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Have yourself a merry Italian Christmas

Now that Christmas is coming, we are sharing our tips to make it more Italian

Grab your coziest blanket, a sweet slice of panettone, a hot drink, and stay a few minutes with us to discover our tips for a very Italian Christmas.

Keep learning Italian

Christmas book
Read a Christmas book in Italian to set the festive mood

There are so many things you can do to improve your language skills, even at Christmas. Winter and holidays make the perfect season to dedicate more time to yourself and your loved ones in the warm comfort of your home. So sit back, relax and find your ideal combination of focused study and leisure activities involving Italian. For example, you can watch your favourite TV show, read one of the comic books suggested by ScuolaScuola, or a Christmas book by Gianni Rodari such as Le più belle storie di Natale or La freccia azzurra to set the festive mood. And what about decorating your Christmas tree with new words you’d like to learn while listening to Italian Christmas songs?

Well, there are endless ways to learn Italian while having fun; you can even play with it! If you love playing with words, then riddles, crosswords, scarabeo (the Italian version of scrabble) and trivia may be among your pastimes during these holidays. But you can also play tombola with your children or fellow learners, even at a safe social distance – we’ll come back to this later. Anyway, if cooking is your passion, why don’t you create an all-Italian Christmas menu, bake some brutti ma buoni cookies, or browse the web for new recipes? And get your family involved for extra fun! Finally, don’t forget the importance of culture. Read our articles to discover more about Italian traditions and the art of Neapolitan nativity scenes while practicing your Italian reading skills.

Gift ideas for travel and language enthusiasts

gifts
Have you already written your letter to Babbo Natale?

Are you looking for an original present for a friend or – why not? – a gift for yourself? We are glad to help! Here you’ll find a list of Christmas gifts for travel and language lovers.

2020 may not have been the best year for travelling, but we’re all looking forward to packing our bags again next year. And packing boxes would be really helpful! For those who would like to discover new places from home, there are travel-themed subscription boxes: choose one of these and receive books, tea, sweets, bookmarks and handcrafted products from different parts of the world every month. To allow your friends to keep track of all the countries they’ve already visited and plan future trips, a scratch map would be a nice and original choice. For real language enthusiasts who love playing with words, we suggest board games or a magnetic poetry kit in their target language – they’ll definitely fall in love with them. If you’re out of ideas for a small gift, flash sticks are the solution: these color-coded and illustrated post-it notes will help them learn vocabulary more effectively.

However, if you’re looking for a meaningful gift for a special person who’d really love to learn or improve their Italian, you can choose a ScuolaScuola gift card, available for any language level and need.

It’s time to play tombola!

tombola calling board
Detail of a tombola calling board

In Italy, Christmas holidays are synonymous with tombola. Waiting for midnight on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, or after the never-ending traditional lunches on December 25th and January 1st, families play tombola, a board game very similar to bingo, which originated in Naples in the 18th century as an alternative to the official lottery. TombolaGratis.it is a website that allows you to play tombola with your friends and colleagues, no matter the distance! All you need is your device and your best holiday spirit. This website reproduces some traditional features of tombola such as beans to cover the numbers that have been called, and quotations from La Smorfia Napoletana, which associates an event or a dream to a number. Let’s get ready to play tombola with some useful words and the most famous number-event associations.

Glossario per la Tombola:

cartella: card

tabellone: calling board

ambo: two in a row

terna: three in a row

quaterna: four in a row

cinquina: five in a row

tombola: all numbers in a card

The most famous number-event associations:

1, Uno, l’Italia = Italy

5, Cinque, la mano =  the hand

8, Otto, la Madonna = Virgin Mary

13, Tredici, Sant’Antonio = Saint Anthony

17, Diciassette, la sfortuna = misfortune

25, Venticinque, il Natale = Christmas

33, Trentatré, gli anni di Cristo = Christ’s age

47, Quarantasette. il morto = the dead man

48, Quarantotto, il morto che parla = dead man talking

66, Sessantasette, le due zitelle = two spinsters

77, Settantasette, le gambe delle donne = women’s legs

88, Ottantotto, i caciocavalli = two caciocavallo cheese

90, Novanta, la paura: fear

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