21 April 2018: Natale di Roma, Rome. With fireworks and free entrance to various museums and historical sites, Rome celebrates its birthday with a bang. Don’t miss these festivities.
12 – 13 May 2018: Festa della Sensa, Venice. Take to the seas during the Festa della Sensa where a colourful parade of boats of all shapes and sizes takes part in a regatta to celebrate the marriage between Venice and the sea.
16 June 2018: Luminara di San Ranieri, Pisa. Before feasting the next day, locals take to the streets for this candlelit showcase. The illumination is a traditional event hosted annually.
22 June – 1 September: Verona Opera Festival. The world’s third-largest theatre makes for a memorable location when watching opera under the stars.
14 – 15 July 2018: Festival of the Redeemer, Venice. A local favourite, this festival sees thousands take to the Grand Canal in boats decorated with flowers and balloons. A gondola regatta follows the next day.
16 July: Festa de Noantri, Rome. Held in one of Rome’s liveliest night quarters, this festival offers plenty of food, wine and dancing. The city’s grand bridges are a great spot to watch the procession along the Tiber.
7 September: Festival of the Lanterns, Florence. A colourful procession of paper lanterns lights up the city to mark the Virgin Mary’s birthday. There’s also a huge market offering an array of delicious fresh produce.
6 - 23 November: Rome Jazz Festival. Across November, you can get your fill of jazz concerts at the wonderful Auditorium Parco della Musica.