I Love Sightseeing Tours of Italy - Umbria Winter Attractions and Events
Umbria is a landlocked region of central Italy whose winters are relatively mild. Of course, the higher the elevation, the more snow and wind. The Perugia Antique Trade Fair runs for approximately one week from the end of October in Umbria's capital. Then go to the Citta di Castello Truffle and Forest Products Fair on the weekend that starts on the first Friday of November. In addition to peerless white truffles you'll find delicacies such as mushrooms, chestnuts, honey, wild-berry jams and some great oil, wine and cheeses. Towards the end of November visit the Torgiano Tasting of Italian Wines that focuses on Umbrian wine. Don't miss the local wine museum.
Perugia's Christmas market starts in early December and runs for approximately one month. It includes crafts,
movies, music, family shows and food. The Soul Christmas festival of gospel music starts a few days later in the theaters and churches of Lake Trasimeno. Mount Ingino, perched above the small town of Gubbio, Umbria, boasts a huge Christmas tree, the tallest in the world with some 500 lights. It's approximately one half a mile (800 meters) high and the star on top can be seen for almost 30 miles (50 kilometers.) The tree is lit on 7 December, the evening before the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
You may want to spend Christmas in Assisi, the home of Italy's patron saint, Francis of Assisi. Umbrian nativity scenes and holiday concerts abound; the list of towns and villages is too long to reproduce here. Citta di Castello celebrates Christmas Eve on the Tiber River. Several canoeists, each dressed as Father Christmas, wend their lighted canoes to the Porta San Florido Bridge where a crib is suspended over the water. They exit their canoes and give small presents to the children.
For several days starting in late, late December Orvieto is the site of the Umbria Jazz Winter Festival. There are
concerts from noon until late at night in several locations including the Fourteenth Century Palazzo Soliano. Don't miss the New Year's Eve feast or, for a change of pace, the New Year's Day gospel concert held in the magnificent Cathedral.
The Umbrian town of Terni celebrates their patron saint, Valentino, with a jewelry exhibition and contest and a torchlight parade. On the third Sunday of February Spello hosts an Olive and Bruschetta Festival. The month of February ends with the Norcia Fair devoted to the Norcia Black Truffle and typical specialties from the Valnerina. Besides great food you'll enjoy music, dancing, crafts, folklore, and sports events.
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.