Christmas in Venice
In past centuries it was tradition to invite to dinner, Christmas Eve, many guests and among them a stranger or someone who had distant family which offered a sumptuous dinner with spit-roasts foods, fish and eels usually flavored with bay leaves and cinnamon. So the guests tasted the nut brittle and mostarda (a sauce with mustard oil and pieces of fruit), in honor of the rich Venetian trade based on spices. Then all the people went out of the house to go to the traditional Midnight Mass that is celebrated, today as yesterday, in the San Marco’s Basilica.
All Venetians spent with their family the Christmas day and the next day, the 26 december, they went to visit the most beautiful Nativity scenes of the city that still preserves the tradition: one of the most attractive is inside the Church of San Trovaso, a life-size Nativity scene made entirely by hand. Not far away you can admire a crib that has always been housed in the Church of the Frari, sometimes in the opposite campo, sometimes instead within the splendid basilica: realistic in every detail and each piece is moved by mechanical gears. And don’t forget the spectacular crib that is located inside the Basilica di San Marco.
Also this year from December until 6 January 6, 2015 you can admire the illuminations and the Christmas tree in St Mark’s square that at dusk will be allfull of light and colour.