Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart


What do you eat in Santa Lucia in Italy?

What do you eat in Santa Lucia? Traditional recipes

Saint Lucia is a day full of culinary traditions in Italy, where food becomes the protagonist of celebrations and rituals that vary from region to region. The peculiarity of this day is the absence of bread and pasta at the table, replaced by creative and tasty dishes.

In the south, she is deeply felt as she is the Patroness of Syracuse, and popular dedication invokes her as protector of sight due to the etymology of her name from the Latin Lux, light.

In the North, this day is also very religious but it is also an opportunity to gather the family around tables laden with delicacies that pay homage to local traditions.

In fact, it would seem that Saint Lucia, after her death, obtained permission to return to earth annually on the night between 12 and 13 December, bringing food and gifts to children who behaved well.

This tradition is still alive, especially in the regions of Northern Italy.

Traditions and meaning of Saint Lucia's day

Saint Lucia's day is, as well as an opportunity to enjoy culinary delicacies, a day of celebration dedicated to light and generosity. The tradition of treating oneself to delicious foods symbolizes abundance and sharing, central values ​​of this holiday.

However, let's see some typical recipes that are eaten on the day of Saint Lucia.


Risottos are a key element of the Santa Lucia lunch. From the lands of the North to the heat of the South, risottos of all kinds are prepared. Those with seafood, fragrant and rich in flavour, are very popular in coastal areas, while in the north people often opt for risottos with mushrooms or saffron.


In Sicily, and in particular in Palermo, panelle are one of the undisputed protagonists of Saint Lucia's day. These delicious chickpea flour pancakes, crunchy and tasty, are often served between two sheets of paper to be enjoyed comfortably on the street.

Baked capon or chicken

Baked capon is a renowned dish, often served as a main course during the Christmas and pre-Christmas holidays. The capon meat, cooked slowly in the oven, becomes soft and succulent, creating an unforgettable gastronomic experience while always remaining in the simplicity of tradition.


Timbales, especially those made with meat and rice, are symbolic dishes of Saint Lucia. These baked preparations, rich and tasty, embody the tradition and conviviality that characterize this holiday.

Chard and herb flan

Chard, a vegetable widely grown in northern regions, can be made into a delicious casserole. A mix of chard, eggs, cheese and herbs creates a traditional, colorful and tasty dish.


In Sicily, arancine are an inevitable presence on the tables of Santa Lucia. These stuffed rice balls, often with meat sauce, peas, mozzarella and saffron, are fried to a golden crust that makes them irresistible.

Why don't you eat bread and pasta in Santa Lucia?

The choice to exclude bread and pasta from the table on Saint Lucia's day is linked to religious traditions.

December 13th is, in fact, associated with the period of spiritual preparation for Christmas, called "advent time".

During this period, abstinence from foods considered "rich" is preached. So, bread and pasta are replaced by equally delicious and filling alternatives.

What do you eat in Palermo on Saint Lucia's day?

In Palermo, the table of Santa Lucia is enriched by unique flavors and local traditions.

The panels, as already mentioned, are a fundamental presence.

Alongside them, you can find sfincionello (high and soft pizza), sfincia di San Giuseppe (typical dessert made with rice, honey and sugar), and cuccìa (sweet dish based on wheat cooked in milk, ricotta and sugar) as a final dessert .

Why are chickpeas eaten in Santa Lucia?

The use of chickpeas, especially in the preparation of panelle, is rooted in Sicilian traditions linked to Saint Lucia. Chickpeas, rich in proteins and nutrients, are an ideal substitute for bread and pasta and lend themselves to many creative and tasty recipes.

Santa Lucia, therefore, is not only a feast for the eyes but also for the palate, with dishes that celebrate the richness of Italian tradition. Bon appetit and happy Saint Lucia's Day!