We’re nearly half way through the year and the calendar just keeps filling up with more festas and fantastic fun-packed events – 33 so far this month! So if you’re planning a trip to Italy check out what’s on in Italy in June for some inspiration. And don’t forget to leave me a comment with your favourites! Buon viaggio!
Until 26th June – Piero della Francesca exhibition in Museo di San Domenico, Forlì, Emilia-Romagna
Piero della Francesco, nicknamed the “king of painting,” was a talented Renaissance painterand little-known contemporary of Michelangelo and Da Vinci. The exhibition in Forlì runs to 26 June 2016. For information check the official exhibition website here.
2nd June – Festa della Repubblica Italiana, Italian Republic Day
Just as Americans celebrate the 4th July, Italians have the 2nd June – the Festa della Repubblica Italiana – to commemorate the moment in 1946 when Italy became a republic. The decision was taken by public referendum after the fall of fascism at the end of World War II. And as the Italian monarchy had rather unfortunately backed the wrong side during the war it was resoundingly deposed, ending 85 years of rule. Expect state-led celebrations including a military parade and spectacular fly-past by the Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team in the centre of Rome.
2nd – 12th June – Gelato festival, Milan
The Gelato Festival kicked off in Florence on 21st April, visiting Parma, Rome, Naples and Turin before arriving in Milan. It continues to London, Berlin and Valencia, returning to Florence for the final on 1st September. Gelato makers bring up to 100 new flavours of Italian-style ice cream for judging by a panel of experts and the public. What is your favourite flavour?
2nd – 12th June 2016 – La Giostra dell’Archidado, Cortona, Tuscany
A week of medieval celebrations culminates with a costumed parade and crossbow competition on the final day. Festivities include a medieval fair, flag throwing, a medieval dinner and a horseback parade through Cortona’s historic centre. The event commemorates the marriage of Francesco Casali, Lord of Cortona, to Antonia Salimbeni of Siena in 1397 and crossbowmen compete in the Piazza Signorelli for a golden arrow.
2nd June – 21st July – Lucca Music Festival, Lucca, Tuscany
Lucca Summer Festival is one of Tuscany’s main music events & includes concerts from Van Morrison, Anastacia, Simply Red, Lionel Ritchie plus half a dozen other international artists. The gigs take place in the central Piazza Napoleone, known locally as Piazza Grande, so you can enjoy a perfect musical evening under the sultry Tuscan sky. For more information on what’s on in Italy in June or for tickets check out the official website above.
3rd – 5th June 2016 – Mercatino Campo San Maurizio Antique market, Venice
This lovely little antique market in the Campo San Maurizio near St Mark’s Square is perfect for lovers of vintage trinkets and antique jewellery. There’s everything from 1950s and 60s Murano glass, to old books, paintings and even lighting so make sure to leave some space in your suitcase for a spot of shopping!
Sunday 5th May – Free entry to over 300 Italian galleries, gardens and museums
For lovers of art, history and gardens Italy has the perfect scheme – free entry to over 300 state-run galleries, gardens and museums on the first Sunday of every month. FREE!! The national programme includes the Uffizi in Florence, the Accademia in Venice and even Rome’s ancient Colosseum. If you’re planning a visit to Italy make sure to check which institutions participate in your destination!
4th & 5th June – Bellaria Igea Marina Air Show including the Frecce Tricolori display team, Emilia-Romagna
For the third year running, Bellaria Igea Marina, on the Adriatic coast, is hosting an airshow including a spectacular aerobatic display by the national Frecce Tricolori team on the Sunday. One not to miss!
10th – 11th June – Sagra del Pesce or Fish festival in Fiumicino, Rome
The sagra, now in its 46th year, is all about fish, obviously(!), but especially fried fish. Over 250kg of fresh fish, squid and prawns are fried in an enormous pan before being served up to hungry customers queueing patiently for a paper poke of deliciousness! Frying starts from 8pm – midnight on Friday and Saturday and then from midday on Sunday. More information is available on the official sagra website here. Yum!
10th June – 10th July – Euro 2016 Football Tournament
OK, so this is a bit of a fib; the Euro 2016 championship is in France not Italy! But Italians are fanatic football fans so expect lots of passion! Italy is drawn in Group E and for more information on the team’s chances, check out my post covering (almost) all you need to know!
Their group matches are –
Monday 13th June – Belgium v Italy, kick off 8pm GMT
Friday 17th June – Italy v Sweden, kick off 2pm GMT
Wednesday 22nd June – Italy v Republic of Ireland, kick off 8pm GMT
11th & 12th June 2016 – Regata Delle Antiche Repubbliche Marinare, Amalfi
The regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics is a competition between the 4 great Italian naval republics – Amalfi, Genoa, Pisa and Venice – and takes place in each city in rotation. This year it’s Amalfi’s turn.
Heats take place on Saturday before Sunday’s festivities. Proceedings start with a solemn procession of all 4 republics, dressed in sumptuous medieval costume along with flag bearers, drummers and trumpeters into the centre of the city. And then the regata begins on Sunday afternoon pitting 4 colourful figure-headed galleons against eachother, rowed by 8 rowers and a coxswain. Competition is fierce between the friendly foes!
11th – 18th June 2016 – Festival Dei Bambini, Cesenatico, Emilia-Romagna
If you’re holidaying on the Adriatic with kids this month, check out the Children’s Festival that promises to be an explosion of colour, entertainment, games, bouncy castles and shows especially designed for our little people! Events are set in a variety of locations along the 110km Adriatic coastline from Comacchio in the north, down through Rimini and Bellaria Igea Marina to Cattolico in the south. Fantastic family fun for all!
11th – 18th June – Taormina Film Festival, Taormina, Sicily
Lights, camera, action! The Taormina Film Festival started way back in 1955 and today takes place in the city’s ancient Greek Theatre overlooking the bay. It hosts both Italian and international films with many premiering at the festival and competing for the Nastro d’Argento (Silver Ribbon) award. Richard Gere is 2016’s honorary president. And as well as opening the festival Gere will oversee an evening dedicated to homeless causes, an issue close to his heart.
11th, 12th & 24th June 2016 – Calcio Storico Fiorentino, Florence, Tuscany
Florence’s famous Calcio Storico football match is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before! A cross between rugby, American football, soccer, wrestling and bare knuckle boxing it commemorates a similar Renaissance match played back in 1530. And all takes place in 16th century costume! (Photo credit : Lorenzo Noccioli)
Teams representing four neighbourhoods in Florence compete; Santa Croce (blue), Santa Maria Novella (red), Santo Spirito (white) and San Giovanni (green). Two matches are played in the caged pitch in Piazza Santa Croce on the 11th and 12th June to decide who plays in the final on the 24th June. Expect fierce competition and even fiercer fighting!
16th – 17th June – Luminara Di San Ranieri & Regatta Di San Ranieri, Pisa, Tuscany
Festivities to celebrate Saint Ranieri kick off on 16th June with the Luminara, or Pisa by Candlelight, that illuminates the city with over 70,000 lights. The lighting tradition dates back to 1688 and today involves the illumination of palaces, churches, towers and bridges along the River Arno after sunset. Fireworks complete the evening’s fabulous light show. Pick your spot carefully to avoid the crush as the city gets very busy!
The regata takes place the following day, pitching Pisa’s 4 districts against eachother on the river. The winner not only has to cross the finishing line first but also climb a 25 foot high rope to reach the flag of victory! Fabulous!
16th to 19th June 2016 – Taormina Tango Festival, Taormina, Sicily
This year sees the first Taormina Tango Festival in conjunction with the well-established Taormina Film Festival. Focusing on the Argentinian tango, dancers will take to the streets and squares of the town to entertain visitors whilst the film festival plays host to numerous international films.
17th – 26th June – International Festival of Contemporary Dance, Venice Biennale
The 10th edition of the Venice Dance Biennale sees 25 dancers and choreographers presenting 32 shows throughout the city. 9 are world premieres and 9 are Italian premieres so you really have a wonderful chance to see some world class dance. Venues are spread out across the city including Biennale venues at the Arsenale so check the website for more information.
17th – 19th June – Sagra Del Lambrusco E Degli Spiriti Divini Wine Festival, Albinea, Emilia-Romagna
Dating back to 1951 this local country festival celebrates the Lambrusco wine of Emilia-Romagna together with its many traditional products. It is a simply wonderful way to pass a sultry summer evening, sipping from Emilia’s wine cellars in Piazza Cavicchioni e Parco Lavezza.
17th – 19th June 2016 – Infinito Wine Festival, Recanati
Wine tastings, good food and culture await visitors to the Palazzo Comunale town hall of the historic centre of Recanati.
18th June 2016 – Art night in Venice
Many museums, galleries and private venues open up on Art Night, offering special concerts or just the chance to visit historical buildings normally closed to the public. The full programme is yet to be announced.
18th June – 3rd July 2016 – The Floating Piers art installation, Lake Iseo walkway
He’s wrapped islands in Miami, enveloped Berlin’s Reichstag building and swathed Pont Neuf in Paris in plastic. This summer American artist Christo will construct a series of bright yellow walkways spanning 3km across northern Italy’s stunning Lake Iseo near Brescia. Visitors will be able to walk across the walkways for totally original views of the lake and surrounding countryside. Guided tours are available here.
21st June 2016 – Festa del nodo d’amore tortellini festival, Valeggio sul Mincio, Veneto
On the third Tuesday of June the restaurateurs of Valeggio sul Mincio, near Lake Garda, organise the festival del nodo d’amore, or belly button, a nickname for the local tortellini pasta. Up to 4000 dinners sit down at long trestles set up along the village’s ancient bridge to enjoy the tortellini, whose recipe is known only to 15 local chefs. If you’re stuck for inspiration for what’s on in Italy in June and love pasta, this is the one for you!
22nd June to 10th August – Teatro dell’Opera, Baths of Caracalla, Rome
Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera is another prestigious festival with a series of concerts at the historic terme baths of Caracalla. The Roman baths are a breathtaking backdrop for the summer’s open-air opera, ballet and pop music with big names including Lang Lang and Neil Young providing the entertainment. Tickets for a range of artists can be booked here, guaranteeing an historic evening under the Roman stars.
23rd June 2016 – Reopening of the Museo degli Innocenti, Florence, Tuscany
The museum, designed by Brunelleschi, reopens this month after a €13 million restoration. It’s collection features work by art legends Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and Piero di Cosimo and the new layout will highlight the museum’s architectural history.
24th June to 28th August – Verona Opera Festival
Verona’s Opera Festival is famous the world over, attracting the best tenors and sopranos alive. Add in that its all performed in the spectacular ancient Roman arena at the heart of the city and you have a truly fabulous festival. With seating for over 14,000 spectators and hosting over 700,000 visitors every year this is easily one of the largest opera festivals in Italy. For more information about what’s on in Italy in June check the website but make sure you book early as tickets sell out fast!
24th June – 10th July 2016 – Festival dei due Mondi, Spoleto, Umbria
Combining opera, theatre, art and dance events the festival of two worlds promises to entertain. Events include Beethoven recitals, a play written by Andrea Camilleri and The Marriage of Figaro opera. The hardest bit will be choosing what to see!
Saturday 25th June 2016 – Il Gioco del Ponte Battle on the Bridge, Pisa, Tuscany
The Battle on the Bridge is a contest between 2 armies dressed in elaborate 16th century Spanish costumes. Divided into 5 phases it ends with a series of “push-of-war” battles as 12 teams from the north and south banks of the city shove a 7-tonne carriage over the Ponte di Mezzo. The contest dates back to 1568.
Sunday 26th June – Mercatone dell’Antiquariato del Naviglio Grande monthly antiques market, Milan
We all know Milan for its designer fashion and haute-couture. But if you prefer vintage or antiques, get down to Milan’s Naviglio canal district on the last Sunday of the month for its fab antique market. It’s heaven for bargain hunters and collectors alike with around 2 kilometres of canal side and over 400 stalls laden with all manner of antique goodies! Open from 9am to 6pm.
29th June – Festa di San Pietro e Paolo, Roma
The feast of Rome’s patron saints, Peter and Paul, is celebrated on 29th June, the 180th day of the year. Celebrations end with the most impressive fireworks display from the Castel Sant’Angelo on the banks of the River Tiber. It’s a stunning setting for a truly spectacular lightshow.
29th June – Palio della Vittoria, Anghiari, Tuscany
Every year on 29th June Anghiari celebrates the victory of Florentine troops over their Milanese enemies in 1441 with a costumed parade and palio or race. The race starts at the Chapel of Victory ending in Baldabccio Square, the central square of the medieval town. It’s one of Tuscany’s oldest palios seeing competitors running 1400 meters to the finishing post whilst dressed in medieval costume. And competition is strong with runners having no qualms about pushing their adversaries into the ditch! Read all about what to expect here with my fellow blogger Chestnuts and Truffles post on the Palio della Vittoria here!
18th March to 31st October – Ravello Concert Society festival, Amalfi Coast
This music festival is based in Villa Rufolo in Ravello, an illustrious location on the Amalfi coast that inspired many composers including Wagner, Toscanini, Caruso and Bernstein. The calendar is varied with classical, chamber and jazzperformances. Why not add concert tickets to your Amalfi vacation or check the Society’s website for full details.
19th March – 24th July – From Kandinsky to Pollock art exhibition, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence
If you love contemporary art, Palazzo Strozzi in the centre of Florence has a spectacular exhibition this month from the Peggy Guggenheim collection in Venice. It includes pieces from Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtennstein and Man Ray to name just a few!
24th May – 4th September – “War, Capitalism & Liberty”, Banksy exhibition at Palazzo Cipolla, Rome
This exhibition is a rare chance to see some of the secretive artist’s best work and one not to be missed if you like street art. For more information check out my post Banksy Street art : a new exhibition in Rome.
4th March – 25th September – San Giacomo Classical Music Festival at the Church of San Giacomo Maggiore in Bologna
Concerts take place every week in the church of San Giacomo Maggiore from the beginning of March through to the end of September each year, with a varied selection of classical and choral music. Proceeds are used to fund a canteen for the homeless.
28th May to 27th November 2016 – Venice Biennale of Art or Architecture
Venice Biennale runs every year with the focus alternating between art and architecture. This year its architecture’s turn with the exhibition entitled “Reporting from the Front”. 64 countries are participating with expositions at a variety of sites across the city including the Biennale Garden pavilions, Arsenale dockyard and various historic palazzi. For more information on what’s on in Italy in June, check out the official website.