The British winters have been a bit more challenging of late, with snow causing more than a couple of problems, but we will get used to it (we are told). Let me take you to my town in winter.
Christmas in my hometown
Fiuggi is beautiful hilltop town about an hour from Roma. It boasts the Grand Hotel Palazzo Della Fonte, which is a favourite with the rich and famous including our much-publicised
leader Silvio Berlusconi. (Don’t ask me what he does there – I’m sure he has his reasons).
Fiuggi is a spa town, famous for mineral water that has immense healing powers, and well-known for the
treatment of kidney stones. So it’s a very healthy place – unless it’s winter. You see, being a spa town, we are not allowed to to use fertilizer on the golf courses, which explains the weeds, nor can we use salt on the roads, which explains the accidents. So, when it snows in Marlow and Henley this winter, please don’t tell me it’s too difficult to visit us…!
Christmas in Fiuggi
It comes only once a year but we all share that special time. But how do we share it? Let me give you the flavour of Christmas, Italian-style.
To start with, we have a small disagreement about the date. We are a little ahead of the British celebration – it all happens on 24th December.
It’s a time for family, which for most people means that in the morning the women set about preparing the food, while the men slip off to a local bar for some Prosecco. The feast is the centre-point of the day.
For our family table you can expect fettucini with mushroom truffle, or ribbon egg pasta with porcini mushrooms. Stracciatella is an egg-based soup that we favour in the Roman parts and the main course is lamb, with garlic, white wine and chilli.
Round off the feast with some Italian cake – Pannattone, of course – and we can relax into an evening of card games, tombola and bingo. It’s a family thing, you know.
The end of the 24th is Midnight Mass, filled with food and drink and ready to celebrate the occasion in the official way. It’s nearly here – have a great time!