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Event Calendar - Italian Feasts & Festivals
Battle of the Bridge, Pisa
History comes alive along
the river Arno in Pisa at the
Battle of the Bridge in June.
All through the year, there are colorful celebrations while traveling throughout Italy.

Many are a combination of solemn procession and raucous feasting, commemorating a particular patron saint, historical event or religious observance.

Below, find out more about Italy's traditional public feasts & festivals, with brief descriptions by month and emphasis on colorful spectaculars happening in May, June & July ....

January - March

Epiphany Fair, Rome
January 5-6
The annual festive celebration at Piazza Navona.

Almond Blossom Festival, Agrigento
Early February
Annual festival in Sicily marked by a colorful procession, music & song, fireworks.


Orange Throwing Battle, Ivrea
February 25
Thousands of oranges are pitched in the streets in this festival from Ivrea, Italy, in which oranges represent a local tyrant who was beheaded by the woman he was trying to seduce!

Carnival, Venice
World famous gathering of masked revelers, music, colorful floats, street performers and fireworks to mark the beginning of Lent.

Calendimaggio (Holy Week), Assisi
Hooded monks and other celebrants in a winding procession through Assisi streets commemorating Christ's passion.

Scoppio del Carro (Explosion of the Cart), Florence
Easter Sunday
A fireworks extravaganza in Cathedral Square.

May - June - July

Sagra di Sant' Efisio, Cagliari
May 1 to 4
One of Italy's biggest processions featuring thousands of participants in 17th century costumes.

Palio-San Secondo, Asti
May 2
Spectacular feats of flag throwing are a highlight of this ceremony dating back to the 13th century.

Sagra de San Nicola, Bari
May 7
Procession in colorful costume honoring the city's patron St. Nicholas

Festa dei Ceri (Race of the Candles), Gubbio
May 15
Ceremonial procession dating back to the 12th century featuriing tall shrines raced around the city with the finish at Basilica of St.Ubaldo on Mount Ingino.

Palio dei Balestrieri (Palio of the Archers)
Last Sunday in May
A blur of color with a flag throwing exhibition & medieval crossbow contest between the towns of Gubbio and Sansepolcro, dating back to 1619.

Infiorata (Flower Festival), Genzano
Near Rome, a riot of color and design created by villagers, with carpets of flowers laid along streets and the main cathedral square.

Calcio Fiorentino (Soccer Match), Florence
Third week in June
Reenactment of a 16th century football match at Piazza Santa Croce.

Festa del Giglio (Lily Festival), Nola
Sunday following June 22nd
Tall towers are carried throughout the streets in a colorful procession honoring St. Paulinus.


Gioco del Ponte (Battle of the Bridge), Pisa
Last Sunday in June
The four quarters of the city reenact a folkloric battle in colorful period costumes with thousands in attendance along the banks of the Arno river.

Palio Marinaro dei Rioni, Genova
June 29
Historically-costumed seaman in a highly contested rowing race.

Palio, Siena
July 2nd and August 16th
One of Italy's most famous spectacles, featuring colorful medieval pageantry and a high speed horse race with riders dressed in colors that represent the city's 17 wards.

Feast of Santa Rosalia, Palermo
July 10 to 15
Music, fireworks and a religious procession honoring Palermo's patron saint.

Festa de' Noantri, Rome (Procession of the Madonna del Carmine)
Mid July
A colorful procession folk dances and songs, carnival floats and fireworks in the Trastevere district.

Il Redentore (Feast of the Redeemer)
Third Sunday in July
Music, church services, fireworks, and a regatta of gondolas commemorating the end of the epidemic that struck the city in 1576.

August - September

Palio del Golfo, La Spezia
First Sunday of August
Rowing contest between 13 villages around the Gulf of Spezia.

Historical Regatta, Venice
First Sunday in September
Hugely popular procession down the Grand Canal topped by the traditional racing of two-oared gondolas by expert oarsmen.

Giostra del Saracino (Joust of the Saracen), Arezzo
First Sunday in September
A parade of costumed knights followed by an exhibit of jousting skills against a wooden effigy representing the Saracen.

Giostra della Quintana (Joust of the Quintana), Foligno
Second Sunday in September
Reeanactment of a 17th century joust with hundreds of knights in colorful costume.

La Partita a Scacchi a Personaggi Viventi Marostica (The Human Chess Game and the Quest for a Fair Maiden's Hand), Marostica (Venice)
Age-old tale played out in the town square by human chess pieces in period costume.

San Gennaro Festival, Napoli
September 19
Feasting & religious ceremony honoring Napoli's patron saint.



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