Italy is not only a place of breathtaking beauty but also a country where traditions have been preserved for centuries. Every year, every Italian town, village, and city has a holiday that honors a saint.
Italy has many other religious holidays than just those that are strictly religious. This is because the Italians know how to have fun and create opportunities for it.
The list below will help you find the most beautiful Italian festivals. If you want to experience authentic Italian culture, book a flight and travel!
1. CARNIVAL OF VENICE – February 12 – March 1, 2022, Venice
Carnival of Venice 2022
The Carnival of Venice will be the most important festival of 2022 in Italy. Venice Carnival 2022 will be held in beautiful Venice between February 12th and March 1st, 2022.
The Venetian Carnival’s most important days are traditionally Fat Thursday and Shrove Tuesday. However, the weekend festival sees the highest number of tourists. 2022 will see Fat Thursday on February 24th and Shrove Tuesday, March 1st.
We hope that the Carnival 2021 will take place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, we will be able see the amazing masks and costumes of thousands of people from all over the globe, who will parade through the narrow streets and alleyways of Venice.
2. SCOPPIO DEEL CARRO – April 17, 2022 in Florence
Scoppio del Carro 2022
Scoppio del Carro2022 (Explosion of the Cart), will be held on Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Piazza del Duomo in Florence.
The morning of Easter Sunday sees the brindellone, which is a pyrotechnical tower, pulled on oxen by horses on the streets. It is accompanied by 150 soldiers, musicians, and people in period costume from the 15th century. The cart will be positioned between Piazza del Duomo and Santa Maria del Fiore after it has reached Piazza del Duomo.
The archbishop light a dove-shaped rocket at 11.00 AM from the altar in the cathedral. It runs through the central nave and reaches the cart outside. This causes it to explode. The fireworks display that follows takes about 20 minutes.
3. PALIO DI SIENA – July 2, 2022, Siena
Palio di Siena 2022
Palio di Siena, a horse race that is held twice a calendar year in Siena, is called Palio di Provenzano. Palio di Provenzano will be held in 2022 on July 2, 2022. Palio dell’Assunta will be held August 16, 2022.
Palio di Siena, which is essentially an equestrian competition among the 17 contrade (districts), of the city, takes place in the Piazza del Campo. The race will be attended by 10 of the 17 contrade. Participants must circle three times Piazza del Campo.
Corteo Storico (Historical Procession) precedes the race. This historical parade includes approximately 700 participants, representing the 17 contrade as well as the institutions of the ancient Republic. After parading through the historic center of town, the procession arrives at Piazza del Campo.
4. CALENDIMAGGIO – May 4-7, 2022 Assisi
Calendimaggio 2022 is scheduled for Assisi between 4-7 May 2022. The festival is traditionally held every year on the first Wednesday, Thursday and Friday after the 1st of May to welcome spring.
The town is split in two on this occasion – Nobilissima Parte de Sopra, (Noble Upper Part), and Magnifica Parte de Sotto, (Magnificent lower Part). Through parades in medieval costumes and reenactment or musical performances, the two parts will compete for control of the Palio.
Each edition is selected by a jury of international experts, including a historian, a musician and an entertainer.
5. FESTA DELLA MADONNA DELLA BRUNA – July 2, 2022 Matera
Festa della Madonna della Bruna 2022
Festa della Madonna Della Bruna 2022 will take place on July 2, 2022, in Matera. Since 1389, the religious feast has been held in honor of Madonna della Bruna, the patron saint of Matera. The 2022 edition of the festival will be the 632nd edition.
The feast starts on July 2 at 5.00 AM with a Holy Mass in Piazza San Francesco D’Assisi followed by the Procession Of the Shepherds. Later, the Madonna statue is taken in procession from Matera to Piccianello. The afternoon is spent in the Cathedral as the chariot carrying the statue of Maria Santissima della Bruna returns. The statue is then placed inside the church.
The pagan custom begins after the religious portion of the feast has ended. The crowd destroys the chariot by taking it to Piazza Vittorio Veneto. The night ends with fireworks that illuminate the Gravina as well as the Sassi di Matera.
6. GIOCO DEL PONTE – June 25, 2022, Pisa
Gioco del Ponte 2022
Gioco del Ponte 2222 will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2022, at Ponte di Mezzo in Pisa as part of the series entitled Pisan June 2022.
Pisan June (Giugno Pisano), a series of events that take place in Pisa during June in honor of San Ranieri (Saint Rainerius), is known as the Pisan June.
The Battle of the Bridge takes place on Ponte di Mezzo between two teams in 16th-century costumes. One team represents Mezzogiorno (the districts of Pisa to the south of the Arno) and the other Tramontana (the districts north of the river).
7. INFIORATA DIO – May 13-15 2022, Noto
Infiorata di Noto 2022
Infiorata Di Noto 2022 will be the 43rd edition, most likely to take place in Via Corrado Nicolaci in Noto.
Infiorata di Noto participates in the Baroque Spring (Primavera Barocca), which includes concerts, craft exhibitions and the Baroque Procession. This series of events features people dressed in period costumes, flag-wavers, and musicians who parade through the historic center of the town.
After preparations on May 13-14, the actual contest will be held on Sunday, May 15. Locals and tourists alike will wait their turn to marvel at the beautiful mosaic of petals until late into the evening.
8. FESTA DEEL REDENTORE – July 16-17, 2022 in Venice
Festa del Redentore 2022
Festa del Redentore 20,22 (Feast of the Redeemer) is one of the most significant events on the Venetian calendar. It will be held in Venice, July 16-17, 2022.
Since the 16th century, the feast has been celebrated every year on the third weekend in July. Festa del Redentore began as a religious celebration. However, over time, profane elements have been added to the religious manifestations.
The feast’s first day is marked by a huge party, which is concluded in the evening with a spectacular fireworks display. Sunday is the second day of the feast and it’s reserved for religious services and the Regata del Redentore (Regatta of the Redeemer), which is a race of traditional Venetian boats.
9.FESTA DI SANTA ROSALIA – July 10-15, 2022 Palermo
Festa di Santa Rosalia 2022
Festa di Santa Rosalia 2022 takes place in Palermo between 10 and 15 Jul 2022.
This feast is dedicated Saint Rosalia (also known as La Santuzza (Little Saint), or Rusulia in Sicilian dialect), Palermo’s patron saint. It commemorates the miracle appearances of Saint Rosalia since 1624 when Palermo was struck by plague.
The festival is held every year for six days. The first three days are reserved for the preparation of the grand procession that will take place on July 14th. The festival’s 398th edition will be held in 2022.
10. FESTA DI SANT’AGATA – February 3-5, 2022, Catania
Festa di Sant’Agata 20022 will be held in Catania between 3 and 5 Feb 2022. This feast is dedicated to Saint Agatha (the patron saint of Catania), who was martyred in 251 AD.
Saint Agatha’s Day is celebrated in Catania two times a year. The February feast commemorates Saint Agatha’s martyrdom, while the Summer Feast of St Agatha celebrates her return to Catania after 86 years of Constantinople.
Around one million people travel from all over Sicily each February to attend the feast. It is similar to the Holy Week in Seville in Spain or the Feast of Corpus Domini Cuzco, Peru. The city is free to forget about every day for three days and focus solely on the festival, which is a mix of folklore and devotion.