I Love Touring Italy - Springtime In the Campania RegionCampania marks the beginning of southern Italy. It lies on the Tyrrhenian Sea and is truly a land of contrasts. Many areas such as parts of Napoli, Italy's third largest city and the regional capital, remain largely poverty stricken. And other areas such as the Isle of Capri and the Amalfi Coast are favorites of the jet set. Because this is southern Italy, it gets hot early in the year. So you may want to focus on spring touring. The village of Paestum, population under one thousand, near the coast in southern Campania holds a traditional celebration of the Immaculate Conception with a fair and outdoor market near the end of March. On April fifth the town of Montoro Superiore, population about 9 thousand, further north up the coast holds a traditional pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Crowned Virgin. This commemorates the legend of a mad bull who was spared from slaughter via the miraculous intervention of the Crowned Virgin. On the same day Napoli celebrates the Feast of Saint Vincent Ferreri with a mix fried hot peppers and melons. Don't look for it all across Naples; this delicacy is restricted to the Stella neighborhood. Spring...in Naples - Windows in Bloom is the city's annual event dedicated to creativity. Art, architecture, design and fashion groups perform at the Castel dell'Ovo. This is a Twelfth Century fortress overlooking the Porto Santa Lucia in the Gulf of Naples. This location is spectacular.
The port city of Salerno, population about 150 thousand, is about 35 miles (55 kilometers) southeast of Naples. On the first weekend of May it celebrates Fieravecchia, one of Europe's oldest fairs that dates all the way back to the year 1259. This medieval pageant has been transformed into a food trade fair showcasing literally hundreds of types of local pasta (don't forget that we are in southern Italy), olive oils, salamis, canned and dried tomatoes, and wines. A major focus is limoncello, a sweet, lemon-tasting local liqueur. Festivities include a street pageant, music, artisan vendors and an unforgettable food attraction such as a 2,000 egg omelet. We can't forget the water buffalo mozzarella cheese.
At the end of May in the town of San Andrea di Conza, population about 2000, its time for Maggiaiole (May Day Festivities). The local young girls devoutly march to Conza with their heads covered by a white handkerchief and a crown of gooseberry vines leading the populace. This manifestation effectively signifies the return of Saint Andrea's people to Conza, their place of origin.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but he prefers drinking fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods and people. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his Italian travel website http://www.travelitalytravel.com which includes information on Italian wine and food.