Italy is a fascinating country for its traditions, folklore, and celebrations, and Simona Piccinelli (our Italian Wine Tours Specialist) describes how Italians bring in the new year-

If you are spending New Year’s eve at home with your family and friends, you could say arrivederci to the old year and welcome new year as we do in Italy.  Begin with the classic Italian New Year’s Eve dish – “cotechino e lenticchie.”  Cotechino is a delicious, savory, fresh pork sausage that can be sold partially pre-cooked or raw, the latter being the best option.  Lenticchie (lentils) are said to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year, and the crème de la crème Lenticchie come from Castelluccio di Norcia (a tiny village in romantic Umbria, on a plateau near the beautiful Sibillini mountains.


New Year's Eve Traditions in Italy

Cotechino con Lenticchie is ” a must,” and here are some recipes to help you plan your Italian style new year´s eve: traditional version or creative version. Even Italian fine restaurants put versions of this dish on the menu at this time of year, for example, top chef Enrico Bartolini’s (Le Robinie) “cappuccino di cotechino e lenticchie”), and top chef Luca Marchini’s  (L’Erba del Re) “Crema di cotechino con gelatina di Lambrusco.” Whichever version you go for, this is THE New Year’s Eve dish in Italy!!!


For good luck in the new year, Italians have the following traditions on New Year’s Eve-

  • kiss under the mistletoe
  • throw old items out the window (this is especially common  in the south)
  • eat pomegranate

The first person you see on the morning of the first day of the year is of the utmost importance; if you are superstitious and you meet an older person of the opposite sex, you will have a lucky New Year. However, if you meet a baby or a person of the same sex, it won’t be a great New Year.

And as in many countries worldwide, bubbly is uncorked, poured, and toasted when the new year is rung in. Italians usually drink Franciacorta (fine bubbly from Lombardy) or Prosecco (from the Veneto in northeastern Italy), or local “spumanti” (sparkling wine).

We wish all of you a very happy new year!!!!

5 thoughts on “New Year’s Eve Traditions in Italy- Felice Anno Nuovo!

  1. Sandra says:

    Happy new year ! Best wishes for a fabulous 2009
  2. Piedmont_phil says:

    Buon Anno - thanks for sharing!
  3. The Ten Best Pizzerias in Naples, Italy- possibly the best pizza in the world | Cellar Tours says:

    [...] Abate, the patron saint of bakers?), although I might have put on a few extra kilos New Year’s Eve was the only day when almost all pizzerias are closed and so we welcomed in 2009 in the beautiful [...]
  4. Steve Conte says:

    Hello, My name is Steve Conte and I would like to know if you can provide a truthful answer to what I’ve been told about a particular Italian tradition -as to whether this is a real tradition or not a tradition but more likely to be a way to remove a person for a short period of time on New Year’s Eve when the Year changes from one year to the next. This Scenario in question that was related to me some years ago on New Year’s Eve was within my Brother in Law’s home in his kitchen with only the Adult members of the family present. My Brother in Law (older then me) related this traditional event in question to me this way: “Being that you are the youngest male in the Family you have to step outside the family house on New Years Eve at precisely 12:00 for five minutes and remain there”. This way they’ll be luck that will come to our households for the New Year. All the curtains in the Kitchen got closed for this event and I stepped outside the house for five minutes -waited out the time and then re-entered the house. This was supposed to be an Italian Tradition that brought Luck into the house and family for the New Year when it changed. Do think that there is an Italian Tradition like this? Steve
  5. Italian New Year Celebrations | Cellar Tours Blog says:

    [...] Italians have some fantastic New Year’s Eve celebrations and events on New Year’s Day. A few years back we outlined some of our favorite traditions for the Anno Nuevo here. [...]

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