the holiday season is bursting out all over. Everywhere you can feel the atmosphere with its jingles, holiday decorations and...when the weather is really cold treat yourself to a delicious hot chocolate topped with whipped cream!
Firenze is gorgeous at this time of the year, tourist crowds are fewer so one can calmly enjoy each part of my Bella Firenze. Walk around the city: it is a living museum.
I am wrapping up this year and I cannot be happier for the change that have happened...and in 2018 we will have even more so stay tuned...and one that I am very excited to share is the Artisan Atelier expansion with the wedding gowns line :-)
There are many things to do during the holidays with the family while in Florence.
Traditionally, for who celebrates it, the Christmas Day is a family occasion in Italian households when all members, from elderly grandparents to newly born babies, gather around the table. After lunch, when the dishes have been cleared away, an odd assortment of objects take their place, ready to play "TOMBOLA", a game not unlike bingo.
Throughout the country, the most commonly played form of the game is the Neapolitan version, which requires a “cartellone”, or game board with squares containing all the numbers from 1 to 90 used by the croupier, who covers each number with a “tombollino”, or marker, as he calls it; a series of numbered cards that players purchase, each one containing blank squares and 15 squares containing random numbers, arranged in three rows, each with five numbers; and, finally, 90 round wooden or plastic “tombolini” numbered from 1 to 90, kept in a container that may vary from a cloth sack to a “panariello”, a small basket with a hole at the top from which they are extracted.
If a player has the number called he usually places a dried bean or other marker on a number to indicate and remember he has it. The lowest prize, called the “ambo”, means that the player is the first to have two numbers on the same row; the “terno”, three numbers on the same row; the “quaterna”, four numbers on the same row; the “cinquina”, five numbers on the same row; and lastly, the grand prize or the “tombola” for all numbers on the card.
When extracting the numbers from the sack or basket once it has been given a vigorous shaken, the croupier will often use colourful expressions for each one, based on a list known as the Neapolitan “smorfia”.
Although the origin of the term “smorfia” is unknown, some think it is associated with Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams as events in dreams are sometimes interpreted as numbers that are frequently used in gambling.
Another theory is that the provenance lies in the Jewish Kabbala tradition, in which words and signs have mysterious meanings in the Bible and each has a specific number. Some of the most popular are number 9 “la rabbia” (anger), #14 “i cornuti” (the cuckolded), #17 “la disgrazia” (bad luck), #23 “la suocera” (mother-in-law), #33 “gli anni di Cristo” (Christ’s age), #77 “le gambe” (legs) and #90 “la paura” (fear).
Going back to the city, following the success of previous editions, Florence lights it up this winter with “F-Light”. On until January 7, 2018 and scattered across 15 different locations, the Light Festival displays the city’s monuments and piazzas in a new light. Filled to the brim with video-mapping, projections, light games, artistic installation and educational activities, this year’s theme is the word frontier.
There is no better place to start than the Ponte Vecchio with the return of video mapping. After the 2015 and 2016 renditions, which were photographed by tens of thousands of people, the famous bridge has become a canvas for Florence, sparking reflection on the theme of borders and migration by focusing attention on the global refugee crisis.
What else to say....have a wonderfully relaxing time with your beloved ones and see you next year!!