Christmas traditions in Tuscany: this is Xmas on Giglio Island

“It’s not Christmas without…” How many times, during the Christmas season, do you think or say something like that? Every region, city and island of Italy has its own traditions. And on Giglio Island, in Tuscany, it’s no Christmas without these three things.

  1. Panficato. It’s trouble if this tasty sweet is not present on the tables during the days of Christmas. The panficato is prepared with figs, grapes, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, orange zest and wine. There are several variants, with honey or chocolate. This sweet was “born” in Giglio Castello: during Christmas, its narrow and ancient streets are pervaded by the fragrant scent of freshly baked panficato.
  2. La quadriglia (the square dance). Men and women that, when the music starts, dance around a high and colored pole in the centre of a square: this is quadrille of Giglio Island. It is one of the most important traditions of the island and it is always performed during the most important moments and events of the year. Of course, Christmas is no exception.
  3. Underwater nativity scene. The third Christmas tradition of Giglio Island is the most peculiar. Campese is one of the most beautiful beaches of Giglio Island. Here, at Christmas, the underwater nativity scene is set up. Not to be missed.


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