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 Italian holidays now. Keep reading.
In some parts of Italy winter is really winter.
So you are thinking of visiting northern Italy in February, but youíre not sure what to see and what to do. Donít 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; February is almost upon us. We start our virtual counterclockwise tour in the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia in the northeast corner of Italy. Then itís east to Lombardy, south to Liguria, and west to Emilia-Romagna.
Iva Zanicchi at the San Remo Song Festival.
Every February the town of Pordenone holds a Costumed Kangaroo Court. I would try to avoid getting traffic tickets in this period. Pracchiuso is well known for its St. Valentine's Day celebration. The Italian Winter Triathalon with foot racing, mountain biking and skiing starts in Friuli ski resort of Piancavallo. This competition, also known as SnowForTri, continues into March.
Our second region is Lombardy where the town of Berbenno di Valtellina hosts a medieval festival in honor of Saint Benigno De' Medici. Get up early for a parade in the morning. Saint Faustino is the patron saint of both Italian singles and for the city of Brescia that celebrates with fireworks. Lucky singles may set off their own fireworks.
Emilia-Romagna is the gastronomic capital of Italy so if you get hungry watching (or participating in) Cesenaticoís Tug of War World Indoor Championships youíll be able to satisfy your appetite with some great food. Donít plan on coming or coming back to the 2011 competition, this competition moves every year.
We end our virtual tour in Liguria, the Italian Riviera. February weather in this charming part of the world may take a turn for the better. But I canít promise you that. On the first Sunday of the month the small town of Pieve hosts a Mimosa Festival honoring this beautiful yellow flower in a region known for its flowers. Youíll see plenty of floats festooned with flowers, and nearly everyone is wearing or carrying Mimosas. Bring your appetite. The little town of Taggia hosts a Historical Parade towards the end of the month. This celebration first started in 1626. And make sure to visit the town center and view the medieval bridge. The best-known and most widely attended celebration in northern Italy during February is the San Remo Song Festival. They say life has no guarantees but the winner of this competition has a great chance for an Italian singing career. San Remoís population bounds from 50 thousand to about 200 thousand so donít count on getting a hotel room at the last minute. Just so you know, this festival starts on the second Tuesday of February and goes until Sunday. And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine local wines.
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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February events, spectacles, and tourist attractions in northern Italy