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»» Chocolate Tastings in Turin: CioccolaTO’

Turin hosts its annual chocolate festival, CioccolaTO’, from March 2 through 11.
Ten days of tastings, classes, competitions and many more chocolate themed events.

The historic square Piazza Vittorio Veneto is the main venue for CioccolaTO’, but many shops and cafés located in the historic district of Turin will offer tastings and the chance to experience something linked to chocolate.
Even many restaurants will offer a chocolate themed menu and the chance to taste recipes based on chocolate.

When: March 2 through 11, 2012
Where: Turin (Piazza Vittorio Veneto).
Festival program and detailed info are available at www.cioccola-to.it .


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»» The Orange Battle Video – Ivrea Historic Carnival (Piedmont)

Below a video of the “Orange Battle” in the town of Ivrea (Piedmont).
The event takes place the four closing days of Carnival — Saturday, Sunday, and Monday running up to Shrove Tuesday — in the streets and squares all over town.

The orange fights are held between teams of orange throwers on foot and hooded people standing on carts drawn by horses.


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»» Best Carnival Festivals in Italy

The best time to experience the Carnival celebrations in Italy is in the week running up to the “Martedi Grasso” — Fat Tuesday. The best parades, parties and celebrations are held that week, even if in most of festivals, parades are held the Sunday following Martedi Grasso day too.

Below is a list of the major Carnival festivals in Italy (in the brackets the nearest tourist area and attractions).
Venice Carnival– http://www.carnevale.venezia.it/ – (Venice)
Viareggio Carnival– http://www.viareggio.ilcarnevale.com/ – The most spectacular Carnival parades in Italy (Florence, Tuscany, Cinque Terre)
Foiano Carnival– http://www.carnevaledifoiano.it/ – (Tuscany, Umbria)
Ivrea Carnival– http://www.carnevalediivrea.it/ – Well known for the “orange fights” (Piedmont)
Cento Carnival of Europe– http://www.carnevalecento.com/ – Twinned with the Rio Carnival (Bologna, Romagna Adriatic Coast)
Verona Carnival– http://www.carnevalediverona.it/ – (Verona, Lake Garda, Venice)
Termini Imerese Carnival– http://www.ilcarnevaletermitano.it/ – (Sicily)
Sciacca Carnival– http://www.carnevaledisciacca.it/ – (Sicily)
AcirealeCarnival– http://www.carnevaleacireale.com/ – (Sicily, Etna Volcano)
Putignano Carnival– http://www.carnevalediputignano.it/ – One of the oldest carnivals in the world (Bari, Apulia)
Campiglio Asburgica– http://www.carnevaleasburgico.com/ – Carnival recreating the atmosphere of 19th century European aristocracy staying at this Alpin resort (Dolomites)
Livigno Carnival– http://www.aptlivigno.it/ – A snowy Carnival held in one of the most known Alpin resorts (Livigno and the closer Alps resorts)
La Sartiglia– http://www.sartiglia.info/ – Historic Carnival re-enacting a medieval tournament (Sardinia)
Samugheo Carnival– http://www.mamutzones.it/ – (Sardinia).


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»» Spring Festivals in Sicily: “Mandorlo in Fiore”

The Valley of Greek TemplesValle dei Templi — in Sicily, hosts an annual festival celebrating the arrival of Spring.

The festival, “Mandorlo in Fiore” — Almond Tree Blossom — is held in early February, a time when the almond tree flowers herald the return of the Spring in Sicily.
It takes place n one of the major archaeological sites in Italy, The Valle dei Templi in Agrigento.

With also the International Festival of Folklore and the International Festival of Children in the World included in the programme, the festival offers ten days of theatre, dance and music performances.
“Mandorlo in Fiore” offers the unique chance to experience a foretaste of spring in Sicily with its colors and flavors, while enjoying culture, folklore and food.
Where: Agrigento – Valle dei Templi (Sicily)
When: Feb 3 through 12 (annually)

More info at www.sagradelmandorlo.net.


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»» How To Spend New Year’s Eve in Venice

Piazza San Marco is the ideal venue to celebrate the New Year in Venice, especially for lovers.

“Come and kiss in Venice” is the slogan for Capodanno Love, a love-themed New Year celebration, with more than 70,000 people gathering in the Venice’s main square, waiting for the new year with a light display that gives the illusion of thousands of hearts falling from the sky.

Those who are looking for less crowded venues, could opt for Lido di Venezia, where hundreds of ibernisti swimmers celebrate the New Year after a dip in the sea.

For those who love to celebrate the new year with a concert, Venice offers the traditional New Year’s Eve Concert performed by Venice’s ensemble Musici Veneziani, at the Scuola Grande San Teodoro.
Butlers in period costume will serve wine in between performances.


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