Seven wonderful things to do in Italy in June

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Pisa's luminara is not to be missed this month. Photo: Marco Sox/Flickr
08:00 CEST+02:00
June is jam-packed with all manner of fun things to keep you busy as summer rushes in: from discovering rose-based snacks to dancing at silent discos.

Festa Della Repubblica, June 2nd – nationwide

The Frecce Tricolari make their flypast. Photo Antony Majanlahti

The month gets off to an excellent start as the majority of workers will be able to put their feet up and celebrate Italy's Republic Day.

The national holiday marks the day in 1946 when the government called a referendum to decide whether or not to oust the country's monarchy. Needless to say, Italy duly decided to send King Umberto II packing and the country has been a republic ever since.

The day is marked with displays of patriotism up and down the country, with military parades and marching bands being the order of the day.

The best of the lot can be seen in Rome, where troops from all sectors of Italy's armed forces march through the Roman Forum before the Air Force's Frecce Tricolari perform a flyby, painting the colours of the Italian flag across the sky.

Le Notti del Nilo 2016, each Friday in June - Naples

Every Friday night in June revellers can find a free party in the historic centre of Naples.

Things get underway at 10pm with a live concert in Piazza del Nilo before wireless headphones are handed out to attendees for a late-night silent disco which lasts into the early hours.

The Rose Festival – June 11th, 12th - Busalla, Genoa

Located in the picturesque Scrivia Valley, the town of Busalla has been hosting its annual Rose festival for the last 13 years.

The roses that grow along the Scrivia valley, a stone's throw from the port city of Genoa, have been used by locals to make all manner of things since time immemorial and are prized for their wonderful aroma.

Visitors to the festival will be able to sample delicious rose-based products made by locals such as cakes, pastries and the unimitable rose syrup the area is famous for.

War, Capitalism and Liberty – all month - Palazzo Cipolla, Rome

The exhibition features 120 works by Banksy. Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP

Billed as the largest collection of works by UK street-artist Banksy ever assembled, this exhibition explores its titular themes of war, capitalism and liberty through the works of world-renowned street artists. 

Saint Ranieri Festivities, June 16th, 17th and 26th – Pisa

All lit up: the River Arno. Photo: Marco Sox/Flickr

Nothing to do with Leicester City football club, Saint Ranieri is in fact the patron saint of Pisa and is honoured each year in three separate but spectacular events.

On the evening of June 16th citizens take to the streets of the medieval city to share a glass of wine and an atmospheric chat by candlelight during the luminara di San Ranieri.

For the luminara, the façades of the buildings along the River Arno are illuminated by more than 70,000 candles which are attached to wooden frames on their exteriors, while floating candles bob down the river.

The following day - the actual feast day of Saint Ranieri - is marked by a centuries-old tradition: a boat race between the four different quarters of the city.

In order to win the race, teams must successfully row 1,500 metres up the Arno against the current and scale a 10-metre poll to capture a flag faster than their opponents.

On June 26th comes il giocco del ponte, or the battle on the bridge, which sees rival armies dressed in period costume stage a series of strategic battles for control of the city's central bridge – the Ponte del Mezzo.

Ken Domon, all month, Ara Pacis Museum – Rome

The Ara Pacis art gallery. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Rome becomes the first ever city outside of Japan to host an exhibition of works by legendary Japanese photographer Ken Domon.

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Domon, often billed as Japan's answer to Henri Cartier-Bresson, is famous for capturing day-to-day life with great realism.

Of particular interest are his series of photographs taken in Hiroshima in 1957. At that time the city and its people still bore the scars of August 6th 1945 when the city was struck by an atomic bomb.

San Giovanni Festival, June 24th – Turin

Fireworks on the Po. Photo: Atemporaldesign/Flickr

The Piedmontese capital marks the occasion of its patron saint's feast-day with an entertaining street party which includes a lengthy historic procession.

People in fancy dress riding on ancient carts and historic motors recall all eras of the city's near 2000 year-old history during the parade, before a huge bonfire is lit at the city's central Piazza Castello.

A large wooden bull is placed at the top of the bonfire, which according to legend promises to bring good or bad luck to the city and its inhabitants depending on which way it falls as it burns.

After the burning of the bull, the party moves to the banks of the River Po where an impressive firework display lights up the sky.

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