Frommer's Florence, Tuscany & Umbria by Reid Bramblett

By Reid Bramblett

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Details are available from the Comitatio Promotore Perugia Classico, c/o Comune di Perugia, Ripartizione XVI Economia e Lavoro, Via Eburnea 9 (& 075-5772253; fax 075-572-4252; www. it). Last week in Sep­ tember. International Festival of Choral Singing, Volterra, Tuscany. Saintly music fills the air in this Etruscan city. Contact the tourist office at & and fax 0588-86-150. Last Satur­ day of September. Biennale di Firenze (Fashion Exhibits), Florence. This new bian­ nual (held in even years) fashion exhibit is installed all around town in museums, galleries, and public build­ ings to juxtapose fashion with art.

It or & 075894-2526 for details. Late July (some years in Aug). August La Palombella (The Unlucky Dove), Orvieto, Umbria. A live white dove surrounded by flares ignites a pile of fireworks outside the Duomo. Great fun, unless you’re the bird. Call & 0763-341-772 for details. Pentecost Sunday. Ferragosto, throughout Italy. This isn’t an event; it’s an exodus. The feast of the Assumption marks the beginning of the August holiday, when everything in Italy closes, hotels and restaurants included. Everyone goes on vacation.

PISA, TUSCANY’S COAST & THE MAREMMA This region consists of much of Tuscany’s coast, from the ancient maritime republic of Pisa and its tilting tower to Livorno, a Medici-built port city and seafood mecca, and, farther down the coastline, the Maremma, Tuscany’s deep south. Once a stronghold of the Etruscans, the Maremma was a swamp from the Dark Ages to the 1600s and is still a highly undeveloped region. Also covered is the old iron-mining island of Elba, once Napoléon’s reign in exile and now one of Italy’s more proletarian resorts.

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