HOLIDAYS in BELLA ITALIA
Experiencing the “Dolce Vita”
ITALY, a marvelous country, where every corner speaks of history, art and culture. Whether it be the great food, good wine
or the friendly people, one thing remains constant…the “Belpaese” (Beautiful Country) is a land of the senses, offering something
for everybody. Ancient ruins, idyllic Islands, and jaw-dropping sea views, it also offers over 44 World Heritage sites; more than any other country on earth, along with magnificent museums and trendy beaches! With so many vacation possibilities, it’s no wonder Italy has been attracting visitors for centuries, with over 43.2 million tourists a year – It is the fourth highest tourist earner, and fifth most visited country in the world.*
Alitours boasts over 30 years of experience and tradition to assist you in developing and handling travel programs – even fulfilling the most discerned clients desires, and carrying out ‘impossible’ itineraries by creating realistic, feasible and most importantly, affordable vacations. For the most creative and innovative products (discovering new “off-the-beaten track” areas, unique accommodations such as castles and villas, & taking part in various cultural activities and exclusive events) we are the best in creating magical and unforgettable Italy experiences.
Let us help you plan your Italy visit and ‘vacation’ your way!
Experience Italy with a selection of diverse activities to keep you busy whether it’s Shopping in Milan, or participating in the Tuscan wine-harvest (Vendemmia), many options are available such as hiking the Cinque Terre, Diving in the Amalfi Coast, skiing in the Alps, white water-rafting in Calabria, climbing Sicily’s Mt. Etna’s volatile vulcano and sailing Sardinia’s golden coast. Vacations can be planned with, or around Daily City visits, Bio Tours, Cooking Classes,Wine Tasting, as well as Golf & Thermal Spa packages!
From breathtaking views, to unique events and activities, an Italian beach vacation can be as simple as spending the day working on a tan, or it can include diving in Sardinia’s turquoise water, sailing in the Amalfi Coast, or dancing the night away on the famous beaches of Rimini.
FESTIVAL & EVENTS
Traditional festivals are celebrated in most Italian towns and villages in commemoration of local historical or religious events. The most notable are listed here. The dates of many traditional festivals may vary from year to year, and some may mean that museums and/or public areas as we well as transportation can be limited or not available.
Make wine in ITALY!
The vendemmia is the fall grape harvest, an exciting time to be in the wine regions of Italy, particularly Chianti.
Chianti wine comes from Chianti region of Tuscany and is a blend of San Giovese, Malvasia, Trebbiano and Canaiolo grapes.
While it’s hard to predict the exact dates the grape harvest will start since it depends on the grapes reaching their peak of ripeness and that can vary by vineyard, is usually late September and early October. At that point, wine growing families throughout the region focus all their attention on getting the grapes off the vine and processed. If you are driving through stop into a farm that offers wine tasting and while sipping inhale the heady smell of the wine beginning to ferment . By mid-October you’ll often start to see restaurants proudly advertising that the “Chianti Nuovo” or New Chianti is available. Just around the corner is the olive harvest…..
NATIONAL & CIVIC HOLIDAYS
1 – New Year’s Day
6 – Epiphany
9 – Flag Day
27 – International Holocaust Remembrance
8 – Woman’s Day
17- Anniversary of the Unification of Italy
19 – Fathers Day (St. Joseph)
*Easter: Between March & April (Moveable Holiday)
*Easter Monday: Monday After Easter
25 – Liberation Day
– St. Mark’s (Patron Saint of Venice)
1 – International Workers’ Day
2 – Republic Day
24 – Saint John the Baptist (Patron Saint of Florence)
29 – San Peters and St. Paul (Patrons of Rome)
15 – Ferragosto/ Assunzione (Day of Assumption)
19 – San Gennaro (Patron Saint of Naples)
1 – Ognissanti (All Saints Day)
2 – Il Giorno del Morti (Day of the Dead)
11 – San Martino (Patron Saint of Foriano della Chiana)
6 – San Nicola (Patron Saint of Bari)
7 – Sant’Ambrogio (Patron Saint of Milan)
8 – Imacculate Conception
25 – Christmas
26 – St. Stephen’s
31 – St . Silvester’s Day
New Years Eve
ROME, TUSCANY, UMBRIA & VENICE
LAZIO (ROME) Epiphany Fair At Piazza Navona – January 5th
A fair of toys, sweets and others presents takes place in the open air among the beautiful Bernini fountains
LAZIO (GENZANO, outside Rome) Infiorata (Flower festival) Corpus Domini – June.
A religious procession along the streets carpeted with flowers in magnificent designs.
LAZIO (TRASTEVERE, area inside Rome’s Historic Center)- Festa De’ Noantri -July 19th to 26th
Folklore of Old Rome in Trastevere, including colorful procession for the Vergine del Carmine, folk dances and songs, carnival floats and fireworks
TUSCANY (VIAREGGIO) Carnevale (Carnival) – February/March
Highlight of the Carnival festivities is the procession of spectacular and colorful floats.
TUSCANY (ASSISI) Calendimaggio (Celebration of Holy Week) -Easter Week
Celebration of spring according to rites dating back to medieval times
TUSCANY (FLORENCE) Scoppio Del Carro (Explosion of the Cart) – Easter Sunday
A pyramid of fireworks in the Cathedral Square is set off by a mechanical dove driven from the Altar during High Mass.
TUSCANY (FLORENCE) Calcio Fiorentino (Soccer Match) – June 24 to 28
Revival of a 16th century football match in medieval costumes.
June 24th – Fireworks display from the terraced gardens overlooking the city
TUSCANY (PISA) – Last Sunday in June
Pisa GIOCO del PONTE (Battle of the Bridge) Medieval parade and contest
TUSCANY (SIENA) Palio – July 2nd and August 16th Procession and horse race. Participants are members of ancient city districts, competing for the banner (Palio). Colorful medieval pageantry.
TUSCANY (AREZZO) Giostra del Saracino (Joust of the Saracen) – First Sunday in September
Tilting contest of the 13th century with knights in armor
UMBRIA (GUBBIO) Festa dei Ceri (Race of the Candles) – May 15
A procession in local costume in witch tall shrines are carried to the church on the top of Mount Ingino.
UMBRIA (GUBBIO) Palio dei Balestrieri (The Palio of the Archers) – Last Sunday in May
Medieval crossbow contest between Gubbio and Sansepolcro with medieval costumes and arms.
UMBRIA (FOLIGNO) Giostra Della Quintana (Joust of the Quintana) – Second Sunday in September
Revival of a 17th century joust with 600 knights in costume, historical procession
VENETO (VENICE) Carnival in Venice- February/March
Celebrations in costumes and masks, entertainment in streets and squares. Music, mimes and fireworks.
VENETO (VENICE) Il Redentore (The Feast of the Redeemer) – Third Sunday in July
Procession of gondolas commemorating the end of the epidemic of 1575
VENETO (VENICE) Historical Regatta – First Sunday in September
Traditional competition between two-oar racing gondolas and procession of ceremonial boats.
MARCHE (ASCOLI-PICENO) Torneo della Quintana (Joust of the Quintana) – First Sunday in August
Historical pageant with people in 15th century costumes
PIEDMONT (ASTI) Palio – San Secondo – May 2
A 700 year old ceremony with procession in 13th century costume.
Flag Throwing Palio.
Third Sunday in September
Ancient festival with 800 costumed participants
LIGURIA (GENOVA) Genova Palio Marinaro dei Rioni – June 29th
Rowing race in ancient dress
LIGURIA (LA SPEZA) Palio del Golfo – First Sunday of August
VENETO (VICENZA) Partita a Scacchi con Personaggi Viventi (Living Chess Game)
Second weekend of September in even-numbered years
Chess game is played in the town square by living pawns in period costume.
REGATTA of the GREAT MARITIME REPUBLICS
The friendly contest and historic regatta in which each of the former maritime republics
(Amalfi, Genoa, Pisa and Venice) race for a prize.
SOUTHERN ITALY & IT’S ISLANDS
SICILY (AGRIGENTO) Almond Blossom Festival First half of February
Folk festival of song, dance, costumes, fireworks
CAGLIARI (ORISTANO) Sa Sartiglia – February 24 to 26
Medieval procession and jousting of masking knights
PUGLIA (TARANTO) Procession of the Mysteries – Good Friday
Renowned for its costumes and solemnity
SARDINIA (CAGLIARI) Sagra di Sant’ Efisio – May 1 to 4
One of the biggest and most colorful processions in the world. Several thousand pilgrims (wearing costumes dating back to 1657) accompany the statue of the saint on foot, carts and horses.
PUGLIA (BARI) Sagra di San Nicola – May 7
Historic procession in costume.
SARDINIA (SASSARI) Cavalcata Sarda (Sardinian Cavalcade) Next to last Sunday in May
Traditional procession of more than 3,000 people in Sardinian costumes
CAMPANIA (NOLA) Festa del Giglio (The Lily Festival) – Sunday following June 22nd
Allegorical towers are carried in a colorful procession costume
SICILY (PALERMO) Feast of Santa Rosalia – July 10 to 15
Procession, bands, fireworks in honor of the patron saint of the city Piana degli Albanesi Celebration of the Epiphany from the Byzantine.
CAMPANIA (NUORO) Sagra del Redentore (Feast of the Redeemer) – August 27 to 30
Colorful procession in Sardinian costumes
CAMPANIA (NAPLES) Festival Of San Gennaro – September 19
A religious ceremony honoring the patron saint of the city