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Category Archives: Events in Italy

Valentines Day in Italy 2013 and Beyond

Sometimes we forget that Valentines Day is actually St. Valentine’s Day. Did you know St. Valentine was Italian? We remember that as we contemplate Valentine’s Day in Italy 2013. Let’s take a look at some interesting facts on the tradition of Valentines Day in Italy, how and where it is celebrated: Who was St. Valentine? Apparently, there might actually have been more than one! According to the Roman Catholic Church’s Martyrology, the official list of recognized saints, there are no less than seven recognized St. Valentines. The one associated with Valentine’s Day was a Roman priest. For some diehard St. Valentine sightseeing, perhaps not the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day in Italy, but an interesting piece of information for future reference, St. Valentine’s skull is on display at the Basilica of Santa Maria Cosmedin in Rome. How do Italians celebrate Valentine’s Day in Italy? Italians celebrate Valentine’s Day in [...]

The Battle of the Oranges 2013: Italy’s Biggest Food Fight

Get ready for the Battle of the Oranges 2013! Italy’s largest food fight is a colorful, messy, historic, entertaining festival that takes in the days leading up to Fat Tuesday in the medieval town of Ivrea in the Piedmont region, in February each year. (This is the headquarters of Olivetti, the typewriter manufacturer.) What exactly happens during the Battle of the Oranges? It’s actually quite structured, organized chaos if you will. Nine teams, some representing rebels and others representing authority figures, throw oranges at each other with violent ferocity. The history of the Battle of the Oranges is rather racy and violent and is also loaded with class and gender symbolism. Legend has it that the festival goes back as far as the 12th or 13th century and commemorates the rebellion of a fair commoner, a miller’s daughter, who decapitated a local tyrant after he attempted to rape her on [...]

Venice Carnival 2013, It’s That Magical Time Of Year!

Venice Carnival 2013 is only months away! The annual celebration of Venice’s theatrical roots kicks off on January 26th and runs through February 12th. This year’s exhilarating lineup includes parades, walking tours, exhibitions, contests and of course the internationally famous masked balls. Absolute highlight of the Carnival in 2013 will be the Best Masked Costume Contest, judged over a period of several days amongst the color and excitement of the masked Balls at Gran Teatro of San Marco. Judging begins on the Thursday of the festival, with the winner to be announced on the Sunday. If you are lucky enough to be in Italy during Venice Carnival, you should aim to attend the three main masked balls, considered to be the Best of the event. These featured Balls are Il Ballo del Doge, the masked ball in Palazzo Pisani and the Tiepolo Ball. Tickets for these high profile feature events [...]

Celebrations and Festivals in Italy

Italy celebrates festivals all year long. Here are some highlights of some of the most important and interesting celebrations and festivals in Italy, including ones with specific dates for 2013. January January 6 La Befana Befana ( celebrated on the feast of the Epiphany) marks the end of the long christmas holiday celebrations in Italy. La Befana has a very long history in Italy. She rides a broomstick, wears a black shawl, and is dirty from tumbling down chimneys. Her prevalence has much to do with being the purveyor of gifts. On the Eve of Epiphany (January 5) she flies around and fills children’s socks with candy if they were good or a lump of coal if they were bad. Saldi Early January The Sales in Italy are tightly regulated and only happen twice a year, in January and July. The dates vary depending on the region but generally start [...]

Easter in Italy – Buona Pasqua!

When it comes to spending Easter in Italy, it’s hard to know where to begin describing the multitude of celebrations that come with the holiday. The traditions of Italy are amongst the most important in the lives of many Italians. In the week leading up to the Easter or Pasqua celebrations, women start preparing the traditional specialties while towns and parishes put the finishing touches on their plans for commemorating Good Friday. Good Friday is a special day in Italy Processions are common on Good Friday. In Chieti, in the region of Abruzzi, men and children parade through the torch-lit streets of the town, each wearing the colors of their home parish. Those in the procession carry symbols that characterize the Stations of the Cross; one individual carries a large wooden cross. The procession is accompanied by the haunting sounds of about 150 violins playing Miserere by Italian composer Savario [...]

Easter in Italy, or The Passion of Italy

When it comes to Easter, or Pasqua, in Italy, it’s hard to know where to begin describing the multitude of celebrations that come with the holiday, one of the most important to many Italians. This week, women start preparing specialties while towns and parishes put the finishing touches on their plans for commemorating Good Friday. Processions are common on Good Friday. In Chieti, in the Abruzzi region, men and children parade through the torch-lit streets of the town, each wearing the colors of their home parish. They carry symbols that characterize the Stations of the Cross; one individual carries a large wooden cross. The procession is accompanied by the haunting sounds of about 150 violins playing Miserere by Italian composer Savario Selecchy. In the Sicilian town of Enna, as many as 2,000 hooded men walk the streets carrying Vare, religious statues of the dead Christ and his mother, Mary. Others [...]