Saturday, December 21, 2013

3 Reasons We Love Cortina in December

Every year, Ryan says, "Being in Cortina in December is like living in a snow globe." Christmas here is done RIGHT, from the two giant trees in the center of town, the star lights that hang over the promenade, the advent calendar that lights up the windows of the library, and the fact that every hotel is decked.out. in Christmas lights - we ARE completely living in a snow globe (now all we need is some snow!).

The other day we were talking about the reasons we love Cortina at Christmas time, so we put together this little list, just for fun:

1. The people watching is phenomenal - contrary to popular belief in the Dingle household, my favorite December activity is NOT singing Christmas carols, but rather, sitting at a cafe and watching the people walk by. Depending on the snowfall, people start pouring into Cortina from opening weekend (usually around December 7th) all the way through New Years. The busiest week is between Christmas and New Years, and did you know that the population in Cortina goes from 6,000 to 50,000 in the winter?! All of these people seem to think they are required to wear an entire ensemble of fur to enter Cortina. Their hats, their coats, their boots, and their bags will all be covered in mink, fox, beaver, rabbit, and my personal favorite - the time I spotted a man wearing a full length bear coat, head included. Oh, the amusement is endless....

2. Christmas Markets. We are beginning to consider ourselves semi-experts in the Christmas market scene (we've hit Lienz, Bolzano, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Prague and Munich - NOT all this year, that would be a lot). What can I say? In addition to all those sparkly ornaments, deliciously spicy cinnamon sticks, mistletoe and Christmas candles, there is vin brule AND baked potatoes with garlic yogurt sauce. Please.

3. And finally - the two P's of December: Prosecco and Panettone. Now. I love Prosecco but I despise Panettone, but Ryan likes it, so it made the list. Also, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas here without panettone. What it is though, is an awfully large, usually dried out loaf of Italian fruitcake (originally from Milan) and no, it doesn't taste any better than American fruitcake. But some people like it (everyone in Italy, for example). Every year for Christmas, Ryan and the rest of the team gets a box with two bottles of Prosecco and a huge loaf of panettone:

I am not even kidding, Ryan walked in from practice like this when I was writing this, proving my point exactly. Anyway, Ryan will happily gobble up the panettone while I sip the Prosecco and watch him. We had our first encounter this year with panettone two nights ago at the team's holiday party, and it was just as I had remembered it from last year, so I won't be eating it again this month.

But December, I love you, even with panettone.