Italy is home to some world-famous festivals and annual events, but there are also many smaller or lesser known festivals and historical events taking place, celebrating everything from cherry trees to 50s rock ’n’ roll. So if you would like to plan something a bit different on your next trip to Italy, here are of some of Italy’s lesser known festivals.
Ciliegi in Fiore (Cherry Trees in Bloom) – Mid-March until Mid-April in Vignola, in the Emilia Romagna. This Renaissance town in the province of Modena is famous for its cherry trees and if you’re a fan of cherry blossoms, then you’ll want to visit in late March or early April. As the trees bloom, the town is taken over with a program of parades, concerts, exhibitions, special restaurant menus and various other activities to enjoy.
Mille Miglia – May 15 through 18. This year, the route of the ‘race’ is from Brescia to Rome. This long-established, but unique auto race attracts thousands of vintage car lovers to Italy every year. A selection of vintage cars travel non-stop from Brescia to Rome and back, with crowds greeting them at numerous Italian towns along the way. In 2019, the cars will leave Brescia on Wednesday, May 15 and will arrive in Rome the following day. They will then head back to Brescia, where on Saturday, May 18th, there will be an awards ceremony.
Luminara di San Ranieri – June 16. For one night in June, the town of Lungarno in Tuscany is lit by thousands of candles in special glass and wood frames, creating a magical atmosphere for the Luminara di San Ranieri. This is one of the area’s biggest events, outlining the palaces, bridges, churches and the towers of the town.
La Notte Rosa (Pink Night) – July 6 and 7. Along a 100-mile stretch of the Adriatic coast, between the Emilia Romagna and Le Marche, the beaches from Comacchio to Senigallia turn pink from sunset until dawn. Every town interprets the theme in a different way, competing to be the most creative and original, putting on shows, theater performances and other events. Rimini usually has the biggest party of all. Why pink? No one really seems to know. The tourist board says it is the color that best represents the glorious coast. Whatever the reason, this all-night party is always a lot of fun. You may even want to stick around the area, because at the end of the month…
Senigallia, Marche – July 31 to August 11. Italy is home to a several big music festivals, but the Summer Jamboree, held in Marche, is one of the more unusual ones, completely dedicated to American music and culture from the ’40s and ’50s. Live concerts and markets selling retro gear and vinyl attract crowds of enthusiastic fans from all over Italy and the world. There’s also a ‘40s and ‘50s classic car show.
Notte della Taranta – August 24th. In the town of Salento, in Puglia, dancers and musicians come together to celebrate the pizzica tarantata, the frantic music and dance that originated in the Middle Ages. It is said to have been how women in the Middle Ages would vent their frustration! It is now one of Europe’s most important traditional music festivals, with performances in villages around the region throughout August, before a final grand concert in Salento, which attracts some 200,000 visitors from all over the world.