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The top 10 summer festivals in Italy you need to experience in your lifetime

Italy is fast becoming one of the major festival hubs of Europe. With something different to suit every type of Ostello Bello guest, towns and cities across the country are booming with music, cultural, food and drink festivals.

Scroll down to find out the top 10 summer festivals in Italy you need to experience in your lifetime…

1. Let the music play

Each year thousands of people descend on the Italian capital which hosts two months of live concerts, with some of the biggest names in both Italian and international pop and rock music in attendance. Held at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, the Rome Summer Fest is one of the longest back-to-back festivals around – the line-up this year includes the likes of Simple Minds, Kasabian and Paolo Nutini.

When: 10 June-6 August

Entry: Tickets start from 25 Euros

Stay: The Ostello Bello Roma Colosseo is just a short 15 minute taxi ride to the festival venue on the outskirts of the city and is a great central base to return to, ready for some Roman sightseeing the next day.

2. Time to celebrate

The Festa di San Lorenzo is one of the most famous festivals in Florence. Meaning the ‘Feast of Saint Lorenzo’, the festival celebrates everything Italy is well known for – food, drink and music. The main square, Piazza San Lorenzo, is full of stalls selling free lasagne and watermelon and celebrates the life of San Lorenzo, who in 258AD was praised for giving back to the poor; he is now remembered as the patron saint of firemen, bakers, librarians and the poor. The day traditionally starts with a procession and a service in the Basilica where the priest blesses the city, then followed by the handing out of free food and drink to all visitors.

When: 10th August

Entry: Free

Stay: Ostello Bello Firenze is located right in the heart of the action and in the San Lorenzo neighbourhood itself, so it’s only a short 6-minute walk back after lots of lasagne and watermelon!

3. Go out with a bang

The festival of San Giovanni is one of the most famous and oldest in Lake Como. It celebrates the heritage of Lake Como’s only island, Comacina, with folk tales, art, food and drink, as well as the world-famous firework display on the Saturday evening. Also known as Italy’s ‘festival of light’, hundreds of lanterns line the waters of the island as the celebrations continue into the early hours before a procession and service follows the next day. The festival itself is based on an ancient legend where locals sought the help of Saint John the Baptist after a storm had destroyed their crops; they made a procession by boat to Comacina and the storms then stopped.

When: 25-26 June

Entry: Free

Stay: Ostello Bello Como is centrally located to all of Lake Como’s amenities and is only a 25-minute drive away and a short boat crossing to Comacina.

4. And all that Jazz

Each year, the city of Perguia welcomes jazz lovers from all over the world to its streets. Started In 1973, Umbria Jazz Festival is now one of the leading jazz festivals in Europe, spanning around 10 days and attracting some of the biggest names in jazz music. Revellers can buy a ticket and enjoy the sounds of jazz in closed music halls, or why not listen to music in the square and outdoor stages for free.

When: 8-17 July

Entry: Indoor tickets start from 18 Euros

Stay: Ostello Bello Assisi-Bevagna is located just outside the main city of Perugia and is a 34- minute drive to the centre, meaning it offers the perfect hub to head into the city but retreat after a full day of enjoying the sounds of jazz!    

5. Go green

Located in a Woods near Milan, music-lovers will find themselves at one of the most alternative-themed festivals in Europe. Terraforma is a sustainability focused festival that aims to provide a new type of listening experience, reducing the distance between art and life. It promises to deliver experimental artists of all music types for an unforgettable three days of music and being closer to nature.

When: 1-3 July

Entry: 150 Euros covering entry for all three days

Stay: Ostello Bello Grande offers the perfect base to enjoy the festival and a spot of Milan sightseeing. The hostel is a 25-minute drive away from the festival site or Bollate Nord Station is around 1km away from the site, with the festival providing free shuttle services to and from the station.

6. Foodie heaven

Held for three days each June, Borgo Di…Vino is a festival that celebrates everything there is to know and love about Italian food and drink. Based in Castle Village, Menaggio on Lake Como, vendors line the medieval streets each evening offering local delicacies leading all the way up to the Castle. Since there is so much to feast your eyes on, it’s no surprise that it’s earned itself the name as being the only Italian food festival where you can get lost!

When: 2-4 June

Entry: Free

Stay: Ostello Bello Como is a 40-minute drive to Menaggio which takes in some of the most scenic parts on Lake Como along the way.

7. Mix it up

The Milano Summer Festival brings some of the most well-known artists from across different genres to Milan. Taking place on selected dates across June, July and September, the festival has a sought-after line up and this year includes The Killers, Louis Tomlinson, Alice Cooper and The Chemical Brothers. Held at the San Siro Racetrack, the festival celebrates all things music with a range of rock, pop, blues and electro acts completing the line up each year.

When: 7 June-17 September

Entry: From 28 Euros

Stay: Ostello Bello Milano Duomo is only an 18-minute taxi ride away or a 30-minute train ride across the city.

8. Flora and Fauna

Each year a colourful array of flowers, structures and art take over the city of Genova, as part of the Euroflora festival. First started in 2018, the festival celebrates innovation through the creative designs of artists and landscapers which are then found in the parks and museums of the Nervi district. The festival is known for bringing a splash of colour to the eye where the city comes alive with energy!

When: 23 April-8 May

Entry: Tickets start from 17,50 Euros each day

Stay: Ostello Bello Genova is a 25-minute drive along the coast to the Nervi district, which is on the outskirts of the city, or a 30-minute train ride. The hostel is the ideal spot to enjoy the delights of Genova and also has a 24/7 bar.

9. When in Rome…

It wouldn’t be a trip to Italy without tasting one of its most famous exports – wine! Each year, Rome hosts Vinoforum, a wine festival with over 600 Italian and international wine vendors, Michelin starred chefs and pop-up wine bars. The festival celebrates Italian wine and draws on its food and drink heritage, so it’s no surprise that this is the only wine event everyone wants to be at in Rome this summer!

When: 10-19 June

Entry: Free

Stay: Ostello Bello Colosseo is a 25-minute taxi ride to Vinoforum and 45 minutes via train across the city.

10. …Do as the Romans do

The Caracalla Summer Festival has earned itself a name as being one of the most spectacular festivals in Italy. Held at one of the most magical places in Rome, the festival celebrates classical music and dance and attracts thousands of visitors who want to enjoy sounds under the stars. It is held against the backdrop of Caracalla’s Baths which was a place to entertain, and be entertained, as a day spa in ancient Rome; fast forward to 2022 and people from across the world are still being entertained today by world-renown opera singers and ballet dancers.

When: 3 June-9 August

Entry: From 52 Euros

Stay: Ostello Bello Colosseo is just a 20-minute walk from Caracalla’s Baths, making it the perfect spot to explore the architecture of ancient Rome and close enough to wonder back from the festival at your own leisure.