The number of festivals throughout the year in Italy is practically endless. In spring there are huge carnivals, the summer is packed with music concerts, the autumn is bountiful in harvest and food festivals then winter makes way for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
There is never a dull moment in Italy, and no matter where you are staying at any time of year, there is something going on. Find out what amazing festivals are taking place in the coming months that you can check out when staying at our luxury villas in Italy.
Home Festival, Treviso: August 30 to September 3
Located not far from Venice is the town of Treviso, which is the host to the Home music festival. This year will be the 8th edition, and it is becoming bigger every year and is very family friendly. There is a mixture of Italian artists and international musicians such as Duran Duran and Liam Gallagher performing. There will also be buskers and street musicians, circus shows, art shows and workshops and a designated green area. Festival goers can also enjoy great food and drink, including vegetarian and vegan and a wine bar. This is Italy, after all!
Ferragosto (Assumption Day): August 15
Ferragosto is an Italian public holiday, celebrated on August 15, and coincides with the Catholic Feast of the Assumption. Almost everyone in Italy will take this day off work, and restaurants can be booked up months in advance. It is a wonderful event to witness first hand wherever you are in Italy, as it celebrates with food, outdoor celebrations, processions and music. In Roman times, the celebrations included horse races and the Palio di Siena on August 16 keeps that tradition alive.
Stresa Festival, Lake Maggiore: August 23 – September 8
For those who prefer a more relaxing festival atmosphere, the Stresa Festival held on the shore of Lake Maggiore is perfect. From August 23 to early September, there are events every evening at various venues, celebrating classical music. World-renowned musicians, orchestras and ensembles will be making an appearance, and you can listen and watch renditions of Gershwin, Shakespeare and Bach. Even if you have zero understanding of Italian, you can still love the beauty of the music.
International Festival of Arts, Taormina, Sicily: August
When you visit Sicily in the summer, a day out in Taormina is a must. The streets of the town are filled with local musicians, dancers and entertainers. There are people performing at the festival who have come from all across the world and from all branches of the art world. There are films, opera, pop music concerts, theatre, exhibitions and much more. The whole town of Taormina comes alive for the festival, and it is a wonderful sight to see everyone involved with the event.
Florence Outdoor Cinema Season: August to early September
There are many film festivals that happen in Italy throughout the year, the most notable being the Venice Film Festival held from August 30 to September 9. For those staying at our luxury Tuscany villas, head to Florence and check out the annual outdoor cinema festival that takes place in the summer. Several locations around the city host film events, featuring both new films and old Italian films. This is an event the whole family can enjoy, and a great way to see a different side of Florentine life.
Festa della Rificolona, Florence: September 7
Another popular festival held every year in Florence is the Festa della Rificolona or Festival of the Paper Lanterns. People walk through the city carrying paper lanterns, illuminated by candles from within. The festival dates back to the Renaissance when pilgrims would gather at the Church of the Most Holy Annunciation (Santissima Annunziata). Today the main events are held in the Piazza Santissima Annunziata, but the main procession starts in Piazza Santa Croce at 8 pm. There are many street performances and music throughout the day to enjoy too.
Gelato Festival Final, Florence: September 14-17
The food festivals start in September, and one of the best loved by families has to be the Gelato Festival in Florence. There are gelato competitions throughout the year, held around Italy and Europe, before the final in Florence on September 14-17 at the Piazzale Michelangelo. Several competitors take part, and you can have the chance to sample many delicious flavours, as well as even have a go at making some genuine Italian gelato yourself! The kids are sure to love this festival.
Sagra delle olive, Bari, Puglia: October
October and November are when the food festivals are in full swing, as vineyards, olive groves and farms up and down the country are harvesting the season’s crops. There are many to indulge in, and one of our favourites is the Sagra delle olive in Bari, Puglia. This year is the 31st edition of the festival and is a must-see event for food and wine enthusiasts. You can discover the process of making olive oil, taste the various olives used to make the oil, discover the best wineries of Puglia and even pick up a bottle of the excellent olive oil the produce in the area around Bari.
Be sure to check out the events held in the area of Italy you are staying in before your holiday, and ask Quality Villas for any inside information about the festivals!