Carnevale in Italy is celebrated on Ash Wednesday (February 18, 2015). It is a celebration Catholics do before entering Lent. In the USA it is a big celebration in New Orleans (called Mardi Gras). In New Orleans it is celebrated on Fat Tuesday. In Italy the city of Venice celebrates each year with masks, parties and lots of sweets (this is what is given up for lent).
Italians love festivals and their sweets (dolce). Lent represents a period of abstinence. So before entering this period they celebrate a period of indulgence. If you are able to be in Venice at this time it is a wonderful celebration. If you know an Italian family, join them for their celebration. It is a happy time so enjoy.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Carnevale, Dolce, Europe, Festivals, Italy, Sweets
Tags: Carnevale, Dolce, Festivals, Food, Italian, Italian cuisine, Italian people, Italy, Madi Gras, No Tour Touring, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism, Venice
Italy produces all the world’s white truffles and consumes most of them. Black truffles also grow in Italy and in France. People all over the world have tried to get the prized white truffle to grow without much success. It grows as a fungus (mushroom family) on the roots of certain Oak Trees. Know one knows why the Oak Trees in Alba area of the Piedmont region of Italy can grow such delicious truffles. They are not pretty to look at and their smell will turn off those that have never had them. The taste is divine. Italians shave them very thin over veal or grated on pasta and risotto. They can also be grated over eggs.
They are harvested in the fall and there are festivals in the north of Italy to celebrate. We have seen in our news the record-breaking white truffle that was just auctioned off. These little gems are like gold. They grow underground and are very hard to find. Humans can not smell them underground. In days of old, Italians would use pigs to find them. The one BIG problem was the pig! It seems pigs like truffles even more than we do. Can you picture a small Italian farmer fighting a ton sized pig for a truffle? Today they use trained dogs. They can find them just as well as pigs do but won’t eat them.
If you are so lucky to be in northern Italy in the fall, get some dish with truffles on it. Make sure they are white truffles and not black ones. We recently bought a truffle in Philadelphia that was overnighted from Italy. It cost $5,280 per pound. No we didn’t spend that much. They are so light that a medium size truffle cost us about $100. They last about a week. We had great food for one week. You can also buy white truffle oil and use it in cooking your dishes or sprinkle it over risotto or pasta dishes.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Alba, Cooking, Eating Italian, Europe, Festivals, Italy, Risotto, Truffles
Tags: Alba, Cooking, Festivals, Food, Italian, Italian cuisine, Italy, No Tour Touring, Piedmont, Tourism, Truffle Oil, White Truffles
Italy has many festivals in the summer time. These can be in both large cities and sm,aller ones. Many revolve around religious ceremonies. Italians, like most of the world, enjoy all kinds of music. In the summer there are many music festivals around Italy. ABOUT.COM has a BLOG on some of these festivals. If you are going to Italy this summer see if there are any festivals near where you will be. Go to the festival and enjoy it along with some food and wine. Local foods and wine are great in Italy.
In most of the world you need a reference to a good restaurant or you might get stuck at a terrible one. Italy is normally not like this. Any restaurants or Trattoria serves great food and wine. Stay clear of tourist areas and don’t eat at places that offer hot dogs and hamburgers. Instead seek out smaller places off the beaten track that serve to the locals. Always leave room for some gelato.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Cooking, Eating Italian, Europe, Festivals, Gelato, Italy, Wine
Tags: Cooking, Festivals, Food, Gelato, Italian, Italian cuisine, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Wine
Martha Bakerjian wrote a BLOG on festivals in Italy by month. There are big festivals in the larger cities like Carnevale in Venice and all almost every small town has their own festivals on important church religious days and on the feast of their patron Saint. Italians love to party. Festivals are a time of socializing and having a fun time with family and neighbors. The next time you head for Italy look up festivals for each city you will visit and see if any coincide with your visit. If they do, take the time to be part of it.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Europe, Festivals, General Travel, Italy, Regions of Italy, Small Towns
Tags: Festivals, Italian, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Romance, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism
St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you really want to see Italy party and be at its best, visit in September. Most small and large towns have festivals. Venice has a gondola parade, some towns have parades, others have huge parties with food wine and music. September is a great month to visit. The crowds have died down, the heat has died down and you can enjoy your towns without be bumped around by so many tourists. Italy has a lot to offer so look into which towns you want to visit and see what they are doing. Remember the big towns are a must but don’t miss the charm and fun of the small villages throughout Italy.
Categories: Eating Italian, Festivals, General Travel, Italy
Tags: Drink, Festivals, Food, Italian, Italian cuisine, Italian people, Italy, No Tour Touring, Recreation, Rome, September, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism, Venice, Wine