I Love Sightseeing Tours of Italy – Winter Attractions and Events in Abruzzi/Molise

Abruzzi and Molise are small, traditional Italian regions on the Adriatic Sea. They were united until Molise was named as a separate region in 1963. These regions get pretty cold in the winter, but you still can enjoy yourself even if you aren’t into winter sports. Here you can see the real Italy, which is virtually unspoiled by tourists. I first heard of this area decades ago, when I learned that according to Craig Claiborne, at the time Food Editor of the New York Times, Italy’s best food was found in Abruzzi. Why don’t you try to see if his considered opinions still hold?

Saint Martino’s day, November 11, is said to signal the end of the agricultural year. The harvest is in and prepared for the winter. Scanno, Abruzzi celebrates this special day with enormous bonfires on the surrounding hillsides. Valle Castellana, Abruzzi holds a Chestnut and Potato Festival in November.

December 6 marks the San Nicolo Feast Day which is often celebrated with traditional loaves of bread and taralli, hard round biscuits, washed down with wine. Two days later is the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception. Several towns and villages celebrate with bonfires and traditional singing. Among the beautiful Living Nativity scenes is Bethlehem in the Grotto in the town of Stiffe, Abruzzi held during the month of December. On Christmas Eve many Molise towns such as Agnones, Acquaviva Collecroce, and Oratino hold torchlight processions, while Bagnoli di Trigno holds a flashlight parade. Each parade is similar and each parade is unique.

Rivisondoli, Abruzzi reenacts the arrival of the Three Kings at the Manger on January 5. There are hundreds of costumed participants. Every January the village of Picciano, Abruzzi hosts a traditional Befana Festival honoring an old woman dressed as a witch who gives coal to the bad children. Villa d’Agri, Molise hosts a similar festival.

In mid-January the village of Fara Filiorum Petri, Abruzzi and several others host a Farchie Festiva in honor of St. Anthony. There are huge bonfires with torches over ten meters long (more than thirty feet) and a meter wide. You’ll hear firecrackers, songs, and stories. There’s dancing, food, and wine. In mid-January Ortona, Abruzzi celebrates a special festival that honors Saint Sebastian; a finely decorated small boat filled with fireworks is launched. According to tradition, the length of the boat’s journey indicates the success of the coming agricultural and fishing seasons. In both of these regions February means Carnivale, discussed in a separate article.

Levi Reiss wrote or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but to tell the truth, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Check out his wine website http://www.theworldwidewine.com with a weekly column reviewing $10 wines and new sections writing about (theory) and tasting (practice) organic and kosher wines.

Article Source: I Love Sightseeing Tours of Italy – Winter Attractions and Events in Abruzzi/Molise