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 spring vacation, describing regional spectacles, tourist attractions, and special events, and sometimes sports. Italian spring holidays have several advantages: You won’t 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.
Udine Far East Film Festival, northwest of Trieste.
The multicultural region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia forms the northeast corner of Italy bordering on the Italian region of Veneto, Austria, Slovenia, and the Gulf of Venice. Fruili’s capital and largest city, Trieste, was only ceded to Italy in 1954, in a sense ending World War II. Given the fact that this region is so far north, don’t be surprised that March is not really springtime here. Take a look at the map and you’ll see why almost everywhere in this region is northwest of Trieste.
Partly because of the temperature Friuli festivals and events start slowly in March. The village of Forni Avoltri, population 700, situated on the Austrian border some 80 miles (130 kilometers) northwest of Trieste hosts an unusual traditional celebration; the young folk throw circular burning pieces of wood, called lis cidulis, down from the hilltops on March 19. The city of Pordenone, population 50 thousand will hold its annual festival Dedica 2010 from March 13 to March 27 dedicated to the perhaps not so famous to most of us here German writer, Hans Magnus Ezensberger.
Il Paese dei Balocchi, Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
Who would expect a really big Far East Film Festival in northeastern Italy? The medieval city of Udine, population 100 thousand located some 80 miles (125 kilometers) northeast of Venice is the place for such movies during a week or so at the end of April. At least 10 countries participate. Then finish the month at the small town of Fogliano Redipuglia, population under 3 thousand, located about 20 miles (35 kilometers) northwest of Trieste which hosts the Gran Premio regional wine exhibition-competition. This region is well known for its wine and you will see why.
By early May the weather warms up. On 2nd of May the town of Coseano, located some 52 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Trieste, hosts its annual “Coseano Vie d’Artista”, a festival in which more than two hundred artists display their paintings on the town streets. Then bring the kids to the “Il Paese dei Balocchi” (Toyland) in the town of Rive d’Arcano, population about 2,500, also located some 52 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Trieste. You’ll all enjoy Pinocchio accompanied by lots of music and games. In mid-May the mountainside church of S. Pietro Zuglio located about 70 miles (110 kilometers) in guess which direction from which city you’ll find the Kissing of the Crosses Celebration. Numerous crosses from all the churches in the surrounding valley are paraded and then brought to this hilltop church. Participants marching in single file touch the cross of Saint Peter symbolizing Peter's devoted kiss to Jesus.
May also means the International Chair Salon in Udine, the Sapori Pro Loco gastronomical festival in Villa Manin di Codroipo, a poetry festival in Monfalcone on the coast, and a musical festival in Pordenone. There’s even a sundial festival in Aiello. And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Friuli-Venezia Giulia 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 Friuli-Venezia Giulia