Saint Lucy Bracciatelli

Santa Lucia, Palma il Giovane (1544-1628), Venezia, Chiesa di San Geremia e Santa Lucia

From my diary, today, last year:

This morning, when the battery of my car let me down in front of my daughter’s kindergarten, I started walking hastily towards work, all wrapped up in my Winter coat, cursing at Fate in a rather unwomanlike style (!).

I walked through via San Francesco, passing by the beautiful Gothic portal of the Santuario della Madonna delle Grazie which I hardly noticed, walked across the main square and headed towards my office when I had an insight which immediately brightened up my day: today it’s Santa Lucia, il giorno più corto che ci sia (Saint Lucy, the shorter day of all).

Even if the shorter day of the year falls this year on December 22nd, I like to think that from tomorrow on days will start getting longer. Mehr Licht, more light, seem to have been Goethe’s last words on his death-bed. I can see why.

Anyway, thinking of Santa Lucia, I could not but think of this feast-related Bracciatelli, some donut-looking sweet anise cakes to dip in wine (there’s also a salty version but the sweet one is that of my childhood). Funny the name: bracciatelli. They remind you of “braccialetti” (bracelets). As a matter of fact, they are called bracciatelly because children used to wear them on their arms. I bought four. Should I wear them? I would but the fact is that I’ve already eaten them all! And now, an Anise remembrance/ Is all I own (sorry about murdering Emily Dickinson’s lines but that’s exactly how I feel!)

Bracciatello di Santa Lucia (a child’s trademark is the “classic” bite before wearing it around the wrist)


  1. quale nostalgia…
    oggi una signora d’altri tempi e d’altri luoghi mi ha regalato due bracciatelli.
    io ed emily vorremmo condividerli con te.
    ci stai?!

    • Cara Anna,

      grazie per aver lasciato due commenti così deliziosi e per aver condiviso con me un caro ricordo legato alla tua infanzia! I bracciatelli che ho comperato ieri erano così larghi che avrei potuto indossarli a mo’ di coroncina in testa…

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