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La Bella Vita: Planes and trains to Italy and planning an Italian-style Christmas feast

Clare Speak
Clare Speak - [email protected]
La Bella Vita: Planes and trains to Italy and planning an Italian-style Christmas feast
Christmas lights on Rome's Via dei Condotti shopping street, with the Trinita dei Monti church in the background. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)

From Italy's new transport links to the dishes and ingredients making up an authentic Italian Christmas menu, our weekly newsletter La Bella Vita offers you an essential starting point for eating, talking, drinking and living like an Italian.

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La Bella Vita is our regular look at the real culture of Italy – from language to cuisine, manners to art. This newsletter is published weekly and you can receive it directly to your inbox: go to newsletter preferences in 'My Account' or follow the instructions in the newsletter box below.

If you're anything like me, you've been planning your Christmas dinner menu for a while already and it probably involves a few Italian influences along with favourite dishes from home. You might even be planning a fully Italian-style feast, perhaps involving a large antipasti spread followed by tortellini in brodo, pasta al forno, or a huge amount of seafood.

Either way, there are some items you won't want to leave off your festive food shopping list, especially if you'll have Italian guests at the table this year.

The food and drink you need for an Italian Christmas feast

In recent years, Rome has been an increasingly popular Christmas holiday destination, particularly - but not only - for British visitors.

This might seem a little surprising; after all, Rome is hardly your typical snow-dusted winter wonderland. Although maybe the mild temperatures (usually hovering around 10C in the daytime at the end of December) are part of the attraction.

If you're planning on spending part of the festive season in the Italian capital, here's a quick guide to the sights and events not to miss, plus what else you can expect from the city at this time of year:

How to make the most of a Christmas break in Rome

People in costume take part in a 'living nativity' walk in central Rome. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

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And for those already thinking about travel to or from Italy in 2024, there may be more choice for passengers as several airlines have recently announced more short- and long-haul routes beginning next year.

In fact, there has been quite a lot of news on the travel front recently. For those who fly to and from Italy regularly there are a few big changes coming, including a new airport serving the Amalfi Coast and a planned new 'boarding tax' for passengers, plus there are new national and international rail routes to know about.

To help you keep on top of the latest Italian travel updates, we've put the details together in the article below:

All the important changes for travel in Italy in 2024

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Is there an aspect of the Italian way of life you'd like to see us write more about? Please email me at [email protected].

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