FATHER'S DAY: EVERYTHING TO CELEBRATE ON MARCH 19

Whether reliable or wonderfully absent-minded, affectionate or timidly awkward, always smiling or sometimes stern: There is a special day dedicated to all fathers.

Father's Day is celebrated the world over, but at different times. In many countries it is a civil festival and is combined with national patriotic celebrations; in others it occurs toward the end of June, the tradition in the United States, where it started. At the start of the Twentieth Century in the United States, the daughter of an American Civil War veteran decided to dedicate a special day to the birthday of her father, who brought her up after her mother's death.

According to Catholic tradition, in Italy, Father's Day is celebrated on March 19, which coincides with St. Joseph's Day, for which many events are held throughout the country, in large cities as well as small towns. Therefore, for fathers who wish to treat themselves to a break, the nicest gift is surely a trip with their family, especially at this time of year, when winter is drawing to a close and the scent of spring is already in the air. Discover our Family Offer and, whatever your family is like, travel with another adult and at least one child (2–14 years of age) in Italy and in Europe from EUR 259, round trip, all inclusive.

TRAVELING WITH DAD

One of the more entertaining initiatives, in Turin, lets you get ahead of the game and visit the Egyptian Museum on Sunday, March 16, where all fathers accompanied by their little explorers can receive free entry. Also in Turin, on Sunday, March 23, at Palazzo Madama in Piazza Castello, an event entitled "A portrait for my dad" (Un ritratto per il mio papà) is being held. Here all children can make a portrait of their father.
At Montefioralle, a district of Greve in Chianti, in the province of Florence, on Saturday, March 15, and Sunday, March 16, during the Festa delle Frittelle, you can delight your taste buds with St. Joseph's donuts, little sweet rice pastries, washed down with wine and Vin Santo dessert wine.
The St. Joseph's bonfires are very famous in the south. It is believed that they light up the night and "burn" the negativity of winter as spring approaches. The best two examples are held on Saturday, March 15, and Sunday, March 16, in Scicli, in the province of Ragusa, which can be reached with the new Alitalia flight to Comiso, and in Bari on March 19, 2014, on the beaches at Fesca.

DAD, HOW SWEET!

Delicious sweets are prepared for this festival in various regions, which are loved by everyone, not just fathers.

They range from the unmissable Emilian raviole, sweet short pastry ravioli filled with plum or quince jam, to St. Joseph's zeppole, typical Campanian pastries, made with cream puff pastry, fried or baked and filled with cream, and the Sicilian St. Joseph's sfinci, filled with ricotta cream and drops of melted chocolate and decorated with candied fruit.

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© Glenda Otero 

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© Thomas