Christmas in Calabria

Feelings and tradition.

Turdilli, dolci tipici di Calabria.

Everything appears magic during the Christmas period with the coloured lights and religious customs.

In Calabria you begin to feel the Christmas feeling from December the 8th which is the Immaculate Conception Day: this is a public holiday as in the rest of Italy, so in the evening of the day before, in every house people prepare the “cuddruriaddri or cullurelli or crespelle” (it depends on the area of Calabria). They are a kind of fried doughnuts and made with flour, boiled potatoes and brewer’s yeast.

The typical desserts for the Christmas Dinner are the “turdiddri or turdilli” and the “scaliddri or scalilli”: the first ones look like the dumplings, but they are fried and covered with honey. The second ones are a kind of intertwined donuts covered with honey or a white glaze or chocolate.

Another Christmas dessert is the “chinuliddre or chinulille” which are stuffed by “mostarda” (grape jam) or spiced “ricotta” (soft white Italian cheese) or honey with walnuts.

During these holidays in several villages they organize a real Nativity Scene: among their narrow streets, people who live there become the characters of the story of Jesus’ birth and the craftmans showing how they make the traditional hand-crafted products.

It’s a way to savour more our Christmas spirit and get to know the old traditional habits and jobs by walking and discovering the many small picturesque Calabrian villages.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Brunella Brusco

Watch the video  the “Turdiddri”

Watch the video about the perform of the Nativity Scene

Watch the pictures about the “cuddruriaddri”

Watch the pictures about the traditional desserts



  1. Cathy
    December 15th

    Lovely article. Any chance you have some of these recipes so that we can keep the traditions alive? Thank you

    • Le Vie della Perla
      December 18th

      We’ll send you the recipes, if you promise to come here for making them together 😉

  2. Debbie Marotta
    December 21st

    Would love this recipe. My husband’s family is Calabrese and tudilli was always a Christmas tradition. Much appreciated and buono natale.

    • Le Vie della Perla
      December 22nd

      Dear Debbie, we’re sending the recipe. If you’ll decide to come to Calabria we could do them together

  3. Debi Colosimo
    December 24th

    I’ve been looking for these recipes for years. Could i share them?

    • Le Vie della Perla
      December 27th

      I’ll send you the recipes as soon as possible, but you’d promise to come here for preparing them with us. 😀

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