Click on the months below to see what Italy holds for you throughout the year.
Celebrate at Italy's
Stop in at
Find a New Easter Tradition
in Full Bloom
Explore Summer Festivals
Attend a World-Renowned Event
Entertain the Macabre
Get Into the
Peruse the intricate crafts and creations at the Fiera di Sant’Orso, where the town of Aosta has been honoring Sant’Orso for over 1000 years.
Visiting crowds are at their lowest in January, making it the perfect time to enjoy a stroll through the usually-bustling museums and cafes of Florence.
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Informally the King of Carnivals, this quintessential celebration is marked by the many elaborate masks that participants wear for the festivities lining the canals of Venice.
At the Carnival of Ivrea, enjoy the fabled Battle of the Oranges: a city-wide food fight that is one of the grandest spectacles in the land. After the last orange is thrown, a traditional procession of floats and music passes through the pulp-covered streets.
CARNEVALE DI VENEZIA
Translated to “Almond Bloom Festival,” this curious festival is a celebration of the Argrigento region of Sicily—folklore, music, art and culinary developments, especially almonds. The many almond trees are in blossom this time of year, making it the perfect time for a celebration of the land.
Every year, for the Feast of Saint Joseph, the town of Torrita de Siena holds a race that captivates spectators: the Palio dei Somari, or race of the donkeys. Jockeys attempt to steer their stubborn rides ahead of the pack and across the finish line for bragging rights, in the process create a show for the ages.
TORRITA DE SIENA
One of Italy’s most unusual races makes it one of Italy’s most intriguing events: the Palio della Rana has representatives from each neighborhood in Marche racing through the streets of Fermignano with a frog on top of a wheelbarrow. Between this and the historical costumes, markets and parades, it’s a hopping good time.
The Easter celebrations of Florence are ushered in with spectacular fashion, thanks to The Explosion of the Cart. After wheeling around the city, a cart of fireworks is ceremoniously set off at the foot of the iconic Duomo—and then the party really begins.
SCOPPIO DEL CARRO
PALIO DELLA RANA
Considered one of cycling’s Grand Tours, the Giro d’Italia is a three-week long bicycle race through most of Italy’s landscape, providing multiple perfect chances to witness the race or just explore the countryside.
While all of Tuscany is lush and alive with the blooming of Spring, nothing celebrates it quite like the Maggiolata Flower Festival. During the last two Sundays in May, catch sight of intricately designed floats covered in flowers parade through the streets accompanied by a litany of musicians and dancers.
Held on the last Saturday of June, the Battle of the Bridge is a night-long event containing multiple symbolic battles taking place on the bridge over the Arno River in Pisa. With the whole town turning out to watch and cheer, it’s easy to get swept up rooting for a side.
Witness the timeless art of the opera the way it was meant to be enjoyed: in an ancient Roman amphitheater, basked in the glow of candlelight. While the festival runs through September, the Opening Night in June is unmatched grandeur.
ARENA DI VERONA FESTIVAL
THE BATTLE OF THE BRIDGE
The streets of Spoleto buzz with the spirit of muses for days on end thanks to the Festival of the Two Worlds. Concerts, opera, dance, drama, visual arts and roundtable discussions abound in this quaint town, leaving you rich with experiences.
“The Challenge” is the first of the two timeless festivals that make up the Joust
of Quintana. While there are plenty of fun events and historical re-enactments to enjoy, the main event is a thrilling horse race where riders attempt to collect rings by jousting through the course.
GIOSTRA DELLA QUINTANA
FESTIVAL DEI DUE MONDI
With August proving to be the height of vacationing on Italy’s gorgeous beaches, your best bet for avoiding crowds is to do as the Roman’s do and head for the local haunts. Tropea is the beach of choice for Italians—no pastel-colored villas, but plenty sun and sand.
While the Palio di Siena transpires just down the road, the Palio del Golfo proves every bit as entertaining with rowboats instead of horses. Come to
La Spezia a week early to enjoy all of the Festival of the Sea, and then watch the boats dart across the Gulf of the Poets on the final day.
PALIO DEL GOLFO
Ronda has bullfighting, Kentucky has the Derby, and Venice has the Historical Regatta. Taking place on the 2nd of December, the regatta begins with a historical parade before the slew of various races weave through the lagoon. Nowhere else in the world can you witness Venetian rowing, making this a one-of-a-kind experience to never forget.
As the oldest film festival in the world, The Venice International Film Festival is something of a fib; it actually takes place on Lido, a thin island across the lagoon from the city. Still, the setting provides something ethereal—brushing shoulders with stars, relaxing strolls on the beach between screenings of breath-taking films—it’s arguably a cinephile’s heaven.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL
Few places in the world are as historically spooky as Triora, which was home to a string of grisly witch trials in the 16th century. Today, the town revels in the macabre, thanks in part to its annual Halloween Festival.
While one of Europe’s biggest chocolate festivals offers a slew of entertainment — cooking demonstrations, art exhibits, music performances and theatre — the shining star of this event is the decadent namesake, and there’s a monumental amount to relish in.
Willy Wonka’s jaw would drop through the floor with just one sight of the Turin Chocolate Fair. Taking place over just 10 days, over 88,000 lbs. of intricate and unique chocolate is sold over the course of the fair, though the main chocolate on display is the hazelnut variety—this is the hometown of Nutella, after all.
Considered a staple of Italian culinary excellence, the Alba White Truffle Festival is the epitome of tasteful. The heart of the festival is the White Truffle World Market, where the best of this savory truffle is on full display.
ALBA WHITE TRUFFLE FESTIVAL
The Christmas festivities kick off on December 8th with the Pope placing a wreath at the base of the Column of the Immaculate Conception, and from there it’s a whirlwind of holiday spirit for the rest of the month. The one event you can’t miss is the Urbi et Orbi blessing in St. Peter’s Square on Christmas Day.
While it’s known far and wide that Italian mountains are winter wonderlands in December, Aosta Valley is the hidden gem of the Alps. While all the tourists flock to the Dolomites, you’ll have the snow-covered slopes (almost) all to yourself here.