Italy is worth a trip any time of year, including the winter months. The cities and their landmarks are relatively free from the hordes of tourists, the festive decorations are stunning, and the weather is fairly mild. But most importantly, it is the winter events that should draw you to Italy over winter months, from arts festivals to lavish food festivals.
Running throughout the festive season in the Tuscan city of Florence, Florence Noel is a family event with lots of childrens activities, including a trip to see Father Christmas (Babbo Natale). There are market stalls to browse and fairground rides to try out.
White Truffle Festival
The most famous truffle fair in Italy, the White Truffle Festival is great for foodies. There is a wide range of culinary attractions, and the most expensive truffles sell for thousands of Euros. An exciting feature of the festival is the Donkey Palio. The festival takes place in Alba, Piedmont.
From November and throughout December, many cities, towns and villages play host to extravagant Christmas markets. The hundreds of stalls sell gifts and trinkets that make perfect presents for loved ones, then there is delicious food and drinks to sample, and spices and sauces to take home. Wherever you choose to stay, find out the closest market you can visit.
Feast of Immaculate Conception
On December 8th, the whole of Italy celebrates the Feast of Immaculate Conception. Every city and town throw parties, parades, with live music and dancing. There also masses held in the various churches and cathedrals. Even non-religious people will find these events special and moving. The feast is also a great time to meet some locals, as everyone is out and about.
The main focus of Christmas decorations in Italy are the presepi or nativity scenes. They can be seen in the churches, on the streets and piazzas of many towns and villages throughout the country and even Italians make their own presepi in their homes. The detail in the scenes are mesmerising; each one is completely unique from the other.
Umbria Jazz Festival
The Umbria Jazz Festival, which takes place from December 28th to January 1st, is one of the most important music festivals in the world. The winter edition has indoor and outdoor concerts, marching parades, jazz lunches and dinners, gospel singing in the gorgeous cathedral of Orvieto, and much more. For anyone visiting the region between Christmas and New Year, it is hard to miss the spectacular event.
Carnevale, also known as carnival or mardi gras, is celebrated in Italy at the end of the winter, before the 40 days of Lent starts. Though Venice has the biggest celebrations, Carnevale is celebrated across the country, with events including costume parties, elaborate masquerades and parades. Festivities tend to last a few weeks, so you if you book between the end of January and mid-February, you are to come across a few Carnevale celebrations.
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today for your winter break, and enjoy any one of these events during your holiday.
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