The evenings are getting chilly and the nights are longer, which can only mean one thing — winter is coming. But never fear, the Mediterranean is still sunny and warm!.
Here is a list of some of the best events taking place across the region in the coming winter months…
Photo Credit: lasgalletas
For Wine Connoisseurs
The Mediterranean has no shortage of great wine or wine-related events this season. We’ve uncorked some of the best: There’s Vinitaly in Verona, Italy (22 to 25 March), the Roma Food and Wine Festival in Rome (29 November to 1 December) and the Ess?ncia do Vinho/Essence of Wine event in Porto, Portugal (26 February to 1 March). Meanwhile, French vintners around Champagne and Burgundy will honour the patron saint of winemakers with festivals on St. Vincent’s Day (22 January).
Photo Credit: lcarles
For Food Lovers
The fresh, robust flavours of Mediterranean dishes have proved a hit all over the world, but nothing beats the real deal. This winter, visitors can sample authentic Mediterranean fare at the Wild Boar Festival in Suvereto, Italy (29 November to 8 December), the Pig Fair in Renno, Corsica (8 February), the Bogamarí Sea Urchin Festival in Alghero, Sardinia (January to mid-February) and the Lemon Festival in Menton, France (14 February to 4 March) — a fruity festival that celebrates everything citrus-related and features giant floats decorated with citrus fruits.
Photo Credit: montuno
For Music Maestros
From flamenco to folk, opera to jazz, there are a wide variety of music events happening this winter in the Med. Jazz lovers should make a beeline for Madrid Jazz Festival in Spain (4 November to 5 December) or Umbria Jazz Winter Festival in Orvieto, Italy (27 December to 1 January). In Italy, opera is showcased all season long at Milan’s La Scala Opera House, Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera and at Teatro La Fenice in Venice, while Spain pays homage to homegrown flamenco at the Verdiales Music Festival in Malaga, Spain (27 December).
Photo Credit: blandm
For Art Afficionados
When it comes to art and culture events, the Med never disappoints. For example, this season, Bologna plays host to Arte Fiera (23 to 26 January), and Madrid to ARCO (25 February to 1 March) — both international art fairs dedicated to modern and contemporary art. But there are also plenty of stand-alone shows taking place too, such as the 100 Years Of Love exhibition at Istanbul Modern, which examines the relationship between cinema and its Turkish audiences (until 31 December). An exhibition at Bilbao’s Reina Sofia focuses on the work of avant-garde 20th-century artist Mathias Goeritz (all season), while the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art showcases the works of Israeli sculptor Sigalit Landau (21 November to 15 February).
Pisa Marathon Photo Credit: Ethreon
For Sport Lovers
This winter, the Mediterranean sporting calendar is jam-packed. Spain counts the San Silvestre Vallecana road race in Madrid (31 December) and the 2015 Winter Universiade in Granada (4 to 14 February) among its high-profile highlights; Croatia hosts men’s tennis at the Zagreb Indoor event in the first week in February; and there are a slew of running events taking place in the region, such as the Pisa Marathon (21 December), Malta Marathon (22 February), Barcelona Marathon (March 15) and the Monaco Run (15 March).
Photo Credit: Curtis Gregory Perry
For New Year’s Eve Celebrations
New Year’s Eve is celebrated all around the world, and the Med is no exception. In Puerta del Sol Square in Madrid, revellers chow down lucky grapes as soon as midnight hits, before dancing and drinking until dawn. In Italy, food and fireworks are the priority during La Festa di San Silvestro, while in Dubrovnik, Croatia, the celebrations are an all-day affair, complete with fireworks, music and other performers.
Photo Credit: Stefano Montagner
For Carnival Fun
Even with the pomp surrounding New Year, the Mediterraneans still have enough steam to carry on partying through Carnival season. Fancy joining in on the fun? We recommend the masked madness of the Venice Carnival (31 January to 17 February), but plenty of other Med destinations have bacchanalian celebrations of their own. There is the pre-lent indulgence of Apokries in Greece (1 February to 22 March), carnival street parties in Lisbon (21 to 22 February), parades in Nice, France (13 February to 1 March) and celebrations in Limassol, Cyprus (12 to 22 February) to name but a few!
Photo Credit: .:Adry:.
As long as romance has existed, the Med has been top of the list of destinations to make lovers swoon. Come Valentine’s Day, there will be plenty of Med-based events for couples to choose from, such as the magical Verona In Love Festival (13 to 16 February), which is held in the hometown of the ultimate star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Elsewhere in Italy, there is Innamorati a Camogli in Liguria and a lovers’ feast in Saint Valentine’s hometown, Terni, where the festivities last an entire month.