Annual Italy Events
- Saint Rosalia Festival
- 10 Jul
- Traditional Folklore Festivals
U Fistinu of Saint Rosalia - one of the most famous and popular festivals in Sicily. The birth of the first Festino of Saint Rosalia was in the year 1624 on Pellegrino mountain, when the Saint appeared in a vision to a hunter from Palermo. She told him where her body (that had disappeared upon her death) was buried. When the hunter returned to the city (where a terrible plague was decimating the population), he informed everyone about the appearance. They went to the mountain, dug in the exact place she had specified to the hunter and found the body of the Saint! At that moment the terrible infection disappeared and the miracle was taken as a telltale sign to celebrate her as the Patron Saint of the city from that time forth. Saint Rosalia, in the following years, reached rock star status of popularity even though some claim that the bones of the Saint (that are protected in the sanctuary at the top of Monte Pellegrino) are actually those of a goat. During the week of the feast, the city of Palermo becomes a natural, open-air theater. An incredible 50-foot-high float (called the carro), made of wood, cardboard and cloth, parades through the streets of the town. Inside the float there's a musical band and on top of it, on the altar, there is the statue of the Saint and the famous silver urn (made in 1631) that contains the Saint's relics. The feast features such delectable treats as tiny snails and ice-cream like puddings. It reaches its climax with a colorful two-kilometer 'tableau vivant' featuring Cuban dancers, African drums and traditional religious choruses followed by a fantastic fireworks show. In recent years, the festival has been so improved and made so elaborate (thanks to Palermo's long-serving mayor, Leoluca Orlando, who has swelled the festival budget in order to attract a resurgance of reputable artists) that it has assumed the proportions of a theatrical event which astounds and delights the two-hundred-thousand-some visitors!
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Annual Events in Italy
In this section we are compiling a list of Italy events which occur more or less on the same day on an annual basis.
They have been grouped by theme and behind each link is a description of the event, its location, as well as external links to help you plan further.
You can also find an event from the calendar below.
The list is by no means exhaustive, but they are events we know and recommend. With special thanks also to Dan Hostetler for giving us permission to adapt some of his original texts.