February in Italy: Holidays, Festivals, and Other Events

February is frigid in most parts of Italy, but is not without its festivities. There’s Valentine’s Day and Carnevale, and many Italian schools observe a winter break called Settimana Bianca – White Week – a time for skiing and sledding.

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February in Italy: Holidays, Festivals, and Other Events

Carnevale

Depending on the calendar, Carnevale season begins as early as February 3. Carnival celebrations run for approximately two weeks, with big events, parades, balls, performances, and food fairs. The best known Carnival celebrations in Italy take place in Venice and Viareggio, in Tuscany.

Near Rome, the town of Ronciglione is known for its carnival and riderless horse race, which have origins that date back to the 16th century.

Costumes in Venice during Carnevale

February 14 – Valentine’s Day

If you want to spend lovers’ day in the home of St. Valentine, head to the town of Terni in Umbria.

Another ideal spot for you and your valentine on the 14th is in Verona, which holds the Verona in Love festival each year in honor of young lovers Romeo and Juliet. Stagings of Shakespeare’s play, as well as art exhibitions and sweet markets, complete the week-long love fest.

Another place to spend Valentine’s Day? Rome.

Winter Sales (saldi) continue throughout February. See January for info.

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Ciao! My name is Melanie Renzulli and I have been writing about Italy for more than 20 years. Italofile is where I share my knowledge of and passion for Italy travel, art, culture, and living.