August 2017 events

August may be the month when Italians flee for ferragosto, but perhaps these upcoming events going on across the country will change that!

Aug. 5: Festa della Madonna della Neve, Rome (and other Italian cities). The festival celebrates a miraculous summer snowfall in the fourth century that prompted the building of the Santa Maria Maggiore Church.

Aug. 6: Palio del Golfo, La Spezia. A Rowing race between 13 maritime villages that border the Bay of La Spezia is held in the water off the promenade.     

Aug. 6: La Quintana, Ascoli Piceno (Le Marche). A historic jousting tournament is preceded by a huge parade with people dressed in 15th century costumer. The tournament is one of the best medieval festivals in the Marche.

Aug. 7-9: Infestazioni Soniche, Vieste (Foggia). The beach of Portonuovo hosts the seventh edition of the electronic music festival. Featuring artists who have left a mark in the club culture the festival won’t stop for three days and three nights.

Aug. 10-13: Ypsigrock, Castelbuono, Sicily. The unique setting of Piazza Castello hosts the 21st edition of the indie-rock music festival. While you enjoy the stunning surroundings (rock concert in a castle? Yes, please!) you will hear some of the best indie-rock bands at this culturally-rich event.

Aug. 14-15: Festa dei Candelieri, Sassari, Sardinia. Dating back to the 16th century, the festival of the candle is an interesting event where you’ll witness a race with teams of men bearing huge and very heavy candles.

Aug. 15: Ferragosto, all over Italy. The date marks the start of the country’s vacation period as Catholics honor the Feast of the Assumption. Many big city restaurants and shops declare chiuso per ferie (closed for vacation) as their owners head towards the coast or countryside.

Aug. 15: Castelli, a village in the Abruzzo region famous for its ceramics, celebrates Aug. 15 by tossing all of the imperfect ceramics from a height, smashing them in dramatic fashion.

Aug. 16: Il Palio, Siena. The epic horse race lasts 2 days. While it’s more of a sporting event today, its origins are deeply religious. The Palio dell’Assunto held on Aug. 16 honors the Assumption, of the Ascension of Mary into Heaven. And with the race often being violent as many riders are bucked off their horses, a little divine guidance is much appreciated.