Noël Italian Style

Buon Natale: Luca Gnecchi Ruscone at LGR Reminisces

20th December 2013 “My family and I always reunite in my grandparent’s house in Florence for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We eat fish on Christmas Eve, and my grandmother spoils us with salmon and various traditional cakes and sweets like dried figs, nuts, panettone, pandoro and torrone. We have a Christmas tree, and we open our gifts after dinner on the 24th. We don’t have our own traditions, but there is one thing that always happens that could be called a tradition, which is eating a fish soup at my uncle’s house on 26th December. We also drink a lot of great wines. My uncle is a great connoisseur and we pass from the stiff and uptight atmosphere of my grandparent’s house, to the more relaxed, laid back of my uncle’s.

Luca with his mother and sister in Cetona, Italy
Luca with his mother and sister in Cetona, Italy

“Christmas was much more Christmas when I was a child. I would feel it much more and I would wait for it with much anticipation and excitement. The smells, the voices, the tree, the colours and the atmosphere will always be in my heart as the happiest days of my childhood. Now I have children of my own, and I hope to be able to make them at least as happy as I was when I was a child. For the merry season, be good to everyone, and remember that you are very lucky and that not everyone is. Remember to give to someone in need. We are living in a highly self-centered and consumer society, but it was not like this before. It is not what you give that is important, but the feelings you generate by doing so. Think and be close to older people: talk to them as much as you can; learn from them.” JG

Images: Luca Gnecchi Ruscone has kindly shared photos from his childhood Christmas celebrations with Eyestylist.