Travel Italy: Vacation Packages, Tips, Tours of Italy


»» Things To See in Florence at Easter – Explosion of the Cart

Those who are visiting Florence at Easter can enjoy the ritual of “Sacred Colombina“.

The Sacred Colombina with Explosion of the Cart — L’ Esplosione del Carro — is a major attraction for both tourists and local residents.

Easter Sunday morning, huge crowds gather in the Piazza del Duomo to watch a dove-shaped rocket, called the Colombina, fly out of the Duomo and ignite a huge wooden cart-structure — the Carro — in the square outside.
During the Easter Mass, the Colombina travels out of the Duomo along a wire, sets fire to the huge array of fireworks attached to the wooden cart and returns back into the church.
When: Easter Day (11am).
Where: Florence – Piazza del Duomo.

Below is a video of the ritual in 2009.

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»» Taste: Learning the Secrets of Italian Food and Wine Culture in Florence

Pitti Immagine is sponsoring the fifth edition of “Taste“, the Florence‘s fair dedicated to excellence in Italian food as well as the biological diversities of foods in the global age.

Taste has become a regular salon of Italian taste, a meeting place for all the top Italian and international members of the high end gastronomic trade as well as a lively attraction for the increasingly demanding audience of quality food enthusiasts.

With “Taste Tour” visitors have a chance to sample the products proposed by the companies exhibiting at Taste, where it is possible to learn more about the gastronomic treasures of Italy: from cream of black truffle soup to Parmesan cheese chocolates, from Prunilli tomato “passata” to alfalfa honey, from handmade dry egg pasta drawn through bronze dies to medieval oven-baked Prosciutto, matured buffalo milk cheese, balsamic vinegar preserve and Taggiasche olive jam…

When: Mar 13 through 15, 2010 (annual – Mid March week-end)
Where: Florence (at Stazione Leopolda)
Details of “Taste” are available at

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»» Carnival Festivals in Tuscany

Those who are visiting Tuscany in February are likely to find Carnival festivals, float parades or masquerade balls, in any small town.
However we give advice about the arguably three most important Carnival festivals held in Tuscany. (See guide to major Carnival festivals in Italy)

Foiano Carnival
One of the oldest Carnival festivals in Italy, Foiano Carnival dates back to 1539. In this Tuscan town Carnivals is a time for competition and rivalries between neighbourhoods with the the four town districts parading their impressive floats through town on four consecutive Sundays. Find out details and programme at
when: Jan 31 – Feb 21, 2010
where: Foiano della Chiana

– Viareggio Carnival
Viareggio Carnival features most spectacular carnival parades in Italy. It is famous worldwide for its incredible floats, which satirise public and political figures.
when: Jan 31 – Feb 21, 2010 (various dates)
where: Viareggio

– Florence Carnival
The roots of Florence Carnival date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Carnival in Florence features Catholic and Pagan celebrations, with float parades departing from Piazza Dante.
when: 7 – Feb 21. 2010 (Sundays)
where: Florence (Piazza Dante)

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»» Tasting Artisan Chocolate in Florence

Chocolate lovers who are visiting Florence early February have a chance to enjoy chocolate tastings while visiting the historic Piazza Santa Croce.

The annual Florence’s Artisan Chocolate Fair, held every year in Piazza Santa Croce, features top chocolatiers displaying the art of chocolate making.

The programme is featuring tasting and sampling and many chocolate-themed events.
It is a great chance for visitors to taste the finest artisan chocolate in one of the of the outstanding Piazzas of Florence, located a two-minute walk from the Uffizi and Palazzo Vecchio.

Where: Florence – Piazza Santa Croce
When: Jan 22 through 25, 2009 (annual)
Find out details at

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»» Firenze Marathon: Perfect Combination of Sport, Art and History in Florence

The last Sunday of November running enthusiasts who are visiting Florence have a chance to experience one of the world’s most scenic marathons.

The Firenze Marathon, one of the top 20 international marathons, offers one of the world’s most picturesque marathon routes.

The 42km-long scenic route stretches from Piazzale Michelangelo to Piazza Santa Croce, passing through Ponte alla Vittoria, the Parco delle Cascine, Piazza del Duomo and Piazza Signoria.

A perfect combination of sport, art, history and culture.
The Firenze Marathon also features a special non-competitive mini-run for kids and families.

Details of the event are available at

When: last Sunday of November
Where: Florence

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