Eight wonderful things to do in Italy in July

Summer is finally here and with it a series of unmissable events for all culture vultures in Italy to feast on.

Eight wonderful things to do in Italy in July
Stuck for things to do in July? Photo: AFP/Wikimedia/Giuliano Berti

Sienna: Palio di Siena – July 2nd

Photo: Roberto Vicario/Wikimedia

The first of two historic horse-races that take place in Siena's central square, Piazza del Campo, each year. The race dates back to 1656 and sees the 17 historic districts of the city do battle.

The unique 90-second horse-race is on every Italophiles bucket-list and is a moment of high drama: during the race opposing jockeys do everything they can to ensure they are the first to cross the finish line.

If you are attending make sure you are fully equipped to deal with the hot weather and huge crowds, and check hotel availability in advance.

Perugia: Umbria Jazz Festival – July 8th-July 17th

Italy's premier Jazz festival sees some of the biggest names from the global jazz scene descend on the Umbrian capital for ten days of concerts throughout the city. Each concert is packed out with a metropolitan crowd of live music fans and jazz rats.

For more information:

Spoleto: Festival dei Due Mondi – until July 12th

The Umbrian town of Spoleto will host the 59th edition of the Festival dei Due Mondi, which boasts an eclectic mix of music cinema, theatre dance and art. The varied programme contains something for everyone – including the chance to see a possible Modigliani original rescued from a Roman rubbish tip!

For a full list of events click here.

Palermo: Festino di Santa Rosalia – July 15th

Each July, the citizens of the Sicilian capital of Palermo take to the streets to celebrate the feast day of their patron saint, Santa Rosalia – who, legend has it, saved the town from a plague in 1624.

During the festival, a large boat-shaped float moves through the streets which are packed with revellers, music, wine, merriment and of course, excellent street food.

Rome: Rock in Roma – month-long

Ex-Pink Floyd frontman Dave Gilmour will be a headliner at this year's event. Photo: Pierre Andrieu/AFP

A series of pop and rock concerts, taking place primarily at the ancient Roman racetrack of Circus Maximus.

This year's line-up includes the likes of Duran Duran, Iron Maiden and Dave Gilmour alongside a host of emerging talent from the national and international music scene.

For tickets and more information:

Tuscany: Archaeology by Night – throughout July

Florence's Museo Novecento. Photo: Sailko/Wikimedia

July sees select archaeological sites, museums and galleries across Tuscany throw open their doors to night visitors for a series of atmospheric tours and special lectures on themes like archaeology, historic wine-making and art.

There's bound to be to pique your interest, a full programme can be seen here.

Milan: Arianteo Cinema Festival – month-long

A summer-long, open-air cinema festival descends on the city, providing film fans with the chance to watch a varied programme of recent films and cult-classics al fresco.

To see what's on where in July, click here.

Turin: Piccola Rassegna di Cinema di Buon Gusto – Each Sunday

Photo: Giuliano Berti

If you're unsure whether to go for dinner or a movie, you can always do both.

Or at least, that's the premise behind the second edition of Turin's Piccola Rassegna di Cinema di Buon Gusto: an eccentric event sure to go down well with lovers of film and food. 

Each Sunday in July, the projection of a food-themed film is accompanied by a meal based on said film. Each meal is cooked from locally sourced ingredients and paired with excellent wines and beers.

More details can be found here.

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