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
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.