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I Love Visiting Italy - Val D'Aosta Carnival Season 2014


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I Love Visiting Italy - Val D'Aosta Carnival Season 2014

Author : Levi Reiss   Top Author

Submitted : 2014-01-11 01:56:31    Word Count : 447    Popularity:   Not Rated

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

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The tiny region of Val d'Aosta tucked in the mountainous northwest corner of Italy that borders on France and Switzerland is quite the smallest of the twenty Italian regions. That doesn't mean you won't enjoy Carnevale in this bilingual area (Italian and French). Here are some of the many examples.

The town of Verres whose population is about 2500 holds a Historical Carnival Pageant and Parade that manages to attract thousands of visitors. Carnevale here recalls the Fifteenth Century battle for the inheritance of the aristocrat Francesco di Challand between his beautiful daughters. On the last Saturday prior to Carnevale, a costumed delegation marches to the Town Hall, where the Mayor presents Caterina with a golden key, making her the Lady of the Manor. She begins her reign by inviting the crowd to festivities held within the castle, in an attempt to gain the support of the populace. The celebration lasts for three days and culminates with a very colorful carnival parade on Tuesday.

The town of Pont-Saint-Martin whose population is more or less 4000 holds a unique Roman Carnival in which toga-clad tribunes, senators, legions, guards and nymphs celebrate Carnival with a real chariot race! Carnevale finishes up with the hanging and burning of a straw devil under the Saint-Martin bridge. Part of the tradition states that Lys the river nymph was angry at the people so she flooded the river hoping to destroy the village. But when the flood reached the bridge it abated because of the people's prayers.

In the pricey ski resort of Courmayeur, population 4000, which, as the ads put it, is on the sunny side of Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc) Carnevale means traditional folk dances welcoming the arrival of spring. Major players include the bear looking for his shadow, the mule whose tail sweeps away the wicked winds, and lots of tiny mirrors that frighten off evil spirits. When you're tired of Carnevaling you can always hit the ski slopes or vice versa. The town of Nus, population 3000, holds a historical (Middle-Ages) Carnevale whose centerpiece is the municipal band leading a procession of masked, costumed villagers accompanied by some great, allegorical floats. There is free soup for one and all.

In the summer resort of Saint-Vincent, population 5000, the focus is on the Children's Carnival complete with a Child-Mayor who rules the roost with his or her little buddies for eleven days. Watch your step or a "little guardian" can fine you but unlike the usual circumstances all proceeds go to charity. Wherever you go, whatever you do make sure to check out fine Val D'Aosta 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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