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Festivals / Holidays

There is always a reason to celebrate in Italy, whether it's an historical event, religious holiday, or festival.

A Carnevale Ogni Scherzo Vale!
How do Italians prepare for 40 days of self-inflicted deprivation? Throw a party that lasts for weeks! Anything goes during carnival time in Italy.

Be My Italian Valentine!
It may have originated in ancient Rome, but contemporary Valentine's Day celebrations are not particularly romantic in the land that practically invented seduction.

Buon Natale! Christmas In Italy
Green, white, and red - the colors of Italy's national flag, and the traditional Christmas colors as well. Discover how Christmas originated in Italy, learn about the traditions, customs, and rites of Italian Christmas, review recipes, and test your knowledge with the Christmas in Italy quiz.

Buona Pasqua! Easter in Italy
Tradition and ritual play a strong role in Italian culture, especially during celebrations such as Easter. No matter what date Easter falls on, there are many ceremonies and culinary customs in Italy that are religiously upheld.

Il Presepe: The Tradition Of Crèches
The history, tradition, and linguistic roots of mangers in Italy, created by artists of Christmas in Napoli.

Italian Holidays
Italian holidays, festivals, and feast days reflect Italian culture, history, and religious practices. Some Italian holidays are similar to those celebrated throughout many other parts of the world, while others are unique to Italy.

Pesce d'Aprile! April Fool's Day In Italy
In Italy, as in much of the world, April 1st is traditionally a day of practical jokes, pranks, and silliness. The origin of this custom is ancient and ambiguous, but one thing is certain: much buffoonery and hilarity will take place.

Thanksgiving in Italy
Thanksgiving in Italy? The distinctly American tradition doesn't translate well in the land of Etruscans, but for most Italian Americans Thanksgiving dinner means the inclusion of special Italian family recipes to accompany the traditional meal.

Carnevale di Venezia
Masked partygoers are what make the Venice Carnival one of the most romantic and traditional of Europe's big festivals.

Festa del Redentore
Venezian festival held during the second weekend of July to commemorate the end of a plague in the 16th century. Soon after, the architect Antonio Palladio designed and built the Church of the Redeemer to mark the occasion. The celebration is marked with a regatta and fireworks display.

Festa Italiana
Largest Italian festival in the U.S., this event in Milwaukee is held every July and features, food, music, and activities for the entire family.

Festivals/Pageants in Italy
Calendar of Italian festivals and events arranged by region.

Fishermen's Feast
Procession and fair held in Boston's hisoric North End to in honor of the Madonna del Soccorso di Sciacca.

Italia Festival
Calendar of events for music, theatre, dance, and cinema.

Palio di Siena
Horse race in Siena held every year in July and August in the main square. Learn about the origins of the festival, the contrade, the historical procession, and the events surrounding the race.

Scoppio del Carro
Held in Florence on Easter Saturday. A large oxen-drawn chariot is pulled through the streets and the journey ends in front of Il Duomo, where fireworks on the vehicle are ignited.

The Festival of Two Worlds is one of the most famous musical events. With a history of the festival, program schedule, and application information for singers.

Large regatta held during Ascension Thursday on the Grand Canal in Venice. See images from the event, a map of the course and the history of the event.

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