Italy is the home of good food, great weather and stunning scenery. But if you need more reasons to visit for your 2018 holiday then take a look at our guide to the best events and activities taking place throughout the year!
Happy Birthday to Rome: April 21st
Say ‘buon compleanno’ to the city of Rome. On April 21st every year the city celebrates its birth with concerts, fireworks, horse displays, a huge parade and a massive battle re-enactment in the Circus Maximus.
Historic horse racing in Tuscany: July 2nd & August 16th
The bi-annual ‘Palio’ horse race is an amazingly vibrant showcase of Siena’s tradition. 10 riders race bareback round the Piazza del Campo to try and bring glory to their district. Everyone else just enjoys the show!
Monterosso Lemon Festival: May 19th
Famed for its lemons, the village of Monterosso celebrates its produce on the third Sunday of May by going completely yellow for the Festa del Limone. This low-key event in Liguria offers bags of charm and makes the Italian Riviera look even lovelier!
Fireworks in Venice: July 21
The boats and terraces around Saint Mark’s Basin are decorated throughout the day in preparation for an amazing fireworks display, launched from pontoons that evening against the amazing backdrop of Venice.
Free music in Arezzo: June
The Arezzo Wave Love Festival is a free celebration of music taking place over 3 stages in the gorgeous Tuscan city. Previous years have seen the best of Italy’s new music scheduled alongside some of Europe’s biggest and best acts.
Fish festivities in Portofino: May 12
Held on the second Sunday in May, this amazing food festival in Camogli, Portofino features fish frying in a huge 4 metre pan.
Enjoy fireworks and bonfires on the beach and a magical procession through the town the previous evening, where thanks are given to St Fortunato, the patron saint of fishermen.
Spring with Saint Nicholas in Puglia: May 7
Sailors returned the relics of St Nicholas to the port city of Bari in the 11th Century, and pilgrims have visited the city every May since to celebrate with the ‘Festa di San Nicola’.
The 7th May features a huge procession before a statue of the saint is brought out to sea the following day. Upon returning in the evening there’s a huge party with fireworks!
Classic car racing from Brescia to Rome and back again: 16-19 May
The Mille Miglia (or ‘thousand miles’) car race originally ran from 1927 to 1957. In 1977, it was reborn as a classic and vintage car race with a loop running from Brescia to Rome and back again.
Perfect for classic car fans and celebrity spotters (actors, musicians and F1 drivers tend to frequent), visit Brescia to see the drivers off and welcome their return!
Life’s a beach in Florence: summer
The Urban Beach on the banks of the River Arno in Florence offers loungers and parasols for lazing in the sun.
More active holidaymakers might like to try sunset yoga or petanque whilst everyone else can enjoy building sandcastles, the beach bar, vintage markets, live music and more!
Rock in Rome: June onwards
Every summer Rome’s majestic Circus Maximus hosts a number of huge summer gigs featuring some of rock’s biggest acts, but with less chance of the UK’s least popular support act: bad weather!
2017 featured headline shows from The XX, Kasabian, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lauryn Hill. What does 2018 have in store?
Night of Enchantment, Lake Garda: August
The town of Desenzano del Garda is the setting for this floating feast for the eyes. A procession, dances and musical performances precede thousands of floating candles being released onto Lake Garda and a huge firework display!
Verona Opera Festival, Veneto: June 22 – September 1
If you’ve never really ‘got’ opera, it’s probably because you’ve never seen it performed in an authentic Roman amphitheatre!
Fix that by checking out Carmen, Aida, The Barber of Seville or one of the other many iconic performances taking place over the summer in the amazing Arena di Verona.
A Feast of Flowers in Umbria, Castelluccio di Norcia: 17 & 24 June
Ever year the Great Plain underneath this mountain village blossoms into a huge colourful mosaic of flowers! The Bloom Festival, or ‘Feast of the Fiorita’, offers the perfect opportunity to admire this natural wonder and the surrounding beauty of Umbria.
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