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From chocolates and honey to traditional amaretti and pandoro, here’s our pick of Italian sweet treats to tempt you

As the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” And the shops are crammed with indulgent treats of every kind. Even if you follow a more healthy regime for the rest of the year, Christmas is definitely the time to spoil your friends and family. Each Italian region has its own traditional sweetmeats, from spiced biscuits and candied fruits to enriched breads, and some of these, like pandoro from Verona, torrone (nougat) and panettone, are now firm festive favourites beyond the confines of the peninsula.

So, if you won’t be visiting Italy over the holidays to sample the delights of Roman pangiallo, pampetato in Emilia- Romagna or struffoli in Naples, try and buy these delicious treats we’ve selected for your holiday celebrations or as last-minute gift ideas.

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About Italia!

Our first stop this month is Milan, where Christmas is celebrated in style with a wealth of events to get you in the holiday frame of mind. The festive mood continues up in Como and down south in Sorrento. We also take a look at nativity tableaux (presepi) in and around Naples, where this celebratory tradition is alive and well. If you’re also looking for features without a side order of yuletide cheer, you’ll love our action-packed story from the ski slopes of Courmayeur, and our fascinating voyage of discovery around the peaceful byways of Molise.