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Experiencing Italy is all about getting involved, and with so many exciting events and shows, you’ll find it easy to get into the Italian spirit. From opera with a difference to immersive festivals quite unlike anything else you’ve ever seen, there’s lots to look forward to in the Italian events calendar.
Transform your stay into one of our popular opera breaks in Italy, as you immerse yourself in the poetic drama of an open-air opera show, like Bizet’s Carmen, performed in Verona’s Roman Arena. You could also experience a show in one of the country's iconic opera houses, like Teatro all Scala or La Fenice. If opera’s not your thing, why not time your holiday to coincide with an event? We can arrange tickets to everything from music festivals to Siena’s iconic Palio horse race.
Reserve your seats or tickets with us today for the most comprehensive selection of Italian events. Call our Italy Experts on 01293 762410* to find out more. Please note, opera tickets cannot currently be booked online.
Summer sees the Verona Opera Festival come to the city. The crowning jewel of Italy’s opera season, the festival runs from June until late August or early September, and hosts performances penned by some of the country’s most legendary composers. Held at Arena di Verona, the spectacular 1st-century Roman amphitheatre, the 2016 festival will showcase the likes of Carmen, Aida and La Traviata. We can book tickets for you, with available seats ranging from unreserved seating on the stone steps (bring a cushion!) to the brilliant views from the arena floor. See our Verona Opera Break itinerary here.
Experience one of the Italy’s great passions in its most famous cities with our opera breaks. Reserve seats with us and see works by composers like Verdi, Bellini and Puccini in the birthplace of opera, at majestic venues throughout the country. When in Rome, a must-visit is the city’s most celebrated opera house, Teatro Costanzi deli’Opera, pulling in crowds for its extravagant performances since the 19th century. Visiting Naples? Make it Teatro San Carlo, the oldest opera house in Italy that’s today known for its state-of-the-art technology. Venice’s Teatro La Fenice, meanwhile, transports you back to its heyday, when it hosted Italy’s most famous operatic premieres.
Every summer, the most famous horse race in the world pulls in huge crowds to Siena in Tuscany. The Palio di Siena (simply known as ‘The Palio’) dates back to medieval times and is taken very seriously by locals. Twice a year, 10 horses and jockeys complete in this thrilling, 90-second turn around the Piazza del Campo, representing the different districts of the town – and things can get very competitive. The whole town is decked out in their district’s colours, waving flags and joining in with the pageant that takes place before the race. It’s a spectacle not to be missed if you’re in Tuscany in early July or mid-August.
Venice Carnival is one of the most spectacular carnival celebrations on the planet. Taking place in February in the week leading up to Ash Wednesday, Venetians and enthusiastic visitors join in by wearing breathtakingly elaborate costumes complete with masks and congregating in St. Mark’s Square for the parades and parties. Venice Carnival’s masquerade balls are the biggest draw, with dinner and dancing, plus exciting entertainment straight out of the 19th century. Visitors are strongly encouraged to join in with the costumes, but don’t worry – you can hire or buy a costume, and even paint your own mask in Venice. Find out more in our beginner's guide to Venice Carnival.
The Ravello Festival is one of the most famous events in Italy, taking the Amalfi Coast by storm every June. Running for around three months, this festival of music and the arts was originally a tribute to Wagner, following his visit to the town in the 19th century. Today, it’s a favourite tradition with a fantastic programme of jazz, art shows, dance, photography, orchestras and more, taking place in and around Ravello. The main venue is the beautiful open-air stage at Villa Rufolo, which features local talent as well as international acts.
The Puccini Festival is a prestigious opera event held in honour of Tuscany’s most famous son, composer Giacomo Puccini. Staged each summer in Torre del Lago’s Great Open Air Theatre, the 63rd edition is set to be unmissable. 2017 marks the 100-year anniversary of the first performance of La Rondine, one of Puccini’s finest operas. To celebrate, the festival will host a brand-new staging of the production, along with the likes of La Bohème, Tosca and Madama Butterfly.
The Puccini Festival will take place between 14 July and 19 August 2017. To attend this one-off centenary event, just give our Italy Experts a call or take a look at our Puccini Opera Festival short break itinerary.