25 Mar Party the Year Away

So you’ve decided to embrace your inner romantic with a season or two under the Tuscan sun? Contrary to what the movies would have you believe, you don’t have to come of age or have an illicit romance to appreciate the region’s extraordinary culture and countryside. But if illicit romances are your thing, go for it! However, we believe it’s semi-compulsory to get to one of the many festivals. They take place throughout the year in and around the rolling Tuscan hills and craggy Tuscan coastline. Some Tuscan festivals have traditions stretching back as far as the 6th century. And if you don’t think that’s cultural enough, you could always check out some local frescoes or architectural masterpieces after the festivities! Here are our picks of the major Tuscan festivals happening in each season. +++ Summer Luminara, Regatta of St. Ranieri and Battle of the Bridge - Pisa This two-day candlelit extravaganza of Luminara celebrates Saint Ranieri, the patron saint of Pisa. The city is best known for its structurally unsound tower, but Luminara beats that for pyrotechnic drama. It kicks off on the evening of June 16, with more than 70,000 candles lighting up the palaces along the Arno river, and a fireworks display. The following day, four boats representing the city’s oldest districts compete in the Regatta of Saint Ranieri along the Arno river. A week later, on the last Saturday of June, Pisa locals parade through the city in their best medieval costumes. Even better, some then join the Battle of...

Read More

12 Feb Love Makes the World Go ‘Round

Here it comes…the day when couples are expected to shower each with love and expensive gifts, while their singleton friends gather together to get drunk, defiant and depressed. Well that’s what happens in the States, but there are many different Valentine’s Day traditions happening in different countries around the world. Here’s an insight into how different cultures celebrate February 14. Italy Long before Juliet was meant to be blowing kisses at Romeo from her balcony, Italians celebrated Valentine’s Day as the Spring Festival. The young and romantic would stroll arm-in-arm through gardens, resting beneath tree arbors to enjoy poetry readings and music. Today on Valentine’s Day, Italians are more likely to be exchanging gifts and chocolate over a romantic dinner. And when we say chocolate, we don’t mean a Hershey Bar. Italians believe the bigger and better the chocolate, the stronger the love you will have. France France has given the world its most romantic city, most seductive accents, and it’s sometimes claimed, its best lovers. It’s even said that the first Valentine’s Day card originated in France when Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent love letters to his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415. Today, you’re more likely to find French people wining and dining each other than exchanging heartfelt cards on February 14.   United Kingdom In the UK, Valentine’s Day is when you can discover your secret admirer, or confess your secret passions for another. Sending anonymous Valentine’s cards is a tradition...

Read More

28 Jan Play With Your Food

Do you like to get creative with your food, or harbor a secret passion for a good food fight? If you answered "yes" to any of those queries, or if you have just started flinging food about at the very suggestion, then you’ll love these quirky, messy, no-holds-barred food festivals from around the world.   Ivrea Carnival and Orange Battle, Italy, February/March Prepare for a pummeling at this three-day food fight, held in the small northern Italian city of Ivrea in the days leading up to Fat Tuesday. Around 400 tons worth of over ripe oranges are brought in from southern Italy for the epic battle, which re-enacts a Middle Ages rebellion against the Holy Roman Emperor known as Barbarossa (Red Beard). Thousands of people in medieval costumes gather in teams, with the king’s guards pelting foot soldiers and other carriage teams from their horse-drawn carts.   Copper’s Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake, UK, May Yes it could just be the cheesiest festival in the world. Held atop steep Cooper’s Hill in the village of Brockworth near Gloucester, the event involves rolling an eight pound cheese wheel down the hill and racing down after it at death-defying speeds. The official event was cancelled in 2010 due to concerns around crowds and safety, but was quickly resurrected in an unofficial form. Last year, organizers replaced the Double Gloucester cheese wheel with a lightweight foam version, and a Colorado Springs estate agent and a Japanese contestant each won one...

Read More

13 Oct October Fest(s)

With the month half over, many people are starting the countdown to one of the biggest parties of the year: Halloween. What they don’t realize is how many other festivals they could be celebrating in the 2 weeks leading up to that spooky day. Read on to find Panrimo’s favorite international festivals in October. 7) Naga Fireball Festival (Nong Khai, Thailand) October 16th Crowds gather on the banks of the Mekong River to enjoy this unexplained phenomenon. As darkness falls, glowing orbs of varying sizes (some as large as basketballs) rise high into the sky over the river before vanishing. Though some nights are more active than others, thousands of these reddish, fireballs can be seen in the sky near the close of the Buddhist Lenten season. Many have tried to find scientific explanation behind the orbs, but no scientific explanation has stuck. Locals attribute the phenomenon to Naga, a mythic river snake. 6) Bridge Day (West Virginia, USA) October 18th The New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, West Virginia held the first Bridge Day to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the bridge’s completion, and what better way to do that than by allowing hundreds of people to throw themselves off of it? Every year 400 BASE jumpers parachute off the bridge, floating to safety in the river 876 ft below. Hundreds more rappel down from the bridge supports as 100,000+ spectators cheer them on. Supported by a number of extreme sport companies and...

Read More

04 Aug Enter the Pilgrim

Spain is a religious country, but it wasn’t always Christian. For hundreds of years leading up to around 1000 BC, Spain was predominantly Muslim. A strong Arab influence (think Granada) ruled the day. During this time Judaism was also heavily present. Enter the Middle Ages, a pushy king in a Spanish province, and the Bible being mass produced for the first time. Christianity rose above the other widely held beliefs, and has remained the most popular to this day. Consequently, pilgrimage is still a strongly held tradition across the country and thus we present: Panrimo's Top 5 Spanish Pilgrimages 5. La Semana Santa, Holy Week [caption id="attachment_962" align="aligncenter" width="2288"] Bring your own mask.[/caption] http://www.euroclubschools.org/userimages/Domingo_de_ramos_astorga.jpg Arguably the most important holiday in Spain, Spaniards take a week to remember the trial, deception of his friends, and suffering of Jesus Christ. Processions occur with actors walking the streets, whipping a man carrying a cross. It can get fairly intense. 4. Dia de Todos los Santos, All Saints Day [caption id="attachment_963" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Flower shops seriously love this day.[/caption] http://elgranitodearenadeishtar.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/cementerio_989711207.jpg The 1st of each November, Spaniards take time to remember loved ones who have died. Families walk to graveyards to place flowers and gifts at sites. It is a very community-oriented affair. 3. The Way of St. James, or El Camino de Santiago [caption id="attachment_964" align="aligncenter" width="800"] C'mon kids! Only 1 month of walking to go![/caption] http://frescotours.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/cd2181.jpg St. James was one of Jesus’ 12 apostles, and the first Christian martyr. His body was taken from Jerusalem and across Spain...

Read More