Donít 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 spring vacation, describing regional spectacles, tourist attractions, and special events, and sometimes sports. Italian spring holidays have several advantages: You wonít fight the crowds, hotels and other accommodations are easier and cheaper to find, and every region has its own spring festivals. When we say spring, we mean March to May; spring comes early in much of Italy. Start organizing your Italian spring holidays now. Keep reading.
Castel dell Ovo Naples, Spring in Bloom.
Campania is the beginning of southern Italy. It lies on the Tyrrhenian Sea and is truly a land of contrasts. Many areas such as parts of Napoli, the regional capital and Italyís third largest city, remain largely poverty stricken. And other areas such as the Isle of Capri and the Amalfi Coast are favorites of the jet set. Because this is southern Italy, it gets hot early in the year. So you may want to focus on spring touring. The village of Paestum, population under one thousand, near the coast in southern Campania holds a traditional celebration of the Immaculate Conception with a fair and outdoor market near the end of March.
Port of Salerno, don't miss the food fair.
On April fifth the town of Montoro Superiore, population about 9 thousand, further north up the coast holds a traditional pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Crowned Virgin, commemorating the legend of a mad bull who was spared from slaughter via the miraculous intervention of the Crowned Virgin. On the same day Napoli celebrates the Feast of Saint Vincent Ferreri with a mix fried hot peppers and melons. Donít look for it all over Naples; this delicacy is restricted to the Stella neighborhood. Spring...in Naples - Windows in Bloom is the city's annual event dedicated to creativity. Art, architecture, design and fashion groups perform at the Castel dell'Ovo, a Twelfth Century fortress overlooking the Porto Santa Lucia in the Gulf of Naples. This location is spectacular.
The port city of Salerno, population about 150 thousand, is about 35 miles (55 kilometers) southeast of Naples. On the first weekend of May it celebrates Fieravecchia, one of Europe's oldest fairs that dates all the way back to the year 1259. This medieval pageant has been transformed into a food trade fair showcasing literally hundreds of types of local pasta (donít forget that we are in southern Italy), olive oils, salamis, canned and dried tomatoes, and wines. A major focus is limoncello, a sweet, lemon-tasting local liqueur. Festivities include a street pageant, music, artisan vendors and an unforgettable food attraction such as a 2,000 egg omelet. And letís not forget the water buffalo mozzarella cheese.
The end of May in the town of San Andrea di Conza, population about 2000, means the Maggiaiole (May Day Festivities). The local young girls devoutly march to Conza with their heads covered by a white handkerchief and a crown of gooseberry vines leading the populace. This manifestation effectively signifies the return of the people of Saint Andrea to Conza, their place of origin. And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Campania or other Italian 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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Spring events, spectacles, and tourist attractions in Campania