A holiday in Italy offers everything you could want from a break: fine weather, stunning scenery and loads one-of-a-kind events to enjoy.
With so much choice amongst the towns and cities, mountains and beaches, choosing where to holiday in Italy for the best things to do can be a challenge. So we’re recommending 10 amazing things to do this year, with music, festivals, parades and plenty more.
Venice Carnival – 16 February to 5 March
Every day is a celebration in Venice from mid-Feb to early March. The Venetian carnival is an incredible celebration of heritage, bursting with colour and atmosphere. There are parades, costumes, fireworks and the floats actually float! Don’t forget your mask…
The Fires of Saint Joseph, Apulia – 19 March
The heel to Italy’s boot, a break in Puglia offers access to some of the south’s most glorious scenery – and some of its finest customs. The fires of ‘Saint Giuseppe’ are a local tradition that involve saying goodbye to winter and welcoming spring. Towns and cities all over Apulia take part; you can find fireworks displays, huge feasts and much more!
The Battle of the Oranges, Ivrea, Piedmont – 2 March to 5 March
As part of The Historical Carnival of Ivrea, Italy’s oldest carnival, this unique event sees nine teams on foot engage in an orange throwing battle against others on horse-drawn carts. Said to represent the city’s rebellion against a tyrant, it offers an unforgettable spectacle in the Piedmont region. Our advice: find a safe spot behind the netting, put on your red ‘Phrygian Cap’ and enjoy the spectacle safely.
Vinitaly Wine Fair, Verona – 7 April to 10 April
Wine and food, art and music, Verona and good times – some things just work really well together. Vinitaly brings some of Italy’s most wonderful attractions together for four days of fun. The huge exposition brings together thousands of the world’s leading wine producers, but even if you choose not to visit the expo, Verona is simply stunning in springtime. That’s something worth raising a glass to.
Rome’s big birthday – 21 April
Looking amazing for 2,772, Rome’s big birthday celebration is an occasion not to be missed. Torch lights glow on Aventine Hill, fireworks fly over the Tiber and there are huge feasts, gladiatorial displays, music and more. After all, when in Rome…
Giro d’Italia Cycle Race – 11 May to 2 June
Offering a beautiful balance between time trials and majestic mountain scenery, Italy’s premier cycling tour offers an amazing showcase of the country’s beauty. Starting in Bologna in the north, 2019’s route then winds south before heading to the Dolomites and ending in fair Verona.
Flowers of the Maggiolata, Tuscany – 19 May and 21 May
There’s never really a bad time to visit Tuscany, but it’s fair to say that it looks extra-specially lovely in the springtime. The Maggiolata festival is a floral celebration in the medieval village of Lucignano. There are floral floats making their way down the historic streets and a wonderfully festive spring ambience – it’s a perfect way to welcome the warm!
Rock in Rome – 27 June to 13 July
The Circus Maximus hosts some of music’s biggest names for a summer of shows under the stars. Rome’s welcoming climate and the guarantee of good weather are the ultimate accompaniment to headline performances from Kraftwerk, Thirty Seconds to Mars and more!
Sounds of the Dolomites – June to August
The spectacular mountain range in north-eastern Italy hosts a summer of scenic concerts. Combined with a guided trek in the mountains, your mornings can be accompanied by live classical concerts while you watch the sunrise. There’s no better accompaniment to the majestic mountain scenery.
The Unicorn Festival, Tuscany – 26 July to 27 July
Historic Tuscany provides the perfect backdrop to Italy’s largest fantasy festival. Screen stars from the likes of Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings rub shoulders with amazing cosplayers, and there are concerts, workshops, parades and loads of immersive experiences. It’s like travelling to another world!