Puccini Festival, Lucca, Tuscany. The 64th edition of this opera festival is packed with performances of Puccini classics in the famous Great Open Air Theatre throughout the month of August.
Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 – The Three Tenors Classic Concerts, Rome. The concerts are held at St. Paul’s Within the walls Church in the Eternal City. Tickets available online.
Aug. 5 – La Quintana, Ascoli Piceno. In central Italy’s Le Marche region, a historic jousting event takes place on the first Sunday of August. The tournament is one of the best medieval festivals in the region and is preceded by a huge parade with people dressed in 15th-century costume.
Aug. 5 – Palio del Golfo, La Spezia, Liguria province. This rowing race between 13 maritime villages that border the Bay of La Spezia is held the first Sunday of the month in the water off the promenade of La Spezia.
Aug. 5 – Festa della Madonna della Neve, Rome. This festival celebrates a miraculous summer snowfall in the fourth century prompted the building of the Santa Maria Maggiore Church, one of Rome’s main churches.
Aug. 14-15 – Festa dei Candelieri, Sassari, Sardinia. Dating back to the 16th century, the exciting festival features an arduous, raucous race of teams of men bearing huge and very heavy candles.
Aug. 15 – Ferragosto (Assumption Day). Many businesses and shops are closed on this national holiday celebrating the Assumption of Mary.
Aug. 15 – Race of the Launch of the Dish, Castelli, Abruzzo region. Famous for its ceramics, the city of Castelli celebrates each August 15 by tossing all the imperfect ceramics from a height, smashing them in dramatic fashion.
Aug. 16 – Palio of Siena, Siena. The second round of the famous horse race around Sienna’s piazza features 10 of the city’s 17 contrade, districts. The exciting bareback race attracts a very large crowd but is an event sure to delight any observer.