One of the most celebrated holidays in Italy is Christmas or Natale. Children open presents from Babbo Natale, “Father Christmas”, and houses are filled with the holiday spirit. However, the main event begins around noon when the Christmas lunch begins.
Before feasting on the main courses, most Italian families begin the meal with a large antipasto spread. This spread usually includes Italian cheeses, cured meats, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes and other Italian delicacies. While everyone is enjoying the delicious appetizers, the main courses are prepared.
Next comes the main course, the meat. Depending on the region of Italy, much like the pasta course, the types of meat dishes may vary. The most common dish is a pasta served with meat, such as a Bolognese or sausage, combined with vegetables. Other dishes include roasted veal, baked chicken, or braised beef.