I Love Sightseeing Tours Of Italy – Tuscany Winter Attractions And Events
Article by Levi Reiss
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Italy is only a summer destination. You can find plenty to do and see all year. The Tuscany region of central Italy is justifiably famous for its wine and food. Tuscany is very proud of its white truffles; one of the tastiest and most expensive “mushrooms” in the world. On the second, third and fourth weekends November, why not visit La Sagra del Tartufo Bianco (Festival of the White Truffle) in the medieval hilltop town of San Miniato? Besides the food you can enjoy craft displays, theater performances, marching bands. You may be able to get a room at the Convento di San Franceso, which will enable you to spend more on those delicious truffles. San Giovanni d’Asso, near Siena, hosts a truffle festival the second and third weekends of November and is home to a truffle museum that is open on weekends.
Talking about food, the thousand-year old town of Suvereto hosts a wild boar festival towards the end of November and that culminates with a feast on or about December 8. In addition to boar you’ll find other local produces such as honey and olive oil. The traditional wines to accompany boar include Brunello di Montalchino from Tuscany and Barolo from the neighboring Piedmont region. The festival includes historic reenactments, archery competitions and exhibitions, as well as other medieval competitions complete with costumes and all the fanfare.
Florence Noel starts at the end of November and runs through the first week of December. This family event includes children’s activities such as visiting Babbo Natale (Father Christmas). Everyone will really enjoy the food, music, and nativity village. Did we mention chocolate? You’ll find Tuscan Christmas markets in Florence’s Piazza Santa Croce (this one has a German touch), Siena, Piazza San Michele in Lucca, Arezzo, Montepulciano, and Pisa.
Barga. a beautiful medieval hill town in northern Tuscany, holds living nativity and Christmas Pageant on December 23. Abbadia di San Salvatore, near Montalcino, celebrates the Fiaccole di Natale (Festival of Christmas Torches) on Christmas Eve with caroling and torchlight processions.
If you’re touring Tuscany in January don’t miss Il Palio di Sant’antonio Abate in Buti near Pisa held on the first Sunday after January 17. Festivities start with a parade whose participants wear the colors of their neighborhood. In the afternoon, the horse race, pitting the local neighborhoods against each other. The winner is awarded the special banner known as the Palio.
About the Author
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but he prefers drinking fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods and people. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his Italian travel website http://www.travelitalytravel.com which includes information on Italian wine and food.
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