A wide spread of events is available this March for all things Italy. John Bensalhia reports...
If the current pandemic restrictions have either postponed or cancelled the majority of events in Italy, there's still no stopping the diversity and ambition of those events that are taking place – either in person (with the relevant precautions) or online. Take this month, which includes headbanging, vegan meals, cocktail making and an online celebration of Women's Day. There's plenty to explore, so let's take a look (and as ever, please note that times and dates are subject to change, so make sure that you keep an eye on the relevant websites for more information).
2nd - 6th March 2021
The best-known Italian song festival returns for its 71st edition this March.
Spanning five days from Sanremo's Ariston Theatre, a selection of new songs will be showcased to viewers who can see the festival on TV (see the above link for more details). Out of this selection, both a jury and viewers will be able to vote for their favourite song, with the top 3 making the winners' pool.
The event will be hosted by showman, Amadeus, who will also be the artistic director on the project. The competition breaks down into two categories: Champions (more established singers) and Newcomers (exactly what it says on the tin!). With respect to the latter category, Sanremo could well be a springboard for a new and fruitful music career. Discover the stars of tomorrow this March!
Magazzini Generali, Milan, 7th March 2021
Sometimes there's nothing like a bit of headbanging along to a bit of air guitar on your favourite heavy metal record in the privacy of your own home.
If you're a bit more confident about headbanging to the latest tunes, then Milan's Headbanging Fest could be for you. Having been postponed from a previous date due to Covid-19, it has now been moved to 7th March, where previously bought tickets can still be used. Among the guests are Extrema, Strana Officina, Raw Power, Rain and SKW. The evening promises to be a memorably fun time for all!
Online, 8th March 2021
The Covid regulations mean that many traditional Italian festivals cannot be celebrated in the usual style. Online, however, it's a different proposition.
Which is why Les Dames d'Escoffier NY (LDNY) have organised a virtual Italian-style International Women's Day celebration between 5.30pm and 6.30pm on the evening of 8th March.
Guests include chef Odette Fada, who will be creating a citrus Mimosa cake and there will also be a Prosecco toast with Dame Francine Kowalsky, plus a live free raffle draw. Ahead of the event, the participants will receive the relevant Zoom link, recipe for the cake making and bios.
Milan, 13th - 14th March 2021
As a new alternative to eating meat, the MiVEG Vegan Festival promotes this through a two-day festival featuring the vegan foods and drinks, as well as seminars and workshops about veganism.
Currently pencilled in for mid-March, the festival boasts delicious but healthy vegan foods as well as gluten-free and raw options. As well as main meals, there will be a choice of completely vegan desserts, drinks, craft beers and sandwiches.
Youngsters attending the event can also learn about subjects such as plant-based nutrition and school cafeterias in the special family area as well as play some special games!
14th March 2021, 6-7 pm
If there's one positive to take away from lockdown, it's that new hobbies and skills are being discovered. One of the most popular is cooking, and for fans of Italian sweet treats, an online cooking class is another string to add to the bow.
Twice-baked biscuits – or Biscotti or Cantucci – are delicious almond-tinged eats that can be created this March either through a cook along or through a cookery demonstration. Every step of creating tasty Biscotti will be covered in the session, including the traditional ingredients, preparation and double baking methods.
After signing up, a list of ingredients will be sent through to each participant and the relevant video link.
Throughout March 2021 on Wednesdays (10.30 am) and Fridays (5.30 pm)
Classic stories have the ability to reach new generations of children. Through the power of the internet, today's youngsters can enjoy these through some special storytime reading with expert storyteller, Valentina.
This special online initiative welcomes children to a whole new world of fairy tales, fables and classics. Reading delightful stories in Italian, Valentina's storytelling is guaranteed to entertain and enchant children – and maybe a few adults, too!
Throughout March 2021 on Fridays (1 pm PST)
There's nothing bitter about this sweet symphony of virtual cocktail class. You can learn how to make the perfect cocktail while finding out about classic Italian cocktails such as the Spritz and the Puccini.
The perfect mix of theory and practical learning, the online mixology classes cover at least three Italian cocktails, spanning preparation, history/culture, and industry tips. You'll come away with a broad knowledge of the culture and background to these tasty Italian drinks, as well as knowledge of how to create them either in the home or at future parties!