Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day in Italy: Spring in Italy Festivals

May in Italy equals spring food and wine festivals, medieval festivals, and flower festivals - Infiorata - celebrating Spring in Italy. Spring in Italy festival highlights:

May Day: May 1 in Italy is a public holiday all over Italy, as in most European countries, as the day of the worker. Interesting parades and festivals celebrate the day.

Abruzzo, Bucchianico: The Flower Festival includes a re-enactment of a 13th-century military stratagem with a parade, the third Sunday in May.

Abruzzo, Rocca di Mezzo: The Daffodil Festival celebrates spring with folk dancing and a parade the last Sunday in May.

Emilia Romagna, Grazzano: Medieval Parade and Jousting Tournament in the Visconti is the last Sunday in May.

Lazio, Lake Bolsena, Marta: La Barabbata is celebrated May 14. In this procession, men wear costumes representing the old trades and carry their tools while white buffalo pull floats carrying the fruits of the trades.

Lazio, Vetralla: The Wedding of the Trees, Sposalizio dell’Albero, takes place May 8 in the northern Lazio town of Vetralla. Oak trees are decorated with garlands, horsemen offer bouquets of the first spring flowers and new trees are planted while everyone enjoys a picnic lunch. The ceremony revives Vetralla's sovereignty over the forests and continues the right of each citizen to a cubic meter of firewood annually.

Liguria, Camogli: The Fish festival of Saint Fortunato, patron saint of fishermen, is celebrated in the beautiful fishing village of Camogli, south of Genoa, the second Sunday in May. Saturday night there is a huge fireworks display and bonfire competition followed by free fried fish on Sunday.

Piedmont, Avigliana: Polenta Festival, also the second Sunday in May, is celebrated in the main square of the .

Piedmont, Sessame: Risotto Festival Sunday May 3, a feast of typical risotto dating back to the 13th century.

Piedmont, Alesandria: Roman Fest is a 3-day re-enactment of a typical ancient Roman festival in the , the last weekend of May. The festival includes parades, feasts, staged gladiator combat and chariot races

Sardegna: The Sagra di Sant Efisio festival May 1 is a colorful 4-day procession from Cagliari (see Sardinia map) to the Romanesque church of Saint Efisio on the beach at Nora. Decorated oxcarts and horsemen accompany the saint's statue in a parade followed by food and dancing.

Sicily, Umbria, Infiorata di Noto, a huge festival with flower petal art displays and a parade, takes place in Noto, Sicily, the third weekend of May.

, Montespertoli: Chianti Wine Festival, last Sunday in May and first Sunday in June, takes place in the Chianti wine region of Tuscany.

Umbria, Assisi: Calendimaggio is celebrated in early May in Assisi, Umbria. The two ancient medieval wards, the "Parte di Sopra" and the "Parte di Sotto", engage in a challenge that takes the form of theater shows, concerts, songs and choruses, dances, processions, archery, crossbow and flag-waving displays. The districts compete in a singing contest among the spectacular floral decorations, flags, torches and candles.

Umbria, Gualdo Tadino, San Pelligrino: April 30th, a 1,000-year old tradition, "The Planting of the Poplar" Il Maggio.

Umbria, Gubbio: The Festa dei Ceri video, a candle race and costumed parade, takes place May 15 and is followed by a Historical Cross-Bow Exhibition on the last Sunday of May.

Umbria, Narni: Ring Race and Procession re-enactments of 14th century contests and parades, Narni in the Umbria region.

Umbria, Orvetto: La Palombella is a festival representing the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The festival is held in the piazza in front of the duomo and ends with a fireworks display.

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