I Love Sightseeing Tours of Italy - Latium Winter Attractions and Events

Latium is situated on the Tyrrhenian coast of central Italy. Its capital is Rome, the capital of Italy, and, and, and. I said it before, I'll say it again. Or more precisely, I quoted before, and I'll quote again (because I did not coin this phrase) Roma, non basta una vita. Rome, one lifetime is not enough. I have just read somewhere that you can expect four hours of sunshine a day in the Roman winter. Maybe. But you're in Rome. Romaeuropa Festival is Rome's big festival of theater, music, and dance held in venues across Rome for more than a month starting in early November. This is Italy's top contemporary art festival, and in fact one of the major European art festivals. It includes dozens and dozens of shows, many of which are national premieres.

The Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception on December 8 is an Italian national holiday. There are celebrations throughout Italy and churches hold special masses. You'll
find parades, feasts, and music here, there, and almost everywhere. Rome celebrates with floral wreaths and a ceremony at the Spanish Steps presided over by the Pope. Although government offices and banks are closed, many stores stay open for holiday shopping.

Latium is home to a large number and wide variety of Living Nativity Scenes. The town of Greccio presents an unusual one: the Re-enactment Of St. Francis Building The First Nativity Scene (Christmas Eve). St. Francis of Assisi is said to have started things off by building a straw nativity scene in a Greccio cave in 1223. Some of the largest and most elaborate Roman Nativity Scenes are found in Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Euclide, Santa Maria in Trastevere, Santa Maria d'Aracoeli on the Capitoline Hill, and in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican City. You may choose to attend the midnight mass on Christmas Eve followed by the Pope's blessing on Christmas Day. The Church of Saints Cosma e Damiano, by the main entrance to the Roman Forum, displays a large nativity scene from Naples all year round. Other towns that host nativity scenes include Bassano, Vetralla, and Chia whose offering on December 26 includes more than 500 participants.

Rome's traditional New Year's Eve celebrations are centered in Piazza del Popolo (Square of the People). Huge crowds celebrate with rock and classical music, dancing, and fireworks. The celebration continues on New Year's Day with festivities for the children. Or you may prefer a classical music concert outdoors on the square in front of the Quirinale off Via Nazionale around 11:00 followed by fireworks at midnight.

In Vatican City, following another Epiphany (January 6) tradition, hundreds of people dressed in medieval costumes promenade along the wide avenue that leads up to the Vatican, carrying symbolic gifts for the Pope. The Pope pronounces a morning mass in St Peter's Basilica to commemorate the Wise Men visit bearing gifts for Jesus. The town of Velletri celebrates the Festival of St. Anthony Historical Parade and Jousting Tournament in January. At the beginning of February, the hilltop town of Fiuggi honors Saint Biagio by bringing tree trunks in from the forest and lighting them in the main square. That seems to be it for Latium February festivals, with the exception of Carnivale to be covered in another article. And yet, in spite of the weather which may not be the best, I somehow think that you can manage to enjoy yourself in Rome in February.

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on
computers and the Internet but he would rather just drink
fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods.
He teaches various computer classes in 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.