Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
AuR Summer 24 700 x 180

Festival of Light: Sweden's Santa Lucia comes to Italy

Santa Lucia brightens Italy's Christmas calendar.

The 2023 festive season in Italy sees a return of a popular Swedish tradition - the celebration of Santa Lucia - thanks to the embassy of Sweden in Rome.

For more than a decade, the Swedish embassy has brought its country's evocative celebration of Santa Lucia, or St Lucy, to Italy every December.

It is in fact a homecoming for S. Lucia, an Italian Catholic martyr from Syracuse, who over the centuries has lent her name to an annual festival of light in Sweden.

Now one of the most important events on the Swedish calendar, the festival features young singers dressed in white robes and red sashes, carrying candles in procession as they sing traditional songs.

This year's celebrations will take place in Rome, Turin, Bologna, Lecce and Galatina.

The December darkness will be illuminated by the procession of S. Lucia, comprising a choir from Stockholm's Nordiska Musikgymnasiet high school who will sing traditional Christmas hymns.

The first concert will be in Bologna's Cattedrale di S. Pietro on Saturday 9 December at 16.00.

The next day, Sunday 10 December, there will be a concert in Rome at the Chiesa di Santa Lucia, Circonvallazione Clodia 133, at 18.00.

On Monday 11 December the choir will perform as part of Mass at St Peter's Basilica, in the Vatican, at 17.00.

The choir moves to Lecce on Tuesday 12 December with a concert in the Basilica di Santa Croce at 20.00.

The next day, Wednesday 13 December the choir will perform in Galatina in the Basilica di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria at 20.00.

The choir's last performance in Italy will be in Turin on Wednesday 13 December, in Villa della Regina, Strada Santa Margherita 79, at 18.00.

The S. Lucia events can be followed on social media under the hashtag #santaluciasvedese while for insights into Rome's Swedish community see Wanted in Rome feature article.

Images courtesy Ambasciata di Svezia in Italia

General Info

Address P.za di Pietra, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

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Festival of Light: Sweden's Santa Lucia comes to Italy

P.za di Pietra, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

Aur 724x450
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
AUR Summer 24 - 320 x 480
JCU 1400x360