The new year launches the calendar of Italian events with a celebratory feel. John Bensalhia reports...

Christmas is over. The turkey has been eaten. The crackers have been pulled. The presents have been unwrapped.

But don't fret. The celebrations still continue apace in Italy with a slew of events for everyone to enjoy. A suitably cosy line-up of old favourites including the Venice Carnival and Storico Carnevale di Ivrea get the year off to a fun, lively start. Plenty of other things to do, see and hear, which include...

Umbria Winter Jazz

26th December 2017 - 1st January 2018

A very special edition of Umbria's Winter Jazz edition sees out 2017 and welcomes in 2018. The 25th edition of the classic jazz event is bursting at the seams with the cream of local and international jazz talent.

In fact, this milestone event dovetails with another anniversary: the 100th anniversary of the birth of jazz legend, Thelonious Monk. To celebrate this, Jason Moran's special reinterpretation of Monk's 1959 performance at New York's Town Hall will be shown at Umbria Winter Jazz along with a multimedia show of Monk's images and words.

Who else will be appearing? The latest in high quality jazz music will be represented by the likes of Marc Ribot and his Trio along with the Young Philadelphians, a special project that melds those 1970s Sounds of Philly with Prime Time by Ornette Coleman. Also on this edition's line-up are singer and guitarist, Little Freddie King and the award-winning Jazzmeia Horn.

Local Italian jazz music talent includes the classic Trio di Roma, a line-up that has been performing since the mid 1970s, as well as the duo of Italian pianist Rita Marcotulli and Maria Pia De Vito. Watch out for a special tribute to the songs of Joni Mitchell, who herself dabbled in the field of jazz music in the 1970s (which reached an apex with the 1979 tribute to Charles Mingus).

Look out also for the groovy sounds of the Tuscan Funk Off, saxophonist Luca Velotti and the quirkiness of Sugarpie and the Candymen, plus much more, and you have a very worthy 25th anniversary line-up of this perennial Winter festival favourite.

Funny Magic, Festival Of Magic

Milan, 2nd -7th January 2018

That's magic!

After the massive success of the past two editions, Milanese magician and comedian Raul Cremona will be taking to the stage to help brighten up those chilly January days.

Raul is not only an accomplished magician, but a comic, and he will be a few cameo appearances from some of his historical characters. He will be introducing a few of his chums who have come far and wide from around the world, including France's Jordan Gomez, Spain's Miguel Munoz, Cuba's Ernesto Planas and local act Disguido.

It's an eclectic and hugely entertaining line-up to provide an unbeatable journey through the world of magic. After the excitement of Christmas has gone and the cold Winter nights draw in, this is the ultimate in feel-good magic.

New Horizons/Love Electro! Festival

Trentino-Alto Aldige, 5th January 2018

See in the new year with a vitality and energy thanks to the Love Electro! Festival that rounds up a wide variety of acts on Friday 5th January 2018.

The doors open at Club Max, Brixen/Bressanone at 9.30pm, with a line-up that mixes local and international electro acts. These include LA's Virtual Riot, London's Codeko, plus Subsurface, Abstrakt, Garage Bruh and Wolverine Sounds.

Storico Carnevale di Ivrea

6th January - 14th February 2018

The official countdown to the acclaimed Carnevale di Ivrea begins here. Known for its recreation of the Battle Of The Oranges (which uses harmless oranges as a means of recalling a historic battle between the Lord of Ivrea and the local townsfolk), this colourful event brightens up the Winter season.

Launching the carnival (with the event itself taking place in February), the 6th January does so in style in the streets of the city centre, Piazza di Città. The supreme head of the government, the Podestà will send his greetings and will be making his way in procession as the day's events conclude with the local cathedral mass, during which the Podestà donates a votive candle to Monsignor Vero to invoke the protection of the Madonna on the City.

World Rookie Fest 2018

Livigno, 20th - 25th January 2018

It's the heart of Winter. Which means it's time for classic Winter sports such as skiing and of course, snowboarding.

A major snowboarding event for youngsters returns to Italy this month. Showcasing the promise of tomorrow's Winter sports stars, World Rookie Fest is part of the largest youth snowboarding series worldwide. Taking place in Livigno, the event is made for riders under 18 years of age only. With a speed and style, this youthful snowboarding event is guaranteed to kick start the new year into gear.

Comprising 10-12 international events included in World Snowboard Federation tour and TTR World Snowboard Tour, the World Rookie Tour also includes both national and regional contests put on by local snowboarding clubs, ski resorts and schools.

Prima del Torcolato

Breganze, 21st January 2018

Toast the new year in with a tasty dessert wine celebrated in style on 21st January.

Prima del Torcolato is a wine festival that is devoted to the first typical Torcolato DOC dessert wine that was obtained from last year's harvested fruits. Come and sample the first Torcolato DOC wine at Breganze's Piazza Mazzini, where there will also be a selection of special events for attendees to enjoy.

The wineries and cellars of Breganze's Consortium for the Protection Wines D.O.C. will be the location of a mini tour where you can learn about the history and process of this fine wine. There will also be an old-style spremitura squeezing of the local Torcolato grapes as well as special tastings, plus samples of local art, photography and music.

Seeyousound International Music Film Festival

Torino, 26th January - 5th February 2018

The labours of film-making talent will be celebrated at the Seeyousound International Music Film Festival this January.

Each of the entrants' films (whether feature length, short or music video) must cover an aspect of music. It can be a biography or overview of a band or singer or music producer, a critique or reflection of a chosen genre, or even backstage tales.

The shortlisted entrants will be put through into one of three categories. The Long Play Feature Films Competition, which takes entries (fictional, experimental or documentary movies) more than 30 minutes in length. The 7 Inch Short Films Competition, which accepts movies less than 30 minutes long. And finally, the Soundies category, which looks at music videos.

Carnevale di Venezia 2018

From 27th January 2018

It's that time of year again. One of the most pleasing aspects of the January events line-up is that it in Italy, the time for celebration is not over in the wake of Christmas. Instead, the revels continue, and one of the most famous examples is the Venice carnival. The masks, costumes, floats and decorations all come together to produce one of the world's most celebrated carnivals.

If you're looking to be a part of the Venice Carnival, then you're spoilt for choice. The festivities commence with the official launch at St Mark's Square. Worth a look is the Flight of the Angel, which recalls the 16th century tightrope walking acrobats from Turkey: the Angel in question flies on a steel cable above the crowds.

If you have the money and you want to experience one of the special Carnival balls, then this is a once in a lifetime bit of splendour (although prices can fetch up to 2000 euros, so make sure you can afford it!). A cheaper aspect of the Carnival is that of the theatre. Whether it's street performers or performances at Gran Teatro, St Mark's Square, costumes, music and showmanship will guarantee a good time for all.

As the Carnival nears the finish, the event typically goes out in style with the likes of the candlelit water parade (best experienced on one of the boats) and the Notte de la Taranta (Night of the Tarantula), which signs off with an impressive fireworks display.