Perhaps one of the most popular carnivals in Italy known to tourists takes place in Venice. However, Venice is not the only city celebrating this folkloric festival of masked balls, lights, flash, floats and fireworks. Carnivale, or “carnem upbeat” in Latin describes the banquet held on the last day prior to the fasting of lent

New Year celebrations in Tuscany are all about fireworks and feasting and getting together with friends and family. Every city and most towns put on a fireworks display, and concerts – from jazz to opera – are held in the piazzas. And, as with everything in the region, it’s all part of an old tradition.

Between now and mid-November, it’s olive harvest time in Tuscany – a labor-intensive process done entirely by hand using an instrument that ‘combs’ the olives from the trees. This old method is still preferred since mechanical harvesters can damage the olives, and they say that one bruised olive can ruin an entire barrel of oil.