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italy march events


March marks the beginning of spring in Italy, and with it
springs to life thousands of local communities, who celebrate religious
figures, age-old traditions and the best of local produce with all kinds of
exciting events. Below are some of the things you can get involved with if
you’re holidaying in Italy this March.


Festival of Saint Francesca Romana – Rome, March 9th


Known today as the patron saint of driving, Saint Francesca
Romana lived in the 1400s and founded a new order of nuns who visited and took
care of the sick. Since being awarded her status by Pope Pius in the 1920s,
drivers have brought their cars to her namesake church in Rome, where their
vehicles are blessed on her feast day. Each year on March 9th, you
can expect to see a fantastic display of hundreds of cars, from Fiats to
Ferraris.


St Joseph’s Day – all of Italy, March 19th

A day when children show appreciation for their fathers, St
Joseph’s, or St Giuseppe’s, Day was named in honour of the man who raised
Jesus. On St Joseph’s Day, fathers are given gifts from their children, and
everyone gets to enjoy the traditional zeppole – deep-fried balls of sweet
dough coated in sugar.


Palio dei Somari – Tuscany, March 20th

July and August’s Palio di Siena draws in crowds of
thousands every year, though this Palio, in nearby Torrita di Siena, provides
the same excitement with smaller crowds. This is a race with a difference – the
riders compete on the backs of donkeys, donned in traditional costumes. It’s an
event not to be missed if you’re staying in our Siena villas.


Easter Sunday – all of Italy, March 27th

Easter is one of the Catholic faith’s most important
holidays, though the Italian people also celebrate it to celebrate the coming
of spring or simply to spend some time with their families. A variety of events
take place all over Italy to commemorate the occasion, with one of the most
famous being the Explosion of the Cart in Florence. A torch lit with an ancient
flint as well as a cart filled with fireworks are led through the streets of
the city until they reach the Duomo, where the Cardinal of Florence lights the
cart with the torch, creating a dazzling display of fireworks.


La Pasquetta – all of Italy, March 28th

Traditionally a day of rest, the day following Easter Sunday
is spent in different ways, depending on where you are in the country. While
many relax with a simple picnic, some places, such as Panicale in Umbria,
decide to do something a little different – this Umbrian village holds a cheese
rolling competition every Pasquetta.


Image: Edisonblus,
available under Creative Commons

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