Festive travels in Italy

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.

Italian Landscape with a Country Festival by Francesco Zuccarelli (18th c.) Image from Wikimedia Commons

Italian Landscape with a Country Festival by Francesco Zuccarelli (18th c.) Image from Wikimedia Commons

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!



7 thoughts on “Festive travels in Italy

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

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