If you’re like me, you’ve probably had enough of winter already and you’re looking forward to the start of the spring season. Spring is a wonderful time of year! It’s a time of rebirth, renaissance. It’s all about days filled with chirping birds and bright vibrant colors as the season’s first flowers tentatively poke their heads out of the ground. And spring brings the sound of squealing children as little ones make their way outside after a long winter cooped up indoors.
Perhaps your hometown has a special way to commemorate the spring season. In Italy, the lively and fun-loving residents of many small (and not-so-small) towns have their own unique way of marking the start of spring. After all, Italians will use any excuse to party and the coming of the most beautiful season of the year is as good an excuse as any!
No matter where you travel in Italy during March and April, you’re likely to find some sort of festival commemorating not only the coming of spring, but also Easter, various saints’ days, and a plethora of other occasions. What a great time to visit! Not only is there plenty to do, but the shoulder season (the time before the summer tourists arrive) offers lower air fares, reduced-price accommodations, and far fewer crowds.
Truly, springtime festivals in Italy are many and diverse. Some of the most popular include:
- Turin Chocolate Festival – Known in Italy as the ‘CioccalaTo’, this festival piggybacks on the popularity of the original Perugia Chocolate Festival, which takes place each October. The Turin event is one of the biggest festivals of its kind in the world, attracting about three-quarters of a million visitors and some big-time chocolatiers, like Venchi, Lindt and Sprungli. It’s reputed that the guests at this 2-week long festival consume about 65,000 pounds of chocolate in various forms! Delicious! This year’s event is slightly earlier than usual, running from February 22nd to March 3rd, but there’s still time to make reservations and head to Torino!
- Feast Day of San Guiseppe – A day set aside to honor St. Joseph, the father of Jesus, this feast day – March 19th – is marked by festivals held literally all over the country. The feast of San Guiseppe is also Italy’s unofficial Father’s Day. If you enjoy food, you’ll love this festival as bread and zeppole (a cream puff-type dessert) are at the center of the event. Towns also hold bonfires, parades, and pageants to honor the life of St. Joseph. The town of Siena in Tuscany organizes an annual donkey race!
- San Remo Music Festival – For five nights each March, residents and visitors to beautiful San Remo in the Italian Riviera gather to hear the best Italian singers and songs. First organized in 1951, this energetic festival for music lovers has launched many new artists into fame by way of its prestigious competition. The winners nearly always leave their mark on Italian music. Past participants include Andrea Bocelli, who won the “newcomer” award in 1994. This year’s festival begins on March 11th and runs through the 16th.
- Vinitaly – This is the country’s most important wine event, held each March or April in the ancient city of Verona, the town of Romeo and Juliet fame. It is, indeed, the largest wine show in the world, attracting some 4,000 exhibitors. This year’s event, held from April 3 to 7, marks its 42nd year. Visitors can participate in tasting or take advantage of a number of workshops and seminars pertaining to the international world of wine. Guests can also enjoy excellent food and wine pairings at local restaurants. Sumptuous!
You can also take advantage of our “Spring into Italy” special.
Get a FREE CITY TOUR with your deposit. During the month of February, you’ll receive one free city tour if you place your deposit before the end of the month. This is a great way to add value to your trip!
The excitement of an Italy tour awaits you!
Ciao and we hope to see you soon in charming Italy!