Things to do in Italy in August

Opera & Art? Of Course. But Also Fireworks & Festival Galore!

What a time to be in Italy! Everywhere you go seems to be having a wonderful party marked by festivals, processions, horse races and firework displays. We recommend that you jump right in and enjoy as much as you can from wonderful exhibitions dedicated to the Catalan surrealist Joan Miro to the extraordinary medieval festival Terzieri Palio. And, if you’re lucky enough to be on the Venetian coast toward the end of the month, don’t miss the ‘Beach on Fire’ officially the world’s longest firework party.

Event calendar in Tuscany and beyond!

  • Mirò! Dream and Colour:

From April 11th to September 17th, Palazzo Albergati will host over 130 works of legendary surrealist artist Joan Mirò. The exhibition will feature a series of oil paintings, drawing and sculptures which root his identity, exploring his transgressive, and wild nature.

  • Opera di Verona:

June 23rd commemorates the opening of the 2,000 year old the roman amphitheatre Opera di Verona, in Piazza Bra. As a tradition, on the day a series of performances take place, this year it will feature the classic, Carmen followed by Aida on the 25th. The opera will remain open till August 28th, hosting a variety of different shows.

August in Italy
  • Opera alle Terme di Caracalla:

From early June to the end of August Rome holds a collection of summer opera and ballet performances in the ruins of Baths of Caracalla. This open air theatre allows you to enjoy some of the most famous performances such as Swan Lake, Aida and Tosca whilst in the company of the starry night sky.

  • Terzieri Palio (9th August-20th August):

The town of Pieve holds this festival which is based on a historical enactment. The town’s contrades (divisions) compete against each other in diverse competitions, such as horse races, fights using real armature and weapons and more. There is also a variety of events open to guests such as medieval games, along with markets selling local products.

  • Festa dei Candelieri:

August 14th signifies an important holiday for the Sardinians as they celebrate one of Italy’s famous festivals, Festa dei Candelleri (or ‘feast of the candles’). It was originally held to thank the Virgin Mary for releasing the town of Sassari from a terrible plague and to this day the nine merchant gilds of Sassari parade through the streets in traditional garments bearing wooden candles on their shoulders.

  • Assumption Day (August 15th):

Ferragosto or otherwise known as Assumption Day is a national holiday for Italy. The catholic church honours this day for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, a variety of religious and normal festivals can be found around the country, see for example “Gran Ballo di Ferragosto”.

  • Gran Ballo di Ferragosto:

To honour Assumption Day, Rome holds on every 15th of August the Gran Ballo di Ferragosto, otherwise known as the Grand Ball of Ferragosto. The event brings a synergy of local Italians and foreigners together to local piazzas, where the sound of Reggeaton, Samba and more can be heard echoing. Each different piazza is assigned a different form of music to play, however the biggest concert takes place in Parco Archelogico of Teatro Marcello.

  • Palio di Siena:

July 16th marks the second and final part of one of Italy’s most prestigious and renowned events, the Palio di Siena horse race. Only lasting 90 seconds, the race nonetheless attracts spectators from around the world, whom join in Piazza del Campo to celebrate the greatness of the Republic of Siena, and the seven contrades (divisions) which make up the town.

  • Beach on Fire:

On the 27th of August the annual internationally renowned Beach on Fire will take place. This firework display is composed of thousands of different fireworks, which light up the Veneto Coastline on Cavallino Treporti beach. Apart from being featured in the Guinness World Records as the longest firework display, this attraction brings over 2,000 visitors to witness the night sky light up in an array of beautiful kaleidoscopic patterns and colours.

  • Venice Film Festival (30th August- 9th September):

This year will mark the 74th edition of Venice Film Festival, one of the oldest and renowned international film festival’s in the world. This annual event intends to promote and raise awareness of various aspects of the international cinema to the public, and to this day maintains its reputation and values.
he day and night in honour, including an immersion underwater, a torch procession and more.