Treat yourself with an exclusive dinner in a noble villa in Chianti hills. From Rome To Venice. Breath the atmosphere of the Eternal city and discover the vibrant Trastevere area eating like For your Dine-Around Evening, you are offered a selection of hand-picked local restaurants to choose from, each with its own distinctive ambience and cuisine..
Visit a local winery passed down through the generations and taste their latest vintages with a master vintner.. Cruise to the charming fisherman's island of Burano to enjoy a delicious Celebration Dinner with wine and new-found friends.. Highlights Coastal Trails - 5 day walks including the spectacular 'Walk of the Gods'.
Capri - Day trip to explore to the more peaceful areas of this stunning island.
Food and drink - Chance to make you own pizza,fresh cheese and sample homemade organic wine. This relaxed walking holiday explores the trails of the spectacular Amalfi Coast from clifftop hikes Meet Michelangelo's David in Florence and discover the city beneath the centuries of Renaissance art. The Leaning Tower of Pisa may be Pisa's most iconic image, but the city offers so much more.
La dolce vita - the good life - is exactly what the Best of Italy Discover year-old history in Pompeii. Walking The Amalfi Coast. The Amalfi Coast is one of the most dramatic coastlines in Europe. Feel La Dolce Vita while sipping espresso alongside sharp-dressed locals on the glamorous Sorrentine Peninsula.
Indulge in authentic, traditional pizza in the place of its birth — Naples. If you want a short trip packed with diversity, then this tour of southern Italy Highlights Milan art, historical and fashion districts. Como Lake and Como Hills. Boat tour to Bellagio. Milan And Como Lake Discovery. Enjoy the slow life of Como Lake on a boat tour to Bellagio and the Highlights Baroque Lecce and cristal-clear sea in Salento. Enjoy a fun cookery class and wine tasting.
Discover The Heel Of Italy. Puglia, known for its whitewashed hill towns, traditional farmland, fine cuisine and sweeping Mediterranean coastline Highlights Enjoy a walking tour of Rome, see some of its major sights. Take a boat ride on the canals of Venice. Explore the pristine beaches of Cinque Terre. Rome To Venice Tour. Don't miss this opportunity to discover the cities and the cultures of Italy. Next Departures Feb 23 Feb Highlights Experience medieval and Renaissance delights.. Discover a passion for regional wines and Italian cuisine..
Savour the sea views and Tuscan hills.. From the villages of the Cinque Terre to Tuscany's medieval splendour, this is an Highlights Tuscan landscapes - Walks amongst vineyards, rolling fields and avenues of cypress trees. Wine tastings - Sample some of Italy's finest wines from Chianti to Brunello. Wine Trails Of Classic Tuscany.
Rolling hills, medieval hilltop towns and great food and wine are all part of this Highlights Step back in time among the olive groves, ancient villages and medieval architecture of Amalfi. If it was good enough to be the holiday destination of Roman emperors, the idyllic city of Capri is good enough for anyone.
Cast adrift along the breathtaking Amalfi Coast and travel to the glittering jewels of the Highlights Cycling through the beautiful Tuscan countryside. Experiencing fabulous towns such as Volterra, San Gimignano and Siena. Exploring the Chianti region at handle bar level. Cycle the rolling hills of Tuscany to experience historic hill top towns. Ride a traditional traghetto gondola in Venice. Discover the history, architecture and food It is often enjoyed with the bright citrus of a fresh orange peel.
The time of day has a heavy influence on the type of drinks Italian will order. This type of drink is not common for Italians to order, however visiting the local barista multiple times a day for coffee breaks is normal behavior for most Italians. Each region of Italy boasts its own special flavors of coffee, adhering to the local palates shaped by the cuisine and cultural history over the centuries. In the late 17th century Vienna exiled the occupying Ottomans with the help of the Venetian Republic. The retreating army abandoned approximately bags of coffee, beginning the coffee drinking tradition in Austro-Hungarian Empire and Italy, most notably Venice.
Coffee in Venice continues to in the traditions of its heritage with well-rounded aromatics of a Middle Eastern and Central Asian vanilla fragrance. Milan coffee is light, delicate, and fine, connoting the high-speed pragmatism of the industrial city. The fast-paced urbanites drink their espresso quickly before heading to the office. The regions of Piedmont and Liguria produce sweet and delicate coffee shaped by the world wards, turning coffee into a small luxury in which to indulge.
Neapolitans prefer their coffee intense and dark, with Neapolitan espresso becoming the worldwide embodiment of Italian coffee standards in style and quality. The nomenclature of coffee changes between cities as well, with the city of Trieste claiming the most creative terms for its most popular beverage. The official language of Italy is Italian. However, there exist many different dialects dependent upon the region. Groups along the northern border of France speak with an accent heavily influenced by a history of French occupation, along with the fluidity of the border connecting republics to the French monarchy.
German is also spoken with prevalence in the mountains along the Swiss and Austrian borders due to deep border connection with former German-speaking monarchies and the occupation of eastern Italy by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Beyond language, Italians remain loyal more to their hometowns than to their country, with ancient feuds continuing to draw families together or wedge them apart. Italy is accessible through various modes of transportation, with the major cities reachable by train and small towns accessible by car or bus.
The way you travel across Italy will offer different experiences through the various perspectives spanning train tracks, country roads, and vast coastline. The view can also change dramatically between driving a car, having a private chauffeur, or riding like an Italian on a Vespa. The train system in Italy is the most popular way to travel around Italy.
The national company is Trenitalia, which runs most services, with the private company Italo offering high-speed trains between Turin in the north and Salerno in the south, along with Venice to Naples, or Brescia to Naples. All three services top in Bologna, Florence, and Rome before reaching their final destinations.
It is important to make reservations on high-speed trains, especially when traveling during peak season. Like with airline travel, the earlier you book a train ticket through Trenitalia or Italo, the more variety you will have and the greater the savings. Many trains also offer 1st- and 2nd- class seating, with the regular sections reaching prices half as expensive as the luxury compartments. Consider the different types of train services before booking the trains.
InterCity services are faster and can also travel to destinations outside of Italy on EuroCity lines. Italy has an extensive network of motorways, state-funded highways, and local streets making exploration by car easy, with even the most remote village accessible. Cars drive on the right side of the road, consistent with the United States and Canada. When on the highway, drivers are allowed to overtake other cars on the left. You must always drive with your headlights on, day or night, when outside of cities, most notably on country roads.
Unless otherwise indicated, the speed limits in Italy are:. Traveling by bus can be an easy, efficient, and cheaper way to access the smaller towns and villages in the secluded areas of Italy not connected to the main cities by rail. Buses connect the vast streets of Rome, along with the InterCity bus companies reaching smaller towns such as Assisi in Umbria or Alberobello in Puglia.
Bus companies sell their tickets through agencies in large cities, online, or at the station when traveling to different areas of Italy. In small towns, villages, and cities local buses sell tickets in bars or directly on the bus. Advanced booking is often not required but is advisable during high season, especially for long-haul trips or when trying to travel on a Sunday to a destination unreachable by train.
Traveling by a private chauffeur through Italy makes exploring easy and the small towns around each region accessible. Transferring or touring with a private chauffeur allows you to relax and enjoy the scenery Italy without the worries of navigation or paying attention to the rules of the road in a different country. The train offers fast, frequent, and cheap travel across the country, and remains the most popular form of travel for Italians and visitors.
Private transports between distant cities can be expensive and do not always reach their destination faster than the high-speed trains. The best way to appreciate the comforts and luxuries of a private transfer is to experience each individual region. For example, if staying in Italy and wanting to explore the famous medieval towns unconnected by the railways, a private chauffeur provides a perfect, stress-free alternative to renting a car, along with the freedom of staying or going at your preferred time as opposed to the time set by a tour company or bus schedule. Some of the best places to enjoy the services of a private chauffeur are:.
There is no shortage of festivals to celebrate in Italy no matter the season or month of the year. Attending one or more festivals when visiting Italy can turn a great vacation into a memory your family and friends will want to hear over and over again.
It is important to note that national holidays in Italy are public holidays, which means many workers have the day off, including workers in tourism and transportation. The following list offers a comprehensive calendar of the major festivals and celebrations across Italy. The list includes a selection of national holidays--when banks, businesses, and major attractions close -- legal holidays, and regional events or festivals, which provide a better experience during your travels, including the possibility in celebrating like a local.
December 31st to January 1st — The passion and style Italians bring to the fashion world carry into their celebrations of the New Year. Festive ambiance erupts in the cities, towns, and villages from the tip of Sicily to the top of the Italian Alps. The meal is less family oriented than on Christmas but remains a large part of the holiday, complete with certain dishes popular for their commitment to tradition and symbolism. Pork ushers in a new year with a commitment to the richness of life.
Lentils symbolize money, with each bean representing a coin to bring wealth and prosperity in the coming year. Grapes, a delicious crop harvested late summer and early autumn, embodies frugalness, so Italians who gain their fortune in the next year will spend their money wisely. The custom has ancient roots, deriving from the belief that only a prudent person could have saved a portion of their grape harvest for a celebration of the new year. Cities, towns, and villages fill with an uproar of excited locals eager to spend their time on amidst the community, with bonfires and light displays filling main piazzas.
Fireworks displays fill the sky at midnight for a celebratory exhibition. The farther south you travel in Italy, the grander the fireworks display. Naples provides the largest spectacle in Italy. Larger cities, such as Naples, Bologna, Palermo, Rome, and Milan turn the evening into an outdoor festival, often using pop and rock bands to emphasize the jovial atmosphere. Southern Italians throw their old crockery out the window at midnight. The custom has transitioned to many locals crashing pots and pans together from their front door to frighten away spirits in the new year.
Pay attention to the first person who helps you celebrate after midnight. Custom dictates that someone older or of the opposite sex brings signs of long life or luck in love, respectively. The party carries on early into the morning. Many Italians choose to stay in the main squares or venture to a perfect viewpoint at which to watch the sunrise. New Years Day, also known as Capodanno, is quiet in the morning. Adults sleep late, resting after a long night of festivities. Trains and buses run on a holiday schedule on December 31st and January 1st. The methods of transportation still run between cities but travel few and far between their normal consistent times.
This leads to an overcrowding of train cars and sold out buses. It is better to stay in your location until after the celebration. If you must travel over the New Year, book all your transportation ahead of time; this includes taxis or private transfers, as many people working in local transport also choose to take a break during national holidays.
Epiphany Epifania — January 6th — The iconic image of Christmas in the English-speaking western world depicts a child running down the stairs to find presents Santa left in the night, with elegant wrapping glinting beneath a lush tree. Italian children receive their Christmas gifts on the Feast of the Epiphany. While Italy does have a character similar to Santa Clause, who visits on Christmas, it is La Befana from whom the children wait for a visit. La Befana is a witch who travels around Italy on a broomstick on the eve of January 5th, bringing presents to the good girls and boys of the country and lumps of coal to those who have been naughty.
The legend dates back to the Three Wise Men, who stopped at a small shack on the way to the manger to ask for directions. They met an old woman and invited her to join their party. She refused at first, but after seeing the bright light in the sky attempted to follow their path to reach the manger. The woman was lost and never heard from again. Ever since, she travels around on her broomstick on the 11th night of Christmas, bringing gifts to children in the hopes she might one day find the baby for whom she originally set out.
Cities and towns across Italy celebrate the holiday in their own unique way. A procession forms along the wide avenue leading to Vatican City with participants dressed in medieval costumes. Hundreds of people carry symbolic gifts for the pope before the Bishop of Rome leads morning mass in St. Flag throwers perform in medieval uniforms in Piazza della Signoria, under the shadow of the Palazzo Vecchio.
Smaller towns celebrate with live nativity scenes, with locals donning the costumes of the historical characters involved. Venice holds an annual regatta, with participants dressing like the fabled witch. One of the most notable festivals takes place in Urbania, in the region of. The Epiphany is a national holiday and therefore disrupts the normal train and bus schedules. You can avoid the inconvenience by booking any transportation ahead of time or staying in your respective destination to join in the celebrations with the locals.
Flag Day Giornata Nazionale della Bandiera — January 7th — The flag is an important symbol of Italy, representing the unification of what was once separate city-states, proud kingdoms, and also occupied territories under Spanish, French, and Austro-Hungarian sovereignties. The Tricolore was originally created as a representation of the Cispadane Republic in the s, which is currently the region of Emilia-Romagna.
The red and white represented the French flag, under whose authority the region fell in the 18th century. The colors also have a deeper meaning. Red represents charity, white symbolizes faith, and green embodies hope. A selective part of the Italian Republic celebrates Flag Day with vigor, with the majority of celebrations concentrated in the region of Emilia-Romagna and the cities of Bologna and Reggio Emilia. The most notable ceremony takes place in Rome at 3.
Large cities around the country organize ceremonies, public initiatives, meetings, and lessons to provide locals and visitors a chance to reflect on the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany, its supports, and its allies, which included the Social Republic of Italy under the administration of Mussolini. The yearly commemoration also allows Italy to shed light on the lesser-known stories of victims and heroes of the Holocaust through different mediums of storytelling.
Over the years the memorial has brought to the forefront the Foibe, a term symbolically referring to the disappearances or killings of Italian peoples in Yugoslav occupied territories. The annual event also offers insight into the role Italy played during as an ally to Germany, which lasted from to Many people from around Italy travel to the national museum of Risiera San Sabba in Trieste, the only concentration camp located on Italian soil. Nazi Germany managed the camp from to , engaging in the systematic murder of political prisoners and members of the Jewish and LGBT community.
Milan also has a popular and moving Shoah Memorial providing exhibits and tours in English and Italian, located in the Central Station once used to transfer deportees away from the prying eyes of the city. The festival celebrates an Irish monk who traveled the region handing out wooden sandals to the poor, giving way to a celebration lasting more than a millennium.
Craftspeople bring objects carved from wood, keen on demonstrating their mastery of the material for two days. Local restaurants serve regional specialties. The vendors showcase grolle, a cup with many spouts used for sharing wine, along with mortars and pestles, ladles, and instruments used to remove cream from milk. The most popular items on display are the wooden sandals known as socques. The fashionable footwear resembles clogs made with wooden soles and a leather top. The tradition of the leatherwork dates back to Roman times.
Artisans also exhibit other skills over the two days, such as weaving, wrought ironwork, looming, lacework, and how to properly use wicker. The blossoms connote the spring, with their delicate pink and white buds indicated the warmer weather is not too far behind. The folk festival has spread a message of peace, integration, and cooperation between peoples since The highlight of the day celebration culminates with song and dance performances accompanying a parade winding through the streets of the city.
The ancient Greek edifices of the Valley of the Temples acts as a backdrop to the special event, with the remains of the seven Doric temples providing an example of the interconnectivity of the world. You can follow the parade through the city and participate in the folk dances taking place along the cobblestone streets and inside the public squares leading to the Temple of Concord, the largest and best-preserved Greek architecture in the ancient city. Carnival Carnevale — Exact dates change annually — Carnival is the most famous holiday of February, conjuring images of Venetian masks, grand regattas, elegant banquets, and a constant celebration of debauchery.
The true winter festival has pagan roots and was adapted to fit the Catholic rituals and calendar. The holiday falls on one day each year, but cities across Italy have elongated the celebration into a festival lasting weeks before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Historically people wanted to indulge in sugar, meat, and fats before restricted by a religious diet for 40 days. Children throw confetti in the streets. This same belief gave way to participants wearing elaborate costumes and participating in masquerade balls in private or public spaces.
The festivities gained prominence in the Italy in the 13th century, with visitors traveling from around the world to watch and partake in fabulous costumes, dramatic masks, and captivating ambiance. Carnival begins on the holiday known as the Feast of Maries, Festa delle Marie, which began as a Venetian custom when the Doge offered jewels to humble Venetian girls as bridal dowries. Venice begins celebrating two weeks on average before the start date of calendar holiday. Parades take place on the Grand Canal featuring gondolas and children take part in fun activities in the family-friendly neighborhood of Cannaregio.
Carnival is not a considered a national holiday, so the train and bus schedules are not affected. However, staying in a city such as Venice during Carnival can be stressful due to the large crowds and limited accommodations. Be sure to book your accommodations and travel to a city known for a grandiose Carnival celebration before arriving in Italy. The Feast of St.
Holidays to Italy
Agatha — February 5th — The celebrations of the Feast of St. Saint Agatha lived during the 3rd century AD and remains a popular figure in the hearts and minds of locals of Catania more than 1, years later. The city stops for three days to commemorate the woman, Agatha, who refused the advances of a Roman prefect, resulting in her torture and eventual sentence to life in prison. The festival begins with mass on the dawn of February 3rd. The midday parade carries eleven candle-shaped structure symbolizing historic guilds, connected to the local Senate.
The following day members of the church place a statue of St. Agatha and her relics on a 40,pound silver carriage. It takes 5, men to lift the carriage and carry the emblem down Via San Giuliano as nuns from churches around the city chant. Local officials estimate approximately 1 million people line the streets to participate in the celebrations during the three-day festival.
The document offered an alliance between Italy and the Vatican, separating the heart of the Catholic religion into its own independent principality, unattached to the governance in Rome. The pact is named after the Lateran Palace in Rome, where the treaty was signed. The treaty consisted of political, financial, and concordat issues between to the two states, including letting the Church influence public education in Italy. The holiday passes without much fanfare across the country. However, both Italy and Vatican City recognize the pact, updating the treaty most recently as , sharing views regarding international issues and foreign relations policy.
Shop windows in the main cities represent the customary reds and pinks of the holiday in the naturally adoring ambiance cast by the historic city centers and gorgeous landscapes in the north and south of the country. The devotion to the holiday varies depending more on the city and its romantic history than on the location of the city itself. The sleepy town awakens annually as the center of romance along the coast, bordered by olive and mimosa groves.
Hearts decorate the streets and traditional fishing nets adorning the harbor wall. A marketplace on the promenade specializes in confections, cakes, pastries, and jewelry. Shops participate in a window-dressing competition, while poets and artists partake in contests of their own dedicated to the theme of love. Chefs and bartenders also offer classes on Valentine recipes, from cocktails to desserts.
The small town of Terni in Umbria decorates the streets with lights and inviting hearts. The Basilica of St. The festivities are spread over six weeks, beginning February 1st and ending in mid-march. Young couples participate in the Festa della Promessa, and the locals indulge in sweet treats during the Cioccolentino, a celebration of decadent chocolate. On the evening of February 14th, the city glows by candlelight for the final touch of romance. Italians passion and love of a good celebration has broken away from the need to applaud coupling over the independence of begin single. Saint Faustino is the patron saint of singles.
What started as a joke in , grew into a full-fledged holiday celebrated in cities around Italy each year, promoting social events for singles and opportunities for new people to meet whether in social or romantic capacities. Little is known about St. Faustino, but legend states the priest helped young and unwed women find partners. The small town in Piedmont continues the customs began in medieval times.
A colorful parade travels down the main avenues of town before the iconic orange-throwing battle begins. Historians are not sure when the orange throwing officially began as a custom, but folklore dictates the story of a young peasant girl who rebuffed the advances of the ruling tyrant in the 12th or 13th century.
The girl decapitated the tyrant, inspiring a revolt resulting in the villagers burning down the castle. The present-day reenactment has a local girl playing the role of the heroine, Violetta. Dozens of people known as aranceri signify both the tyrant and the peasants and throw oranges at each other. The fruit represents stones and other ancient weapons.
The townsfolk are divided into nine teams on foot, with a number of locals positioned on carriages. The participants on the ground embody the ordinary citizens contributing to the rebellion. The orange battle begins on the Sunday before Fat Tuesday and culminates in the burning of the scarli, which are big poles covered with dry bushes and positioned in the middle of the main square.
Visitors eager to watch the festivities but not participate in the battle wear red caps. There is no guarantee those choosing to observe will not be hit by a misfired orange, but joining in the fray will certainly have you marked by a well-guided throw. The battle ends when a victor is declared in front of the town hall. The name plays on the word for chocolate in Italian, which is simply cioccolato, blended with the Italian word for Turin, which is Torino. Although the largest chocolate festival in Italy is located in Perugia, Turin has its own fascinating history connected to the delicious treat, due to the evolution of the Ferrero company.
The name of the company is not as well-known outside of Italy as its signature product of Nutella. The creamy and decadent combination of chocolate and hazelnut, a mixture known officially as gianduja, provides a consistent theme for the festival each year. Aside from the traditional flavor associated with Italian chocolate deserts or a flavorful spread for toast, Piedmont, the greater region surrounding Turin, continues to produce chocolate with good quality ingredients.
The exotic drink became a fixture at grand balls and aristocratic parties before opening the product to the people and its popularity growing through low taxes on sugar and cacao goods. Men purchase yellow mimosas for their wives, girlfriends, daughters, and sisters in a tradition begun in after moving away from the customary violets and lily-of-the-valley the French presented.
Yellow mimosas and chocolates are more prevalent in the Italian landscape and therefore less expensive to purchase. However, the commemorating takes place on March 8th due to a memorialize the women who took the streets of St. Petersburg in demanding an end to the Great War. Mimosa is not just the symbol of the holiday in Italy but has become an important ingredient in the cuisine, showcasing the ingenuity of mixologists and chefs alike, utilizing the bright flower in cakes, cocktails, custards, and creams.
It is not uncommon to see women out in the bars and nightclubs with their male counterparts at home for the evening. Rome Marathon — March 18th — The annual competition has brought famous runners from around the world since its establishment in The dates have moved multiple times over its three decades of existence, including taking place on January 1st, to bring in the new millennium. On race day much of Rome shuts down due to the route, which passes through the major tourist attractions changing minimally from year to year.
Participants pass landmarks such as St. Runners are expected to complete the race within seven hours before the streets are reopened to regular traffic. In Rome held a commemoration race in memory of the 50th anniversary of the gold medal winner from Ethiopia Abebe Bikila, who ran the entire marathon barefoot during the Rome Olympics.
The winner of the race, Siraj Gena from Ethiopia, crossed the finish line barefoot to honor the original champion from his home country. Joseph, the husband of Mary, go hand in hand in Italy. The historical figure played a prominent role in the early life of Jesus but became a venerated saint in the Middle Ages when Sicilians prayed to the saint to end the legendary drought. Devout Sicilian immigrants carried the tradition North America and Australia during the Great Migration of the 19th century and early 20th centuries. Flowers, oranges, lemons, rosaries, bread loaves, and fava beans decorate the altars with displays of faith, devotion, and celebration.
The food served continues traditions with each dish symbolic of a past invaluable resource, including wild fennel and chickpeas. The holiday is celebrated widely in Southern Italy, with the largest festivals taking place in Sicily. Pisan New Year — March 25th — On the New Year the calendar begins anew, with the majority of the world adhering to, or acknowledging, the Gregorian calendar. However, numerous regional or stately calendars remain in use and calculate the New Year differently. Pisa is an old republic that celebrates the new year twice, once on January 1st with the greater world, and once on the 25th of March.
The city holds fast to its custom first begun in the year and ending in the year The celebration coincided with the Annunciation, taking place nine months before Christmas along the solar calendar. At midday in Pisa, a ray of sharp sunlight penetrates the Duomo in the round nave window.
A marble egg on a shelf refracts the light above a column. A historical parade and religious parade fills the morning with locals marching through the streets dressed in period costumes. Drummers and troubadours add traditional music to the fascinating ambiance before noon hits and the crowds venture to the cathedral to view the display of natural light and lavish craftsmanship.
Over 4, exhibitors from around the world present their top products across the four-day event, attracting more than , professionals of wine and spirits. Vintner and producers release new wines, announce unique styles, and showcase up-and-coming or emerging Italian wine regions. One popular aspect of the conference is the sensory judgment of wines, when a five-member panel of two Italian judges, two members of the international wine press, and a non-Italian judge sample dry, sweet, still, sparkling, and fortified wines. Exhibitions, demonstrations, workshops, tastings, and lectures provide an interactive experience for participants in addition to the popular landmarks of Verona.
Marriage of the Sea Festa della Sensa — Venice has been married to the sea for over a millennium, established in a ceremony first performed in the year 1, AD. Every year the city renews its vows to the sea with an elaborate ceremony that continues to capture the imaginations of Venetians, Italians, and tourists from around the world. The first ceremony saw the sailors cruising into the lagoon and throwing rings into the open water.
The initial ceremony marked a time of great expansion for the republic, turning the medieval city-state into a powerhouse of the Adriatic Sea, along with creating a piece between competing families to help reestablish trade with the Byzantine and Holy Roman empires. The mayor of Venice performs the role of the Doge, leading the water parade of rowing boats made up of the Venetian Rowing Society. The Church of St. Races also provide entertainment along the Grand Canal and around the Venetian Lagoon.
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Venice is a popular destination year-round, therefore it is important to book your accommodation in the city known as Serenissima ahead of time. During regional and local celebrations transportation can become crowded, which is another reason to either travel before or after the festivities, or reserve your train, bus, or flight ahead of time. Colorful displays chocolate eggs decorate shop windows, and parades march through the cobblestone lanes of large cities and tranquil villages with statues of Jesus or the Virgin Mary adorning the processions.
Church bells peal in the morning drawing neighborhoods to services ranging from the small local chapel to the grandeur of St. Every church around the country opens for Easter weekend, and priests travel door-to-door privately blessing homes and shops in time for the Easter festivities. Restaurant menus and bakeries present traditional religious dishes, including the customary ingredient of lamb, abbacchio, for the main course and almond paste creating the pastries and desserts.
Children prefer the cake Colomba di Pasqua, which takes the shape of a dove. Hollow chocolate eggs contain small prizes inside. The religious processions across Italy begin on Good Friday. Parade participants dress in traditional medieval or ancient costumes while carrying olive branches or palm fronds to decorate the churches. The most well-known Good Friday procession takes place in Enna, in Sicily. Trapani, also a city in Sicily, holds several processions during the Holy Week leading to Easter Sunday. Their Good Friday parade, known as Misteri di Trapani, lasts 24 hours and is the longest religious event in Italy.
It is also one of the oldest continuously observed religious events, having begun before the Easter of Images of the Passion and Crucifixion parade through the city streets, starting and finishing in front of the Chiesa del Purgatorio. The day is popular amongst Italians and is celebrated as a national holiday.
Groups of friends make picnics in the public plazas, in the lush parks, or in the countryside to play games involving egg races or Easter-centric themes. The town of Panicale celebrates the holiday by rolling giant wheels of cheese around the old city walls. Judges gauge the winner by speed, and whoever used the least strokes to propel their wheel of cheese forward.
Traveling through Italy during Easter Weekend depends on your desire to participate in the festivities. Traditionally, Italians travel outside of their respective cities or towns for the holiday, making transport by bus or train more crowded. The public transport schedules run on ferie, the holiday schedule, which means trains and buses run less often.
By running infrequently, you must wait longer between transports and deal with larger crowds. Shops and museums close during the weekend for staff to celebrate with their families. Restaurants typically serve more seasonal, customary dishes associated with Easter. It is easy to be swept up in the majesty of the processions and the unique ambiance Italy during the holiday, but it is not easy to travel around Italy on the religious weekend.
If you choose to travel in or around Italy during Easter Weekend, all accommodations and transportation should be booked well in advance to avoid missing out to other travelers, whether Italian or international. The lavish celebration centers around the birth of the empire and the legends surrounding it. Activities span the weekend with an extravaganza of concerts, historical reenactments, parades, and cultural celebrations at the Circus Maximus.
Light bathes the Colosseum in a grand display of fireworks. Plays and storytelling across the city retell the tale of the twins Romulus and Remus, the sons of Mars, who were weaned by a she-wolf. Gruppo Storico Romano has brought history to life through battle and historical reenactments for the last 20 years and continues to dress as Roman legions or in the traditional garments of Roman women, for dramatic retellings of daily life and captivating mysteries of the former empire, leading to the conquest of Britain in a mock battle.
Mark for the unifying holiday that lands on the same day, Liberation Day. However, Venice, the City on the Lagoon, pays homage to its patron saint each year with the rosebud festival, recalling a little-known tradition when men give their beloveds a red rosebud as a sign of true love. The custom began in the 8th century when the daughter of Doge Orso I Participazio, fell for a man of humble origins.
The man was sent into battle with the Turks and fought valiantly but succumbed to a mortal wound, dying in a rosebush. With his dying breath, he tasked a friend with delivering a rose soaked in his blood to his beloved as a pledge of their everlasting passion. With beautiful historic buildings, traditional gondolas to transport you around the waterways and a romantic ambience to warm every heart, this really is a special place.
The hotel is located in a stunning and isolated location, just two and a half miles from the centre of Porto Cervo. Enjoy exclusive articles and video recipes for authentic Italian dishes from our brand ambassador, celebrity chef Gennaro Contaldo. Find out more about Italy and get the best travel advice from our Blog, Ciao Citalia. You will find everything from City break inspiration to info about the top beaches to visit. There are lots of great reasons to choose Citalia. Let us tell you about our expert staff, range of destinations and happy customers. From walking tours and museum visits, to cooking classes and wine-tasting sessions, our excursions can help you get the most out of your time in Italy.
Step back in time aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and experience this unforgettable journey, enjoying sumptuous food and breath-taking scenery as you travel. If you want to travel beyond Italy, take a look at Sovereign, one of our sister brands. They can help you with luxury holidays everywhere from the Greek Islands to the Far East.
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Italy is an incredibly diverse country, with historical cities, picturesque lakes, stunning coastline and rolling countryside. Venice, Verona and Milan are all found here, making it a great place for a city break as well. Tuscany is also home to Florence, with its distinctive Renaissance dome and world-famous art galleries.
In the far south the heel of the 'boot' is Puglia, an unspoilt region with sandy beaches, pretty towns and delicious food. Sicily offers a real mix of culture, history and scenery, making it a top spot for a self-drive holiday, while Sardinia is famous for its white-sand beaches and family-friendly resorts. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https: Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting http: The advice can change so check regularly for updates.
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