So you are thinking of visiting central Italy in December, but you're not sure what to see and what to do. Don't despair; there are lots and lots of special events that simply aren't available in the good old summertime. Here are a few of them. Get rolling; December is almost upon us. We start our virtual tour in the Tuscany on the western coast and then head east to the landlocked region of Umbria. There are so many things to see and do in central Italy in December that this is the first of two articles.
Florence Noel starts at the end of November and runs through the first week of December. This family event includes children's activities such as visiting Babbo Natale (Father Christmas). Everyone will enjoy the chocolate, food, music, and nativity village. You'll find Tuscan Christmas markets in Florence's Piazza Santa Croce with a German touch, Siena, Lucca's Piazza San Michele, Arezzo, Montepulciano, and Pisa. Barga, a beautiful medieval hill town in northern Tuscany, holds a living nativity and Christmas pageant on December 23. Abbadia di San Salvatore, near Montalcino, celebrates the Fiaccole di Natale (Festival of Christmas Torches) on Christmas Eve with caroling and torchlight processions.
Perugia is the capital and largest city in Umbria. Its Christmas market starts in early December and runs for about a month. Thus market includes crafts, movies, music, family shows and food. The Soul Christmas festival of gospel music starts a few days later in the theaters and churches of Lake Trasimeno. Mount Ingino, perched above the small town of Gubbio, Umbria, boasts a huge Christmas tree, the tallest in the world with some 500 lights. It's about half a mile (800 meters) high and the star on top can be seen for almost 30 miles (50 kilometers.) The tree is lit on 7 December, the evening before the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
You may want to spend Christmas in Assisi, the home of Italy's patron saint, Francis of Assisi. Umbrian nativity scenes and holiday concerts abound; the list of towns and villages is too long to reproduce here. Citta di Castello celebrates Christmas Eve on the Tiber River. Several canoeists, each dressed as Father Christmas, wend their lighted canoes to the Porta San Florido Bridge where a crib is suspended over the water. They exit their canoes and give small presents to the children.
For several days starting in late, late December Orvieto is the site of the Umbria Jazz Winter Festival. There are concerts from noon until late at night in several locations including the Fourteenth Century Palazzo Soliano. Don't miss the New Year's Eve feast or, for a change of pace, the New Year's Day gospel concert held in the magnificent Cathedral.
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, French, or other wine, accompanied by the right foods and spend time with his wife and family. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Among his many web sites he is particularly proud of his Italian travel site with a special focus on regional food and wine at http://www.travelitalytravel.com. Check out his global wine website at http://www.theworldwidewine.com with his weekly column reviewing $10 wines and his new sections writing about (theory) and tasting (practice) organic and kosher wines.
What is your opinion of the Vixen porta mount?
Has anyone out there any experience with this alt az mount? No, I have had no experience, but it would appear to be good only for the lightest of terrestrial scopes. The payload limit is 10 lbs, max. What scope are you thinking of using and to what purpose? HTH Charles $249.00 $502.58
A 16 inch RC400! Just kidding!
Vixen Porta II Mount Complete
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Vixen Newtonian Telescope Optical Tube R130Sf w Porta II Mount 39954
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No, I have had no experience, but it would appear to be good only for the lightest of terrestrial scopes. The payload limit is 10 lbs, max. What scope are you thinking of using and to what purpose?
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