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Nine of the best events to attend in Italy in spring 2024

The Local Italy
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Nine of the best events to attend in Italy in spring 2024
The main entrance to the Central Pavilion of the Venice Art Biennale pictured in April 2022. Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

As the days get longer and the winter blues fade away, cultural, culinary and sports events are picking back up all over Italy. Here are some of the best to attend in the coming months.


Florence’s Scoppio del Carro, March 31st

All of Italy will be celebrating Easter Sunday on March 31st, but only Florence will do so by blowing up a cart right in front of its cathedral.

Every year, a two-story cart full to the brim with fireworks is pulled from the Church of Santi Apostoli to the central Piazza Duomo by four white oxen followed by a crowd of people dressed in 15th-century garb. 

There, a dove-shaped rocket flies into the cart via a cable, setting off a spectacular fireworks display overhead. The ‘explosion’ generally takes place at around 11am. No booking is required. 

Rome’s birthday, April 21st

Italy's capital celebrates the anniversary of its founding on April 21st every year (legend has it that the first king of Rome, Romulus, ploughed the city’s boundaries on April 21st 753 BC).

This year, celebrations for the Eternal City’s 2,777th birthday will focus on one of the Roman Empire’s biggest infrastructural achievements: a Europe-wide, 400,000-kilometre network of paved roads. 

The 2024 programme will feature writer interviews, school workshops, photographic exhibitions, and historical reenactments, including a legionnaires parade at the Circus Maximus.

Vinitaly, April 14th-17th

One of the most important dates in the calendar for wine lovers, this annual Verona-based fair draws producers and buyers from around the world for several days of talks, tastings, and workshops.

While Vinitaly itself is an event for industry professionals, its spin-off ‘Vinitaly and the City’, held in the days leading up to the main fair (April 12th-15th) specifically caters to dilettante oenophiles. 


Venice Biennale, April 20th-November 24th

Curated by São Paulo Museum of Art director Adriano Pedrosa, Venice’s 60th International Art Exhibition will focus on the work of cultural and geographical outsiders based on the central theme of 'Foreigners Everywhere’. 

Displays will be spread across two venues: the Central Pavilion at the Biennale Gardens and the Arsenal complex. More information here.

Giro d’Italia, May 4th-26th 

This year’s Giro d’Italia will start in Venaria Reale, just north of Turin, and end in Rome, passing through cities, lakes and mountain ranges all over northern and southern Italy on the way.

Giro d'Italia

British cyclist Mark Cavendish sprints on his way to win the Rome stage of the 2023 Giro d'Italia in May 2023. Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

If you’re in Genoa on May 8th, Naples on the 12th, Padua on the 23rd, or Rome on the 26th, you’ll have the opportunity to see a leg of the race in person. More information here.


Genoa’s Rolli Days, May 17th-19th 

Genoa’s UNESCO-protected late-Renaissance Palazzi dei Rolli are open to the public for just two weekends a year, and this is one of them.

These are the buildings that were included in official lists or ‘rolls’ of noble lodgings that were chosen by lot to host important figures passing through Genoa from the late 16th century onwards.

Entry is free for under-18s. More information here.

Turin Book Fair, May 9th-13th 

The Salone Internazionale del Libro di Torino, Italy’s largest book fair, will once again be held in the Lingotto Fiere exhibition space, with Vita Immaginaria (‘Imaginary Life’) being this year’s central theme.

While open to book lovers as well as publishers and editors, this is primarily a commercial trade fair; if you’re looking for something on a smaller scale, literary festival Una Marina di Libri (‘A Shore of Books’) will take place in Palermo in June.

More information on the Turin Book Fair here.


Infiorata di Noto, May 17th-21st 

The Infiorata di Noto (literally, the ‘Flowering of Noto’) sees the main street of this Baroque southeastern Sicilian city decorated with a carpet of colourful blossoms stretching for over 700 square metres in total. 

The event traditionally takes place over the third weekend in May, and this year’s is no different. According to the Noto town hall’s website, access to the display will cost 3.50 euros. 

Verona Opera Festival, June 7th-September 7th

The Verona Opera Festival starts in late spring and runs to the end of the summer, taking advantage of the balmy temperatures to put on open-air performances in the city’s majestic Arena amphitheatre.

Tickets for operas including Aida, Carmen and The Barber of Seville are already on sale. More information here.

Have we missed out your favourite spring event? Let us know in the comments below.


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