Summer comes to an end, but festivals and traditional celebrations do not!
Venice (Aug. 4) – Regatta Storica. Oar boat races featuring men, women and children are staged following a parade. Hundreds of people in costume take part in the pageant.
Arezzo (Aug. 4) – Giostra del Saracino. Takes place on the main square where eight horsemen representing the town districts take part in a contest where the riders must strike the center of the shield of a dummy (Saracino) on a swivel, avoiding a blow from its whip as it swings around. The winning district wins a lance.
Cabras (Oristano) (Aug. 4) – Feast of San Salvatore. A very old tradition where people run barefoot for 7 ½ miles carrying the statue of the saint, recalling an event that took place during the Saracen invasions when a group of women raced to hide the statue to save it from the invaders.
Cordovado in the Friuli Venezia region (Aug. 4) – Rievocazione Storica. Recreation of a noble wedding from 1571. Festivities include a procession followed by archery tournaments. A Renaissance pageant and parade take place in a nearby town.
Patti, Sicily (Province of Messina) (Aug. 11) – Festival of the Madonna a Mare. The golden Madonna statue is carried to the sea in a procession and placed on an illuminated boat to lead a boat procession. Dancing, music and wine become part of the festivities.
Verona (Aug. 12) – Birthday of Romeo/Juliet. The day is filled with parades, dances and street entertainment.
Lucca (Toscana) (Aug. 13) – Luminare di Santa Croce. Illuminations of the Holy Cross is a beautiful procession of thousands of candles in a nighttime tradition through the city’s historic center.
Asti (Aug. 18) – Palio. A bareback horse race that dates back to the 13th century. The race is preceded by a parade with participants in period costume and special events lead up to the event.
Naples (Aug. 19) – Festival for the Feast Day of San Gennaro. Celebration of the miracle of the liquefying of San Gennaro’s blood in the Cathedral followed by several processions and celebrations.
Puglia (Aug. 23) – San Giovanni Rotondo. Commemoration of Padre Pio is celebrated with a torchlight procession and religious ceremonies. Hundreds of stalls sell religious items during celebration days.
Near the end of the month a week-long Potato Festival is held in Bologna. Bologna’s potatoes are considered to be among the best in Italy.