For many the attraction of an Italian holiday can be summed up in one word, “warmth”. Whether that is the delicious warmth of a voluptuous full bodied red wine, or the sun drenched Mediterranean climate, or perhaps simply the warmth of a family orientated culture, the attraction of Italy is strong. Blessed with a seductive historic past, Italy today is a destination for all seasons and we are going to take a look at some of the popular annual events in one of Europe’s most enduring holiday destinations.
Catholicism has permeated throughout Italian culture for centuries, and the Easter holiday is of course special for Italians, combining solemn religious rituals alongside exuberant celebrations across the country. Easter processions are an intrinsic part of those celebrations; a tradition that varies in character from region to region. From the dramatic 24 hour processions in Scilly to the explosive the Scoppio del Carro, (explosion of the cart procession) in Florence, the Easter celebration is marked in many varied and fascinating ways. What better way to savour the spectacle than to visit St Peters in Rome itself, joining thousands of the faithful to witness the blessing from the Pope or the famous Via Crucis near the coliseum on Good Friday itself. Once the ceremonies are over then attention turns to the food and the wine. Easter, which of course marks the end of Lent, is a time for feasting!
The Carnival of Venice
There cannot be many more stunning holiday destinations than Venice. Quite simply the jewel in Italy’s northeast, Venice sits on a group of islands connected by an enchanting combination of canals and bridges. This most romantic of settings plays host to a world renowned festival. Held annually in the immediate period before Lent, the Venice Carnival attracts thousands of visitors who parade through the streets in fancy dress and mysterious and haunting masks. The experience creates echoes the eighteenth century, referencing the Venetian tradition of mask wearing that pervaded society, a symbol of Venice’s ‘libertine’ past. The carnival itself is about freedom, dancing and indulgence, celebrating the transition of winter into spring.
The Italian Grand Prix
Perhaps the most iconic of sporting events in Italy, the world famous Tifosi congregate annually at the Monza Grand Prix circuit to pay homage to their Ferrari heroes in the pristine September sun. Located just 15km away from Milan, the Italian Grand Prix seems to be blessed with gorgeous weather year after year. This iconic venue has hosted the Formula One World Championship since 1950 and today the event attracts fans from across Europe who come to take in the sights and ‘ear breaking’ sounds of one of the most dramatic spectacles in sport.
By Gareth Mckillop
We’ve just launched our 2013 overseas bookings online. If you’d like to explore Italy next year take a look at our stunning range of featured holiday properties.