Festivals in Italy

Italians are preceded by their reputation of being fun-loving and passionate and this is every bit true. You just have to see them at any of their festivals and you will see how much they love to celebrate. If you’re travelling to Italy, you’d be fortunate enough to attend any of the Italian festivals where you can see the streets erupt with joy. Some of these are traditional festivals, and others are cultural as well as sports related. Here are some of the events in Italy that are celebrated with a great deal of enthusiasm.

One of the most awaited events in Italy is the most violent game of football you’ve probably ever seen. The event goes back to the 16th century where both teams are allowed to manhandle the opposing team by punching and kicking them out of the way as they try to score their goal.

The town of Perugia sees a huge influx of jazz lovers in July, who are here to witness the Umbria Jazz Festival first hand. Conceived more than forty years ago, this jazz festival has brought famous jazz as well as pop and rock artists such as Elton John, Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana to Italy. While some performances are free, the events held in venues such as Areana Santa Giulana are ticketed.

Every year in September, Venice sees one of the world’s biggest and most glam film events, a film festival that brings some of the biggest film stars to the floating city. The festival is a prime location to show off avant-garde films as well as Oscar award contenders.

Apart from these festivals, Christmas and Easter are celebrated in a huge way of course, while Valentine’s Day is also a special event here in Italy. Do remember to check the SOTC website for deals and offers on Italy holiday packages before you book your flights.

Come February, the entire city of Venice turns into a masked ball. This Italian festival is said to have originated in the 12th century, to anticipate the arrival of Lent, a time when Christians avoid meat and do not indulge in any sort of revelry. There are several masquerade balls held here and the tickets are quite steeply priced but watching the candlelit parade of boats and street performances is free.

Another Italian festival celebrated in the seaside town of Viareggio is the Carnevale, a 150 year old celebration which involves a parade of gigantic papier-mâché floats which are taken through the streets. People turn up in fancy dress and there are revellers accompanying the floats throughout the parade.

Celebrated every year in June, several towns across Italy come alive with beautiful petal mosaics, some of which can go up to several hundred metres. Although it is said to have to originated in 1625 in the Vatican, other cities and towns too have adopted the festival. The biggest Infiorata can be seen in Noto, Sicily in the third weekend of May.

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