I've been enjoying the holiday season here in Venice. Christmas in Italy isn't what we're used to in the United States. There are far fewer decorations on houses or in shops. It's definitely not the commercial event it is in America! The main focus of the holiday is food and the company of family and friends. Food and family is central to the Italian lifestyle, and if you can imagine, it's even more so at holiday time!
Christmas trees aren't as numerous here in Venice, although you do see one here and there lit up in a window. As with everything else, a tree is difficult to maneuver in this city. If you are thinking about getting a live tree, it would be very very small. Not only do you have to think about getting it into your apartment, it's the getting it out after the holiday that is also a problem. For the first time in my entire life, we have an artificial tree.
Window decorations in homes are also few and far between. Wreaths on doors just don't happen here. Shops decorate their windows, but it's limited. There are a few very elaborate Nativity scenes (prescepe) set up in both Churches and shop windows.
This year the city has put up more lights in the streets than I remember ever seeing before. There are even lights at Piazzale Roma. The photo above was one of my favorite locations this year- it's over a cafe at the Accademia Bridge.
While this next link has nothing to do with Christmas lights, it does relate to Christmas! It's a great little video of Aqua Alta here on Christmas night 2009. Doesn't look like we'll have to worry about Aqua Alta, it's been a season of unusually low water so far this year. While there is snow to the north of us, no snow here either.
I couldn't resist sharing this one. Enjoy!