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Italian Winter Vacations - Visit The Umbria Region

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by: Levi Reiss
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Word Count: 456
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 2013 Time: 3:50 AM

Umbria is a landlocked region of central Italy. Its winters are relatively mild. Of course, the higher the elevation, the more snow and wind you get. The Perugia Antique Trade Fair runs for about a week starting towards 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 excellent oil, wine and cheeses. Towards the end of November visit the Torgiano Tasting of Italian Wines that focuses on Umbrian wine. Make sure not to miss the local wine museum.

Perugia's Christmas market starts in early December and runs for about a 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 about half a mile (800 meters) high and the star on top can be seen for nearly 30 miles (50 kilometers.) The tree is lit on the 7th of December, the evening before the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

You may want to spend Christmas in beautiful 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 their version of 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 litttle 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 you dare 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 Valentino, their patron saint, with a jewelry exhibition and contest and a torchlight parade. On the third Sunday of February Spello plays host to 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. And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Umbria wines including Montefalco Sagrantino, and Torgiano Rosso Riserva.

About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers drinking fine wine with the right foods. He teaches computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his Italian travel website and his global wine website featuring weekly bargain wine reviews.

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