As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
A typical Christmas Eve meal in Sora is based on fish. No meat is eaten the day of a 'vigil'. There would be an antipasto of shellfish etc, spaghetti alla vongole (clams) or other seafood. Baccala (salt cod), in oil garlic and parsley, or deep fried in batter, other fish like salmon with potatoes etc. Salad, fresh fruit, and then coffee and the sweets, panetone, pandoro, susanelli cookies etc. All this followed by the arrival of Santa or the opening of presents.