How Italians Celebrate All Saints Day

It’s a day celebrated around the world and with Italy, it’s no different. All Saints Day is an annual celebration of Christian saints both known and unknown. A religious and historical occasion where saints and martyrs are honoured and a whole line-up of party food is enjoyed.

History of All Saints Day

All Saints Day, also known as Tutti i Santi, or La festa di Ognissanti in Italy, celebrates all those who have entered heaven. The history of this religious celebration dates back to the early fourth century. It’s a day celebrated every year on 1st November across the globe. The holiday wasn’t actually cemented though until the early seventh century by Pope Boniface IV, who devoted Rome’s Pantheon to the Virgin Mary and all martyrs.

Italian Traditions

Like British traditions for Guy Fawkes and Halloween of fireworks and trick or treating, Italy has their own traditions for All Saints Day. In Italy, All Saints Day is a public holiday and therefore, most public institutes and businesses will be closed – with many people spending the day with family and friends. Some traditions of the day include gift giving and attending church services – in Rome, the pope holds a large mass that’s open to the public. At Diforti, we have a range of food gifts and food gift ideas if you find yourself celebrating this year.

On the 2nd November, known as All Souls Day, Italians will recall the dead by bringing flowers, particularly chrysanthemums, and lighting candles at graveyards. This is their way of paying their respects to families and friends who’ve passed away. Even though this takes part after All Saints Day, it’s still considered a tradition of this holiday.

Some regions of Italy will even have parades where local school children will dress up as their favourite saint. This is another way that helps memorialize those who’ve passed and educates a new generation to continue these traditions for years to come.


All Saints Day is a feast day enjoyed by family and friends who sit down for a meal. Here at Diforti, we have plenty of authentic Italian food that you can use if you celebrate this religious day. Traditional dishes that are found during this celebration are roasted chestnuts, pumpkin risottos and truffles. Why not add some of our Sun-dried Tomatoes With Basil and Cheese to your risotto or enjoy some Italian Mixed Olives on the side or as an antipasti.

Pasta is always a good idea for a feast, especially with a large group, bring the heat to your dish with our Sicilian Hot Cherry Tomato Sauce – or mix it up with some Aubergine Parmigiana and a sprinkling of Grated Grana Padano for a truly flavoursome dish.

If you should find yourself in Italy for All Saints Day, there is still plenty to get involved with even though some places may be closed. At Diforti, we can certainly appreciate All Saints Day because of all the wonderful food that is enjoyed on this special day. Take a look at our Italian deli online for inspiration on how to celebrate it in your own home.



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