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January 23–February 9 Venice Carnival Venice The celebration occurs each year and ends with the celebration of Lent. Activities include a masked ball; a parade of floats; and the annual “Best Masked Costume Contest,” where competitors are judged on their costumes originality and workmanship.

February Carnevale di Viareggio Viareggio This month-long carnival includes a masked parade and fireworks. Elaborate floats are created and displayed during the parade, and the winners of the best floats awards are announced on the Sunday following Fat Tuesday.

February 3 Festival of San Biagio Amalfi This festival celebrates Saint Biagio, the patron saint of woolcombers.

February (Dates TBA) Maiori’s Great Carnival Amalfi Coast Ten days on the Amalfi Coast are dedicated to the Carnival; where parades, floats and dancing groups flood the streets with music, games and entertainment.

March 20–27 Settimana Santa & Pasqua (Holy Week & Easter) Rome Holy Week starts and ends with an open-air mass at St. Peter’s Square on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. There are many other religious ceremonies during the week, including a rite at the Colosseum on Good Friday.

April 10 Su e Zo per i Ponti Venice This annual non-competitive walk starts and ends in the Piazza San Marco and goes throughout the city, with different routes for different age groups. The name means Up and Down the Bridges, referring to the numerous bridges in the city.

May 5 La Sensa Venice Ascension Day in Venice is used to celebrate the “Marriage of the Sea,” which is performed by the mayor of the city and symbolizes the maritime dominion of Venice.

May 5 Vogalonga Venice This non-competitive paddling/rowing race began as a simple boat race between friends and became a protest of sorts against motorboats, which can damage the fragile ecosystem of the lagoon and Venice’s buildings.

August 16 Festa di San Rocco Venice A procession of a statue of San Rocco is carried through the city streets for this festival. The statue is decorated with flowers and carried by 24 people.

June 5–6 Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics Amalfi An annual rowing regatta that commemorates the rivalries and endeavors of four Italian maritime republics. Genoa, Pisa, Venice and Amalfi compete, with one of the four cities hosting the event each year.

June 27 Festival of St. Andrew Amalfi An annual festival that honors the patron saint of Amalfi with fireworks and a procession.

June–September (Dates TBA) Ravello Festival Ravello An annual summer festival that celebrates music and the arts, and features large orchestras, photographic exhibits, discussion groups, talks with artists and more.

August 31–September 1 Byzantine New Year’s Eve Amalfi New Year’s Eve is celebrated the old Byzantine way, with costumed parades and medieval tournaments. | Winter 2016 |

September 4 Regata Storica Venice An annual race that starts in the Castello area and loops around, ending by Ca’Foscari. Before the race, there’s a parade of boats that are decorated in 16th-century style and manned by crews in period costumes.

September 24 Festa del Pesce Positano This festival celebrates the many fish of the area. Beaches are cleared of umbrellas to make room for visitors to try as many fish dishes as they want.

September (Date TBA) Festival della Tradizione Praiano Celebrate traditional music on the Amalfi Coast with performances and dances by traditional musicians.

December (Date TBA) Capri Hollywood Film Festival Capri An international film festival that includes film premieres, a selection of Italy’s greatest classics, and talks with key figures from international films.

Photo by Laura Thayer | 33

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