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The seasons and local holidays in Italy

When traveling to Italy, it is important to know which is the best time to go, so you can make the most of what this fantastic country has waiting for you.
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Italy has so much to see and do, especially festivals and incredible celebrations, that would be a shame to miss out on if you find yourself there at the right time, so it can make all the difference to your trip if you know about these in advance. Another common thing that many people overlook is the seasons of their upcoming destination, which too can impact your holiday, but don’t worry because we have you sorted. 

Here is all you need to know about local holidays and festivities in Italy, as well as the best time to travel.

No one knows Italy like a real Italian, and that is why it is invaluable to get connected with a local ‘Destination Expert’, who can guide you in the right direction, so you don’t miss out on anything in Italy. Italy will captivate you, and it will leave you wanting more, especially when you realize how diverse this country is, you will be booking your trip back as soon as you’ve left. So much comes down to making a trip abroad absolutely perfect, and one of the main things is the weather, and in particular, what to expect in the region you plan to go to. There are a few things to know, which will make choosing the right time of year to travel, much easier and hassle-free, but as well as this, there are many amazing celebrations that might tie in with your trip too, and that would be the icing on the cake.

Tourist seasons in Italy

The seasons and local holidays in Italy

Traveling to Italy in the summertime is the high season and the most popular time for tourists to travel there, considering the weather is at its best, so you can explore the outdoors at ease and take advantage of the warm seas and mild evenings. However, with the high season November-January for the Italian Alps in the north and June-August for the rest of the country and neighboring islands, you can expect crowds and slightly higher prices. Tours and accommodation need to be booked in advance, and flights to and from Italy can be pricier than in the offseason. 

Low season In Italy is generally winter for most of the country when the temperatures dip and the weather can be rainy and overcast, as well as the seas not being very inviting. However, if you are planning to come to Italy in the winter, you will find many crowds in any of the mountainous regions, but less on the coastlines.

Best time to travel

The seasons and local holidays in Italy

That brings us to the shoulder season, the best time to travel for many reasons. This generally falls during the traditional period between seasons such as April/May or September/October, which can be a great time to visit, because there are fewer people, things can be more affordable and you will most likely find cheap flights to and from Italy during these months. 

The shoulder season from April-May also means, that you can still have good weather, but the days can be varied, so be sure to pack for all seasons, just in case, but if you travel in September, be aware that some of the high season prices don’t decrease until the end of the month, or beginning of October.

Local holidays and festivities​

The seasons and local holidays in Italy

Italy has many spectacles that you will be glad you’ve come across and this way you can make sure you don’t miss out. With Italy being a traditionally Catholic country, you can expect most things to be closed on public holidays such as Easter Sunday/Monday, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Good Friday, and Epiphany to name but a few, so make sure to check the full list to make sure you aren’t caught off guard.

Public holidays in Italy

Venice Carnival:​

The seasons and local holidays in Italy

If you find yourself in Venice during the Venice Carnival, you can thank your lucky stars, because this will be an experience to remember. Not only is this one of the biggest and best festivals that Italy has to offer, but it dates back to the 12th Century, and you can expect an extravaganza, that will blow you away. Like other notable carnivals around the world, it falls between February and March and finishes the day before Ash Wednesday, the last day of indulgence before the forty days of lent begins.

San Remo Music Festival:​

The seasons and local holidays in Italy

This Italian song contest/award ceremony is for the music lovers out there, and is held in the town of San Remo in the region of Liguria. This festival is so notable, that it is actually the inspiration for the Eurovision Song Contest, which is also held yearly, and is also aired on tv around the continent. This music festival is to thank for making stars like Andrea Bocelli, Manikin, and Laura Pausini, rise to fame.

La’Ardia di San Constantino:

The seasons and local holidays in Italy

If you find your trip takes you to Sardinia, around the time of this ancient horse festival, you must not miss out on this experience. It is a festival that commemorates Constantine’s victory over Maxentius in 312, and happens annually in the town of Sedillo, on July 6th and 7th

La Quintana Palio:​

The seasons and local holidays in Italy

What once started as a traditional jousting tournament, was drastically turned into a festival in 1946 and is one of the most important events in the region of Umbria. It happens in the town of Foligno, each June, and September, so you have two opportunities per year to catch this horse festival in action. You can expect parades the night before, traditional and representative local foods, and of course the great tournament that is Giostra della Quintana, which is said to be the most fascinating and difficult competition in Italy.

Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics:​

The seasons and local holidays in Italy

This maritime event is held in a different city each year, so if you have seen it before, chances are it will have a different feel the second time around. It sees crew from the cities of Amalfi, Genoa, Pisa, and Venice competing by boat, each of which represents their ‘Maritime Republic’. You can expect to enjoy a great atmosphere here with parades, costumes, and traditional music, each December, so be sure to check which city is planned for the time of your visit.

Palio di Siena:​

The seasons and local holidays in Italy

This horse race is held in the town of Siena both in July and in August, and sees ten horse riders, riding bareback, each representing ten of the cities’ districts. The race draws many tourists and locals each year, to watch the three-lap horse race takes over the Piazza del Campo, which only lasts 90 seconds. 

To give you an insight into what to expect don’t miss this

Scoppio del Carro:

The seasons and local holidays in Italy

If you happen to be in the city of Florence, known locally as Firenze, on Easter Sunday, you might want to prepare yourself for the big bang. You might be shocked if you are not in the know, however, this is a folk tradition of the city, which sees a cart loaded with fireworks and lit outside the Duomo di Firenze.

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