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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The Most Beautiful Beaches In Italy

After a non-existent spring in most parts of Europe the majority of people is now very much looking forward to a sunny and long-awaited summer. How about celebrating the warm season on a gorgeous Italian beach?

Let's start with the Puglia region, the heel of the Italian boot. A little corner of paradise is nestled in Brindisi, almost at the lowest point of the heel. Its name is Torre Guaceto, a protected nature reserve that has escaped over-development, the fate of so many other beautiful places. Torre Guaceto gives you the opportunity to discover the extensive fauna and flora as well as relax on the beach. This area being wilder means that you should be prepared to walk a little to get to a perfect spot, but it really is worthwhile. You can also take the advantage of guided walks, cycle tours, kite surfing and snorkelling trips. The visitor centre also organises special events: Open-air plays or star-gazing anyone?

Shall we next move to Sardinia? Porto Pino is waiting there for you. Taking its name from a nearby pine forest, Porto Pino is an unspoilt small town. Its beach is divided into two parts: One with gray sand and the most popular given its location near local parking facilities, and one with white sand extending over three kilometres. Both of course benefit from the same crystalline, shallow waters. Porto Pino offers a vast array of nautical and other sportive activities such diving, wind-surfing, boat rental or horse riding. 

Hoping onto our next island, we are now arriving on Ponza. Rumour has it that it was named after Pontius Pilate and the gorgeous sceneries make it a sought-after film location. White cliffs and mysterious caverns mingle with white sandy beaches and the turquoise sea. Located off the coast south of Rome and north of Naples, Ponza is easily accessible by ferry or hydrofoils. The boat journey will give you time to take in the amazing sights as you approach the island.

There are an impressive 246 Blue Flag beaches spread all over Italy. To be awarded this desirable status the beach must comply with 32 criteria in the fields of environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management and safety and services. The Blue Flag is only awarded for one season at the time and, in a case of not keeping the required standards, may even be removed during the season.

A welcome guarantee of quality for us tourists and fans of this wonderful country.

Article Source: Articlesbase/Travel/Destinations
Author: K J S

Monday, 6 May 2013

A Selection Of May Festivals In Italy

One of the many charms of Italy is its culture of festivals and traditions. Spread the whole year round and varying from one region to the next, the celebrations tend to involve processions, historical costumes and an array of good food and wines. With the return of spring, May is a popular month for sagre (fairs) of all sizes. These festivals can be spectacular, amusing, lively and even bizarre.

Cocullo's Serpari Festival (Snake Festival) is the perfect example. This quiet town in the Abruzzo region comes to life the first Thursday in May. On that day, a statue of Saint Domenico di Sora is carried through the city draped with live snakes. It is believed that the disappearance of snakes in the fields is the work of the city's patron saint and the inhabitants have been carrying this tradition as a gesture of thanks every year since 1392.

The Sposalizio dell'Albero (Wedding of the Trees) is held on May 8th in the Lazio town of Vetralla. Beautiful garlands ornate two oak trees, bunches of spring flowers are being distributed and new trees are being planted. All spectators also enjoy a free meal in the form of a picnic. This day marks the town's rights over the forests and renews the firewood allowance of each citizen. 

Calendimaggio also takes place early may in the town of Assisi in Umbria. The two ancient districts, the Parte di Sopra and the Parte di Sotto, confront each other in many disciplines such as theatre, dance, archery, songs and flag-waving. The contestants are clad in historical costumes and joust in a fabulous setting of floral decorations and torches.

On May 15th the Corsa dei Ceri (Race of the Candles) happens in Gubbio, in Umbria too. Of ancient and religious origin, the race sees three massive wooden candles, each with a statue of one the city's saints on top, being carried all through the streets. At the end of the day they will be making their way back up the hill to be placed in the Basilica of Saint Ubaldo again.

The Festa delle Cantine aperte consists of 44 wine producers in Umbria simultaneously opening their domains to the many visitors and organising wine tastings.

The Sagra del Risotto is organised in the Piemontese town of Sessame the first Sunday in May and dates back to the 13th century. You certainly will not go hungry.

Saint Fortunato, patron saint of the fishermen, is commemorated in the picturesque village of Camogli, close to Genoa. The festival is held on the second Sunday of May, but on the Saturday there is also a beautiful fireworks display and a bonfire competition.

And let's close this selection with... Pinocchio's birthday! It is celebrated on May 25th in Pescia, Tuscany. There is also a Pinocchio Park in Collodi, not far from Pescia.

Article Source: Articlesbase/Travel/Destinations
Author: K J S