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 Friuli-Venezia Giulia on the border with Austria and Slovenia and then head southeast to Veneto. We continue south to Emilia-Romagna. There are so many things to see and do in northern Italy in April that this is the third of three articles.
Who would expect a really big Far East Film Festival in northeastern Italy? The medieval city of Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia with a population of 100 thousand is located some 80 miles (125 kilometers) northeast of Venice. This is THE place to enjoy such movies for about a week towards the end of April. At least 10 countries showcase their best films. Finish the month in the small town of Fogliano Redipuglia, population less than 3 thousand, located about 20 miles (35 kilometers) northwest of Trieste. It proudly hosts the Gran Premio regional wine exhibition-competition featuring fine local wines.
Verona, Venteto is a city of about 250 thousand. Here early April means Vinitaly, considered to be Italyís number one wine festival. Would you believe that it hosts over 3 thousand exhibitors and an estimated 100-150 thousand participants from almost 80 countries. When you get a chance visit the neighboring Agrifood exhibition, olive oil exhibition, and a showcase of technological applications for wine and olive oil.
The city of Bassano del Grappa, population of some 40 thousand is located about 20 miles (35 kilometers) north of Venice. It hosts an Asparagus Festival from the end of April to the beginning of May. This delicious celebration focuses on white asparagus, grown here for centuries after a hailstorm that forced farmers to harvest part of their crop underground. Full disclosure means I must tell you this city is also a major production center for Grappa, a grape-based brandy containing from 37% to 60% alcohol. Many people like Grappa, but itís not wine.
Jump start April a few days early in the city of Vignola, population 23 thousand by visiting its cherry festival, which offers all kinds of cherry dishes and cherry wine. The free train ride from Vignola to Bologna and back showcases the history of the cherry in a specially decorated train interior. This cheery celebration continues until mid-April. Aprilís second Sunday means a very unique commemoration. The city of Montese, population 3 thousand, proudly presents its Remembrance of Fallen Brazilian Soldiers dedicated to the 15,000 and more Brazilian soldiers who landed in Napoli in July, 1944 and fought the German army in the nearby Appenine mountains. This conflict lasted almost 8 months. More than four hundred heroic Brazilians were killed and thousands injured but these soldiers helped achieve victory at Montese and elsewhere.
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