Italy is a land celebrated for the arts, and not the least among the arts that have attained their highest expression in Italy is the art of hospitality. The Italian welcome is as warm and traditional as a glass of fine wine. This comparison is apt, for travelers in ancient times gave the country its first name: Land of Wines. Italians are such good hosts because they get so much practice welcoming visitors from all over the world.
Italy is one of the most popular vacation countries in Europe , all seasons being good for a visit. In summer, Italy is an international playground, with visitors from all continents mingling with vacationing Italians at the famous resorts. Spring comes early to Italy and autumn lingers - and so will the wise traveler who wants to enjoy at a more leisurely pace the art centers, the large cities and the holiday resorts such as those in the Lombardian lake region where spring and fall are ideal seasons.
In winter, the Italian Alps are unequaled for scenery and skiing. In northern Italy are some of the world's most renowned winter sports resorts, easily reached from such centers as Torino, chief city of the westernmost Piemonte region; from Milano, hub of the central mountain and lake district; and from Venezia, leading city of the eastern region. Skiing is also a summer sport in the Torino Alps and the lofty mountains surrounding the Valle d'Aosta.
From the sunny southern slopes of the Alps to the lush orange groves of Sicilia, Italy offers enormous variety in its natural scenery and historical backgrounds. Because a good part of Italy grew up as a collection of independent city-states, customs and food vary greatly from region to region. This rich history is preserved in the colorful folklore festivals that take place in all of Italy's regions throughout the year.
The moderating influence of the sea and the protection given by the Alpine barrier from the cold north winds join to bless Italy with a temperate climate. Nevertheless, the weather varies considerably according to how far one is from the sea or the mountains. The winter is very cold in the Alps, cold and foggy in the Po Plain and the central Apennines; mild and even warm on the Ligurian coast, the Neapolitan coast and in Sicilia. The summer is hot and dry, but the temperature is mitigated on the coast by sea breezes and in the Apennines and Alps it is pleasantly cool. In mountain areas, winter is ideal for skiing, and summer for excursions, hiking, etc. Seaside and lake resorts, with their excellent hotel facilities, have an intense tourist season in the summer, while the cities that are rich in art treasures are ideal in spring and autumn.
Traditional festival 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.
¤ Almond Blossom Festival
¤ Giostra Del Saracino (Joust Of The Saracen)
¤ Calendimaggio (Celebration Of Holy Week)
¤ Torneo Della Quintana (Joust Of The Quintana)
¤ Palio - San Secondo
¤ Sagra Di San Nicola and more..
Opera Festivals : -
Italy, Opera's ancestral home, offers visitors a rich choice of operatic seasons throughout most of the year. The Teatro alla Scala of Milano, the Teatro San Carlo of Napoli and the Teatro dell'Opera of Roma are world-renowned for technical perfection of performances and detailed magnificence of scenery and costumes. The opera season lasts from December to june, as do the seasons at Italy's other major opera houses:
¤ Teatro la Fenice (Venezia),
¤ Teatro Massimo (Palermo),
¤ Teatro Regio (Parma),
¤ Teatro Comunale (Firenze),
¤ Teatro Petruzzelli (Bari),
¤ Teatro Massimo Bellini (Catania),
¤ Teatro Comunale (Bologna),
¤ Teatro Comunale Verdi (Trieste),
¤ Teatro Comunale (Genova) and
¤ Teatro Regio (Torino).
In summer, spectacular open-air opera is presented at the Terme di Caracalla in Roma (July/August), the Arena in Verona (July/August) and the Arena Sferisterio in Macerata (July). During July and August the Teatro Rossetti of Trieste presents an Operetta Festival. Two of the most important Italian festivals of the performing arts are the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (opera, concerts, ballet, drama) in Firenze (May to June) and the Festival of Two Worlds (opera, concerts, ballet, drama, art exhibits) in Spoleto from mid-June to mid-July.
Italy is an international playground, with visitors from all continents mingling with vacationing Italians at the famous resorts. Spring comes early to Italy and autumn lingers - and so will the wise traveler who wants to enjoy at a more leisurely pace the art centers, the large cities and the holiday resorts such as those in the Lombardian lake region where spring and fall are ideal seasons. more..