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

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Countdown to Christmas (Natale)- Italian Style! - December 3

                              Christmas Flag Pennant Advent Calendar
                                                      photo courtesy www.tipjunkie.com

The weather here in Venice today was brutal! Fierce wind and pounding rain almost non-stop. All day I kept thinking how much I would have liked a nice roaring fire to snuggle up in front of, some Christmas carols playing, and the smell of freshly baked Christmas cookies filling the house.

As I searched for the photo of the advent calendar I wanted to use for today's post, the one I chose seemed to fit my mood perfectly. I love it. If I had a fireplace, I might be very tempted to create this one for myself!  I had lots of possible choices for what would be behind my little door for today on my Advent Calendar. I decided on this, with a great deal of influence from one of my favorite Christmas carols.  You know the one.... "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose. Yule tide carols being sung by a choir, and folks dressed up like eskimos..."

My pick for Door Number  3  (tre) is Roasted Chestnuts.  You find these during the holiday season all over Italy. In Rome, you'll find the vendors in Piazza Navona, and across the street from the Spanish Steps. In Venice, they are only in one location, along the Strada Nova in the Cannaregio district, between the Cannaregio canal and the San Marcuolo area.

The word for chestnuts in Italian is castagna, however this usually refers to the fresh chestnuts sold by  vegetable vendors in the fall.  Caldarroste or arrostita are the words more frequently used for roasted chestnuts, which are sold by caldarrostaio , the vendors who roast the chestnuts on the street.
On a really chilly day, I love standing in front of the chestnut cart just to warm up a bit while I'm waiting for the vendor to put my chestnuts in a paper cone or sack.  The smells are enticing, the taste heavenly.  It's just not Christmas in Italy without roasted chestnuts!   I highly recommend you give them a try, if you haven't already

Buon Natale!


Anne Vance said...

Do you have any idea how much you're adding to my excitement & desire to be there??? Save fritelle for next Wednesday...

karen said...

Thanks, Anne! So happy you are enjoying these. Your wish is my command!