If you are not already considering a spring trip to Italy, let’s get busy amici (friends)! We’ve already mentioned the Tipicità, made in Le Marche festival, March 5th through 7th. Expect the region’s finest food and drink, Le Marche’s own special lasagna recipe, with veal ragu and Béchamel sauce, or seafood freshly caught from the Adriatic. Did we mention beer? Yes, more beer than you can drink! Visit the official site for all the devilish details of the event.
You can’t dream of Italy without including their delectable vineyards and wines. Our wine tasting tour in Milan, especially the Lombardy area, where they celebrate the season with huge open-air markets dedicated to wines, is one great place to spend time. Feel yourself relaxing already (wink, wink)? This area grows the unique Bonarda wine grape, only grown in this location.
Another Roman hot spot is the Villa Borghese, built in 1613. Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the nephew of Pope Paul V. Borghese, built the lovely home, and it is filled with artwork that will make you “oh and ah!”
We had an earlier post about Palio dei Somari or the entertaining Donkey Races than run from March 17 to March 25. You will recall this fun event is in Siena. While you are in this area, don’t miss the Cathedral and the Cathedral Museum.
Easter celebrations begin on March 27, and it may be the most important celebration of the Italian year. Dating to the Crusades, the Florentine tradition, Scoppio de Carro (explosion of the cart), begins the festivities. The fireworks filled cart is rolled through the streets, and when it gets to the iconic Duomo, the Cardinal of Florence lights the fuse upon the completion of mass. The resulting colorful light show kicks off Easter.
On Good Friday, March 30, the stations of the cross are a Catholic tradition intended to elaborate on the trials of Christ before his crucifixion. For this event, Rome is the place to be to hear a mass from Pope Francis followed by the lightening of huge crosses that become torches lighting up the area. Be sure you pick up tickets to visit the incredible Vatican museums while you’re in Rome.
April 2, the Monday after Easter is the La Pasquetto holiday for all and a time to enjoy the Italian version of curling. Picnics are a popular way to celebrate, plus egg races. The leading event is in Panicale in Perugia. Here, the locals roll whole wheels of cheese, with the person who sends it rolling farthest winning bragging rights for the year. Let’s make that an Olympic event!
No matter where you spend the introduction to the spring season in March, if you’re in our beautiful country, you can expect nothing less than the best time ever!