So you are hankering to visit northern Italy in February, but you’re not sure what to see and what to do. Don’t despair; there are lots and lots of special events that simply aren’t available in the good old summertime. Here are a few of them. Get rolling; the month of February is almost upon us. We start our virtual counterclockwise tour in the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia in the northeast corner of Italy. Then it’s east to Lombardy, south to Liguria, and west to Emilia-Romagna.
Every February the town of Pordenone is host to a Costumed Kangaroo Court. I would try to avoid getting traffic tickets in this period. Pracchiuso is well known for its St. Valentine’s Day celebration. The Italian Winter Triathalon with foot racing, mountain biking and skiing starts in Friuli ski resort of Piancavallo. This competition, also known as SnowForTri, continues into March.
Our second region is Lombardy where the town of Berbenno di Valtellina hosts a medieval festival in honor of Saint Benigno De’ Medici. Get up early for a parade in the morning. Saint Faustino is the patron saint of both Italian singles and for the city of Brescia that celebrates with fireworks. Lucky singles may set off their own fireworks.
Emilia-Romagna is the gastronomic capital of Italy so if you get hungry watching (or participating in) Cesenatico’s Tug of War World Indoor Championships you’ll be able to satisfy your appetite with some great food. Don’t plan on coming or coming back to the 2011 competition, this competition moves every year.
We end our virtual tour in the region of Liguria, the Italian Riviera. February weather in this charming part of the world may start to take a turn for the better. But I can’t promise you that. On the first Sunday of the month the small town of Pieve hosts a Mimosa Festival honoring this beautiful yellow flower in a region known for its flowers. You’ll see plenty of floats festooned with flowers, and nearly everyone is wearing or carrying Mimosas. Bring your appetite. The little town of Taggia hosts a Historical Parade towards the end of the month. This celebration first started in 1626. And make sure to visit the town center and view the medieval bridge. The best-known and most widely attended celebration in northern Italy during February is the San Remo Song Festival. They say life has no guarantees but the winner of this competition has a great chance for an Italian singing career. San Remo’s population bounds from 50 thousand to about 200 thousand so don’t count on getting a hotel room at the last minute. This festival starts on the second Tuesday of February and goes until Sunday.