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Going to festivals and concerts is one of the best ways to get stuck in to Italian culture. Luckily, the Italian calendar is packed full of events – and we can get you tickets for everything from A.C. Milan football matches and Siena’s Palio horse races, to immersive arts and opera marathons. In fact, Italian opera breaks are some of our most popular events. Book one to immerse yourself in the drama of open-air shows in Verona’s Roman Arena or the garden grottos and theatres of Florence.
Here’s a taster of the events to come in 2017 and 2018 – if any take your fancy, call our Italy Experts on 01293 733479* to find out more or to book.
The most famous horse race in the world pulls in huge crowds to Siena twice every summer (early July and mid-August). The Palio di Siena – simply known as Il Palio – dates back to medieval times and is taken very, very seriously by locals.
Twice a year, 10 horses and jockeys representing the different districts in town compete in this 90-second turn around the Piazza del Campo – and things get very competitive. Celebrations don’t stick to the square, either, thanks to the different neighbourhoods dressing up in full regalia for the pre-race pageant.
Venice Carnival is one of the most spectacular celebrations on the planet. In the week leading up to Ash Wednesday (usually February), Venetians and enthusiastic visitors throw on elaborate costumes and congregate in St. Mark’s Square for parades and parties.
The masquerade balls are the biggest draw, featuring dinner, dancing and entertainment straight out of the 19th century. Don’t worry if you can’t get the traditional get-up, either – you can hire or buy an outfit in Venice.
The Ravello Festival is one of the best-loved events in Italy, taking the Amalfi Coast by storm every summer.
Running for around three months, this festival of music and arts was originally a tribute to Wagner, following his visit to the town in the 19th century. Today, it’s a time-perfected tradition with a programme of jazz, art shows, dance, photography and classical concerts.
It all kicks off around Ravello, but the main venue is the spectacular open-air stage at the cliffside Villa Rufolo. You could stay in Ravello itself, but it’s easily accessed from Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast too.
The crowning jewel of the Italian opera season, Verona’s opera festival runs from June until late August or early September, and puts on performances penned by some of the most famous composers in Italy. Held at Arena di Verona, a spectacular first-century Roman amphitheatre, the 2018 festival will showcase the likes of Carmen and Aida.
Our opera breaks help you experience one of Italy’s great passions in its most famous cities. Reserve seats with us to see works by masters like Verdi, Bellini and Puccini in world-famous opera houses (think Milan’s La Scala and Teatro La Fenice in Venice). Tempted? Find out more about our Italian opera breaks.
The Puccini Opera Festival is held in honour of one of Tuscany’s most famous sons – composer Giacomo Puccini. Staged each summer in Torre del Lago’s Gran Teatro all’Aperto, the 64th edition lasts from 14 July to 25 August 2018. Madama Butterfly, Tosca and La Bohème are all on the line-up.
For the last 12 years, opera singer Andrea Bocelli has held court at the open-air Teatro del Silenzo just outside Lajatico. The rural locale might seem like an obscure spot, but it’s no accident – Bocelli was born among these Tuscan hills.
Parma practically has a year-long roster of concerts dedicated to the locally born composer Verdi. It all comes to a head on 10 October each year, when the grand Teatro Regio puts on a night-long gala to celebrate his birthday.
Fancy seeing some of the top football clubs in the world battle it out? We can help you find UEFA Champions League tickets for your holiday. Italian players are among the top dogs in the competition, so the atmosphere is electric at the home games. Meanwhile, Serie A is the Premier League of Italian football. Juventus F.C, A.C Milan and Inter Milan are among the superstar clubs that start play every August.
Classical music and jazz are the order of the day at the Stresa Festival. It’s celebrating its 57th birthday in 2018, with past events showcasing everything from jazz and mariachi bands to full orchestras and string quartets. The venues dot themselves around Lake Maggiore in Piedmont. One of the best backdrops? The extravagant gardens of Loggia del Cashmere on Isola Madre.
For 10 days in July, Perugia in Umbria becomes a global music village as hordes of music lovers take to the cobblestone streets to experience one of the world’s best jazz festivals. Performances pop up across town in piazzas, gardens, wine bars and the Arena Santa Giuliana.
The annual Chianti Classico wine tasting expo takes place in Greve, Tuscany, in September. The event involves buying a wine glass along with a ticket that allows you to taste wines at the booths set around the piazza. You’ll have the chance to buy the wines, too, so we recommend testing as many as possible!
Head to Pisa for one of the most romantic events in Tuscany. The Luminara di San Ranieri is a candlelight festival, taking place every year on 16 June. A few thousand candle lanterns known as lumini are placed all over the city and along the River Arno, while fireworks fill the sky.