Enjoy Christmas in Emilia-Romagna.
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 winter vacation, describing regional spectacles, tourist attractions, and special events, and sometimes skiing and other winter sports. Italian winter 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 winter festivals. When we say winter, we mean November to February; spring comes early in Italy. Donít look here for information about Italyís marvelous Carnivale; we are planning a separate series covering regional Carnivale celebrations. Talk about planning; start organizing your Italian winter holidays now. Keep reading.
Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy is known for its fine cuisine, and not for mild winters. But you can still have a fine winter holiday there. You may want to start in the Savigno Sagra del Tartufo (Savigno Truffle Festival) held on the first three Sundays in November or a similar festival held the first weekend of November in Sasso Marconi. The regional capital of Bologna hosts a Jazz Festival for about a week in early November. The third weekend of every month the city of Ravenna offers an antique market. The following weekend is Modenaís turn. Why not go to both and compare the offerings?
There are scads of Christmas markets in Emilia-Romagna during the month of December. Check the dates carefully. Given the regionís reputation, donít be surprised that many of this Christmas markets focus on gastronomy as well as handicrafts. As an added attraction, many of these Christmas markets are held in mountain huts.
Bolognaís basilica consists of several interconnected churches. The oldest existing building is the Santi Vitale e Agricola which contains a Fourteenth Century Nativity Scene. The seaside city of Cesenatico hosts a very unusual floating nativity scene in the harbor designed by none other than Leonardo Da Vinci. Make sure to see it at night.
Italy is great for modern art. And that's no Baloney.
Bologna traditionally celebrates New Year's Eve with the Fiera del Bue Grasso (fat ox fair) in which an ox is festooned with flowers and ribbons from its horns to its tail. Church bells peal, people light candles, and enjoy the fireworks. The celebration ends with a lottery whose winner gets to keep the ox. The seaside city of Rimini holds a huge New Year's Eve festival in Piazzale Fellini. There's music, dancing, and entertainment and a spectacular fireworks display but ox lovers will have to go to Bologna.
The end of January Bologna celebrates Arte Fiera, a large international contemporary art Fair. This is followed by the month long Bologna Art First in which the old town celebrates modern art at over a dozen locations. And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Emilia-Romagna 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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Winter events, spectacles, and tourist attractions in Emilia-Romagna, Italy