I Love Italian Travel - Carnevale Season In Friuli-Venezia Giulia Friuili
Venezia Giulia is a multilingual region situated in northeast Italy. It borders on the Italian region of Veneto to the west, Austria to the north, and Slovenia to the east, and to the south, the Gulf of Venice. Its capital city, Trieste, officially became part of Italy in 1954, in a sense ending World War II. So it's no surprise that with such surroundings, Carnevale in Friuili takes on many multicultural aspects.
Sauris is a village of some four hundred in the Carnic Alps about 80 miles (120 kilometers) northwest of Trieste. It has the highest elevation in the area, almost one mile (1400 meters). Unlike most other Italian sites, it gets very cold in Sauris during Carnevale. And yet both locals and guests still manage to enjoy themselves. This is one of the oldest such celebrations in the Alps and the traditions of the past are very present, including the local name Voshankh: Lanterne e Maschere (Voshankh: Lanterns and Masks). Major Carnevale features include the ever-present wooden masks and virtually unique promenades on snow covered paths in the forest in which the participants carry lanterns. This is definitely a winter carnival.
One of the two most important Sauris Carnevale figures are "Rolar", who wields a broom and tells the people that it's time to prepare for Carnevale. He continuously shakes the bells tied around his waist and his hands and face are covered with soot. His partner "Kheirar " hides his face behind a wooden mask, wears torn clothes, and knocks on doors with his broom and then sweeps the floor. Couples wearing beautiful wooden masks "Scheana schembln" or ugly ones "Schentena schembln" dance to the tune of accordion music.
Then at nightfall comes the lantern-lit march to a clearing for a giant bonfire. On the way home everybody makes a stop at the local wood and stone huts known as Stavoli for songs, mulled wine, and culinary specialties. This is a great opportunity to taste the local smoked ham flavored with juniper berries and herbs, Dunkatle (mixed meat stew), and Frico (cheese pasta with browned potatoes and onions).
Trieste, population about two hundred thousand, is situated 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Venice. One of its suburbs, Muggia, is known for a Carnevale that dates back to 1420. Many people consider the Muggia Carnevale to be one of the finest in Italy. It runs for only one week but still manages to attract thousands of visitors, and believe me there is a lot of Carnevale competition in this part of the world. Every day is chock full of events, including many directed at children.
Levi Reiss wrote or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but to tell the truth, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Check out his wine website http://www.theworldwidewine.com with a weekly column reviewing $10 wines and new sections writing about
(theory) and tasting (practice) organic and kosher wines.