Welcome Everyone.

Welcome to News From Italy, my blog about our Italian Adventure. Although this blog has now ceased publication I will be continuing to blog and I am sincerely hoping that my many followers here will move with me to Travel Tales blog to follow my next adventures wherever they may take me. The links to my other blogs are:-

I look forward to keeping in touch with you via them, thanks once again for all the support you have given 'News From Italy' over the years.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Buon Natale – Happy Christmas – Italian Christmas Music Selection

This will be my last post I think until well into the New Year as for the next four weeks I will be busy devoting myself to celebrating the Christmas and New Year holidays with family and friends as I imagine will most of you who visit ‘News From Italy’. One of the popular features here this year has been Sunday Song, so I decided that while I am away I will leave you with a selection of Italian Christmas music to listen to. Hopefully there will be something among my selection to every ones taste. I look forward to returning in 2011 and continuing to share our little piece of Italy with you all.
Along with my husband David I wish each and every one of you

Buon Natale – Happy Christmas
 Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

My first choice is

Corale Canepa - Astro del Ciel - Silent Night

The  Luigi Canepa Choir from Sassari in Italy sing Silent Night in Italian and Japanese accompanied by the Japanese Philharmonic Orchestra of Tokyo. This video was  originally transmitted on Japanese television during Christmas 1989. I have included it as it is a beautiful version of a classic and favourite carol sung all over the world, to which I am sure you will all know the words, so no translation required.
Courtsey of CoraleCanepa

Natale - Christmas - Tu scendi dalle stelle – You come down from the stars

The lyrics appear on the screen in English for this video and although I was unable to find out who the singers are it is a beautifully presented video.
Courtesy of lorpre87

Irene Grandi – Bianco Natale – White Christmas

Another traditional favourite known around the world ‘ White Christmas’ is here sung in a mixture of Italian and English by an Italian singer that I have featured on the blog before Irene Grandi.  I have included the words to this one in case you feel like singing along.

Courtesy of romins1
Col bianco tuo candor, neve
sai dar la gioia ad ogni cuor,
è Natale ancora
la grande festa
che sa tutti conquistar.
Un canto vien dal ciel, lento
che con la neve dona a noi
un Natale pieno d'amor
un Natale di felicità.
I'm dreaming of a White Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know,
Where the treetops glisten and children listen
To hear sleighbells in the snow.
E viene giù dal ciel, lento
un dolce canto ammaliator,
che mi dice, spera anche tu
è Natale non soffrire più.
Mai più mai più, mai più,
Dreaming on Christmas Time,
Dreaming on a White Christmas,
Dreaming on Christmas Time,
Dreaming on a White Christmas,
Dreaming on Christmas Time,
Dreaming on a White Christmas,
Dalle stelle fino a quaggiù
E' Natale non soffrire più
più...più.. E' Natale non soffrire... più

white christmas jazz 2010 (Gianni Gandi & Orjana)

Next is a Jazz version of the same song by Gianni Gandi, also previously featured and Orjana, this time completely in English which I was unable to resist including as I liked the musical arrangement.

Andrea Bocelli - Andrea Bocelli & David Foster: My Christmas (2009) - Gloria in Excelsis Deo

A traditional hymn next sung partly in English by another Sunday Song Italian artist here on News From Italy Andrea Bocelli. "Gloria in Excelsis Deo" (Latin for "Glory to God in the highest") from the album ‘My Christmas 2009’ by Andrea Bocelli and David Foster.

 Natale 2010 - Christmas - O Mio Signore - Cliff Richard

This final song I just had to add as dare I admit that as a little girl Cliff Richard was one of my first pop star crushes( I know I am showing my age)! Here he is singing beautifully in Italian ‘O Mio Signore’ which is from his new LP  ‘WHEN IN ROME - CLIFF RICHARD’ - with accompaniment by THE SHADOWS - AND NORRIE PARAMOR AND HIS ORCHESTRA and was originally made solely for the Italian market, where Cliff is popular. On some of the titles, Cliff is backed by his long time colleagues, The Shadows; on others by the Norrie Paramor Orchestra, who have backed Cliff for many years. All but two of the songs are Italian in origin.  I love this but do you, I hope so.

Lyrics to O Mio Signore : In Italian and I hope a reasonable English translation so you can follow.

O mio Signore                                           

In questo mondo
Io non ho avuto tanto
Eppure sono contento
Sono contento
O mio Signore
Io ti ringrazio
In ogni cose che ho avuto
Grazie per tutto quello
Che tu hai fatto per me
Però se questa sera
Posso farti una preghiera
Fa che domani
Fa che domani
Lei ritorni da me

Oh my Lord
In this world
I have not had much
Yet I am happy
I'm happy
Oh my Lord
I thank you
In all things I had
Thank you for everything
What you did for me
But if tonight
Can I ask you a prayer
Let tomorrow
Let tomorrow
You're coming back to me

Buon Natale – Happy Christmas

Friday, December 10, 2010

Coca-Cola Christmas Commercial 2010 – Italian Advertising Series No 6 – Friday Feature


Created in Atlanta, Georgia, by Dr. John S. Pemberton, Coca-Cola was first offered as a fountain beverage by mixing Coca-Cola syrup with carbonated water. Coca-Cola was introduced in 1886, patented in 1887, registered as a trademark in 1893 and by 1895 it was being sold in every state and territory in the United States. It has sure been around a long time!

The Christmas Coca-Cola advertising campaign has been launched in over ninety countries around the world, so many of you will have already seen this on your own television screens, but I felt it was still worth sharing with you to get us all in the mood for the festive season now it is actually December. Mind you this commercial has been showing on Italian television for quite a few weeks already, sadly Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier every year.

The 2010 commercial opens with several images of individuals who are obviously feeling separated from friends and family – a young man working late at night in a grocery store, a couple on opposite ends of a park bench, even a lonely dog in an alley.  It pans out to show they exist in a glass snow globe sitting on Santa’s workshop desk.

Santa is taking a break to have a Coca-Cola and he picks up a snow globe and gently tilts it as Train’s ‘Shake Up Christmas’ plays. This action causes the Coca-Cola Christmas delivery trucks to roll into action and brings the couple together on the bench.

It also sends the grocery clerk tumbling into a shopping cart and rolling through the streets of the city only to end up bursting through the front door of his home, where his family awaits him, for a Christmas meal along with the no-longer-lonely pup.

Enjoy as after all Christmas is not Christmas without Coca- Cola.

Courtesy of Coca-Cola


Coca-Cola has been associated with having a special Christmas advertising campaign since 1931 when The Coca-Cola Company commissioned illustrator Haddon Sundblom to develop advertising images using Santa Claus. Apparently for inspiration he used the poem by  Clement Clarke Moore written in 1822 which starts 'Twas the night before Christmas  Moore's description of the man as "chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf" led to an image of Santa that was warm and friendly and human. For the next 35 years, Sundblom painted portraits of Santa that helped to create the modern image of Santa an interpretation that today lives on, the images proving so popular that his images are still used by Coca-Cola to this day.

The Train from San Francisco, California are the group chosen to perform ‘Shake Up Christmas’ on this year’s commercial and it has been released as a single, which can be downloaded on iTunes. http://CokeURL.com/baur

If you want to find out more about Train a good place to start is on Wikipedia

Lyrics courtesy of  Coca-Cola Website

"Shake Up Christmas" by Train

Shake up the happiness
Wake up the happiness
Shake up the happiness
It’s Christmas time
There’s a story that I was told
And I wanna tell the world before I get too old
And don’t remember it,
so let’s December it and reassemble it, oh yea
Once upon a time in a town like this
A little girl made a great big wish
To fill the world full of happiness
And be on Santa’s magic list
Shake it up
Shake up the happiness
Wake it up
Wake up the happiness
Come on, y’all
It’s Christmas time
Shake it up
Shake up the happiness
Wake it up
Wake up the happiness
Come on, y’all
It’s Christmas time
Ho ho ho, It’s Christmas time
At the same time miles away
A little boy made a wish that day
That the world would be okay
And Santa Claus would hear him say
I got dreams and I got love
I got my feet on the ground and family above
Can you send some happiness
with my best to the rest of the people of the east and the west
And maybe every once in a while
Give my grandma a reason to smile
Tis the season to smile
It’s cold but we’ll be freezin’ in style
And let me meet a girl one day
That wants to spread some love this way
We can let our souls run free
And she can open some happiness with me
Shake it up
Shake up the happiness
Wake it up
Wake up the happiness
Come on, y’all
It’s Christmas time
I know you’re out there
I hear your reindeer
I see the snow where
Your boots have been
I’m gonna show them
So, they will know then
Their love will grow when
They believe again
Shake it up
Shake up the happiness
Wake it up
Wake up the happiness
Come on, y’all
It’s Christmas time
Shake it up
Shake up the happiness
Wake it up
Wake up the happiness
Come on, y’all
It’s Christmas time
Ho ho ho, It’s Christmas time


Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection

I am also including an item of Coca-Cola memorabilia a photograph of an old coca-cola box we found in our house when we moved in, it was falling apart but my husband has renovated it and it is now on display on top of the kitchen cabinets.

There is even a free application available to download for iPhone and iPod touch users to create your own virtual snowglobes to share with friends on Facebook.

To keep in touch with this world famous brand, just click on any of the links below.

Coca-Cola Website   Twitter   Flickr Group  YouTube   Facebook

Christmas is not Christmas without Coca- Cola.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Feast of the Immaculate Conception – Festa Immacolata Conezione – Our Kiwi Harvest


The Immaculate Conception by Murillo, 1660, Museo del Prado, Spain.


The Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is celebrated every year on 8 December in a number of countries including Italy where the date is a Public holiday.

I do not know much about the celebrations as I am not Catholic but assume that the church has special services. There is a widespread misunderstanding of the term ‘immaculate conception’ as many believe it refers to Mary's conception of Jesus, that the date of this celebration occurs only seventeen days before Christmas should make the error obvious!  Annunciation of the Lord or the Incarnation of Christ, as it is also known is celebrated on 25 March, exactly nine months before Christmas Day. It was at the Annunciation, when the Blessed Virgin Mary humbly accepted the honour bestowed on her by God and announced by the angel Gabriel, that the conception of Christ took place.

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, goes back to the seventh century, when churches in the East began celebrating the Feast of the Conception of Saint Anne. In other words, this feast celebrates the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the womb of Saint Anne; and nine months later, on September 8, we celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


I also wrote a post on the 8th of December last year about the Festa Immacolta Conezione and Our Persimmons. http://lindyloumac.blogspot.com/2009/12/feast-of-immaculate-conception.html

With thanks to Wikipedia for facts and picture.

Also sharing with you here today some photographs of our successful Kiwi Harvest last weekend. Those of you that have been reading my ‘Our Garden’ posts since the Spring will have seen photos of the Kiwi vines as the season progressed and they gradually grew to become these impressive looking fruits.



I will link this post to Outdoor Wednesday again this week for the last time this year.

Outdoor Wednesday button[5]Welcome to ‘News From Italy’ to the other participants, thankyou for calling by.


Monday, December 6, 2010

San Nicola - Saint Nicholas Day


Today is the Saints Day for Nicholas, December 6th not only a special day for all the Nicholas’s and Nicola’s in Italy where Saints Days are celebrated by the namesakes, but also today for many other children in Italy this day is seen as the beginning of the Christmas festivities when they receive a present from San Nicola.
This day is celebrated in many different parts of the world, several countries within Europe including Italy, as the day when one of the most popular saints in history died in AD 354.  There are many stories circulating about his life, but true or not there is certainly no doubt that this is the Saint that inspired the much loved character Father Christmas or Babbo Natale as he is known in Italy.
Saint Nicholas (270–6 December 346) was born into a wealthy Greek family and at a young age he devoted his life both to God and to assisting those in need. He grew up in a Greek speaking colony of the Roman Empire Myra, now part of Turkey, where he became a Bishop of the city. When he died his bones were placed in the cathedral of Myra which became a popular pilgrimage destination until 1087 when the Turks conquered the city and sailors from Bari rescued the remains and took them to rest in their own city.
He was well known for his generosity and acts of kindness towards others, especially children, according to Wikipedia he is the patron saint to a long list of different groups of people around the world. Children, sailors, fishermen, merchants, broadcasters, the falsely accused, prostitutes, repentant thieves, pharmacists,archers and pawnbrokers, what an interesting and varied selection!
The major celebrations in Italy for St. Nicholas (San Nicola) take place in Bari,Puglia where he is believed to be buried and is the patron of the city. Similar celebrations and traditions are observed in Sassari, on the island of Sardinia where he is also a patron saint of the city. One of the traditions carried out here is the distribution of gifts to young brides to be whose parents cannot afford to help them. This stems from the legend that Saint Nicholas once helped a man by providing dowries for his three daughters, so they could find husbands, rather than being sold into prostitution.  In Trieste, St. Nicholas (San Nicolò) is celebrated with gifts given to children on the morning of 6 December and with a fair called Fiera di San Nicolo during the first weeks of December.

There has been an interesting development since Saint Nicholas Day 2009 as it has been proposed that his bones are returned to Turkey.
On 28 December 2009, the Turkish Government announced that it would be formally requesting the return of San Nicola’s bones to Turkey from the Italian government. Turkish authorities have cited the fact that Saint Nicolas himself wanted to be buried at his birthplace. They also state that his remains were illegally removed from Turkey.  Apparently the town of Demre where the ancient town of Myra, once was has plans to build a museum which once constructed will exhibit relics of ancient civilisations. There is no schedule for these plans yet as far as my research found out, but the Turkish minister stated last year ‘that once built they would naturally ask for the remains of Babbo Natale to be returned from Italy’.

 Buon San Nicola                    

Italian Male Variations of Nicholas: Niccolò, Nico, Nicola, Nicolò, Nicolas  
Italian Female Variations of Nicola: Nicoletta, Nicla, Nicole, Nicolina
I researched the facts quoted in this post with thanks to Wikipedia
In case you are interested here is the link to the post I wrote for St Nicholas on December 6th last year   St Nicholas Day Post for 2009

Christmas is coming to Marta the festive lights have gone up and many of the shop windows are seasonally decorated.

This is one of my favourites, unfortunately I was unable to get rid of the reflection of the car in any of the shots I took of this shop window.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Song – Lili Rocha – Selection



Lili Rocha released her latest album ‘Lili Rocha Rocks’ just a few days ago on December 1st so I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to feature her on Sunday Song. Lili Rocha is in fact Brazilian but she resides in Switzerland, and has a huge Italian following and her record label Idea Musica is Italian. This latest album is the first that she has recorded entirely in English. Her genre is considered to be adult contemporary melodic rock and in her unique and unusual voice with the songs in this album she is interpreting American folk rock music. The album can be purchased via her Official Website.

Lindinalva de Souza Rocha was born on December 23rd, but seems to be secretive about which year, she is better known by her stage name Lili Rocha. Lili started her career in her native Brazil but soon found herself performing in Portugal, Italy and Switzerland. She fell in love with Europe and pursued her dream by moving permanently to Switzerland. She has since studied at the Accademia di Musica Italiano and gained a huge following in Europe, particularly in Italy. She has released four albums since 2003, containing songs in Portuguese, Spanish and Italian and with ‘Lili Rocha Rocks’ in English she hopes to expand her fan base in the rest of the world, particularly in the USA.


  • Me Deixa Sonho (2003)
  • Recomeçar (2004)
  • Amulet (2007)
  • Lili Rocha Live (2009)
  • Lili Rocha Rocks! (2010)

I have chosen three songs to share with you here two from earlier albums are in Italian and finally a track from her new album ‘Lili Rocha Rocks in English.

First the title track from the 2007 album of the same name.

Lili Rocha – Amuleto – Amulet



Lili Rocha - Acqua i Pietra – Water the Stone

Next up is a slide show presentation of Lili Rocha performing in Milan at the Teatro Delle Erbe.


Courtesy of fioretto0

Finally in English

I'm Alright is a track from the recently released album ‘Lili Rocha Rocks’


Courtesy of Official LiliRocha

I was unable to find any lyrics to accompany the videos today but hopefully this will not prevent you enjoying Lili Rocha and her unique rock style. Two of the female pop stars that she admires are Cher and Tina Turner. which I think reflects in her style.

With thanks to the following sites, Wikipedia, Lilli's Official Website, YouTube, Facebook and My Space for information and images.

More Sunday Songs can be found by visiting 5 Minutes Just for Me

Buono Domenica a Tutti


This will be the last Sunday Song link up with 5 Minutes Just for Me until sometime in January 2011 as like everyone else at this time of the year Natasha is going to be very busy over the next few weeks and like me she is going to have a blogging holiday over Christmas and New Year.

I have decided that this week will also be the last Sunday Song post of 2010 for ‘News From Italy’. It will be back in 2011 but before then I will be sharing some seasonal music in Italian with you. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lavazza – ‘ A Modo Mio’ – Italian Advertising Series No 5 – Friday Feature




It appears that famous film stars are more than happy to appear in Italian television commercials for coffee as this one for Lavazza features none other than Julia Roberts.

Lavazza are another company that produce coffee in capsules for their own machines similar to another company I have featured recently but they are an Italian company.



The Luigi Lavazza S.p.A. is an Italian manufacturer of coffee products. Founded in Turin in 1895 by Luigi Lavazza, it was initially run from a small grocery store at Via San Tommaso 10.The business of Lavazza S.p.A. is currently administered by the third and fourth generation of the Lavazza family.

To find out all about the real Italian Espresso Experience visit the Lavazza Website, or the Facebook page, there is also an On Line Store for the purchase of the special capsules.

I have used Lavazza ground coffee at home and I like it, but I have no experience of their capsule coffee machines.

I think you will find that you will understand this advert without the need to speak Italian. I think the similarity with the other companies commercials is also obvious do you? God and the residents of heaven all seem surprisingly fussy about their coffee choices.

I have absolutely no idea who came up with the theme first but both companies have now produced a whole series of commercials in a similar vein. You can view some of the older commercials in the Lavazza series on YouTube and here is the latest one to appear on our screens in Italy where Julia Roberts says not a word as Botticelli’s Venus!  She appears with Paolo Bonolis and Luca Laurenti in heaven where she is in the process of having her portrait painted, but needs something to put a smile on her face.


During my research I learnt that the two Italian actors mentioned here have been appearing in these commercials since 2000.

With thanks to the following web sites for the information for this post, YouTube, Lavazza, Facebook and Wikipedia