Nursery and primary school children in Livorno are in for a treat this week: a special menu will be served on Friday 28th November to celebrate the Festa della Toscana, the regional holiday which falls on 30th November, a Sunday this year.
The special menu will start with potato-filled tortelli (a kind of ravioli) with meat sauce, a speciality of the Mugello region, north of Florence. This will be followed by chicken with olives "alla cacciatora", another typical Tuscan dish. And to finish? Brigidini! A speciality from Lamporecchio (province of Florence) - very thin aniseed-flavoured biscuits, always seen at local village fairs ('sagre').
1st November is All Saints' Day, or Ognissanti in Italian, and is a national holiday. The following day, the 2nd November, is dedicated to the Morti, or the dead, and is a day when people traditionally take flowers to the graves of their loved ones. Schools, banks and shops are closed.
The Festa della Toscana on 30th November was instituted in 2001 by the Regione Toscana to commemorate the abolition of the Death Penalty in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany by Pietro Leopoldo I on 30 November 1786, and to renew its commitment to the promotion of human rights, peace and justice as elements of the Tuscan identity.
Numerous events are organised for this public holid