Italian festivals, carnivals and competitions are spectacular occasions! Festivals in Italy are so much fun – you can build your vacation around them. All Italians love to come together and celebrate their culture. Steeped in tradition, centuries-old festivities come alive all over Italy. You can attend amazing carnivals, grueling sporting competitions and see beautiful art. Surely, you will never forget the thrill of these festivals in Italy!
The following amazing events are in order of calendar year.

Carnival of Viareggio 2024

Viareggio Carnival
Carnevale di Viareggio 2024. VIAREGGIO, TUSCANY – Feb 3rd through Feb 24th
Thousands of spectators and spectacular floats make this the most amazing carnival for the Lenten season. This is an extravaganza that you will remember forever!

Venice Carnival 2024

Venice Carnival
Carnevale di Venezia 2024 VENICE – Feb 3rd through Feb 23rd
Attending an extravagant masked ball set in one of the most magical cities in the world definitely makes a memory of a lifetime. During this 10-day event, the streets are filled with masked people dressed in Venetian 18th century clothing. If you are in Venice during this exciting time, you will enjoy the parades and many activities throughout Venice.  

Battle of the Oranges 2024

Battle of the Oranges Turin
Storico Carnevale di Ivrea 2024 TURIN, PIEDMONT – Feb 11th through Feb 13th
Imagine a battle waged with almost 900,000 pounds of oranges!!! Well, you can relive the experience in Ivrea’s most historic struggle between ruling tyrant and all the residents. Teams, rules, and horse-drawn carts, make for a mighty battle – not with weapons but with oranges!

Venice Art Biennale 2024

Venice Art Biennale
Biennale Arte 2024 VENICE – April 20th through Nov 24th (pre-opening April 17th, 18th & 19th)
Artists from all over the world gather and display their works in the Beinnale Arte. This is an international art exhibition that will thrill art enthusiasts the world over! Venice is magical, and the Arte Biennale is a bonus to see.

Italy Flower Festivals 2024

Italy Infiorata Festival

Infiorata di Noto 2024 NOTO, SICILY May 17th through 24th

Infiorata di Spello 2024 SPELLO, UMBRIA May 18th through 19th

Infiorata di Genzano di Roma 2024 ROME June 8th through June 15th

This is a festival for the eyes not to be missed! Works of art, made with thousands of flowers, carpet the streets of many Italian cities. The best of these can be found in Noto, Genzano and Spello. Enjoy this explosion of color and art as a centuries-old tradition carries on. In 1625 the head florist of the Vatican, Bendetto Drei, created a mosaic of flowers for the basilica on the day of St. Peter and Paul. As a result of his creativity, this historic tradition flourishes and carries on.

99th Opera Festival 2024, Verona Arena Italy

Verona Arena
Arena di Verona 2024 VERONA, VENETO – June to September
We were lucky enough to enjoy the opera, Aida, in this amazing arena! Built in 30AD, this venue seats 30,000 people! Since staging and backdrops are enormous during Opera season, it only seats a mere 15,000! If you are in the beautiful city of Verona, please go see one of the many spectacular Operas at the Arena. Tickets start as low as 24 euros up to 300 euros for ultimate seats. In addition, there are also student discounts. No matter where you sit, the stage is so tremendous that the view is great!
NOTE: Men cannot wear shorts in the platinum, gold or silver areas – but don’t worry – they sell black pants there!!

Joust of the Saracen 2024

Joust of the Saracen Italy
Giostra del Saracino 2024 AREZZO, TUSCANY – June 15th & Sept 7th & 9th
Citizens of Arezzo march from their own sectors to engage in this Medieval ritual twice a year. It has become this city’s obsession! In other words, the Joust is a passionate Italian competition with thousands of spectators! Although the pageantry and costumes are a spectacle, in reality this is a skilled and serious competition. The Golden Lance is a trophy to be revered. This is one event that I really must attend! After all, this is a competition not to be missed!

Battle of the Bridge Competition 2024

Battle of the Bridge Pisa
Gioco del Ponte 2024 PISA, TUSCANY – June 29th
Dating back to the 11th century, teams put their strength and endurance to the test. In order to maintain control of the Ponte di Mezzo, teams must push their opponents carts to the opposite end. Moreover, there is a parade along the riverbank before the historical reenactment of the battle begins.

Siena Horse Race 2024

Siena Horse Race
Palio di Siena 2024 SIENA, TUSCANY – July 2nd & Aug 16th
This is the most exhilarating event that I have ever been to in my life! Please go to this!!!! Piazza del Campo, the heart of Siena, is the pulse of this centuries-old challenge between the different Sienese areas. Not just a horse race, the Palio is an extravaganza of pageantry and courage by the riders and a complete explosion of passion by thousands of spectators. Try your best to attend this once in a lifetime Italian event!

Medieval Festival Monteriggioni Italy 2024

Medieval Festival Italy
Monteriggioni Festa Medievale 2024 MONTERIGGIONI, TUSCANY – July 7th -16th (2 long weekends)
Relive the magic of medieval times at this colorful festival. Castles, knights, dancing, fireworks and more make this a memorable event for all!

Venice Film Festival 2024

Venice Film Festival
Festival del cinema di Venezia LIDO, VENICE – Aug. 28th through Sept. 7th
Celebrities, awards and glitz in one of the most magical cities in Italy! Venice What more can you say?

So much to see and do! If you have the opportunity, try to visit some of the festivals and carnivals in Italy. You will make wonderful memories for years to come!

Verona Opera
Here we are outside the Verona Arena on the night we attended the opera, Aida – such a sight to behold!