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The Saint Agata festival is a 3-day event in February held in honour of the Catania martyr and one of the most celebrated festivals in Sicily. Attracting almost a million people to the area each year, the festival sets off with a parade of 11 large waxy candles carried through the old streets, accompanied by a marching band and cheering crowds. On the second day, a procession takes place where the statue of Saint Agata is carried through the streets stopping off at every known stop most associated with the life of the saint, until it is finally returned to the Cathedral where it usually resides. On the third day, the status of Saint Agata is once again brought out of the Cathedral and placed at the bottom of the steep Via San Giuliano where the festival finishes with a spectacular firework display and a marvellous party.
There is so much more to Puglia than just Trulli houses and rolling countryside. The region really comes to life during the summer, hosting several fantastic festivals loved by all. Saint Domenica, also known as The Night of the Lights is an incredible festival in July where galleries are set up and illuminated against the dark back drop of night fall, creating a cultural atmosphere, followed by an awe-inspiring fireworks display.
The La Notte Della Taranta is another wonderful music event held in Puglia’s Salento region, attracting thousands of spectators each year for a joyful evening of dancing and singing as the echo of Jazz and folk music play out in the background.
The annual Amalfi Coast Music & Arts Festival is a free public event lasting one whole month and welcomes guests from all over the world to enjoy a spectacular array of arts and classical musical performances and opera. The festival commences every July on the stunning Southern Peninsula, with daily concerts taking place in beautiful cities such as Ravello, Sorrento and Paestum and is definitely well worth watching on your visit to the Amalfi Coast.
Campania & Naples
From the 21st June to the 21st July, the archaeological “Teatro Grande”, or Grand Theatre becomes the venue for the first edition of the Pompei Theatrum Mundi festival. Through a theatrical programme of story-telling, re-enactments, and classical compositions, ancient dramas are brought back to life, enhancing audiences from across the world.
Basilicata & Calabria
The L’aglianica wine festival has become a fundamental festival in Basilicata, in celebration of the region’s world-famous reputation for producing Aglianico del Vulture vino, renowned as one of the best red wines in Italy. The annual Aglianico Wine Festival usually begins in September or October, with tastings, cooking classes and various other events placing much emphasis on local specialities and produce.
Venice & Verona
The vibrant Venice Carnival is an opulent spectacle that lures thousands of spectators from across the globe under its spell each year. Held between February and March and ending in Celebration of Lent, the jubilant carnival is renowned world-wide for its artistic masquerades and elaborate costumes and is highly recommended.
The annual Shakespearian Festival takes place in Verona each year, hosted in the beautiful ancient roman Theatre during the months of June-August. Falling under the Theatrical Summer of Verona programme, the festival delivers the best of Italian theatre and attracts some of the biggest names in the acting world.
The Verona Opera Festival is a must for opera enthusiasts producing unmissable performances of Romeo & Juliet set in the very city where the famous playwright set his tragic love story. The festival is an unforgettable and very romantic event that will enchant and captivate all those who attend.
Tuscany & Umbria
The Taste Festival brings together spectators and over 300 Italian food companies from across the region to come and experience some of the finest flavours in Tuscany. The festival takes place between the 10th-12th March, where both locals and visitors can sample some of the region’s best home-grown produce and renowned wines.
The Puccini Festival is a real treat for Opera music lovers. A collection of performances from some of Puccini’s best classics, including La Boheme and Madame Butterfly are performed at the Grand Open-Air Theatre, close to the beautiful Lake of Massaciuccoli and the former home of the composer himself.
Each year tourists flock to Perugia for the pulse-pounding Umbria Summer Jazz festival in July. Parts of the festival are held in open air spaces and other venues across the ancient city, creating a wonderful ambience and cultural atmosphere.
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