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Buon Ferragosto! A popular greeting heard amongst Italians towards the end of summer. Ferragosto, technically August 15, is the official start to the Italian exodus out of the city to the clean, cool air of the mountains or to the sunny, playful costal beaches. It is a scared time, a time to spend with family and friends; to forget about work and obligations. It is a one day national holiday. Some must return to work after, but most Italians will take the following 2 weeks of summer off. Many businesses are closed during this time; however the government requires a certain number of facilities to be open in a geographical area such as pharmacies, hotels, restaurants, coffee bars and groceries stores.

The exact translation of “Ferragosto” is Feast (Fest) of Agustus and comes from holidays started by emperor Augustus in 18 BCE. In religious circles it celebrates the Assumption of Mary, the belief that God took the body of Jesus’ mother Mary into heaven at her death.

The popular tradition of taking a trip during Ferragosto was introduced under the Fascist regime in the second half of the 1920’s. The regime’s recreational organizations began organizing hundreds of trips setting up the “People’s Trains of Ferragosto” which  provided discounted prices to less affluent people and gave them opportunity to travel to other parts of Italy and to spend time at mountain and beach side resorts.

The tradition has continued to this day and Ferragosto has become a celebration of summer !

The romantic Festival of Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Italy as it is in the United States, however the tradition of Valentine’s Day is a little different in Italy.

History of Valentine’s Day in Italy


Valentine’s Day was initially celebrated as a Spring Festival in Italy. Celebration for the day was held in the open air. Young people would gather in tree arbors or ornamental gardens and enjoy listening to music and reading poetry. Later they would stroll off with their Valentine into the gardens. The custom steadily ceased over the course of years and has not been celebrated for centuries.

Early Valentine’s Day Tradition in Italy

In the Italian City of Turin, engaged or betrothed couples used to announce their engagement on the Valentine’s Day. Several days ahead of February 14, stores were decorated and loaded with a huge variety of Valentine’s Day treats. Some even sold glass or china baskets and Deruta Ceramics or trays filled with delectable Valentine’s Day candies and tied with a ribbon.

Another interesting Valentine’s Day tradition followed in Italy and Britain had single girls and women waking up before sunrise.  People strongly believed that the first man an unmarried girl would see on Valentine’s Day, would marry within a year. Girls therefore used to wake up early on Valentine’s Day and stand by their window waiting for a single man to pass by.

 

Valentine’s Day Celebration in Italy –


People of Italy see Valentine’s Day as a holiday imported from US, just like Halloween and Mother’s Day. For the love and lovers country of Italy, the major day for celebration of love is il giorno della festa degli innamorati. As lovers’ exclusively celebrate this day family members and friends do not exchange gifts.

In recent times however, couples in Italy celebrate Valentine’s Day by expressing their love to sweethearts. Couples usually go out for dinners at pizzeria or ristorante, just like in the US.

There is a strong tradition still, to exchange gifts like flowers, perfume bottles, Murano Glass hearts, chocolates, and if someone is really lucky, diamonds.

Another popular Valentine’s Day gift in Italy is Baci Perugina – a small, chocolate-covered hazelnuts containing a small slip of paper with a romantic poetic quote in four languages.

Majolica is glazed pottery often associated with certain regions of Italy, although it also is produced in other parts of the world. The name majolica was derived from Majorca, the port from which majolica originally was traded. Italian majolica and italian ceramics are world renowned because of their master craftsmanship and durability.

Italy has a long-standing tradition in the production of ceramics and pottery dating back to the 13th century. During the Renaissance, a small town in Umbria called Deruta, made use of the special clay from the Umbrian hills to establish itself as the center for the production of majolica and italian pottery. The superior majolica produced at this time, gained respect as an art form, even though many pieces were intended for everyday use. The majolica tradition continues in Deruta today, as well as in other parts of Italy.

From start to finish, all of Sberna’s italian ceramics are made by hand. Our artists extensively research forms, designs, and recipes from the Renaissance and continually are inspired by old designs to create new majolica patterns and forms. The technique used in producing Italian ceramics, however, has been passed down from generation to generation and can be summarized in four steps:

To begin, the artist cleans the clay to eliminate impurities. The clay then is shaped by skilled hands into various forms, usually on the potters’ wheel. The forms then are dried and fired for the first time. The cooled form is dipped in a mineral oxide bath, creating a white opaque background on which the designs may be precisely painted, without the risk of the glazes bleeding into one another. The mineral oxide base distinguishes majolica from other ceramics and creates the intensity of color for which Italian majolica is known. The glazes are mixed according to old recipes and the form then is hand painted, often by free hand and always meticulously, for mistakes cannot be corrected. The painted form is fired for a second time, this time for up to 24 hours. This second firing gives the piece the luster that authenticates genuine majolica.

For many, choosing to decorate their home in Italian decor is a lifestyle choice.  We love to surround ourselves with the “essence” of Italian life. Family, friends, and that comfortable, lived in feel is what we look for when decorating a home with one of a kind italian pieces. The great thing about changing up the look and feel of your own home is that a beautifully decorated home can be achieved on any budget.

We offer accessories, and Italian Decor decorating ideas. We aren’t  just going to show you beautiful pictures. We want to begin to teach you how to break each room down and give you the confidence to recreate this beautiful style in your own home.

Have fun decorating your home with these beautiful Italian style decorative accessory items. Your family will love the luxurious textures and colors of each carefully selected piece so reminiscent of the warm decorating in the style of Italy.

Italian home decor accessories are a simple way to spice up any room and they also make great gifts! Pick up a couple of decorative pieces or a cozy blanket throw in a luxurious earth tone, today. The perfect accessory is sure to please, and is an important step in elegant decorating.

Bring the famed Italian region to your home with earthy neutrals and sun-baked hues. Tuscan palettes often include shades of brown, stone, beige and cream, as well as golden yellow, gold, terra cotta, russet, sienna and brick.

Add a signature Deruta ceramic piece to your kitchen counter with all the gorgeous colors of Italy! Not only is it a whimsical to look at, its absolutely functional as a water or juice pitcher.

If you crave a more elegant look, try adding a Murano Glass bowl and setting a few lemons or apples in it on your kitchen counter. Pair these with one of a kind Murano Glass drinking glasses to complete the look.

                        

Greens are typically muted, like pear, olive, cypress, loden, sage and dark green. Feel free to experiment with more striking colors for accent, but use them in moderation and keep them tied to nature, and subdued.

Decorating possibilities include celery, bright yellow and even rich purple. If you wish to add a rejuvenating splash of color to your decor, try a cool turquoise or deep blue.

Try adding a decorative dish to your desk or front entry table to achieve this classic Italian look.

      

The famous Italian ceramic Rooster Pitcher symbolizes “Good Fortune”. Italian tradition is to  give it as a housewarming or wedding gift, to protect from trespassers and dangers. The origin of the “Rooster Pitcher” dates back to the early Renaissance period in the Republic of Florence, Italy.

During this time, one of the most powerful and leading landowning families, the Medici’s, held a feast in the nearby village of Gallina. Later that night, while everyone slept, a rival family sent assassins to assassinate a leading member of the Medici family. The assassination attempt failed when the roosters in the yards in and around the village started cackling. The assassins were caught and executed. In honor of the roosters, artisans were commissioned by the Medici family to create ceramic replicas of the roosters to be used as wine pitchers.

Medici Family.

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