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 visiting northern Italy in April, but youíre just not sure what to see and to do. Donít you despair; there are lots and lots of special 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 Liguria, go north to Piedmont, and then further north to Val díAosta in the Italian Alps. There are so many things to see and do in northern Italy in April that this is the first of three articles.
The Ligurian towns of Rapallo population about 34 thousand and Santa Margherita Ligure population about 10 thousand, and the village of Portofino population is only about 500, are almost neighbors approximately 20 miles (30 kilometers) east of the regional capital, Genoa. In April they unite and present Cartoons on the Bay, the International Television and Multimedia Animation Festival. The 2010 edition, number 14, takes place from April 15 to April 18. Most of the activities take place in Rapallo; the closing dinner takes place in upscale Portofino. This program offers divided into activities for both cartoon professionals and the general public. The Seventeenth Century Villa Durago in Santa Margherita Ligure hosts seminars to the professionals. But even amateurs should visit this beautiful Villa and the surrounding city. Donít miss San Giorgio Bonfire on the 23rd of April in the Portofino Piazzetta. By the way, look for lodgings in Rapallo or Santa Margherita Ligure rather than in even pricier Portofino.
Polenta festivals are very popular in this part of the world. During the third week of April the village of Bubbio, Piedmont population less than 1000, some 40 miles (sixty kilometers) southeast of Turin hosts a Polenta festival with over 1300 pounds (600 kilograms) of free polenta accompanied by sausages, onion omelets and local wine. Watch what you chomp on; some polenta contains gold items and itís finders keepers. This meal is to the tune of a medieval costume parade. The Ponti Polenta Festival held in a village of 700 some 45 miles (70 kilometers) southeast of Turin recalls the story of hungry coppersmiths and a generous Marquis. The action centers around a giant copper pot and an omelet stoked with fish.
In April the village of Brissogne, Val díAosta population about one thousand, holds its annual Rebatta Competition. Players balance a large spiked ball on the end of a pipe and toss it as far as they can. Another local game in the Tsan Competition held in the small town of Pollein, population about 1500 features a local game, said to resemble a rudimentary version of baseball without a designated hitter. The small town of Hone whose population is less than 1200 hosts a feast honoring its patron San Giorgio on April 23. San Giorgio as in Saint George, patron saint of the English. Do I have to tell you that the celebrations are quite different?
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 Northern Italy