I Love Sightseeing Tours of Italy - Winter Attractions and Events In The Mezzogiorno
The Mezzogiorno (midday) refers to Italy's southernmost mainland regions. If we think of Italy as a boot Apulia on the Adriatic Sea forms the heel, Basilicata with small coastlines on the Gulf of Taranto and the Tyrrhenian Sea forms the instep, and Calabria with its large coastlines on the Gulf of Taranto, the Tyrrhenian Sea, and the Ionian Sea forms the toe. These regions tend to be quite traditional and they don't get all that many tourists. So much the better for you. Because they are far south winter tends to be rather mild, but I won't tell you that you can sip a drink in an outdoor cafe for hours in mid-January. But you still can enjoy yourself, whether or not you are into winter sports. San Cesarea Terme, Apulia is a seaside town on the rocky coast of the Ionian Sea. It boasts unique Islamic architecture and every November holds a Historical Regatta.
December in Italy means Living Nativity Scenes. The Mezzogiorno is no exception. Some of the most interesting are found in Celico (Calabria), Paterno (Basilicata), and Pezze di Greco (Apulia). Be sure that you check the dates, the Pezze exposition extends into January. Lecce, Apulia hosts an antique market called Fiera dei presepi e dei pupi. You'll find hand crafted nativity figures and a lot more for approximately ten days extending to December 24. Other December events include Saint's Day Festivities in Diamante (Calabria), the Papier-mache Fair in San Cesarea Terme (Apulia), and the Pettole Festival in Montescaglioso (Basilicata.)
The month of January is quite filled with festivals in this part of the world. A Palio is a horse race that pits neighborhoods against one another. Pignola, Basilicata plays host to the Palio of S. Antonio Abate in mid-January. Villa d'Agri, Basilicata celebrates Befana Canterina. If you remember, Befana is an old woman dressed as a witch who gives sweets to the good kiddies and coal to the bad ones. In mid-January Rotondella, Basilicata hosts the Feast of Sant'Antonio Abate and Feast of Fire Festival on the following day. Corigliano Calabro hosts the Calabria Orange Festival and Procession.
Don't think that February is quiet in the Mezzogiorno. This is Carnivale time discussed elsewhere. On the third of the month the town of Tortora, Calabria holds a feast to honor its patron Saint, San Biagio. Rapolla, Basilicata celebrates its Feast of Candelora on February 2 and the Feast of San Biagio on the following day.
Over the years Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet but simply prefers drinking fine Italian or other wine, with the right foods.
He teaches a variety of computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his Italian travel website http://www.travelitalytravel.com which includes information on Italian wine and food.