Events in Tuscany in January:
Those who can enjoy some days of their holidays in January (an ideal moment to relax after the constant Christmas’ coming and going) will confirm that Tuscany is throughout the whole year a perfect setting offering endless options to spend an unforgettable stay.
The regional winter harshness, easily fought with a good glass of wine and a dish of very hot “ribollita”, is clearly compensated by the tranquillity of getting about without the hordes of tourists and enjoying to the full the tranquil pace of life that characterizes Tuscany in this month.
Also, the imminent arrival of the Carnival makes the region an unsurpassed destination where it is necessary to highlight clearly the very celebrated Carnevale di Viareggio which makes enough reason to travel to Tuscany and enjoy which is undoubtedly one of the most important carnivals throughout Europe.
Those who have decided to travel to Tuscany in the following weeks will be able to relish, among others, the following events:
From 11th to 13th January the fair “Portici Gustosi” is celebrated in Cascina-Pisa. It is an important fair themed on wine and gastronomy which after so much success in the first edition will take place in 2010 again. It advertises the best gastronomic products of all the regions in Italy, ranging from sweets things to sausages, wines to delectable oil, without leaving out cheese, marmalade, honey, chocolate and other delights of Italy. Besides, outstanding artisans will offer their best and ravishing creations.
The fair will take place in Corso Matteoti-Cascina (Pisa) from 10 am to 7 pm from 11th to 13th January.
On Sunday 17th January the “Sfida dei fuochi” (the Challenge of Fire) starts in Pontremoli (Massa Carrara). It will continue on 31st January with the burning fire of San Geminiano in the course of the river Verde. It will compete with the one on 17th that will have started the rival parish of San Nicolò. The fascination for fire in Pontremoli has its very ancient roots when at the beginning of the coldest season of the year bonfires honouring the god of fire were built invoking his presence against the cold of wintertime. For the celebration locals prepare big log heaps that they place strategically for the flames to shoot high with all their strength and reach up to 30m of height. According to tradition, the best bonfire will win the competition and that it will be the omen of a good and fertile year for the countryside in the region.
From 20th to 23rd , 28th to 31st and 7th, 14th and 16th February Pietrasanta-Lucca will play host to the Carnaval Pietrasantino. It is a historical and celebrated carnival in the region whose origins date back to the 19th century. In 1959 the celebration was enriched by adding a character that became the symbol of the carnival: “lo Sproco” a dialectal term that refers to thorny plants and that is related with the thorny appearance of the character. In the 70s the carnival’s celebration was completed with the “Festival of Sproco d’Argento” that takes place in the Teatro Comunale and that awards the best compositions of the different neighbourhoods in town.
For more information and the complete program of the carnival link: www.comune.pietrasanta.lu.it
On 24th January in Borgo San Lorenzo–Firenze the Carnival Mufellano will begin with its colourful costume parades that will also take place on 31st January, 7th and 14th February. The streets of the town will fill with spectacular floats which from 3 pm on will create a festive atmosphere for visitors with their music and fun, besides parades, never-ending fun and entertainment guaranteed for everyone.
On 31st January the Carnival di Viareggio 2010 takes place and will continue on 7th, 14th, 16th and 21st February. The most celebrated carnival of all Tuscany and one of the most famed throughout Europe comes again to entertain the thousand of visitors that year after year travel to the ravishing coastal town to enjoy one of the funniest and most spectacular carnivals held in the world. The enormous pieces of art in movement can be almost 20m high and have been carefully made by masters of papel mache making fun of the current issues worrying society most, from the satiric point of view characterizing this important carnival. Almost a million people will gather in Viareggio to participate in the 137th edition of this one-of-a-kind event of its genre.
For more information and a complete program : http://www.viareggio.ilcarnevale.com/