Buon Natale!

by Sistaweotch December. 24, 2007 5794 views

A semi-traditional Neapolitan Christmas Eve at Cristina's house. Most of the guests were friends from couchsurfing.com. We had seafood, as is the norm in Naples, though we didn't have a fish (I think that's a standard, but not sure). Another typical occurrence is having a nativity scene, but without baby Jesus. He doesn't make his appearance until midnight, you see!

Cristina says she had a full nativity set, but it wasn't out for display. Instead, when baby Jesus made his appearance (an hour early, because she was so exhausted from cooking all day!), we set him up with a wee little “manger” on the dinner table.

Here is a copy of an article about Neapolitan Christmas and New Year's traditions: http://people.tribe.net/sistaweotch/blog/ac95ecfe-6cc2-4f29-a54a-7d16c14005e0 [people.tribe.net]

And here is a quick video of some of the fireworks right outside her house: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=pSt2KH7ud7o [uk.youtube.com]

Alas, much of this set is slightly blurry due to the lighting and technical limitations of my camera. You should still be able to get a good idea of some of the fun and food we had, though. :)

Cristina, our hostess with the mostess.

Mmm, bruschetta!

Deviled eggs with tuna and olives, mmm! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deviled_eggs [en.wikipedia.org] (Hey, the originated in Rome? Neat!)

Octopus salad with green olives. Some people love it, some people hate it. Me, I just find octopus to be rather rubbery, lol. The olives were great, though! ;)

Slightly travel worn carrot-ish cake. Cristina asked for a carrot cake from an American store, but this was the closest they had. The fellow at the bakery thinks it had carrots in it. And coconut. And nuts. Or something. We were too full to eat it that night, so I never did find out!

Pesto gnocchi with seafood!

Giovanni! :D

Emily, an American who just came from spending 2 months in Morocco. She brought us cookies and candy from Spain and Morocco – delicious! This picture is slightly more in focus than the next, which is why I posted it. However…

…this one is much more smiley. ;) Emily had some great stories to tell about snowboarding in Morocco! Also, she was Cristina's very first couchsurfer a few years ago. (For those of you who have leapt forward in time to the 28th, both Emily and Giovanni should look familiar.)

Cristina gave us each a pair of red underwear. It's a Capodanno (New Year's) tradition so that you will be lucky in love and romance!

Giovanni clearly thinks his underpants would be more effective as a bib.

Emily's undies. Oh, and look, on the table you can see a couple different kinds of cheeses, including Naples' famous Mozzarella di Bufala there on the left.

I'm afraid I have forgotten her name. She was a couchsurfing guest staying with Giovanni. She's Polish, but speaks both English and Italian, if I recall correctly. Very sweet, friendly lady. :)

My undies. ;) (ps: Yes, I did wear them on New Year's, if only briefly. No pun intended.)

Stuffed squid course. We ate many, many sea creatures that evening!

A very wee baby Jesus makes his appearance, lol. Buon Natale!

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