June is the month when Italy explodes with festivals, concerts, sagre, and more as summer gets underway.
Starting it all off is Republic Day on June 2. Look for a military parade and a tricolore flyover of military jets in Rome as well as smaller events throughout the country celebrating the anniversary of the Republic .
June Holidays and Major Patron Saint Days
- 2 June – Festa della Repubblica
- Corpus Domini (2nd Sunday after Pentecost, usually first or second Sunday of June)
- 13 June – Sant’Antonio da Padova
- 24 June – San Giovanni Battista
- 29 June – San Pietro e Paolo
What’s on in Italy in June: Festivals and Events
Festa della Repubblica, All cities – 2 June
Most cities, big and small, hold a parade and other festive events on 2 June, the anniversary of the founding of the Italian Republic. In Rome, the day is celebrated with a large parade down Via dei Fori Imperiali and a flyover of military jets (Frecce Tricolori), which release green, white, and red smoke in their wake. Palazzo Madama (the Senate building) and the gardens of the Quirinale (Presidential Palace) are also open to the public on this day.
Note, too, that 2 June is a national holiday. So schools, government offices, and many businesses will be closed.
Lungo Il Tevere, Rome – From 8 June
Beginning on 8 June, Rome nightlife (at least, some of it) moves down to the banks of the Tevere, where several pubs and kitchens have set up tents. More details on the food and entertainment is available here.
The abundance of flowers at this time of year means that several towns hold flower festivals (infiorata), whereby the petals, stems, and other natural materials are used to create colorful tapestries.
Festa di Sant’Antonio da Padova, 13 June
Padova celebrates its patron saint during Giugno Antoniano. In addition to solemn religious processions and devotionals centered around the grand basilica honoring the saint are secular events around the city, including food fairs and concerts.
Festa di San Giovanni, 24 June
San Giovanni, who a patron saint in many Italian towns, is celebrated with a feast day each year on June 24.
Florentines mark the birth of Giovanni Battista with Calcio Storico Fiorentino, an inter-neighborhood soccer match with medieval costumes and contemporary dirty tactics.
John the Baptist is also the patron saint of Genoa, where you will find food and entertainment on the night preceding the festival. Then, on the 24th, the city marks the day with a religious procession to the ancient port and a blessing of the sea.
June is a great time to catch a traditional medieval pageant in central Italy.
Tuscany boasts two big events with roots in medieval times. The first Giostra del Saracino (Joust of the Saracen) of the season takes place in Arezzo; the second Giostra is in September. Pisa’s jousters take aim at the Gioco del Ponte, a mock land and sea battle.
- 3 June – Corpus Domini, Orvieto
- 16 June – Giostro della Quintana, Foligno
- 23 June – Giostro del Saracino, Arezzo
- 30 June – Gioco del Ponte, Pisa
Festival dei Due Mondi, Spoleto (Umbria) – 29 June – 15 July
One of the most famous summer music festivals in the world takes place in the city of Spoleto in Umbria. The Spoleto Festival, also known as the “Festival of Two Worlds,” is a cultural bonanza featuring classical, jazz and contemporary concerts, jazz, opera, art exhibits, and more.
Santi Pietro e Paolo, Rome – 29 June
The patron saints of Rome – Peter and Paul – are celebrated with vats of lumache – snails – available for consumption around the Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano.
The above events and festivals are just a taste of what’s happening in Italy during the month of June.
Do you know of other events taking place in Italy in June? Please leave a comment below!