Travelers to Italy often plan most of their visits around those “must see” tourist attractions like the Coliseum in Rome, the leaning tower in Pisa, and the ruins of Pompeii. Italy has enough of these to occupy many months of vacation time.
But there’s more to Italy than the typical tour itinerary includes. And one consideration might be local festivals. Just like local festivals here in the U.S. (and probably wherever you live), the festivals in Italy usually include booths with food vendors, special entertainment, and an atmosphere of excitement.
An internet search for “festivals Italy 2013” ended in frustration. The information was too general, and often too limited to a particular area. So I began a search including the name of a region, and found much more of interest. For example, through this link for Abruzzo:
I found festivals throughout the year in towns large and small–ranging from a Trout and Shrimp Festival to a Bonfire Festival, to a snake-handling event with Roman origins. You might notice that this is the business website of a construction company in Abruzzo, but what a great service they have added for the English speaking traveler! Even a referral for an English speaking auto mechanic. Bravi, Craftsmen!
There are festivals for all kinds of interests: food (of course!!), religious holidays, history, music, and many more. You many belong to an organization with members in Italy you can connect with through a local festival in their town. And just as visitors to my town learn a little more about it if they attend our annual Irrigation Festival (going on this week, by the way), you can absorb some more Italian culture by enjoying a festival there.
So tell me, readers, have you attended a festival in Italy? Share about it in the comments, please!
A great idea that gives an exciting taste of real italian life!
If you speak any Italian at all, it’s a good idea to do a search for “sagra” accompanied by the region you plan to travel to – this will turn up lots of food festivals that are often not advertised in English. I’ve been to artichoke festivals, ice-cream festivals, almond festivals, you name it!
Thanks for the tip! I will search for “sagra” and see what’s on while I’m in Venice and Calabria later this year.
I stayed and worked in Firenze (Florence) for a few months and as well as loving Festavals, Italians also love loooong meals and are the perfect hosts :)
They have really perfected the art of visiting around the table. Thanks for visiting The Italian South. ;)
Or, if you are alone, as I was, inviting you to join them while moving your table (complete with your food) beside theirs and then telling you to try this, try that, etc….Happy Days :):)
We are inveterate festival attendees because they offer a glimpse into Italian life that goes beyond the arm’s-length view often experienced by tourists. My favorite? The Sagra delle Gnumeredde in Locorotondo (Puglia). Gnumeredde are involtini of livers, lungs and kidneys wrapped with lamb or goat intestines and grilled or roasted in a wood-burning oven. They sound like rough going, but I promise, they’re wonderful!
Yeesh, not sure I could go for that! But there’s surely plenty of food to love at those festivals–even if the feature item doesn’t appeal–am I right?