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Festivals and Events in Italy

The Italian calendar is liberally sprinkled with occasions that deserve (and are deemed) a holiday. The wine flows, everybody dresses up for the parade where there’s music and merry making. The week leading up to Easter Week is a big one for festivities in Venice while Holy Week carnivals and processions are the most enthusiastic in Taranto, Chieti and Sicily. Florence brightens up in the light of sparkling fireworks on Easter Sunday . Many towns and cities have grand celebrations in honour of the patron saint. Besides these there are festivals that celebrate local fauna like the Feast of the almond-blossom at Agrigento in February, the flower festival in June at Genzano and the October Grape Feast at Merano. The Carnevale of Venice, Ivrea and Viareggio are all in February-March. Venice tops the list with its many festivals: the February carnival is followed by the Biennale di Venezia (held in the odd number years) between June and September, and Festa del Rondentore in July, the historical regatta and the national Cinema Festival in September and finally the Feast of the Madonna della Salute in November. Florence’s most important event, the Scoppio del Carro , is in March-April. If you are in Italy around August (which is off-season for tourism), you might find some entertainment in the Settimane Musicali at Stesa al, and in the opera in Milan and Verona. Yet another remarkable event is the Regatta of the Four Ancient Maritime Republics that rotates around Pisa, Venice, Amalfi and Genoa and is held in June.

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