If you are thinking about a trip to Tuscany or Umbria in 2017, now is the time to start making your plans. Not only does this give you best selection of villas, but it also allows you plan around one or more of the numerous events that are held in the region each year. I have written about some of these before and I will remind you about them here as well as give you a few more.
Easter Week in Rome
Perhaps the most important although also the most difficult one for which to find accommodation and the most crowded is Easter Week in Rome which begins on Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter Day and ends 8 days later on Easter Monday. In 2017, Easter Day falls on April 16. There are several public appearances by the Pope during Easter Week and it possible to attend one of the masses celebrated by him but you will need tickets. These can be obtained on the website of the Prefecture of the Papal Household at http://www.vatican.va/various/prefettura/en/biglietti_en.html.
As the pictures below demonstrate, L’Eroica is a cycling event that is a little bit different than the Tour de France. L’Eroica started in 1997 with 92 riders. It now attracts thousands. Although often incorrectly referred to as a race, L’Eroica is a non-competitive event or ride which will takes place every year in Gaiole in Chianti, Siena, Italy on the first Sunday of October. The ride is inspired by historical cycling and the routes include long segments of gravel roads. Riders have the choice of 5 routes, ranging from the shorter Leisure Route, 46 kilometres in length, to the longer more grueling Long Route of 209 kilometres.
Participation in L’Eroica is dedicated to cyclists dressed in vintage or vintage-inspired cycling gear, riding historical or vintage-style bikes, as described in the regulations governing the event. Only vintage road racing bikes, called BICI EROICHE, made up to and including 1987 or recently constructed but historically inspired bikes if they are road-racing bikes assembled using vintage components or replicated parts similar to the original.
L’Eroica started in 1997 with 92 riders
In May and June are the Infioratas or flower festivals put on in various towns throughout Italy. The Infioratas, which literally means “decorated with flowers”, involve the entire community. I mentioned this in more detail in my March 2016 Newsletter.
Festival di Spoleto
Also described in the March Newsletter is the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto in eastern Umbria about 60 km southeast of Perugia. There are numerous historical sites to visit including the largely rebuilt Roman theatre, the stage of which is occupied by the former church of St. Agatha and currently houses the National Archaeological Museum. The Festival, which in 2017 is presently scheduled to run from June 23 to July 9 but this is subject to change, consists of several days of great entertainment including operas, concerts, ballets, recitals, plays, film exhibitions, workshops, conferences, encounters, awards, contests, special events, and a close look at contemporary art. Full details of the Festival, including how to purchase tickets online, can be found on its website at http://www.festivaldispoleto.com/.
On July 2, 2017, the first of the two annual Palio races will be held over 3 days. The second is scheduled for August 16, 2017. The race takes place on the last day following various activities that are presented on the preceding days. You can find more details about the Palio in my December 2014 Newsletter and on the official website.
Umbria Jazz Festival
A few days after the July running of the Palio is the Umbria Jazz Festival, held in Perugia, which is also described in the March 2016 Newsletter. This year the Festival is scheduled to run from July 6 to 17. Full details about Umbria Jazz, including how to buy tickets online, can be found on the festival’s website at http://www.umbriajazz.com/
If you cannot be in Italy in time for Umbria Jazz and you are a fan of the opera, you might want to take in the Puccini Festival held on various days in 2017 between July 14 and August 18. For more information, see my March Newsletter as well as the Festival’s website at http://www.puccinifestival.it/edizione-2017/