We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Countdown to Christmas - Italian Style ! December 24


photo courtesy www.dreamstime.com


We did it!  We made it through the whole month! Can you believe it's already Christmas Eve?
I can't. I have no idea where the time went.

Day 24 (ventiquattro)!  Vigilia di Natale! Christmas Eve. It's here!

In Italy, this is a BIG day! Fish markets are a madhouse in the morning, selling every variety of fish imaginable on this last opportunity to buy before the three big feast days. The fish mongers have been busy every day, they will need the time off over the holidays. I'm writing this at 10:50 pm Venice time, the Cenone della Vigilia has ended, and now, families are getting ready to go attend midnight mass at their local church.

Here in Venice, going to midnight mass at St. Mark's Basilica is a popular Christmas tradition. People queue up in the cold about 45 minutes early, in order to be able to get a seat in the packed Basilica. St. Mark's,  one of the most important churches in the city, was completed in 832 and consecrated in 1085 after the city obtained the remains of Saint Mark which are in a tomb at the altar.

Attending midnight mass here will leave you near speechless. The insides of the Basilica are encrusted with glass tiled mosaics backed with gold leaf. On a normal day, viewing the inside is 
special, on this holiday it is spectacular. When the Basilica is awash in lights the mosaics
sparkle like millions of twinkling stars in the heavens.






   I hope my posts over the last 24 days spotlighting my favorite things about  Christmas in Venice  inspires you to put a holiday trip to Venice on your list of must-do's.

                                                               Buon Natale!

15 comments:

Anne Vance said...

Grazie mille Karen, have loved the blogs this month - & have weakened and bought panettone and pandoro, for comparison purposes of course. It's really added to Christmas this year, fantastico! 🎄🎅 Buon Natale

Andrew H said...

I wish we had been there. I hope you and Mike have a splendid day. Love at Christmas from Andrew and Cheryl.

ytaba36 said...

Thank you for bringing us this special pre-Christmas treat. You told us so many different things!

That Basilica at midnight mass would take your breath away, it's so beautiful when you can see those mosaics.

Now, have a well deserved rest after working so hard for our entertainment.

Christine said...

Buon Natale! E grazie mille!

Anonymous said...

Buon Natale, cara amica!
I have loved being back with you in Venice in spirit for this month...even the Babo Natale Regatta.
Best wishes to you and Mike for these holidays and throughout the coming year.
I had the feast of the two fishes last night. Couldn't quite do seven for just me.
Michelle

karen said...

Anne- thank you, cara! I made a promise to myself that I'd keep this up the entire 24 days. Even though it got done late most days, it did get done, and I had fun doing it. I appreciate you opening Advent Calendar doors right along with me!
Happy Holidays!!

karen said...

Andrew and Cheryl- Happy Holidays to yo uboth! Thanks so much for reading along every day, it was almost like having you with me here. Can't wait to see you at Carnevale.

Buone Feste!

karen said...

Yvonne,

Thanks for being with me all month! No rest for me coming up, not with the sock committment, one other old project and a few new ones on the fire!

Buone Feste da Venezia!
Baci,
K

karen said...

Yvonne,

Thanks for being with me all month! No rest for me coming up, not with the sock committment, one other old project and a few new ones on the fire!

Buone Feste da Venezia!
Baci,
K

karen said...

Yvonne,

Thanks for being with me all month! No rest for me coming up, not with the sock committment, one other old project and a few new ones on the fire!

Buone Feste da Venezia!
Baci,
K

karen said...

Yvonne,

Thanks for being with me all month! No rest for me coming up, not with the sock committment, one other old project and a few new ones on the fire!

Buone Feste da Venezia!
Baci,
K

karen said...

Grazie, Christine! Thanks so much for spending December with me and my Advent Calendar. Did you get any ideas for your own next year?

Buon Natale from Venice!

karen said...

Buon Natale, Michelle!

You know I think of you every time I pass Ponte dei Scudi and see the windows of your apartment! We did the feast of two fishes last night also! I can't eat as much as I used to anymore :)

Gorgeous weather in Venice for Christmas Day today. We did a long walk all the way to Imagina Caffe, one of the few places open today.

Tomorrow will be more of the same, except the vaporettos won't be on such a reduced schedule, but you know how Santo Stefano day is, almost everything is closed. We've stocked up on milk and bread and a few other absolutely essential things, we're good!

Hope you had a wonderful day.
Buone Feste!
K

Kaye said...

Thank you for your blogger Advents calendar! I have really enjoyed all your informative and entertaining posts, and found myself looking for them every day 😀, Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Rob C said...

Buon Natale to you both, it was great to see you both, and see just how Venetian you have become!

It was a beautiful day today, and taking the No. 1 Vaporetto to Ferrovia this morning gave us a hint as to what it must be like in Summer, there was an actual shoving match at Ca D'or between locals convinced it was just lazy tourists stopping them getting on!!

Just one day left for us, so much to see, so little time.