Epiphany Fair in Piazza Navona, Rome (Lazio)
January 5th. A fair of toys, sweets, and other presents takes place out in the open among the beautiful Bernini Fountains.
Celebration of the Epiphany from the Byzantine Rite, Piana degli Albanesi (Sicily)
January 6th. Almond Blossom Festival, Agrigento (Sicily)
First half of February, folk festival of song, dance, costumes and fireworks.
Sa Sartiglia, Oristano (Sardinia)
February 24th to 26th. Medieval procession and jousting of masked knights.
Venice Carnival, Venice (Veneto)
February/March. Celebrations in costumes, entertainment in streets and squares. Music, mimes and fireworks.
Carnival in Viareggio, Viareggio (Tuscany)
February/March. Highlight of the Carnival festival is the procession of spectacular and colourful floats.
Scoppio del Carro (Explosion of the Cart), Florence (Tuscany)
Easter Sunday. A pyramid of fire works in the Cathedral Square is set off by a mechanical dove driven from the Altar during Mass.
Celebration of Holy Week (Easter Week), Assisi (Umbria)
Calendimaggio, celebration of spring according to rites dating back to medieval times.
Procession of the Mysteries, Taranto (Puglia)
Good Friday. Renowned for its costumes and solemnity.
Sagra di Sant’Efisio (Festival of St. Efisio),
May 1st to 4th. Cagliari (Sardinia) One of the biggest and most colourful processions in the world. Several thousand pilgrims (wearing costumes dating back to 1657) accompany the statue of the saint on foot, carts, and horseback.
Palio-San Secondo, Asti (Piedmont)
May 2nd. A 700-year old ceremony with a procession in 13th century costumes.
Sagra di San Nicola, Bari (Apulia)
May 7th. Historic procession in costume.
Festa dei Ceri (Race of the Candles), Gubbio (Umbria)
May 15th. A procession in local costume where tall shrines are carried to the church on the top of Mount Ingino.
Palio dei Balestrieri (Palio of the Archers), Gubbio (Umbria)
Last Sunday in May. Medieval crossbow contest between Gubbio and Sansepolcro with medieval costumes and arms.
Cavalcata Sarda (Sardinian Ride), Sassari (Sardinia)
Last Sunday in May. Traditional procession of more than 3,000 people in Sardinian costumes.
Gioco del Ponte (Bridge Battle), Pisa (Tuscany)
First Sunday in June. Medieval parade and contest.
Festa del Giglio (The Lily Festival), Nola (Campania)
The Sunday following June 22nd. A colourful procession in costume.
Calcio Storico (Historic Soccer Match), Florence (Tuscany)
June 24th to 28th. Revival of a 16th century football match in medieval costume. Fireworks display from the terraced gardens overlooking the city.
The Palio horse race, Siena (Tuscany)
July 2nd and August 16th. Procession and horse race. Participants are members of ancient city districts, competing for the banner (Palio). Colourful medieval pageantry.
Feast of Santa Rosalia, Palermo (Sicily)
July 10th to 15th. Procession bands, fireworks in honor of the patron saint of the city.
Festa De’Noantri, Rome (Lazio)
July 19th to 26th. Folklore festival of Old Rome in Trastevere, including a colourful procession for the Vergine del Carmine, folk dance and songs, carnival floats, and fireworks.
Il Redentore (Feast of the Redeemer), Venice (Veneto)
Third Sunday in July. Procession of gondolas commemorating the end of the Epidemic of 1575.
Torneo della Quintana (Joust of the Quintana), Ascoli Piceno (Marche)
First Sunday in August. Historical pageant in 15th-century costumes.
Palio del Golfo (Palio of the Gulf), La Spezia (Liguria)
Second Sunday in August. Rowing contest.
Sagra del Redentore (Feast of the Redeemer), Nuoro (Sardinia)
August 27th to 30th. Colorful procession in Sardinian costumes.
Historical Regatta, Venice (Veneto)
First Sunday in September. Traditional competition between two-oar racing gondolas and procession of ceremonial boats.
Giostra del Saraceno (Joust of the Saracen), Arezzo (Tuscany)
First Sunday in September, Tilting contest of the 13th century with knights in armour.
Palio dei Balestrieri, Sansepolcro (Tuscany)
September 8th. Crossbow palio between Sansepolcro and Gubbio. Medieval contest with costumes and arms.
Living Chess Game, Marostica (Veneto)
Second weekend in September, in an even-numbered year. The Chess game is played in the town square by living pawns in costume.
Giostra della Quintana (Joust of the Quintana), Foligno (Umbria)
Second Sunday in September. Revival of a 17th century joust with 600 knights in costume, historical procession.
Festival of San Gennaro, Napoli (Campania)
September 19th. Religious ceremony honouring the patron saint of the city.
Flag Throwing Palio, Asti (Piedmont)
Third Sunday in September. Ancient festival with 800 costumed participants, historic procession and horse race.
Salone del gusto , slow food, Turin (Piedmont)
October. An international food festival that strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine.
Eurochocolate, Perugia (Umbria)
October. One of the largest chocolate festivals in Europe. It lasts for nine days and is located in the main squares and areas of Perugia.
Oh Bej! Oh Bej, Milan (Lombardy)
7-9th December. Milan’s patron saint is celebrated with a beautiful Christmas market filled with sweets and typical products in the area surrounding the church of St. Ambrogio.