September in Italy: Holidays, Festivals, and Other Events

September (Settembre) is when you will find food festivals (sagre) dedicated to the flavors of autumn: porcini mushrooms, cinghiale, and more. A number of cities also celebrate their medieval traditions during September. September 19, the feast day of San Gennaro, is a local holiday in Naples.

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September in Italy: Holidays, Festivals, and Other Events

MiTo Settembre Musica

A classical music celebration shared by northern Italy’s largest cities Milan and Torino, MiTo Settembre Musica runs for three weeks during September and features performances by symphonies, orchestras, and choirs. The concert calendar usually posts in June.

First Sunday of September – Palio Horse Race in Asti, Piemonte

The city of Asti in Piemonte holds claim to the oldest bareback horserace in Italy, which has been run nearly continuously since the 13th century. The Palio di Asti takes place in September, typically on the first Sunday, but sometimes later in the month.

Mid-September – Giostro della Quintana in Foligno, Umbria

September marks the second edition, or challenge, of Foligno’s twice-yearly jousting tournament, the Giostro della Quintana, an event that was revived in 1946. One of the bigger traditional events in Umbria, the Quintana features a Ring Joust and a parade of more than 700 locals dressed in 17th century costumes. See also the listing for June.

Mid-September – Palio Horse Race, Parma

Parma, in Emilia-Romagna, also holds a medieval horse race in September, pitting its five districts against one another. Learn more about the Palio di Parma.

September 19 – Feast of San Gennaro, Napoli and environs

Saint Januarius, known in Italian as San Gennaro, is the principal patron saint of Naples and he is celebrated each year on September 19, the alleged day of his martydom in the 4th century. This day is also one of three days throughout the year when the faithful go to Naples Cathedral to witness the liquefaction of the blood of San Gennaro. The Festa di San Gennaro is a local holiday, meaning that schools and businesses are closed.

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