Christmas is a time of many different experiences for many different people. Once when we were children we thought Santa came to all the children of the world. It is only as an adult that I realised that this was not the case and that for many children of the world they do not even know about Santa nor Jesus who of course is the origin of Christmas.

Nor do many people realise that the word “Christmas” is derived from the “Christ’s mass”. Those who are not Catholic often do not know what a mass is.

However for all that, Christmas in Italy is a holiday period for most Italians and while travelling in Italy during the Christmas period one needs to remember that Italy is a Catholic country so the holiday period means just that – that a lot of businesses close down for the holiday week or two weeks.

Many restaurants and museums are closed and many of the country villages close down early at night especially if the weather is not good. I suggest phoning ahead to book restaurants otherwise you could be doing a long walk around town. Also many group tours do not run over the winter. Private guides do operate however.

It is currently a very cold winter in Italy and much snow is falling in the Dolomites so this is the time for a ski holiday in Italy. Instead of “Make hay while the sun shines” one should say “Make a snowman while the snow falls!” Normally the ski season really only gets underway in February but now with good falls, it is an early season.