Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

Vino Con Vista | Traveler

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I Love Touring Italy - Springtime In Campania

Amalfi Coast.Image via Wikipedia

Campania marks the beginning of southern Italy. It lies on the Tyrrhenian Sea and is truly a land of contrasts. Many areas such as parts of Napoli, Italy's third largest city and the regional capital, remain largely poverty stricken. And other areas such as the Isle of Capri and the Amalfi Coast are favorites of the jet set. Because this is southern Italy, it gets hot early in the year. So you may want to focus on spring touring. The village of Paestum, population under one thousand, near the coast in southern Campania holds a traditional celebration of the Immaculate Conception with a fair and outdoor market near the end of March.

On April fifth the town of Montoro Superiore, population about 9 thousand, further north up the coast holds a traditional pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Crowned Virgin. This commemorates the legend of a mad bull who was spared from slaughter via the miraculous intervention of the Crowned Virgin. On the same day Napoli celebrates the Feast of Saint Vincent Ferreri with a mix fried hot peppers and melons. Don't look for it all over Naples; this delicacy is restricted to the Stella neighborhood. Naples - Windows in Bloom is the city's annual event dedicated to creativity. Art, architecture, design and fashion groups perform at the Castel dell'Ovo, a Twelfth Century fortress overlooking the Porto Santa Lucia in the Gulf of Naples. This location is spectacular.

The port city of Salerno, population about 150 thousand, is about 35 miles (55 kilometers) southeast of Naples. On the first weekend of May it celebrates Fieravecchia, one of Europe's oldest fairs that dates all the way back to the year 1259. This medieval pageant has been transformed into a food trade fair showcasing literally hundreds of types of local pasta (don't forget that we are in southern Italy), olive oils, salamis, canned and dried tomatoes, and wines. A major focus is limoncello, a sweet, lemon-tasting local liqueur. The festivities include a street pageant, music, artisan vendors and an unforgettable food attraction such as a 2,000 egg omelet. And let's not forget the water buffalo mozzarella cheese.

At the end of May in the town of San Andrea di Conza, population about 2000, its time for Maggiaiole (May Day Festivities). The local young girls devoutly march to Conza with their heads covered by a white handkerchief and a crown of gooseberry vines leading the populace. This manifestation effectively signifies the return of Saint Andrea's people to Conza, their place of origin.

Levi Reiss wrote or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but to tell the truth, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Check out his wine website with a weekly column reviewing $10 wines and new sections writing about (theory) and tasting (practice) organic and kosher wines.

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