Aug. 30 – Sept. 9: Venice Film Festival. In its 74th year, the Venice Film Festival takes place on the Lido di Venezia. Raising awareness and promoting international cinema in all its forms of art, the Festival is a favorite among celebrities and locals alike.
Aug. 31 – Sept. 4: Festival of the Madonna of the Sick, Misterbianco, Sicily. The festival commemorates the miracle of the sanctuary being saved from destruction during Mt. Etna’s eruption in 1669.
Sept. 3: Regata Storica, Venice. Elaborate 16th century-styled gondolas helmed by costumed gondoliers fill the Grand Canal in the city’s most important boating event. Four different races with various types of boats take place with the most popular being the gondolini regatta where two oarsmen per gondola race from the spagheto against dozens of other competitors to the machina.
Sept. 7-8: Festa della Rificolona (Festival of the Lanterns), Florence. Said to be one of Florence’s oldest festivals it has its origins in the most important farmers market of the year. Farmers and their families would get up early, dress in their Sunday best and walk to Florence by light of candles held in tissue paper lanterns on the end of poles. Today, children of Florence run the streets with their rificolona and there are street fairs, theatre and a huge market in the square.
Sept. 7-10: Rassegna del Chianti Classico, Greve in Chianti. This wine festival is the showcase for Chianti Classico wines. Patrons buy a glass and are then free to sample any wine offered at numerous stands.
Sept. 12: Juliet’s Birthday, Verona. Hundreds of years ago, Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” made Verona famous and each year they are celebrated. Revelers roam the streets dressed in romantic period costumes to celebrate the young love-struck heroine’s birthday. Parades, dancing, street artists, musicians, and lots of food make up the festivities.
Sept. 13: Luminara di Santa Croce, Lucca. The devotional procession in which Volto Santo or Holy Face, a wooden crucifix figure, is carried along the streets of the old town centre from the Church Saint Frediano to the Cathedral of Saint Martin illuminated by thousands of small candles.
Sept. 29: Feast Day of San Michele. A popular saint’s day celebrated all over Italy with the most important celebration of Saint Michael being held at the Sanctuary of the Archangel Michael in Puglia.
A week-long potato festival is held in Bologna, a top culinary city, near the end of the month.