John Bensalhia looks at ways of enjoying the traditionally busy February in 2021.
This month's events collection is a notably different proposition to previous February ones. Normally, February is one of the busiest months in Italy's calendars, given that it's carnival season. However, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, this means that the usual carnival events have either been cancelled, postponed, or considerably altered.
There is, however, some good news. As a means of a consolation prize, you may not be able to go to a traditional carnival, but by way of the internet, a carnival can come to you. Some of the online events in this batch can help to recreate that unique carnival atmosphere in your own home. Please note that all events may be subject to change – please double-check the provided web links for confirmation.
February 2021 (Dates TBA)
One of the biggest carnivals is the Venice Carnival. While the usual kind of Venice Carnival has been considerably altered, the online version still promises to be a worthy substitute. Using the mantra 'Traditional, Emotional, Digital', the online version of the Venice Carnival allows you to take part from home. Virtual rooms will be available for all ages. Children can enjoy virtual performances, workshops, interactive stories and competitions). Teenagers can have fun with costumes, take part in competitions, learn from tutorials and experience meet and greet with influential participants). Meanwhile, adults can enjoy some special entertainment and attempt to win the prize of the Most Beautiful Mask. Registration is set to open as well as digital events to sign up for in the near future. For more details, click on the above link where full details and dates will be announced.
Milan, 4th - 6th February 2021
The 10th edition of the Oil Workshop Festival will be happening from Milan in early February 2021. A majority of speakers and experts on oil will be on hand to discuss the science, technology and gastronomy of oil. As well as this, there will also be special shows and exhibitions. Among the guests at this year's event are Anna Cane, president of the Olive Oil Group of the Italian Association of the Oil Industry, and Elisabetta Bernardi , specialist in Food Science and author of the Rai programme, Superquark. They will be part of a meeting (in conjunction with Assitol) discussing the history of democracy through the history of the olive tree. Other notable happenings at this event include a monologue by writer Antonio Pascale. While this year's event has been rearranged on account of the pandemic, it still promises to enlighten and entertain, providing you with everything that you wanted to know about oil.
10 February 2021 - 18:00 CET
Dante’s dramatic love/hate relationship with Florence has fascinated the world for centuries. Exiled in 1302 over a political fight, the sommo poeta both excoriates and expresses extraordinary nostalgia for his hometown in his masterwork, The Divine Comedy. This talk by Italian art and language expert, Alexandra Lawrence, will look at Dante and his multitude of emotions about his ‘Fiorenza’. Anyone can join the zoom lecture.
13th February 2021, 7-9pm (GMT)
One of the great things about the carnivals of Italy is its wonderful array of foods. While carnival season may not be as busy this year, you can still recreate the sweets and desserts. Deborah will be holding the class through Zoom, which will give you the link after you register. You will also get an ingredient list before the class, which you can either use to cook along with or use to cook later on.
14th February 2021, 2-4.30am (GMT)
The great thing about the internet is that you can enjoy a traditional Italian experience in whatever country you happen to be! A case in point is a Virtual Venetian Ball which is organised by EmbassyExperiences.com (with part of the money raised from each ticket going to charity) – a host of special games and initiatives will be available to those who sign up for the event. These include a Venetian cooking class which invites you to create a sumptuous Venetian meal and dessert as well as the chance to learn how to create special Italian cocktails ideal to get any part go with a swing!
Those who prefer a bit of song and dance may prefer a virtual opera presentation or virtual ballroom dance lessons in which you can learn to dance like a pro at a genuine Venetian ball! For those who like dancing of a different kind, a late night DJ will be spinning some classic sounds. Anyone wishing to participate to the max with their own costumes and masks stand a chance of winning a prize for the most unique and stylish professional or self-made mask.
A splendid time is guaranteed for all!
19th - 25th February 2021
Cinema and music fans will find plenty to enjoy in the annual Seeyousound international music and film festival. This year's edition is scheduled for 19th to 25th February. The festival prides itself on exploring music-themed cinema through a number of methods and initiatives. This year looks set to include competitions to find top short films and documentary films as well as special retrospectives of these genres. If you're an aficionado of both cinema and music, as well as a fusion of the two, this is one event that you are likely to enjoy.
23rd February 2021, 10.30-12.30 (GMT)
There's nothing quite like Italian bread and you too can become highly proficient in the art of making traditional Focaccia. Bread For Life Workshops will be covering this in a special online class this February. It advocates the use of fresh ingredients and traditional methods of baking. Those who wish to sign up for this will get a recipe sheet in advance (one week) as well as the details required to log in through Zoom. If you're a novice baker or would like a different slant to cooking delicious Focaccia, this is a great way to enjoy a couple of hours this February.