February Events in UMBRIA

Date:From Easter Sunday backtrack the 40 days of Lent to a Wednesday. The Tuesday
is Fat Tuesday, the last day of Carnevale. Celebrations begin the 10 to 14 days
leading up to Fat Tuesday.
Where:    throughout Italy
Carnevale is celebrated all over the country this month. Derived from carnem levare, literally, 'remove the meat' in Latin. Officially, Carnevale starts in mid-January and ends on the day before Ash Wednesday. This is the first day of Lent, the period of 40 days abstinence during which Christians were once forbidden from eating meat. It's a pagan holiday of medieval origin dating back to ancient winter rites when disguises and laughter were used to chase away the evil spirits of winter. During the first week of celebrations adults go to veglioni (late night parties), often wearing costumes and masks. Children wear disguises to school and around the piazza (like Halloween) feeding on the candies given by local shops and families. Carnevale pastries (thin dough strips fried and dusted with powdered sugar) called fritelle, tortelli or chiacchiere fill the shops. Celebrations reach a crescendo of parties and parades on the final day, Martedi Grasso (Fat Tuesday...think Mardi Gras) when a symbol of the Carnevale is burned on a bonfire. Local traditions play a major role in the celebrations, giving a unique flavor to the many festivities The duration of the festivities varies from place to place but it usually lasts a week to ten days. Everything remains open and the country takes on a festive, party spirit.
Web Link:www.angel-mask.com/movindex.htm
Web Link:www.maskart.com/

Saint Bagio Day
Date:February 3
Saint Biagio supposedly saved a youngster who had a fishbone stuck in his throat. For this, he became the Patron of Sore Throats. The tradition is to eat a slice of leftover panettone (a traditional holiday cake) with a glass of wine to bless one's throat. (Look for two for the price of one panettone specials).
Web Link:saints.catholic.org/saints/blaise.html

Antiques and Flea Market
Date:first weekend of the month
An antiques and flea market is held in the main piazza

Sagre dei Olivi (Celebrations of the Olives)
Date:Various all month long
Where:Umbria and Tuscany
There are more than 30 small festivals held in countless villages in Umbria. At any one it is possible to find a guided tour of the olive pressing process. One can taste "olio novella", the newly pressed, virgin olive oil in it's most delicious state... as it drips from the press. For more information on specific locations call: 011-39-0577.27.16.51 (from the United States).
Web Link:www.davero.com/faq.html
Web Link:www.alfanet.it/oliodioliva/englishversion.html

Commedia "Wedding" Festival
Date:Shrove Tuesday
A symbolic-burlesque wedding is held. Cosimicchia and Trippetta, followed by Pulcinella, the Angel, the Devil and a mysterious Lady all get married unjustly. Dressed in white and accompanied by the rhythms of drum music, the five characters put on a continuing performance that involves the public, from piazza to piazza until late in the evening. The performances are evil satires, heavily involving gestures and intonations of voice of the bride and groom, as required by the rules of the ancient medieval contrast, conducted and reinforced by the masked musical bands which descend into the piazzas from all parts of the town to help ward away the local authorities.

The Saltarello
Date:the third Sunday in February
This celebration of the olive harvest features bruschetta, a typical Umbrian antipasto of country flat bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with newly pressed olive oil. A group of olive pickers parade on their tractors from the countryside into the town, singing folk songs and carrying branches cut from the olive trees. Joined by the townspeople, they proceed to three taverns, one for each neighborhood of the city, which for the festa, serve hot mulled wine, roast pork, grilled sausages, white beans and polenta. Free slices of bruschetta are handed around all evening and folk groups perform songs and popular dances to liven up the festival.

Torcolo Festival
Date:early in February
A festival celebrating this traditional cake of the Perugia region.

Antiques and Flea Market
Date:every second Sunday of the month
An antiques and flea market is held in the Piazza del Popolo

Antiques and Flea Market
Date:every second Sunday of the month
An antiques and flea market is held in the Piazza del Mercato

Antiques and Flea Market
Date:second weekend of the month with an annual fair in the spring
An antiques and flea market is held in the main piazza

The Honey Castagnola Festival
Date:during Carnevale
Where:Valle del Nestore, Citta di Castello
During the Carnevale celebrations of Valle del Nestore, they slip in this celebration of a local sweet made from honey and chestnuts.
Web Link:www.argoweb.it/tifernate/tifernate.uk.html

Festival of Saint Valentino, Patron Saint of Terni
Date:February 14th
While variations on the life and death of Saint Valentine abound, this city claims him as their patron and declare the reason for his untimely death as resulting from his defiant marriage of a legionnaire soldier to a Christian (which was forbidden). The theme of the day focuses on love and the relics of the saint that are preserved in the church. There is also a dramatic torchlight parade and popular celebrations.
Web Link:www.bellaumbria.net/Terni/San_Valentino_eng.htm

Festival of Saint Valentino, Patron Saint of Terni
Date:February 14th
Valentine's Day in Perugia is an annual event featuring a unique and chocolaty surprise each year. In 1999, 28,000 chocolate-starved people devoured a 400-kilogram kiss. Perugia is the home of Perugina Chocolates and the Etruscan Chocohotel, the first hotel in the world to be entirely dedicated to the sweet temptation. The building is shaped like a gigantic bar of chocolate, with each square an individual room (reservations 011-39-075-5735031).

Saint Faustino's Day
Date:February 15th
Where:various events, various localities
This patron saint of Brescia has been adopted by The National Association of Single Italians (ANIS) as the patron saint of those whose lives are devoid of a lover. Based in Grosetto, boasting 2,300 members (call 0564/417682), ANIS highlights celebrations of the often-overlooked saint. There is no evidence that Saint Faustino consoled the lovelorn. He is better known for spending most of his 15th century existence fighting bloody battles against Brescia's enemies. However, when you see photocopied invitations to Saint Faustino parties in the piazza, you'll understand...
Web Link:www.gol.grosseto.it/asso/anis.htm

Antiques and Flea Market
Date:third weekend of the month with an annual fair in the spring
An antiques and flea market is held in the main piazza

Antique Furniture Market
Date:third weekend of the month, with an annual fair at the end of August
An antiques and furniture is held in the main piazza

Antiques Market
Date:third weekend of the month
Where:Citta di Castello
An antiques and flea market is held in the main piazza

Truffle Festivals
Date:4th weekend
An exhibition of black truffle and other local Valnerina products.
Web Link:www.norcia.net/302.htm
January . February . March . April . May . June .
July . August . September . October . November . December

Umbrian Festivals and Events
For a taste of medieval pageantry and traditions, time your trip to enjoy one of Umbria's artisan or seasonal festivals.