Category Archives: Events in Italy

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino: A Springtime Extravaganza

Florence, the birthplace of the European Renaissance, thrived between the 14th and 17th centuries as a center of trade, finance, architecture, and the arts. At the height of its power and influence, it became one of the wealthiest cities of all time, and its rulers built some of the grandest churches, palaces, and museums in Europe. Today, these Florentine wonders are still being enjoyed by millions of people who come to Florence to pay homage to the culture and heritage of a city that has left an enduring legacy for the world. But aside from renowned paintings, sculptures, and monuments, Florence today also serves host to a festival which aims to preserve and nurture opera music, an inheritance from the Renaissance era and one of Florence’s greatest contribution to the arts. First staged in 1933 through the patronage of conductor Vittorio Gui, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino festival is known for […]

What You Should Know about Holy Week Traditions in Italy

Any visitor in Italy during Holy Week would do well to know a bit about the rich traditions that surround this occasion. With Roman Catholicism being considered as the largest religion in the country in which the Vatican can also be found, a number of Holy Week traditions in Italy, from practices to rituals still prevail, particularly in the southern regions. The beginning of Holy Week is on Palm Sunday, and it lasts for the rest of the week up until Black Saturday, before ending in joyous Easter, or “Pasqua”, celebrations. Take note that the Monday right after Easter (“Pasquetta”) is also a holiday, so plan your trips accordingly. On Palm Sunday, the faithful normally flock to the churches where a mass and possibly processions are held. There are also baskets of olive branches and palms which are then blessed by the priest and are handed out to the congregation. […]

10 Best Springtime Festivals in Italy

For a lot of people, spring is the best among the four seasons of the year. It’s when we shake off the winter freeze and embrace the freshness of rebirth. Across the world’s temperate regions, there’s not a single place that doesn’t look good at this time of year. Few places, however, are as much fun to be in as Italy is from March to May. With crisp weather, nature in full bloom and a renewed energy in the air, spring is ideal for visiting this lovely European nation. Seeing archaeological sites, appreciating works of art and tasting the wonderful cuisine is standard faire when visiting any Italian city, but what can make your stay even more memorable is participating in awesome festivals during the springtime months. Taking part in the celebrations is the fastest way to immerse yourself in Italian culture; it helps you appreciate the country and its […]

Another Love Story in Verona: Your Ultimate Guide to Vinitaly 2014

Since its first publication in 1597, William Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet has inspired romantics the world over. Set in Verona, Italy, this story about two star-crossed lovers’ devotion to each other has such a universal appeal that even today, more than 400 years after it was printed, it still is considered by many as one of the best love stories ever to have been written. The tale has also immortalized Verona, now a place where throngs of passionate couples and hopeless romantics troop to each year, hoping to “feel the love” in the beautiful medieval city. But there is a love story in Verona that is much older than Romeo and Juliet’s. It’s a legend born of an ancient practice involving the tender cultivation of grapevines, the gentle nurturing of their fruits by Italy’s fertile Mediterranean environment, and finally, the refined process of vinification that turns the berries into […]

August in Italy

August is traditionally a vacation month in Italy.  The days of everything shutting down and Italian cities emptying completely has changed over the years, but life is definitely slower and quieter during the hot and lazy month. Here are a few things to know about August in Italy. Ferragosto The day when things really shut down in August 15.  Think of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and you get the idea. Some major sites, restaurants and small food shops will be open.  Make sure you book ahead. The tradition of the August 15 holiday , called Ferragosto, has ancient and religious origins.  The Roman Emperor Augustine created feriae Augusti  meaning August rest, to celebrate the summer harvest and the end agricultural tasks. The Catholic church celebrates the Assumption of Mary. Beginning in the 1920’s the fascist regime encouraged the mass exodus from the city by reducing train fares and seaside accommodations […]

Pop, Rock and Jazz in Italy this Summer 2013

We have told you about opera and classical music festivals in Rome, Verona, Florence and Dolomites, but Italy is a top destination on the contemporary music tour circuit too.  Here are our picks for some of the best pop,rock and jazz in Italy this Summer 2013. Rock in Roma A short train ride from Roma Termini station is  Campanelle, a large, green concert venue and home to Rock in Roma.  This years performers include The Arctic Monkeys, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Sigur Ross.  IF the concert runs late, there are usually taxi’s available at the train station. New this year is a shuttle bus that can be booked in advance, hat goes to various points in Rome after the concert finishes. Luglio Suono Bene For the 11th year, Rome’s auditorium hosts Luglio Suono Bene (July sounds good) a month of concerts on an outside stage big names as diverse […]

Festa di San Giovanni Battista in Florence

On the 24th of June the city  celebrates it’s patron saint, San Giovanni Battista, who english speakers know as St. John the Baptist, with the Festa di San Giovanni Battista in Florence.  This saint has long been connected with the city of Florence and has been celebrated since the 13th century. The entire day is filled with festivities, beginning with an early morning mass in the Baptistery of the main cathedral – Duomo, The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. Next is a procession that begins at the Palazzo Vecchio, made up of the cities political leaders and representatives from each of the cities historic districts and members of the Society of Saint John the Baptist, carrying silk flags, to The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.   When the procession reaches the Duomo, votive offerings are made to the holy relic of Saint John the Baptist which is brought through […]

Summer Festivals in Italy

Summer is almost here and in Italy that means festivals.  Here is a round-up of some of Tour Italy Now’s posts on our favorite summer festivals in Italy. The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino is an annual opera and arts festival held in Florence at two exciting venues; The historic Teatro Communale and the brand new Teatro dell’Opera di Firenze.  This year the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino festival will take place from the 2nd of May to the 25th of June. Read more about the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino here: Festivals in the Dolomites The dramatic, rocky, Dolomite mountains in the north of Italy were once known as the pale mountains and are a UESCO World Heritage Site.  They are spread equally between three regions, Trentino, Veneto and Alto Adagio. There are 18 peaks that climb to over 3,000 meters high. The Dolomites are not just about snow and skiing. […]

Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

  The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino is an annual opera and arts festival held in Florence at two exciting venues; The historic Teatro Communale and the brand new Teatro dell’Opera di Firenze.  This year the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino festival will take place from the 2nd of May to the 25th of June. The first Maggio Musicale Fiorentino was held in 1933 and was created by conductor Vittorio Gui.   Gui wished to revive little known and neglected operas and present them to public in a visually dramatic way. The very first performance was of Guiseppe Verdi’s now iconic opera, Nabucco.  The first festival was a huge success and with little interruption has now become an highly anticipated annual event. It has expanded to now include not just opera but classical musical performances and ballet. Always attracting some of the most well known names and personalities the 2013 festival is no different.  […]

Festivals in the Dolomites

Spring and Summer in Italy is the time for festivals and Tour Italy Now has been busy reading about the many festivals in the Dolomites. The dramatic, rocky, Dolomite mountains in the north of Italy were once known as the pale mountains and are a UESCO World Heritage Site.  They are spread equally between three regions, Trentino, Veneto and Alto Adagio. There are 18 peaks that climb to over 3,000 meters high. The Dolomites are not just about snow and skiing. They are busy in the summer months too!  When the snow melts and the flowers bloom the cities, towns and even the skies fill with music and film and balloon festivals. Alta Pusteria (International Choir Festival) Do you love the Sound of Music? This is the place to unleash your inner Von Trapp.  From 19-23 June 2013, in the towns along the long and narrow valley of Val Pusteria […]