Thursday, May 26, 2011

A festival feast for you....from Italy with love

 A couple of years ago when I was still one of those nameless employees in a big corporate, a colleague of mine made a decision to take a sabbatical. He had just turned 30 (not sure what 40 was going to be like for him) and was having a mid life crisis, a marriage crisis and a career crisis.  In his search for something better, a break from the mundane of life he sort out Italy as a retreat and with that a festival to entice him to just the right little Italian Village.  If I remember correctly, it was the Palio of Siena, it has an exciting horse race which is run in Siena's fan-shaped main square, Piazza del Campo or Il Campo.  It is one of the most popular and well-known historic festivals in Italy.  It was a festival to be cherished, it brought him out of his crisis, and it was a story to be retold for years to come.

As an expat you have the most incredible opportunity to base your holidays around these wonderful festivals around the world. You too could be my colleague, but every summer while you are away could be his Italy.

Here are some more Festivals to turn green over in Italy:

  • Carnevale - Carnival Festivals - The best one to experience is in Venice (March 8 but many cities start in February, Venice being one of them)
  • Palio of Sien Festival - Piazza del Campo - Where: Sien (July 2)
  • L'Ardia di San Costantino - Ancient Horse Race - Where: Sedilo, Sardinia (July 5 - 7)
  • Festa Della Madonna Bruna - Procession and Fireworks - Where: Matera (July 2)
  • La Quintana: Medieval Parade -  Where: Ascoli Piceno (First Sunday in August)
  • Summer Music Festivals 
     - Verona Opera, Arena di Verona (Mid June to September)
     - Puccini Fetival in Tuscany at Torre del Lago Puccini (July and August)
     - Stresa Festival, Lake Maggiore (year round)
     - Opera Theater of Rome, Baths of Caracalla (year round)
     - Umbria Jazz Festival, Perugia (24 June - 10 July)
     - Ravello Concert Society, Amalfi Coast (year round)
     - Sferisterio Opera Festival, Macerata (late July to early August)
     - Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro (August)

  • Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics - Venice (June 2)
  • San Biagio Festival - Southern Italy's Saints Day Festival - Archery Contest amongst the neighborhoods of Fivizzano in the Lunigiana of Northern Tuscany (July)

These are just some of the top Festivals that Italy offers, as an expat it is worth looking at experiencing not only the wonderful travel experiences that are on offer, but also the wonderful cultural festivals.

What festivals have you been to and which ones do you consider the best?

Denise is an Expat, Mom, Wife and Marketing Manager at a website that provides cost of living index information and calculates what you need to earn in a different location to compensate for cost of living, hardship, and exchange rate differences. The complete cost of living rank for all 300 locations for all 13 baskets is available here.

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