Christmas Card from Venice

The real color of Christmas is green and the color of the flame of a candle, says Grandmother. She loves recalling the quiet Christmas feasts of her youth when decorations consisted of just a few ingredients. Fir trees. Dark red ribbons. Dark red candles. What was available in the Lagoon and simple decorations made from simple pine twigs easy to find everywhere on the beaches of the estuary. Sometimes, real fir twigs from the Dolomites mountains arrived in town, which was a treat to savor. Today, Venetians still love naturally themed Christmas and lots of candles. Or rather, simple light bulbs decorating the archways. You can see these subdued decorations everywhere in town, just off the brightly illuminated shopping streets and squares. While Venice this year is illuminated and decorated for Christmas like it never was before, you can still find these little dark spots which make such a contrast.
Just about 20 years ago, Venice was adorned with winter green twigs, fir and pines, the odd red ribbon and Christmas ball. Above you can see an image of Corte Rota, near Campo San Provolo, just three bridgesย away from Piazza San Marco and the brightly illuminated shopping quarters. Very quiet with light protruding from behind the curtains and window shutters. Venice is closing herself in for the night.

In the last 24 days we’ve been running an Advent Calendar, telling you about Christmases past and present in Venice. You learn why Venice doesn’t have a western Christmas tradition, and how the way Venetians celebrate or rather, not celebrate, with food and decorations, has been so inspired by the East. It’s a long story and 24 days certainly aren’t enough to tell the whole story of 1,200 years of culinary history. But it’s a beginning and you can still view the Advent Calendar and its recipes online until 28 December, click here to start reading.

It’s not too late to bake cookies for Christmas. Our true Christmas in Venice starts in January. Venice has always had a special bond with the Levant, and that accounts for the fact that Christmas here has always been celebrated twice. The second, and more ancient Feast, is celebrated on 6 January and we’ll be back soon to tell you more.

Buon Natale – Merry Christmas – from all of us at La Venessiana!

Venetian Nuvoรฉte - Christmas Clouds

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Fluffy Almond cookies, recalling Christmas Feasts of the past.

A recipe from great-grandmother’s recipe journal.

Online soon in our January in Venice E-Book.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 90 gr almond flour, or finely ground almonds, and 90 gr wheat flour
  • 200 gr confectioner’s sugar, grappa, one lemon

Directions

  1. Whip the egg whites. In a bowl, carefully stir in the other ingredients – almond flour, wheat flour, sugar, grappa or grated lemon peels, egg yolks, vanilla sugar.
  2. Form little balls and arrange them on a baking tray (on baking paper).
  3. Bake the nuvoete in the oven until golden brown, then take them out and cover them with powder sugar and vanilla sugar as long as they are hot.

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