Spring into action for the new season with John Bensalhia, who discovers some great events and festivals coming your way this March...
With the advent of Spring this month, it's time to clear those cobwebs away from the Winter season and look ahead to what's on offer. March is a diverse month packed full of interesting and fun events that offer something for everyone. Whether your taste is in art, football, skiing, dancing, or slightly macabre legends, there's something to satisfy all tastes in this month's crop of events and festivals.
Till 9th March 2018, Perugia
Sadly, the Italian football team didn't quite make the grade for this year's World Cup tournament, which kicks off on 14th June 2018.
But if you're getting football withdrawal symptoms, or you're a massive fan of the game, then don't fret! Because if you're in the area of Perugia (specifically Centro Servizi Galeazzo Alessi, Via Mazzini, 9), then the exhibition that goes 'On The Road Of Soccer' takes you back in time to the glory days of football.
It's a must for any fans of football, recalling some of the top moments and players of the sport from 1930 onwards. It boasts over 200 football-related items and pieces, as well as the T-shirts of some of the best-known football champions.
Entrance is free, but hurry! Your chance to score an entrance into this exhibition lasts for nine days this month!
2nd - 31st March 2018, Bologna
Can it really be six years since the passing of legendary singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla?
March is a landmark month for fans of this classic musician, with his birthday on the 4th of the month and his untimely death on the 1st. But to celebrate his life and work, a unique event is organised this month, in which fans can visit his home and experience his life's work.
A Casa di Lucio is set to open its doors to visitors between the 2nd and 31st of March. Knowledgable tour guides will take you on a tour of Lucio's home, with each tour lasting for an hour. It's an informative and personal way of remembering Dalla's life and work. The tours take place every day, with opening hours from 10am to 7pm (although Sunday's hours are 10am to 5pm). If you're looking to introduce your kids to Lucio's music, then under-10s can get in for free. Please also note that youngsters under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
Boccioni in Ferrara
3rd March - 10th June 2018
If you know what you like about art, then this Spring season will have a treat in store for fans of the original interpreters of the Italian art scene.
Boccioni in Ferrara will open its doors at Palazzo dei Diamanti, and will run between early March and early June. The exhibition will focus on the notable contemporary artistic trends of the 19th and 20th centuries.
A prized collection of important 19th and 20th century works of art, the exhibition will include classics including Ave Maria by Giovanni Segantini, The Maternity by Gaetano Previati, and The Triptych of the States of Mind by Umberto Boccioni. Other artists revered for their divisionism, symbolism and futurism works of art will also be on show, including Giuseppe Pellizza, Angelo Morbelli, Medardo Rosso, Giacomo Balla, Giorgio de Chirico, and Carlo Carrà.
The exhibition is open all day between 9am and 7pm, and that includes the Easter holidays and bank holidays. It costs €13.00 for adults, but kids under six years old can get in for free, making it an ideal introduction into the wonderful world of art for children.
11th - 18th March 2018, Forlimpopoli, Emilia-Romagna
There's something of a gruesome history behind the tradition of Segavecchia (also known as Segavecia – or the old woman sawn).
Way back in the times of the Middle Ages, it's said that an old lady who had violated the Lent fasting by eating meat, suffered the cruel punishment of being sawn alive.
A grisly fate to be sure, but it's an event that's recalled these days with a bonus to sweeten the tale. In a special festival, a papier-maché puppet of the old woman is cut to reveal a big bundle of toys, goodies and sweets for the kids to enjoy.
It's said by some that the ritual is a representation of the end of Winter. The hapless old lady symbolises the end of the cold spell, with the goodies inside said to mark the start of a fresh new season of Spring with bounty for everyone.
Entertainment-wise, there are plenty of riches to enjoy in the Forlimpopoli region during this week, including a funfair, a village festival, theatre shows and stands packed full of tasty gourmet products.
16th - 18th March 2018, Turin
Get in the Swing this March with the latest edition of the Swing Train Festival, a three-day event dedicated to swing dancing.
Over the course of the weekend, classes are being held for couples to practice their swing dancing moves. You will be taught by a high-calibre selection of international teachers from around the world. Whether you're a starter looking to start up swing dancing, or you're a more experienced dancer looking to get some extra tips, a teacher has been assigned to each different level (the weekend includes six levels of Lindy Hop and three levels of Jazz Roots).
The weekend promises to be a lot of fun for attendees, and it includes some great music and entertainment from the likes of the Parisian Hot Sugar Band, Turin's very own DJ, Mr Rhythm and the Dusty Jazz Blasters. So dust off those dancing shoes and get on the Swing Dancing Train this March!
Valli e Nebbie - Lagoons and Mists in Ferrara
23rd - 25th March 2018
Fans of classic cars will have a wheel-y good time at the forthcoming Valli e Nebbie event. This interantional car rally gathers 50 of the finest classic cars to hit the road, with famous car makes including the likes of Bugatti, Maserati, Ferrari, Lancia, Fiat, Porsche, Bentley and Jaguar.
If you're a fan of classic cars and also beautiful landscapes and environments, then Valli e Nebbie hits the jackpot twice, as visitors can course a lovely scenic route past the lovely Ferrara countryside, nature reserves and unique scenery. You couldn't ask for a better road rally than this, and with the combination of intricately designed classic cars and amazing scenery, this is an event not to be missed for car enthusiasts.
23rd - 25th March 2018, Valle d'Aosta,
Lots to ski and do this month, if you're in the area of Valle d'Aosta, an area that not only offers outstanding views, it's also a great location for ski-touring.
It's also the location for the highly regarded race, Tour du Rotor, which will be happening in the later part of March. Encompassing exciting competition and stunning scenery, this international ski-touring race is a key fixture of the skiing calendar in Italy, a genuine feather in the cap for Corrado Gex's ski club. Both fans and serious competitors will make this the place to be between 23rd and 25th March, so get your skiis on, pronto!