Italian Christmas gifts

Christmas is coming, and like every year the age-old problem of buying gifts arises again. What to buy, how to find new and original ideas? This month I would like to help you in finding the right idea, a particular place, the typical Italian gift or an absolutely exotic gift to make your and your friend’s and relative’s Christmas a unique holiday.

Cultural Events

There are so many boutiques offering a highly vast overview of ideas and hints for a real “different” gift! You can find something really original at Mondoaquilone, in Via Severo Carmignano 42. As you may be able to understand from its name, this shop offers a broad range of kites, but also of frisbees, boomerangs, and more in general – air gifts – for beginners and professionals. Some items are beautiful even if only used as furnishings objects.
While you are strolling around looking for gifts and presents, please stop at the Vittoriano, one of the most famous monuments of our capital city, and also one of the most disputed ones, because of its imposing massive structure and its style, not liked by many people. This monument, closed to the public for more than thirty years, has been opened again only recently, and presents itself to its visitors completely restored and renovated. Its terraces, with a height of 40 metres, accessible at last, give you the possibility to enjoy an absolutely unique panorama on all the main palaces and monuments of Rome, from the Colosseum to Monte Mario. Also not to be missed are the statues and sculptures decorating it, allegorical and evocative, typical of the age and frame of mind that created them. With its final restoration, the Vittoriano will become a real museum of Italian history. This monument is open every day, apart from Monday, from 10.00 to 16.30; the entrance is free.

To thoroughly enjoy the Christmas atmosphere, what is better than a concert in the most beautiful and charming churches in town? On December 7 the Christmas Concerts begin, the traditional musical appointment of the Culture Councillorship of Florence’s Municipality. There will be different music genres and concert locations, and the concerts will continue until January 5th of the following year. Some beautiful concerts will be executed on antique organs, like the one that will be held on December, 13th, at 21.00 in the S. Lorenzo Basilica, with the Maestro Vincenzo Ninci, or the one held on December, 29th, at 21.00 in the S. Felicita Church, in Piazzetta S. Felicita, with the Maestro Olimpio Medori. The entrance is free until all the places available have been covered. On December 19th, instead, to change musical genre, at 21.15 in S. Maria Novella there will be a Gospel concert with the New Millennium Voices. Entrance by invitation only: the invitations can be collected at the Culture Councillorship, via Ghibellina 30, in the Tourist Info Points, and in the music shops of the historical city centre.
For further informations: Direzione cultura – Servizio Attività culturali, tel. 055/2625914 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 055/2625914 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Another ‘official’ initiative, Natale nell’arte (Christmas in Art) a theme itinerary in the city during the Christmas period, realised by the Cultural Assets Office of Venice’s Patriarchate and the Sant’Apollonia Association, responsible for the protection and valorisation of the Patriarchate’s cultural assets. Until January 6th, 2001, in fact, will open to the public nine Venetian churches holding artistic masterpieces of great painters inspired to the theme of the Nativity, from the Adoration of the Shepherds by Antonio Balestra in the church of San Zaccaria, to the Adoration Of The Magi by Domenico Tintoretto in the church of San Trovaso, to the Nativity by Girolamo Savoldo in San Giobbe, to the fourteenth-century Adoration by Paolo Veneziano in San Pantalon. This is a particular and new itinerary, that allows to discover a different Venice, with its deep “Christmas spirit” in the real sense of this word.

For further information: Associazione sant’Apollonia, tel. 0412702464.

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