Traditional Events

 

Traditional festival are celebrated in most Italian towns and villages in commemoration of local historical or religious events. The most notable are listed here. The dates of many traditional festivals may vary from year to year.

Calendar of Traditional Events in Italy

Agrigento

ALMOND BLOSSOM FESTIVAL
First half of February
Folk festival of song, dance, costumes, fireworks

Arezzo

GIOSTRA del SARACINO (Joust of the Saracen)
First Sunday in September
Tilting contest of the 13th century with knights in armor

Assisi

CALENDIMAGGIO (Celebration of Holy Week)
Easter Week
Celebration of spring according to rites dating back to medieval times

Ascoli-
Piceno

TORNEO della QUINTANA (Joust of the Quintana)
First Sunday in August
Historical pageant with people in 15th century costumes

Asti

PALIO - San Secondo
May 2
A 700 year old ceremony with procession in 13th century costume. Flag Throwing Palio.
Third Sunday in September

Ancient festival with 800 costumes participants

Bari

SAGRA di San NICOLA
May 7
Historic procession in costume.

Cagliari

SAGRA di Sant' EFISIO
May 1 to 4
One of the biggest and most colorful processions in the world. Several thousand pilgrims (wearing costumes dating back to 1657) accompany the statue of the saint on foot, carts and horses

Firenze

SCOPPIO DEL CARRO (Explosion of the Cart)
Easter Sunday
A pyramid of fireworks in the Cathedral Square is set off by a mechanical dove driven from the Altar during High Mass.
CALCIO FIORENTINO (Soccer Match)
June 24 to 28
Revival of a 16th century football match in medieval costumes.
June 24th
Fireworks display from the terraced gardens overlooking the city

Foligno

GIOSTRA della QUINTANA (Joust of the Quintana)
Second Sunday in September
Revival of a 17th century joust with 600 knights in costume, historical procession

Genova

PALIO MARINARO dei RIONI
June 29th
Rowing race in ancient dress

Genzano

INFIORATA (Flower festival)
Corpus Domini
A religious procession along the streets carpeted with flowers in magnificent designs.

Gubbio

FESTA dei CERI (Race of the Candles)
May 15
A procession in local costume in witch tall shrines are carried to the church on the top of Mount Ingino.
PALIO dei BALESTRIERI (The Palio of the Archers)
Last Sunday in May
Medieval crossbow contest between Gubbio and Sansepolcro with medieval costumes and arms.

La Spezia

PALIO del GOLFO
First Sunday of August
Rowing contest

Marostica
(Vicenza)

PARTITA a SCACCHI con PERSONAGGI VIVENTI
(Living Chess Game)
Second weekend of September in even-numbered years
Chess game is played in the town square by living pawns in period costume.

Napoli

FESTIVAL of San GENNARO
September 19
A religious ceremony honoring the patron saint of the city

Nola

FESTA del GIGLIO (The Lily Festival)
Sunday following June 22nd
Allegorical towers are carried in a colorful procession costume

Nuoro

SAGRA del REDENTORE (Feast of the Redeemer)
August 27 to 30
Colorful procession in Sardinian costumes

Oristano

SA SARTIGLIA
February 24 to 26
Medieval procession and jousting of masking knights

Palermo

FEAST of Santa ROSALIA
July 10 to 15
Procession, bands, fireworks in honor of the patron saint of the city

Piana degli Albanesi

CELEBRATION of the EPIPHANY from the BYZANTINE RITE
January 6

Pisa

GIOCO del PONTE (Battle of the Bridge)
First Sunday in June
Medieval parade and contest

REGATTA of the GREAT MARITIME REPUBLICS
The friendly contest and historic regatta in which each of the former maritime republics (Amalfi, Genoa, Pisa and Venice) race for a price

Roma

EPIPHANY FAIR at PIAZZA NAVONA
January 5th
A fair of toys, sweets and others presents takes place in the open air among the beautiful Bernini fountains
FESTA DE' NOANTRI
July 19th to 26th
Folklore of Old Rome in Trastevere, including colorful procession for the Vergine del Carmine, folk dances and songs, carnival floats and fireworks

Sansepolcro

PALIO dei BALESTRIERI (The Palio of the Archers)
Last Sunday in May
Medieval crossbow contest between Gubbio and Sansepolcro with medieval costumes and arms.

Sassari

CAVALCATA SARDA (Sardinian Cavalcade)
Next to last Sunday in May
Traditional procession of more than 3,000 people in Sardinian costumes

Siena

PALIO
July 2nd and August 16th
Procession and horse race. Participants are members of ancient city districts, competing for the banner (Palio). Colorful medieval pageantry.

Taranto

PROCESSION of the MYSTERIES
Good Friday
Renowned for its costumes and solemnity

Venezia

CARNIVAL in VENICE
February/March
Celebrations in costumes and masks, entertainment in streets and squares. Music, mimes and fireworks.
IL REDENTORE (The Feast of the Redeemer)
Third Sunday in July
Procession of gondolas commemorating the end of the epidemic of 1575
HISTORICAL REGATTA
First Sunday in September
Traditional competition between two-oar racing gondolas and procession of ceremonial boats.

Ventimiglia

Battaglia dei Fiori (Ventimiglia in Bloom)

June 7 - June 24
In June, Ventimiglia becomes the flower capital of the world with a series of events honoring its agricultural traditions and the re-awakening of nature.

Viareggio

CARNEVALE (Carnival)
February/March
Highlight of the Carnival festivities is the procession of spectacular and colorful floats


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