visit the Veneto. There are few tourists about and you get a real taste of what life here is really like.

By the way, for anyone who doesn't understand Italian, Malcolm's last line or two in Italian mean: "It's the population of the Veneto that makes it magical. In my heart I'm Italian."

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