With Easter fast approaching Italy is the perfect place to visit around this time of year to enjoy mild temperatures and fine food and wine. Tuscany is top on the list of many, being one of the country’s most beautiful and culture crammed areas with plenty to offer over the Easter period. Here are 3 reasons why:
1. Scoppio del Carro Festival
Translated to mean “explosion of the cart”, Florence’s first major festival of the year is held on Easter Sunday to celebrate the ancient crusade of 1099. During this fascinating festival, an enormous antique cart is pulled by two oxen, dressed up in garlands of flowers for the occasion, from the Porta al Prato to the Piazza del Duomo. The cart, carrying a substantial pile of fireworks is accompanied by 150 soldiers, musicians, and people in 15th century dress. During midday mass, the pile is ignited via an elaborate wiring system which sends an object representing a dove speeding down from the high altar. The “dove” sets alight the fireworks after which ensues an impressive show lasting 20 minutes. To mark the occasion the bells of Giotto’s campanile ring out throughout the whole procession. As bizarre as this Easter festivity sounds, you have to see it to believe it!
2. Top Florence Attractions
Florence, former capital of Italy, has a lot to offer all year round. Walk around the center of the city and chance upon the Galleria degli Uffizi, Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and breathe the ancient renaissance’s atmosphere. Moreover, if you are really interested in tasting new flavours and traditional cuisine, Florence and Tuscany have delicious recipes and wines: the countryside around Florence is plenty of “Agriturismi” and “trattorie”, where you can try typical “Bistecca alla fiorentina”, that is a porterhouse steak, or taste the most famous Italian wines such as Chianti or Brunello di Montalcino.
Florence is a great city in which to stay in an apartment, using it as your base from which to explore the city and its surrounding landmarks. Don’t miss the huge selection that Oh-Florence.com has all over the city.
3. Tuscan Treasures
But there is more to Tuscany than just Florence: you can reach other amazing cities, plenty of landmarks and monuments such as the Torre di Pisa, Siena’s Piazza del Campo and San Gimignano historical center, three sites included in the world heritage list of UNESCO.
Why not also spend a day in the bucolic hills of Tuscany where it is possible to relax, drinking Chianti in little sips while you are enjoying a breath-taking panorama or participate to the mountain- bike competition “Colline Toscane” if you are a sportsman.