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I Love Touring Italy - Abruzzi Carnival Season 2014

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I Love Touring Italy - Abruzzi Carnival Season 2014

Author : Levi Reiss   Top Author

Submitted : 2014-01-08 03:12:47    Word Count : 450    Popularity:   Not Rated

Tags:   Carnival, Carnivale, Italy, celebration, mask, costume, float, carnival season, Abruzzi

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Francavilla al Mare is a city of some 25 thousand located near Pescara, Abruzzi on the Adriatic coast in central Italy not all that far from Rome. This carnival is considered so far above and beyond the regional competition that is simply known as the "Carnevale d'Abruzzo" (the Abruzzi Carnival). This seems to be the only such case in all of Italy with exception of Piedmont. Interestingly enough the Carnevale d'Abruzzo dates in its present form back to only 1956 when it greeted a group of Martians in a flying saucer. Of course Francavilla al Mare does not host the only Carnevale site in Abruzzi and you should really visit several of them.

Abruzzi is home to the most tragic Carnevale in all Italy. Abruzzi's capital city of Aquila, which is home to about 70 thousand, is located on a hillside in the middle of a narrow valley. It is partially situated on an ancient lakebed; this factor intensifies seismic activity. On February 2, 1703, Carnival day, a major earthquake struck destroying the city and killing an estimated three to five thousand people. In memory of the victims the Aquila Carnevale always takes place on February 3, unlike all other Italian Carnevales whose date varies in function of Easter. Aquila's most recent earthquake took place on April 6, 2009 killing more than three hundred people. This was the deadliest Italian earthquake in about thirty years.

There are several Carnevales in Abruzzi. A partial list of the cities and towns includes Civita Castellania, Poggio Mirteto (where it is known as Carnevale Liberato - Liberated Carnival), Lanciano, Citta Sant' Angelo, Francavilla, and Versila, the sometime home of opera composer Giacomo Puccini, poet, novelist, dramatist, and political Fascist Gabriele d'Annunzio, and Carlo Collodi the author of Pinocchio. Yet with all this competition Francavilla al Mare's remains the "Carnevale d'Abruzzo."

Cicerchiata is the traditional Abruzzi Carnevale treat. While it looks like peanut brittle it is traditionally made from small beans known as Cicerchie, which unfortunately are getting harder and harder to find. Increasingly the beans are replaced by fried dough. In addition to the beans (or dough) the recipe calls for butter, sugar, eggs, and white wine and for the frying, what else but olive oil? By the way, the traditional recipe calls for frying the mixture in one inch of olive oil. The mixture is deliciously held together by a combination of honey, sugar, and minced candied fruits. Accompany Cicerchiata with a Verdicchio white wine from the neighboring Marches region or even better, with a Falanghina white wine from the Campania region to the southwest. Don't mss out on some fine Abruzzi wines.

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Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers trips to Italy and drinking fine Italian wine. He teaches computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his Italian travel website www.travelitalytravel.com and his global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com featuring weekly bargain wine reviews.

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