There is absolutely nothing like the spring events in Italy. No country offers better events! Spring is one of the best times to visit Italy, and not just for the mild weather and blooming flowers. March is a “shoulder season month”, a time when visitors can take advantage of lowered prices on airfare and accommodations. There are also a variety of great events and festivals taking place all throughout April and May of 2017. Here’s a list of some of our absolute favorites.
Musicians and music-lovers alike start to troop to scenic Ravello on the 27th of March this year for the annual Ravello Concerts, organized by the Ravello Concert Society. What began as a festival to celebrate chamber music has since blown up to include other genres such as classical and jazz. Most events will be held at the Annunziata Historic Building or at the Ravello Art Center. There will be performances all throughout April until December, so there’s always something to catch anytime you decide to visit.
Holy Week and Easter: The Procession of Mysteries & Scoppio del Carro
Easter and Holy Week is a busy time in Italy, when people take to the streets for a variety of processions and pilgrimages. The Procession of Mysteries is the most famous event out of all of these and is held in Trapani. Its origins date back to the 1400s and is considered to be one of the oldest, longest Italian festivals, clocking in at twenty-four solid hours. The mysteries here are depictions of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary, which illustrate the passion and death of Jesus Christ. It’s a multimedia show that is both religious and cultural, complete with lights and sounds for a truly emotional experience. It starts at 2 PM on Good Friday (this year, that’s the 14th of April) and ends at the same time one day later, 2 PM on Black Saturday, at the Anime Sante del Purgatorio Church.
The “explosion of the cart” or Scoppio del Caro is certainly not to be missed if one is looking for a memorable event. This Florentine festival will be held on April 16th this year, and is a complete reenactment of a folk tradition dating back to the First Crusade. It’s said that a man from Florence was the first through the breach in the sacking of the Holy City, Jerusalem – when he returned from the war, he built a sacred fire from stone fragments taken from the Holy Sepulchre and paraded it through the streets in a flaming chariot. Fireworks are loaded onto a wagon pulled by oxen and soldiers in costume, and are lit at the same moment the bells in the tower of Giotto are rung. The show lasts twenty minutes and is said to bring luck to observers.
Finally, the national holiday of Pasquetta is widely observed all throughout the country. Most locals have the day off on the day after Easter Sunday and head out to enjoy the sights and sounds of spring by holding picnics and outdoor gatherings at the local parks. Most attractions and sites will remain open, but this is a great day for ditching the tourists and doing as the Italians do – by having lunch outdoors with an excellent bottle of wine and great cheeses.
On the 13th of May this year, Venice will open its doors to the Venice Biennale, an international art exhibition that’s only held every other summer. Lasting through late November, it is a celebration of arts and music in a way that only the Venetians can. There will be several exhibits and musical performances during this time, mostly held in the main pavilions of the Biennale Gardens and in private villas and mansions all throughout the region. These places are usually closed to outsiders, so you’re getting an exclusive peek inside them as well as the opportunity to enjoy great art. If you’re a lover of the arts and music, then this is the perfect opportunity to visit Venice.