What’s on Events across Italy you won’t want to miss

Ital­ians re­ally know how to party. Whether you’re an opera buff or an ice cream mae­stro, put th­ese dates in your di­ary and be sure to catch Italy’s finest cities at their cel­e­bra­tory best

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GIRO D’ITALIA, ORTISEI MAY-JUNE

Part of the trio of gru­elling cy­cle tours that make up the three-week long Grand Tours, the an­nual Giro d’Italia takes place ev­ery May and June. One of the most ex­cit­ing mul­ti­ple-stage cy­cling races, routes change year to year, but a pas­sage through the Dolomites is al­ways in­cluded. Grab a seat at Ortisei’s brew pub Mon­piër de Gherdëina to watch the teams ped­dle past.

VOGALONGA RE­GATTA, VENICE JUNE

The first official Vogalonga took place in 1975, the year af­ter three friends came up with the idea for a re­gatta to protest against the dam­age mo­tor­boats were caus­ing to Venice’s la­goon. To­day, over 2,000 boats raise their oars at the an­nual 30km course. Land­lub­bers can en­joy the pro­ces­sion from one of the many cafés along the Cannare­gio Canal.

NATALE DI ROMA, ROME APRIL

Lo­cals come to­gether once a year to cel­e­brate Rome’s birth­day. From 9am, Cir­cus Max­imus fea­tures char­iot rac­ing and a cos­tume pa­rade, where over 2,000 gla­di­a­tors march in cel­e­bra­tion, while the Aven­tine Hill of­fers the best view of the mid­night fire­works. Al­though Rome wasn’t built in a day, events take place on 21 April, and mu­se­ums of­fer free en­trance.

LUMINARA OF SAN RANIERI, PISA JUNE

In hon­our of Saint Ranieri, the pa­tron saint of Pisa, all the city’s elec­tric lights are switched off and 70,000 can­dles il­lu­mi­nate the cathe­dral, the lean­ing Tower of Pisa and the palaces along the Arno river­banks. Claim a prime spot on the city’s cen­turies-old Lun­garno walls from 6pm on­wards for un­ob­structed views of the py­rotech­nic ex­trav­a­ganza.

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