Don't think of Italy as only a summer destination. There are plenty of things to do and to see during the Italian spring, fall, and even winter. This series of articles provides ideas for your Italian vacation, describing regional spectacles, tourist attractions, and special events, at any time of year. Off-season Italian holidays have several advantages: You won't fight the crowds, hotels and other accommodations are easier and cheaper to find. Whatever time of year you go, every region has its own special festivals. Plan your spring Italian holidays now. Keep reading.
So you are thinking of passing your April holidays in Tuscany or elsewhere in central Italy. Donít despair; there are lots and lots of special spring events that simply arenít available in the good old summertime. Here are a few of them. Get rolling; April is almost upon us. We start our virtual tour in Tuscany on the western Tyrrhenian Sea coast and then proceed in a clockwise direction heading to The Marches on the Adriatic Sea. There are so many things to see and do in central Italy in April that this is the first of two articles.
The little town of Panzano, Tuscany located some 20 miles (30 kilometers) south of Florence, celebrates the onset of spring April 25 with its Festa della Stagion Buona, (they call it the good season and who will argue with them?). This Festa includes a parade of citizens dressed in traditional Renaissance costumes, a medieval market, and a whole lot more. Because Panzano is part of the Chianti province of Tuscany you wonít have trouble finding fine wine to accompany the local food specialties. For a change of pace visit the city of Cortona, population about 20 thousand, located about 75 miles (120 kilometers) southeast of Florence. On Aprilís fourth weekend of it plays host to the National Copper Works Fair with artistic exhibitors coming from many regions of Italy. During Aprilís final week the town of Torre del Lago, population about 11 thousand, hosts its annual Puccini Spring Festival in the open-air theater near where Puccini lived and worked.
The city of Fermignano, the Marches whose population numbers 8500, is located about 40 miles (70 kilometers) west of Ancona. It holds the Golden Frog Race (Palio) on the Sunday after Easter, for example on April 11, 2010 and May 1, 2011. Human competitors must prevent their tiny racing frogs from leaving their wheelbarrows. This frog racing tradition probably started just over four hundred years ago. After the late afternoon race there is a historical, costumed pageant and then fireworks. I wouldnít ask for frogs legs at a local trattoria. During the final week of April the city of Marotta di Mondolfo, population about 11 thousand, located approximately 25 miles (35 kilometers west of Ancona) plays host to the Sagra dei Garagoj food festival. The term ďGaragojĒ is dialect for a special fish that is cooked by local fishermen right on the beach. You might choose to accompany this fish with a Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC or a Verdicchio di Matelica DOC white wine but be careful, their quality varies greatly.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.
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April events, spectacles, and tourist attractions in central Italy