Venice Carnival

Venice Carnival

Italy is one of the most exciting countries in the world. It is known for its excellent food, fun people and fascinating art. The country is rich with history and culture, and one way to experience Italy’s interesting culture is to attend one of the many festivals. The majority of the festivals in Italy are centred on historic events, and they are full of people dressed in costumes, contests, food, flags and fireworks. If you are interested in going to a festival in the country, here are the three top festivals of 2012.

Venice Carnival

Held February 11-21st, 2012, this carnival is one of the largest and most decorative events in Italy. The carnival was established in the 11th century; however, it had to be rejuvenated in 1979. The festival includes gondola and boat parades down the Grand Canal, as well as mask parades in St. Mark’s Square. If you want to really experience the atmosphere of the carnival, you can join in by buying and wearing one of the amazing masks. You can go to venice-carnival-italy.com for more information.

Ivrea Orange Throwing Carnival

Ivrea is a city in Italy north of Turin. On February 18-21 of 2012, the city will come alive during this unique and exciting carnival where oranges are thrown. The festival has a distinct smell, as thousands of oranges carpet the streets of the town. If you have ever loved a good food fight, this is the place to be. The tradition dates back to 1194 when a young girl by the name of Violetta started a revolt in which stones where thrown that resulted in freedom for the people of Ivrea. A tyrant in town took the maiden to his castle where he forced her into marriage. After the wedding, Violetta branded a dagger and cut off the head of the evil tyrant. Today, there is a contest in the middle of town in which individuals in carriages, which represent the tyrant’s guards, compete against other teams on foot which thrust the fruit into the air at the carriages. Bright, red hats, which symbolize freedom, are worn. But for those of you who don’t want to get too involved, if you wear a red hat, you cannot throw an orange, and no one can throw an orange at you.

 Verona Opera Festival

If you enjoy music, you will love the Verona Opera Festival, as it consists of incredible music and has a stunning atmosphere. The performances begin June 22, 2012 and continue until September 2. The arena was built in the first century B.C, and it is Italy’s third largest Roman arena. Performances begin around 9:00 p.m, and you can purchase tickets online, as well as see a list of performances. Just go to www.it/en-US. The festival was established in 1913 by Giovanni Zenatello and Ottone Rovato and quickly became known throughout the world. You do not have to be a music lover to appreciate the spectacular music that takes place, as people from all over the world flock to the town out of curiosity to see these inspiring performances.