Easter egg tradition in Italy.

Chocolate Easter eggs are
a popular part of Italian culture, but …

Easter egg tradition

…did you know that
how to color eggs is also
a part of Easter egg tradition?

Easter, and egg tradition in ancient Rome

Easter in Italy
The Leghorn chicken
comes from Livorno.

Chickens, eggs and Italy go back a long way.

Recipe books from ancient Roman daily life use ‘peafowl’ eggs and ancient writings show that chickens were regularly used in sacrifices.

Ever heard of the ‘Leghorn’ chicken?

It takes its name from Livorno, the part of Italy it originated from long before Christopher Columbus took it to America.

And long before Christianity adopted the egg as a part of Easter traditions, the ancient Romans believed that “omne vivum ex ovo” – all life comes from the egg – and it was commonly a symbol of new birth after the winter when everything has lain dormant.

There is some evidence that, even in ancient Roman culture eggs decorated with vegetable dyes using onion skins, beets and carrots were given as gifts during the spring festivals.

Easter egg tradition

Easter egg tradition in modern Italy :  why color Easter eggs?

Easter in Italy is above all a religious celebration, and Easter egg tradition reflects that.

During Lent, the weeks before Easter, neither meat nor dairy produce can be eaten and the tradition of hard-boiling eggs so as not to waste food, and painting them to be given as gifts and eaten on Easter Sunday is likely to have originated there.

Easter traditions in Italy originally coloured eggs red. The story goes that following the death of Christ on Good Friday Mary Magdalen travelled to Italy to spread the word of the resurrection.

In an audience with a sceptical Emperor Tiberius Caesar, an egg she had taken as a gift miraculously turned red, symbolising the blood of Christ.

These days eggs are hard-boiled and coloured using food dyes.  You won’t find the Easter bunny leaving hidden coloured eggs though – they are more likely to be decorating the table for dinner on Easter Sunday.

Easter egg tradition

Easter egg tradition in Italy : chocolate Easter eggs

Chocolate Easter eggs
Chocolate Easter eggs in Rome.

As chocolate became increasingly popular in the early 20th Century, the skills of knowing how to color Easter eggs started to fade, and chocolate eggs began to take the place of painted hens’ eggs.

Chocolate Easter eggs have now overtaken decorated eggs in Italy as the most popular gift at Easter.

Chocolate Easter eggs

Italians take everything chocolate very seriously – and Easter eggs are no exception.

Chocolate eggs have become increasingly elaborate as manufacturers tempt people to buy their eggs. In every tiny village in Italy, every supermarket, shop window and market stall will have a huge variety of chocolate eggs in the days leading up to Easter Sunday.

They range from the tiny, solid milk chocolate to the massive, showy hollowed out eggs containing sometimes quite elaborate gifts. All of them will be wrapped in foil or, more commonly, cellophane; most will have at least decorative ribbon, often massive bows.

And, despite Italian engagement ring tradition being to give and receive a ring on Valentine’s Day, modern customs are beginning to use Easter eggs as a way of surprising a partner, the ring being hidden in the hollow egg.

Easter egg tradition and Italian culture : which is the most popular of chocolate Easter eggs?

Most people assume that the company making the very popular Kinder Eggs is German – in fact they are made by Ferrero, a hugely successful Italian family company based in the Piemonte region in Italy’s north-west.

Chocolate Easter eggs

‘Kinder Surprise’ eggs have for some years now been the most popular of chocolate Easter eggs in Italy.

They range from tiny ‘mini-eggs’ to the giant special eggs produced as a limited edition at Easter. Each contains a ‘surprise’ toy, sometimes themed, sometimes not.

As far as Italian children are concerned, these are the best of all chocolate eggs – not necessarily for the chocolate, but for the surprise toy each egg contains.

If you’re visiting Italy at Easter and looking for things to do in Rome keep an eye out for the exhibition of eggs at the ‘Palazzo delle Esposizioni‘ – it takes place each year in the two weeks leading up to Easter, and all proceeds go to charity.

And if you want things to do in Rome for kids at Easter, look out for the amazing variety of chocolate Easter eggs in shop windows, especially in the Trastevere district. Some of the displays have to be seen to be believed and kids love them – though you may find you have to buy an egg or two as a result!

If you want to incorporate some Italian culture and traditions into your own Easter – no matter where you are in the world – make sure you use hens’ eggs as part of your Easter meal.

No Easter in Italy would be complete without chocolate in one form or another. Try making chocolate biscotti  – they’re delicious with coffee at any time of day.

Source; https://www.explore-italian-culture.com/easter-egg-tradition.html

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Three of the best Easter cakes and pies

by: Carla Passino 

Italy has yummy tradition of Easter treats, with a particularly rich range of regional offerings. We select three of the very best cakes and pies which you really shouldn’t miss and recommend three savoury ones also worth trying

Easter is the sweetest holiday of the year. No other festivity can beat the crop of chocolate eggs, marzipan lambs, and Bundt cakes that make their appearance between mid March and mid April. In Italy, in particular, regional traditions make the Easter table even richer and sweeter than elsewhere.
Eggs are ubiquitous of course, as are the colombe, dove-shaped cakes made with flour, eggs, sugar, candied peels and butter, and covered with pearl sugar and almonds. But eggs are just as popular in other countries while colombe, though loosely linked to Lombardy’s history and gastronomy, are a clever and relatively recent commercial initiative from panettone producers, who thought they could adapt the traditional Christmas recipe to another holiday.
Far more interesting are the many regional offerings, which are often artisanal and steeped in religious symbolism—Le Marche’s ciambelle pastries, for example, are shaped like Christ’s crown of thorns. And, like the festivity itself, some of the Easter cakes and sweets are rooted in pre-Christian rites, such as the pastiera, a pie from Naples whose origins are linked to the Roman Spring festival and the cult of Ceres, goddess of agriculture.
You could almost hop from place to place in an endless gastronomic tour of Easter delicacies, but if you want to show some restraint, here are three of the very best regional sweets you really shouldn’t miss.

Pastiera napoletana

The first thing that strikes you about pastiera is its scent. It’s like smelling a bouquet of orange flowers. Indeed orange flower water and orange peel go into this pie, which has a crisp golden crust and a soft, creamy filling of ricotta, sugar, eggs and cooked wheat, flavoured with cinnamon and vanilla. It is so heavenly that legend wants it to be the creation of a siren, Partenope, protectress of Naples, who concocted it from the food offerings the populace brought her every spring. The cake, Neapolitans say, was the only thing that was sweeter than the siren’s voice.
Another story gives pastiera equally sacred but more modern origins—it is said that a nun of a Neapolitan convent first made it to celebrate Easter, and tried to capture in the recipe the scents of Spring blooming in the cloister garden. Indeed, pastiera was long the preserve of nunneries, which excelled at making the cake.
Today, it is made at home, usually on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday, so that the flavours have time to blend and steep before the Easter banquet.
There are huge debates in Naples over which is the yummiest pastiera recipe—the traditional version, which uses beaten eggs and ricotta, or the more modern one, which replaces the eggs with custard. The best way to settle the controversy is to eat a slice of each type—purely for research’s sake, of course!
Picture by Mattia Luigi Nappi.

Cassata siciliana

The queen of Sicilian desserts, cassata is one of the richest, most Baroque cakes you’ll ever taste. It is originally an Easter tradition, even though you can now find it at other times of the year too. Its origins, however, are far from Christian.
It was the Arabs who first brought to Sicily the ingredients and, probably, the recipe that later evoved into the cassata. Even the name, cassata, likely comes from the Arabic quas’at, which means bowl, although some people think it may derive from the Latin word for cheese, caseus—cassata being, after all, a luxurious form of cheesecake.
But each of Sicily’s many rulers added something to the cassata recipe. In Norman times, the shortcrust with which the cake had originally been made was replaced with green-tinted marzipan. During the Spanish domination, chocolate and a Spanish style sponge cake (called Pan di Spagna, or Spanish bread) were introduced. And the Baroque era brought the rich candied fruit with which the cake is now topped.
Throughout this time, nuns were widely recognised as Sicily’s best patissiers. They made cassata at Easter, and the cake became a synonym for the festivities—to the point that, according to a Sicilian saying, “those who don’t eat cassata on Easter morning lead a miserable life.”
Today, cassata is a sponge cake filled with ricotta, chocolate and candied peel, topped with marzipan and intricately decorated with icing and candied fruit. It is a feast for eyes and palate—and a serious threat to the waistline.

Pardula sarda

Unlike cassata and pastiera, pardulas are tiny. They are pretty star-shaped pies of thin, crisp pastry filled with a perfect, soft, golden mound of cheese, sugar and, unexpectedly, saffron, subtly flavoured with lemon or orange zest and occasionally peppered with raisins.
The local tourist board insists that Sardinia is “almost a continent” and, at least for what concerns food, this is true. So it is hardly surprising to discover that both recipe and name of these miniature cheese tarts—which are somewhat reminiscent of medieval darioles—change significantly from North to South of the island.
They are called pardulas in the southern Campidano plains where they are made with ewe’s milk ricotta; and casadinas in the North, where they are made with fresh pecorino cheese. The former are delicate and light, the latter stronger and more flavoursome.
Both variants, however, are quintessential Easter treats, although they are now available at other times of the year too. Their origins are lost in the mist of time and their association with the Spring festivities is unclear. But it is evident that the pardulas are deeply rooted in Sardinia’s shepherding tradition, which turns simple, every day ingredients into a mouthwatering feast.

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The Beginning of The Holy Week: Palm Sunday

St Ambrose Church Palm Sunday 3-25-2018 (On The Hill, St Louis MO)
Written by: Georgette Jupe 

Arriving faster than you can say ‘mamma mia’ is the upcoming Palm Sunday or La Domenica delle Palme as it is called in Italian. This day is when the Christian church marks the start of Settimana Santa or Holy Week.

This year Palm Sunday starts Sunday, March 25th (also when the local clocks are turned forward, one hour ahead) with the Easter holiday falling on a very early April 1st.

This ancient holiday is the celebration of the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, and to celebrate the feast of Passover a week before his resurrection. Many might wonder just why this Sunday is referred to as ‘Palm’ Sunday? The reason behind this is because of the palm branches used as part of the festivities. Legend has it that the crowds laid down palm branches and waved them in the air to greet an arriving Jesus.

Typically in Italy, they replace the palm branches with olive ones which also symbolize peace. Palms are less common here and olive branches make for a great alternative during the Holy Week’s extensive celebrations. Typically these branches are kept in big bunches at the front of the church and handed to those who enter to hear mass.

The Palms themselves can be worked on to become crosses or even elaborate flowers. Some churches in Italy still respect the ancient tradition of having the priest knock three times outside of the closed church doors to represent the entry of Jesus in Jerusalem. The priests wear deep scarlet red robes, the color of blood, to indicate Jesus’ sacrifice, passion and resurrection in Jerusalem.

St. Ambrose Schedule for Holly Week

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First Team JUVENTUS Official Trailer NEW (2018) Netflix Documentary Series

If you have Netflix check out this series. Even if you don’t like Juve it is very interesting. A great look into top tier professional soccer. Da non perdere. Don’t miss it.

First Team JUVENTUS Official Trailer #1 NEW (2018) Netflix Documentary Series HD A look behind the scenes of Juventus FC. Follow the club during the 2017-2018 both on and off the field, with interviews to legends like Alessandro Del Piero and players like Federico Bernardeschi, Giorgio Chiellini, Douglas Costa, Gonzalo Higuaín, Claudio Marchisio, Miralem Pjanic, Daniele Rugani, the captain Gianluigi Buffon and the coach Massimiliano Allegri. Watch

First Team: Juventus on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/80211576 Subscribe To MovieAccessTrailers To Catch Up All The New Movie Trailer, Movie Clips, TV Spots & Trailer Compilation just for you. Subscribe Now and Turn The Notification On to never miss any Official 2018 Movie Trailer from us.

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How to Make a Colomba, a Traditional Italian Easter Cake

Surprise and delight your friends and family this Easter with a traditional Italian treat — colomba!

“Colomba” means “dove” and is an important Catholic symbol. Follow this step-by-step guide and you’ll have the aromas of Italy filing up your kitchen in no time! Thanks to Simona of Walks of Italy for letting us use her kitchen, and showing her family recipe. Buona Pasqua! (Happy Easter!)

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Buona Pasqua Song (Happy Easter) by Renato Carosone

Buona Pasqua Song by Renato Carosone


Renato Carosone (3 January 1920 – 20 May 2001), born Renato Carusone, was among the greatest figures of Italian music scene in the second half of the 20th century. He was also a modern performer of the so-called canzone napoletana, Naples’ song tradition.

Carosone, first of three siblings, was born in Naples. He studied piano at the Naples Conservatory and obtained his diploma in 1937, when he was just 17. Soon after he signed a contract as a band leader for a tour of Africa, which resulted in him working in Addis Ababa as a pianist. Here he would become a prominent figure of the music scene, performing with his band on several occasions. He returned to Italy only in 1946, after the end of World War II.

Despite his success abroad, Carosone was a stranger to Italian audiences. He had to start his career afresh, playing the piano for small dance-hall bands. These new performances were strongly influenced by the new rhythms and music styles he had encountered during his ten years’ absence from the Italian music scene.

Buona Pasqua

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Italian Film Festival St Louis April 6 -28, 2018

Save the dates: April 6-28
Enjoy ten recent Italian films and a program of short films at the 2018 Italian Film Festival USA of St. Louis.
Free Admission
Screenings held at Washington University (WU), St. Louis Community College (STLCC), St. Louis University (SLU), and Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC).
Sponsored by Volpi Foods, Lou Smith in memory of Jeff LeGrand, the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago and the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis. In collaboration with WU’s Program in Film and Media Studies, Dept. of Romance Languages and Literatures, SLU, STLCC and SWIC.


AT WAR FOR LOVE •  Director, Pierfrancesco Diliberto, Comedy, 2016, 99 min.
Friday, April 6 • 7:00 p.m. • SLU, Busch Auditorium, Cook Hall, 3684 Lindell Blvd.
SHORT FILM PROGRAM •  Comedy, Drama, Animation, 2017, 120 min.
Saturday, April 7 • 7:00 p.m.  • SWIC, Liberal Arts Theatre, 2500 Carlyle Ave., Belleville
THE ORDER OF THINGS •  Director, Andrea Segre, Drama, 2017, 112 min.
Friday, April 13 • 7:30 p.m. • WUSTL, Jerzewiak Family Auditorium, Laboratory Sciences Building
CUCINÌ •  Director, Ciro Fabbricino, Documentary, 2017, 54 min.
Saturday, April 14 •  5:30 p.m. • WUSTL, Jerzewiak Family Auditorium, Laboratory Sciences Building
Saturday, April 28 •  5:30 p.m. • WUSTL, Jerzewiak Family Auditorium, Laboratory Sciences Building
IT’S ALL ABOUT KARMA •  Director, Edoardo Falcone, Comedy, 2017, 90 min.
Saturday, April 14 • 7:30 p.m. • WUSTL, Jerzewiak Family Auditorium, Laboratory Sciences Building
WORLDLY GIRL •  Director, Marco Danieli, Drama, 2016, 101 min.
Friday, April 20 • 7:30 p.m.  • WUSTL, Brown Hall
FUNNE, SEA DREAMING GIRLS • Director, Katia Bernardi, Documentary, 2016, 78 min.
Saturday, April 21 • 5:30 p.m.  • WUSTL, Brown Hall
IT’S THE LAW •  Salvatore Ficarra and Valentino Picone, Comedy, 2017, 92 min.
Saturday, April 21 • 7:30 p.m. • WUSTL, Brown Hall
EASY  •Director, Andrea Magnani, Comedy, 2017, 91 min.
Film Sponsor: CIAO
Tuesday, April 24 • 7:00 p.m. • STLCC-Florissant Valley, Terry M. Fischer Theatre, 3400 Pershall Rd.
♦ Special appearance by director Magnani ♦
THE LAST PROSECCO •  Director, Antonio Padovan, Drama, 2017, 102 min.
Friday, April 27 • 7:00 p.m. • STLCC-Meramec Theatre, 11333 Big Bend Rd.
Film Sponsor: Comunità degli italiani
♦ Special appearance by director Padovan and co-producer Alessia Gatti ♦
FRIENDS BY CHANCE •  Director, Francesco Bruni, Drama, 2017, 106 min.
Film Sponsor: Julie and Nicholas Poulos
Saturday, April 28 • 7:30 p.m.  • WUSTL, Jerzewiak Family Auditorium, Laboratory Sciences Building
See you at the movies!
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My Top 5 Italian Indie Bands

During my 6 months exchange here at UKC, the thing I have probably missed the most was concert season for all my favourite Italian indie bands. So, to make up for it, I am going to tell you all about them and why I love them so much.

Fast Animals and Slow Kids – Also known as FASK, they are the band that first got me into Italian indie, because my Tumblr crush at the time really loved them, so I had to love them as well. They have been around for over a decade now, starting off in central Italy’s Perugia. They have released four albums, but never forget their origins and humbly start every live show stating the band’s name and where they come from, as if they were just introducing the main band and needed audience to remember them. Over the years their emo and punk rock sound has become even more gritty and hardcore. They are the band you want to go see live during exam season – scream from the top of your lungs, jump and push for two hours straight and get all your stress out. I have seen them live five times now and the best memories I made are losing a shoe, my bra constantly unclasping from how much I was jumping around, and drenching my shirt in sweat. Their music is pure energy, and you would not tell that they seclude themselves in the rural Italian countryside to write and record all their songs. The best part though – they go drink a beer with their fans after every show.

Favourite lyrics, from ‘Te lo prometto’: “We will be friend/ I promise you/ I already have a couple of ideas/ To make you unhappy/ I can ruin everything and I will/ It’s a tendency to distress* / That I can’t contain anymore/ I can’t contain myself anymore”

I cani – This was the second indie band I fell in love with. They cannot actually be called a band since they only have one member, Niccolò Contessa, though he never performs alone and he calls I cani – literally “the dogs” – a project more than a band. During their prime years, now gone, they were the epitome of hipsterdom, with songs titled ‘Wes Anderson and ‘Hipsteria. Their sound is more mellow, and they mostly fall into synth pop and the electro/techno genre.

Favourite lyrics, from ‘Il posto più freddo’: “Cause now the night is gone and the drugs have come down/ Here for you is the loneliest creature in the world/ And the shivers come up from the legs to the chest/ The coldest place is right here in my bed/ Please stay with me another moment/ Please stay with me till I fall asleep”

Calcutta – Another one-man band, Calcutta is one of the newest faces in the Italian indie scene, with his first successful album Mainstream being released in 2015. He has a wide variety of influences, from Italian singer-songwriters of the 60s to tropical and Brazilian beats. What mostly stand out are his lyrics; apparently nonsensical, they mostly aim to evoke an atmosphere. He was also recently involved in a controversy, as he was paid €5000 by the city of Bologna for the playlist that was going to be played in the town’s square on New Year’s, but not DJed by anyone.

Favourite lyrics, from ‘Gaetano’: “I painted a swastika in the centre of Bologna/ But it was just to start a fight/ I didn’t want to party and I needed a pretext/ To let you go”

[Trust me, I’m from Bologna, it’s fine, we are not offended by the swastika thing. We actually have meme-events on Facebook about going to find that piece of graffiti.]

Willie Peyote – Guglielmo “Willie” is a rapper more prominent in the indie scene than in rap. When I first saw him live it was the first time he was playing in a venue that made Italian indie history, and he couldn’t believe he was performing there as well. If you saw him you would not think his stage name is of a psychoactive drug: scrawny and nerdy with glasses, but he can rap fast. He has a funky sound and his lyrics are smart and play with words and your expectations.

Favourite lyrics, form ‘C’era una vodka’: “I have had issues with alcohol in the past/ But now everything is fine/ We got back together”

Ex-Otago – They are my new love. Their style can only be described as indie pop, whatever that oxymoron means. What I most like about them are the very simple beats you cannot stay still to. Their lyrics are very simple as well, you will remember the chorus after the first listen and sing along every time after that. They are the band I listen to while making dinner, cleaning my room and folding laundry. They are even approved by my British housemate who only listens to grime.

Favourite lyrics, from ‘Quando sono con te’: “When I’m with you/ I feel inside me/ A racket, a music/ And I don’t know where it comes from/ And it probably doesn’t have a name/ But it caresses me and it invades me”

Italian indie can take on many different faces and sounds. So why do I like it so much? Well, firstly, it is not just me. I feel that this genre of music is what most of my generation back home listens to. It just gets us. They understand what being a 20-something in a messed-up country means. Recurring themes and lyrics in these artists’ songs are about not seeing a future for yourself, an inability to communicate and to create meaningful interpersonal relationships. There is an overarching feeling of instability and uncertainty, feelings that pervade everyone in their 20s but I feel are extremely prominent in my country, were people have not been able to see a future for themselves since the 2008 financial crisis. The one verse that I feel encompasses this feeling the most is from Fast Animals and Slow Kids and it says: “Hopes when you are 20 ears old, being still but feeling distant”. We do not listen to this kind of music to get even more depressed about our situation, but to connect with people from our generation that get it as well. It is a for of escapism from the older generations that screwed everything up for us and are now telling us to that we are not working hard enough.

My hope is to have widened your horizon of what is out there in the indie music scene, and to have showed you how other people can relate to music. Maybe you will pick up one of those bands, even if you don’t understand a word they are saying.


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Italian Heritage Night at Busch Stadium July 29, 2018 Cards vs Cubs 7:00 pm



St. Louis Cardinals vs Chicago Cubs
Italian Heritage Night at Busch Stadium
All tickets are located in Big MacLand
This is a nationally televised game.
Ticket price $30 by phone only.
Face value is $58 and that is before handling fees.
Savings of 50%
Call Rio Vitale 314-846-5802

If your ticket does not have
Italian American Heritage Night
printed on the ticket you will not be part of the party.

Only Ciao St Louis is hosting the event

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Saint Louis

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