Festivals in Italy take your cultural experience to a whole new level. There are festivals that celebrate seasonal harvests (think truffles, artichokes, and figs), religious events (almost any Saint is fair game), and even types of pasta. Last year we had a group in Giano dell’Umbria, celebrating its magnificent Festa dei Gnocchi (Yes, two long weekends centered solely around the women of the village cooking giant sums of gnocchi for all comers!) Pictured here is the Infiorata Festival, which features giant murals made entirely of flowers, held annually in June.
With March and April come the beginning of the festival season in Italy once again. I can’t wait – there is a festival for everyone. Including these events in your travel plans is always amazing, not only because the festivals are beautiful, culturally rich and tasty – but they are times when locals are especially happy to receive you and share their gifts.
Before you travel, seek out some of Italy’s other amazing festivals as well – there is a growing list each year of international music, dance, and science festivals as well as those around world events. Ever heard of the Spoleto Festival dei due Mondi? Originally a festival focused on current events symposia, it is now a full blown cultural festival with discussions, displays and world-class performers. There is even a sister-city event in South Carolina. Another great time is Umbria Jazz, a 10-day festival in Umbria’s capital of Perugia, which takes place in July – another world-class event in a beautiful medieval location. This year’s artists include Herbie Hancock and Chic Corea as well as Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga according to the Umbria Jazz program.
Millions attend these events and they can be a great addition to your experience. Here’s a listing of some of our favorite Italian festivals – check it out as you plan your next trip. And check back here for more great tips about festivals and other best-kept secrets in our blog. You’ll be glad you did!