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April Newsletter

As the flowers continue to bloom in Tuscany, the spring air is beginning to settle with another feeling all around. Due to quarantines the Italian streets are light of people, but not the energy of Easter that have long carried through there.

Every year the five days, starting on Holy Thursday, leading up to the religious holiday are overflowing with floral decorations, traditional festivals, and recreation events of the Crusades from city to countryside.

On Holy Thursday the doors to the churches would be wide open for all those who wish to come pay respects to Christ and his life. You could expect to see festivities happening from city centre to the hillside towns surrounding such as Castiglione di Garfagnana’s Processione Dei Crocioni, Antica Giudeata in Chianciana Terme, or after Coena Domini in Radiocofani there’s the procession of penance. All processions that parade through the days could have seen its participants dressed in historical pieces, and on Good Friday to Saturday some carrying the statues of Virgin Mary with Jesus.

In many of the provinces you could see re-enactments of the last moments of Christ and Romans, Casole d’Elsa holds one of the most historical processions of Good Friday every three years! In fact it was suppose to be produced this year since last it was put on in 2018.

The saying “il giro delle sette chiese” can be heard among the crowds in Mugello. It translates to “a trip to the seven churches” , which was an act formed against Pagans mid-1500s for their festivities on the Italian Catholic Good Friday. Now it’s a way to pay respects to churches in the area of Borgo San Lorenzo.

Easter Sunday its self is celebrated differently throughout all of Italy from Renaissance costumes, colorful firework shows off the Scoppio del Carro in Florence and Rufina to blessings of the sea ritual at the Port.  

On Monday, after Easter when Christ was resurrected, it’s also known as Pasquetta. It’s a national holiday that’s mainly spent with families, though shops would have been open to all to still enjoy food and sights of their city centers. Caccia al Tesoro Botanico Grandi Giardini Italiani would alsohold Easter events/egg hunts in three of its prominent gardens. Many people could have been found out and about, in museums or parks having picnics with loved ones and enjoying the foods of the season! There also come markets in many of the locations named where artisans gathered to sell antiques, handmade wares, and local goods all of Pasquetta.

If you wish to learn more about the five holy days in Italy , follow the link below:

https://www.discovertuscany.com/tuscany-events/easter-in-tuscany.html?fbclid=IwAR1tlLH-WZ8o3O4MRyNIYEYk4PUN2fNZHeRm87ScFVJSKrf63tXXy-wCrlE

As Casale 3 Danesi heads into this Easter weekend we wish you and yours good health during however you chose to celebrate.
Buona Pasqua!

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March Newsletter

March is generally known for being Women’s History Month, after a tragic event involving female immigrants in NYC led women to protest against terrible working conditions, hours, and pay. A few years later in 1945 the women’s Union of Italy took its stance of women’s freedom and reserved March 8th as Festa della Donna.

Throughout the years the celebration of this day has shifted from its strong political start to one of leisure for women to have a day to enjoy themselves. What tradition that is constantly unchanging and embraced is the use of mimosas, but not the Sunday brunch treat. 

Mimosas are small yellow, shrub-like flowers that have a sweet fragrance and were introduced as the symbol by Teresa Mattei. What makes mimosa flowers special is that not only are they the first to bloom in Italian spring, but they are known to survive and flourish in opposing surroundings. Thus it became the perfect symbol of strength and sensibility. Much like the women of the movement which pressed for social and economical equality, so as they could grow and prosper in their own environment. It is custom for women to be gifted a small bouquet of these flowers as to signify the gratefulness and respect the counterpart feels to them. It is mainly men who do such gifting, but now it’s common for the females to exchange mimosas amongst each other as another sign of love and unity. There is also ‘torta mimosa’ a moist, custard cake made from layered sponge bases, coated in a citrus liquor (limoncello or orange cointreau are best options), topped with sponge puffs and confectioner sugar to resemble the small mimosa blooms. A delicious treat to be enjoyed through the days!

To celebrate this in Italy is a sight to behold. You can expect to see women donning yellow clothing or accessories, men giving a cheerful ‘Auguri!’(Well wishes!) along kind smiles, and small festivals within the gatherings. 

We at Casale 3 Danesi support and honor the great strides women have made to better the future for all, so we kindly ask that you use today to reach out to the loved women in your life and wish them a “Buona Festa della Donna!”

For more information follow the link below:

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February Newsletter

Happy Valentine’s Day from Casale 3 Danesi! We are preparing to send out our fresh, new bottles of olive oil this week. This month is also the great tradition of Carnival in Viareggio, a celebration along the beachside of Versilia, Tuscany. This colorful parade full of marching bands, decorated masks, theatrical costumes, and huge paper-mâché floats fill the streets as well as music.
The start of Viareggio’s Carnival was on Feb. 24th 1873 as a parade for the wealthy middle-class, but changed when locals donned masks as a sign of protest against the high taxes of the time. It then became a success featuring now different characters such as celebrities, sports athletes, influencers, and political figures. 

Their harlequin mascot is also the official mask of the festival, Burlamacco. He wears a red&white patterned suit, bicorne and a black cape. Burlamacco is also always accompanied by his female companion ‘Ondina’ (Onda translates to wave in Italian, tying in his connection to the sea). This is considered to be one of Europe’s principal Carnival’s. You can begin the celebration at the ending of January all the way until the beginning of March.

Check out the links below for more information and about 2021 Viareggio’s Carnival which, for the first time, will be celebrated in Autumn!

https://www.discovertuscany.com/tuscany-events/viareggio-carnival.html?fbclid=IwAR0399BqTQt2ywS6fDlPnbuhI-u5OkInQkBuZpJo4zOJ-gmrdeRgJqlxdL4

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January Newsletter

January is a quiet month at Casale 3 Danesi. We are cleaning after a successful olive harvest 2020, meaning light pruning of our olive grove and its trees.

We are also prepping for the upcoming season and getting ready to enter the LA International Olive Oil Competition fingers crossed…. We are very pleased with the 2020 harvest!

This is also a month to harvest our blood oranges and lemons in abundance at the farm. Lemoncello is a must.

La Befana is an important holiday in Italy, celebrated on the 6th of January.

Please see the details below.

In Italy the Epiphany celebration is a national holiday that is celebrated on January 6. The Feast of the Epiphany traditionally commemorates when The Magi, known as The Three Wise Men or The Three Kings, visited Jesus. As the story goes The Three Wise Men visited Jesus in the manger bringing with them gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They are regular figures in traditional accounts of the nativity celebrations of Christmas and are an important part of Christian tradition.

The date falls 12 days after Christmas. In Italy the Christmas holiday season lasts through the Epiphany celebration. Gifts are exchanged on this day making it like an American Christmas holidays.The Epiphany for children includes the Italian Christmas witch La Befana.  The Befana, a character of the Italian folklore probably originated in central Italy. Since then it has become a nation-wide tradition. La Befana is an old woman who flies on a broomstick wearing a black shawl. She looks like a witch. La Befana delivers candies, sweets and little gifts to children throughout Italy on the night of January 5 in a similar way to Santa Claus. And the Befana’s headquarter in Rome will be Piazza Navona market with dozens of food and gift stalls and the traditional merry-go-round.

This religious feast brings a perfect fulfillment of all the purposes of Advent. Epiphany, therefore, marks the liturgical zenith of the Advent-Christmas season. Three mysteries are encompassed in the Epiphany celebration: the adoration of the Christ Child by the Magi, the Baptism of Christ and the wedding feast at Cana.

In Italy it is customary to replace the images of the shepherds at the crib with the three kings and their gifts. Being the Epiphany, a very important Catholic holiday, Rome is an ideal place to celebrate

Every year the most popular Epiphany celebration event is at the Vatican. The historical parade with hundreds of participants with ancient costumes and 20 decorated horses accompanied by a musical band and the main Italian character of Epiphany, the Befana, will pass through via della Conciliazione, following the Three Kings. They carry gifts to the Vatican for the Pope.

At the Vatican the Pope says morning mass to commemorate the visit of the Wise Men bearing gifts for Jesus.

Epiphany Celebrations Around Italy

Urbania in the Le Marche region holds a 4-day festival for La Befana from January 2-6. Children can meet La Befana in La Casa della Befana. This is one of the biggest celebrations for La Befana in Italy.

Venice in the Veneto region on January 6 is the location of Regatta delle Bafane. Men dressed as La Befana race in boats on the Grand Canal.Florence in the region of Tuscany is the Calvacata dei Magi. This procession usually starts from Pitti Palace in the early afternoon and going across the river to the Duomo. Horns and drums fill the street. The Three Magi march followed by the Holy Family, then comes the bagpipes. Flag throwers perform in Piazza della Signoria.

Milan in the region of Lombardy holds an Epiphany Parade of the Three Kings from the Duomo to the church of Sant’Eustorgio.

Rivisondoli, in the Abruzzo region celebrates the Epiphany on January 5 with a reenactment of the arrival of the Three Kings. Hundreds of participants wear costumes and parade to recreate the historic day.

Source: italiantourism.us