I Love Italian Travel - February Attractions Of Southern Italy
So you are hankering to visit southern Italy in February, but just aren't sure what to see and what to do. Don't despair; there are lots and lots of special events that simply aren't available in the good old summertime. Here are a few of them. Get rolling; February is right around the corner. We start our virtual counterclockwise tour in Apulia, the heel of the Italian boot. Then we head northwest to Campania on the Tyrrhenian Sea and then south to the island of Sicily.
On February 13th, the coastal city of Barletta, Apulia hosts the Commemoration of the Challenge of Barletta. This event recalls the historic challenge between 13 Italian horsemen and 13 French horsemen first held on February 13th, 1503. This is one beautiful traditional ceremony. The small town of Vico del Gargano whose nickname is "The Village of Love" celebrates The Feast of Saint Valentine by decorating its main church and statue of Saint Valentine with bay leaves and literally thousands of oranges. You won't be surprised to learn that this area is known for its oranges.
The city of Mugnano di Napoli is home to the headquarters of the Pirotecnica Snc or Schiattarella fireworks firm. Can you guess how Mugnano di Napoli celebrates its Patron Saint Biagio? This family-run firm has won many national competitions so you may expect a real blast. For a complete change of pace visit Today's Spouse in the regional capital of Naples, especially if you are planning a wedding. This event is held starting on the second Saturday of February in the spectacular Twelfth Century Castel dell'Ovo overlooking the harbor in romantic but sometimes dangerous Napoli.
On February 4 Sicily's second largest city Catania situated on the island's eastern coast facing the Ionian Sea honors its patron saint, Saint Agatha with a festival that boasts what may well be the world's second largest religious procession. Saint Agatha's statue is placed on a "fercolo", a 40,000 pound silver carriage, which is pulled up Monte Sangiuliano by an unbelievable 5,000 men. This great festival lasts for two days and two nights and culminates in a monster fireworks display. Don't forget to taste some of the marzipan specialties. Across the island on the western (Mediterranean) coast lies the town of Agrigento whose Almond Blossom Fair spans the first two Sundays in February. The ceremonies include an International Folklore Festival complete with music, singing, parades, puppet shows and open-air performances. You'll enjoy traditional Sicilian sweets based on almonds and other goodies.
Once upon a time Levi Reiss wrote or co-authored ten computer and Internet books. And yet, he really prefers drinking fine Italian or other wine, with the right food and friends. He teaches computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website http://www.wineinyourdiet.com which focuses on wine, weight loss, health, and nutrition issues.