Sant'Eraclio Friuli-Venezia Giulia Carnevale Season - 2014

Friuli-Venezia Giulia Carnevale Season - 2014

Let's go to Carnevale in Friuli-Venezia Giulia this season...

Carnival Sauris

Sauris Friuli-Venezia Giulia in carnival masks

Carnival Sauris, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy Carnevale. Rolar on the left.

It doesn't matter whether you call it Carnival, Carnevale, or Mardi Gras. There's nothing like a Carnival celebration to help banish those winter blues. Italy is one of the best places to view and participate in a Carnevale vacation. Everywhere you will find Carnevale masks, costumes, allegorical floats, special food and wine. And interestingly enough, each Italian region does Carnevale differently. What are you waiting for?

This fabulous celebration occurs on the Tuesday 40 days before Easter so the date varies. Carnevale 2014 is on March 4, Carnevale 2015 is on February 17, but Carnevale season starts earlier. Plan your Italian holidays now. Keep reading.

Friuili-Venezia Giulia is a multilingual region in northeast Italy bordering on the Italian region of Veneto to the west, Austria to the north, and Slovenia to the east. And to the south, the Gulf of Venice. Its capital city, Trieste, officially became part of Italy in 1954, in a sense ending World War II. You may well imagine that with such surroundings, Carnevale in Friuili takes on many multicultural aspects.

Sauris is a village of some four hundred in the Carnic Alps about 80 miles (120 kilometers) northwest of Trieste. It has the highest elevation in the area, almost one mile (1400 meters). Unlike most other Italian sites, it gets very cold in Sauris during Carnevale. And yet the locals and guests still manage to enjoy themselves. This is one of the two oldest such celebrations in the Alps and the traditions of the past are very present, including the local name Voshankh: Lanterne e Maschere (Voshankh: Lanterns and Masks). Major Carnevale features include the ever-present wooden masks and virtually unique promenades on snow covered paths in the forest in which the participants carry lanterns. This is truly a winter carnival.

One of the two most important Sauris Carnevale figures is "Rolar", who wields a broom and tells the people that it’s time to prepare for Carnevale. He is always shaking the bells tied around his waist and his hands and face are covered with soot. His partner “Kheirar " hides his face behind a wooden mask, wears torn clothes, and knocks on doors with his broom and then sweeps the floor. Couples wearing beautiful wooden masks "Scheana schembln" or ugly ones "Schentena schembln" dance to accordion music.

Trieste Friuli in carnival splendor

Carnival Muggia, Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy Carnevale.

Then at nightfall comes the lantern-lit march to a clearing for a giant bonfire. On the way home everybody stops by the local wood and stone huts known as Stavoli for songs, mulled wine, and culinary specialties. This is a great opportunity to taste the local smoked ham flavored with juniper berries and herbs, Dunkatle (mixed meat stew), and Frico (cheese pasta with browned potatoes and onions).

Trieste, population about two hundred thousand, is 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Venice. One of its suburbs, Muggia, is known for a Carnevale that dates back to 1420. Many consider the Muggia Carnevale to be one of the finest in Italy. It runs for only a week but is able to attract thousands of visitors, and believe me there is a lot of Carnevale competition in this part of the world. Every day is chock full of events, including many directed at children. And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine local wines.

About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, 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. Visit his website devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.

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Carnevale, carnival, carnivale season, Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

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