WE ARE only just into the month of November and already Christmas is everywhere we turn.

The shops are overflowing with Christmas decorations and gift ideas, Christmas adverts are on the TV and the invitations for Christmas parties are coming in thick and fast.

Christmas really is a wonderful time of year… but let’s not forget about November.

November is an underrated month, where we are still kind of mourning the end of a summer that we feel never really truly got started, and we are excited about Christmas being right around the corner, which means we do not always stop and appreciate November for what it is.

We are well into autumn, which really is a visually stunning time of year. We get to enjoy warm, cosy nights on the sofa (before the weather gets truly, awfully freezing cold), but it is also a month that has so much going on, both here in the UK and in Italy too.

Remember, remember the fifth of November… on Sunday, November 5, we celebrate Bonfire Night here in the UK.

In Italy, there are many celebrations in the month of November. On November 1 eight is All Saints Day (the day after Halloween, also knows as All Saints Eve), and November 2 is All Souls Day – both of which are special days in Italy.

The first day is a tribute to honour all of the saints, while the second day is for honouring relatives that have passed away.

Italians visit the graves of their loved ones, placing flowers in tribute, however it is also a time of celebration, with music and events across the country.

On November 21, Festa della Madonna Della Salute is celebrated in Venice. The day commemorates Venice’s 15th century bout with the plague.

On the day, thousands of religious pilgrims travel to Venice to visit the famed Salute church, in order to thank the Virgin Mary for deliverance from the plague.

Venice is a beautiful city, rich in culture and history, that boasts many Italian dishes. One dish which originated in Venice is Risi e Bisi.

Risi e Bisi is not simply rice and peas as the name might suggest. It is a dish that is part risotto and part soup.

It was originally made for the Doge of Venice, as an offering from the peasants. These days it is simply a delicious dish that will warm you through and satisfy your taste buds on a chilly autumn night.

If you would like to make a vegetarian-friendly version of this dish, do so by simply leaving out the pancetta and the parmesan. Instead of using parmesan, use a vegetarian-friendly cheese.

Many supermarkets now offer vegetarian-friendly Parmesan-like cheese products that will work perfectly in this dish.