Traditional Italian Christmas Sweets: Panettone, Panforte & Pandoro


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Literally, golden bread.

Panetone, Panforte and Pandoro are some of Italy’s greatest Christmastime traditions.

The origins of these delicious traditional Italian sweets are hidden in the names, with ‘pane’ in Italian means bread. ‘Pandoro’ translates to ‘golden bread’ for its colour, ‘Panforte’ to strong/hard bread and ‘Panetone’ to big bread.

These Christmas treats were originally much more simple breads made by the poorer families. Over time they became enriched with a variety of spices, candied fruits and the like.

Pandoro hails from Verona (home of Romeo and Juliet), whilst Panetone is typical of Milan. Panforte rather is a traditional dessert from the Tuscan town of Siena.

All three are traditionally given together with a bottle of Spumante, sweet sparkling wine as a typical Italian Christmas gift.

They are served as dessert throughout the festive season, and can be made even more special with a side-serve of whipped cream or Zabaione to accompany them.


On 27th December, we’re offering a special Florence Christmas tour (other dates available upon request). You can also join us for this spectacular event for New Years in Venice!

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We at ArtViva love sharing the beauty of la dolce vita, from Italian art, history and culture to the wonderful food and wine and everything in between! Live the experience along with us through our articles and informative posts, and be sure to check out our outstanding small-group tours and experiences in Florence, Venice, Rome, Cinque Terre and beyond.
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One Response to Traditional Italian Christmas Sweets: Panettone, Panforte & Pandoro

  1. Pingback: La Befana: 1 Wise Woman » Artviva Italy Blog » The Original and Best Tours Italy