For members


SEVEN famous events in Italy you don’t want to miss this spring

Whether you're a fan of music, sports, literature, opera, history, wine, or all of the above, there's an event for everyone in Italy this spring. Here's our selection of some of the best.

The Giro d'Italia is just one of many events you can catch in Italy this spring.
The Giro d'Italia is just one of many events you can catch in Italy this spring. Photo by Luca Bettini / AFP.

Vinitaly, 31st March-3rd April; 2nd-5th April

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, workshops and more.

A visitor tastes wine at a previous edition of the Vinitaly fair.

A visitor tastes wine at a previous edition of the Vinitaly fair. Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP)

While Vinitaly itself is an event for industry professionals, its spin-off ‘Vinitaly and the City’, held in the days leading up to main fair, specifically caters to dilettante oenophiles. More information about that here.

Genoa ‘Rolli Days’, 28th April-1st May

Genoa’s UNESCO-protected late-Renaissance and Baroque palaces, known as the Palazzi dei Rolli, are opened 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; this year 30 of the 42 historic residences will be made accessible.

Entry is for the most part free, via a guided tour. More information here.

READ ALSO: Six Italian walking holiday destinations that are perfect for spring

Giro d’Italia, 6th-28th May

This year’s Giro d’Italia will start at the ‘Trabocchi Coast’ in Abruzzo and end in Rome, passing through cities, lakes and mountain ranges all over northern and central-southern Italy on the way.

If you’re in Naples on the 11th, Bergamo on the 21st, or Rome on the 28th, you’ll have the opportunity to see a leg of the race in person. More information here.

The pack of rides climb during the 116th edition of the Giro di Lombardia (Tour of Lombardy), a 252,42 km cycling race from Bergamo to Como on October 8, 2022.

A pack of riders travels from Bergamo to Como. Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP.

Venice Architecture Biennale, 20th May-26th Nov

Venice’s 18th International Architecture Exhibition, curated by the Ghanaian-Scottish architect and novelist Lesley Lokko, has ‘Laboratory of the Future’ as its theme.

There’s a particular focus on Africa this year, with over half of its 89 participants either from the continent or members of its diaspora. The exhibit will be split over six venues across the city, including the Giardini della Biennale gardens and the Arsenale.

More information here.

Turin Book Fair, 18th-22nd May

The Salone Internazionale del Libro Torino, Italy’s largest book fair, will be held as usual in the Lingotto Fiere exhibition space, taking Attraverso lo Specchio (‘Through the Looking Glass’), as its 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, the literary festivals Una Marina di Libri (‘A Shore of Books’) in Palermo and Taobuk in Taormina, Sicily, will both take place in June.

More information on the Turin Book Fair here.

READ ALSO: Eight of Italy’s best book fairs and literary festivals in 2023

A visitor views a book on May 9, 2019 at the Turin International Book Fair in Turin.

A visitor views a book on May 9, 2019 at the Turin International Book Fair in Turin. Photo by Marco Bertorello / AFP.

Infiorata di Noto, 19th-23rd May

The Infiorata di Noto – literally, the ‘Flowering of Noto’, sees a main street of this Baroque Sicilian city decorated with a carpet of colourful blossoms forming elaborate images that stretch 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 Infiorata’s website, the exhibit will be open to the public from the morning of the 20th. More information here.

READ ALSO: IN PHOTOS: Italian village bursts into bloom in annual ‘flowering’

Verona Opera Festival, 16th June-9th September

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 Verona’s majestic Arena amphitheatre.

2023 marks the festival’s 100th edition since it was first founded in 1913, making this year’s a particularly special programme. Tickets for operas including Aida, Carmen and Tosca are already on sale; more information here.

A harpist rehearses at the Verona Arena in 2020.

A harpist rehearses at the Verona Arena in 2020. Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP.

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For members


The best things to do in Rome in May 2024

Whether you're a Rome resident or just passing through, the Eternal City has plenty to offer throughout the month of May.

The best things to do in Rome in May 2024

Circo Massimo Concertone – May 1st

Rome’s traditional Labour Day Concertone (‘big concert’) this year moves from its usual location in San Giovanni to Circo Massimo. Noemi and Ermal Meta are hosting the 2024 edition; entry is free.

Conca d’Oro street food festival – May 1st-5th

Ushering in the start of May, the Conca d’Oro neighbourhood is playing host to a five-day-long street food fair. 25 chefs will be present in the parking lot where this year’s festival is taking place.

Charity Cafe Jazz and Blues concerts – May 1st-4th

This intimate jazz cafe in the Monti district is hosting nightly Jazz and Blues concerts from 10pm from May 1st-4th. As of April 30th, the venue’s events calendar hasn’t been updated for May, but there’s typically something every Tuesday-Saturday.

READ ALSO: Everything that changes in Italy in May 2024

Photography exhibits – Various dates

At the Museum of Rome in Trastevere you can catch a series of photography exhibitions in May. A retrospective of the works of German street photographer Hilde Lotz-Bauer closes on May 5th; 100 works by the Spanish artist and photographer Ouka Leele will remain on display throughout the month; and a retrospective of Cameroonian photographer Angèle Etoundi Essamba will open on May 17th.

Free museum Sundays – May 5th

As usual, Rome will be opens most of its museums and cultural sites to the public for free on the first Sunday of the month. That includes the Colosseum and Palatine Hill, Galleria Borghese, Castel Sant’Angelo, and many more (full list here).

Rome’s Borghese Gallery is one of the sites open for free on the first Sunday of the month. Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP.

Incanti illusionist show – May 2nd-5th

Following a stop in Grosseto, the Incanti (‘enchantments’) show of illusions comes to Rome’s Teatro Olimpico for four days before moving on to Florence.

Swan Lake orchestral concert – May 2nd-4th

The Santa Cecilia National Academy orchestra is putting on a performance of Prokofiev’s second piano concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake suite at Rome’s Auditorium Parco della Musica from May 2nd-4th.

READ ALSO: Nine of the best events to attend in Italy in spring 2024

Baby Sound – May 4th-5th

Also in conjunction with performers from the Santa Cecilia National Academy, Baby Sound, a musical workshop for young children aged 0-2, will take place at Auditorium Parco della Musica from May 4th-5th.

Internazionali d’Italia tournament – May 6th-19th

The 2024 edition of the Internazionali d’Italia – Italy’s most prestigious tennis tournament – will unfold at Rome’s Foro Italico sports venue from Monday, May 6th to Sunday, May 19th, with Italian tennis star Jannik Sinner set to take part in the contest.

World Press Photo Exhibition – May 9th onwards

The 2024 World Press Photo Exhibition opens at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni on May 9th and is set to run for one month until June 9th.

Arrosticini festival – May 9th-12th

The ex-Mattatoio events and exhibition space in Testaccio is preparing to serve up lamb/mutton arrosticini skewers and other traditional Abruzzese fare over the course of four days from May 9th-12th.

READ ALSO: Eight unmistakable signs that spring has arrived in Italy

Fava bean and pecorino fair – May 12th

Fava beans and pecorino cheese, a traditional Roman combo, are on the menu in the town of Filacciano, an hour’s journey outside the city, on this May 12th food festival.

Joel Nafuma Refugee Centre fundraising dinner – May 24th

After a long hiatus, Rome’s Joel Nafuma Refugee Centre is starting up its fundraising dinners again on May 24th. This one features Syrian and Palestinian food supplied by Hummustown, and costs €30 (discounted rate €20).

ARF! comics fair – May 24th-26th

Another event taking place at the ex-Mattatoio in Testaccio in May is the ARF! comics festival, three days of exhibitions, talks, and workshops, including a kids’ corner.

It’s set to coincide with the Street Sud Festival featuring southern Italian street food, which is also scheduled to take place at the Mattatioio from May 23rd-26th.

Japan Days – May 25th-26th

Prati’s bus depot plays host to this Japanese market, where you can expect to find 100 exhibitors selling items from kimonos to kokeshi dolls, along with talks and presentations bonsai workshops and an abundance of Japanese food.

Recurring events

Campagna Amica sells locally grown fresh produce every Saturday and Sunday on Via di San Teodoro 74.

The Porta Portese flea market, which takes place every Sunday, is one of the largest (and busiest) the city has to offer.

Performances Verdi’s La Traviata, The Three Tenors, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Bach’s masterpieces continue to be held on various dates at St Pauls Within the Walls throughout the month of May.