July 2018 Events

July 1-31, Arena di Verona, Verona. The Roman Arena in Verona is one Italy’s most spectacular settings for outdoor opera. It’s summer opera season runs all summer long.

July 1-31, Puccini Festival, Tuscany. Giacomo Puccini lived in a villa in Torre del Lago in Tuscany and composed many of his operas there. Today, a new outdoor amphitheater hosts the opera festival with the beautiful lake as its backdrop.

July 2 – Il Palio di Siena. Siena’s famous horse race around the central square, Piazza del Campo, hosts a spectacular procession with people in medieval costume prior to the race. Ten horses and riders, bareback and dressed in the appropriate colors, represent 10 of the 17 contrade (city wards). The event plays as much of a significant part in the life of the city today as it did centuries ago.

July 2 – Fiesta della Madonna Bruna, Matera. A huge float of the Madonna Bruna is paraded through the town of Matera – an interesting town full of sassi (cave dwellings) in the Basilicata region. The Madonna’s statue is attacked, torn down and burned followed by what some say is the best fireworks display they’ve ever seen.

July 7 – Giostra della Quintana, Foligno. Over 600 participants dressed in traditional 17th century garb compete in this annual jousting tournament.

July 6-7 – L’Ardia di San Constantino, Sedilo, Sardinia. This is a horse race and festival you’ve probably never seen before. Commemorating Constantine’s victory over Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge in 312, the charge is recreated annually with a monumental horse race with only one townsman representing Constantine. An evening of all-night drinking follows and another race takes place in the morning on the same track, now covered with beer cans.

July 10-15 – U Fistinu of Saint Rosalia, Palermo. One of Sicily’s biggest festivals celebrates Saint Rosalia who, according to local faith, saved the city’s residents from a dreadful plague in 1624. A giant iron-made chariot leads the parade. Traditional dishes such as pasta with sardines and boiled snails with garlic and parsley are served.

July 13-22 – Umbria Jazz Festival, Perugia. One of Italy’s top music festivals, the event draws performers from all over the world. From ticketed concerts to non-stop music in the town squares and streets, it’s certainly one of the most important jazz festivals in the world.

July 28 – Festa del Cristo degli Abissi, San Fruttuoso on the Ligurian coast. This festival has an unusual procession; one that takes you to the underwater statue of Christ. The 2.5-meter-high bronze statue molded from medals of mariners and athletes and parts of ships and bells is dedicated to those who lost their lives at sea. A laurel crown is placed on the base of the statue and mass is held on the beach.

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