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Ten Things to See in Italy in Summer

Posted by jason on May 28, 2014
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1. The Isle of Capri

Take a ferry to the Isle of Capri, the playground of the rich and famous. The island is surrounded by stunning beaches including Bagni di Tiberio on the northern side and Marina di Mulo on the south. While here see the limestone crags or stacks which protrude from the sea, experience the Blue Grotto and explore the quaint town of Anacapri. In Anacapri you can take the chairlift to the top of Monte Solaro to get breathtaking views across the island and the sea. It is possible to visit Capri for the day or stay overnight in a villa rental. In the evening the island comes alive with vibrant restaurants and clubs. The atmosphere both night and day is chic and exclusive.

2. Arena di Verona Festival 2013 – Arena di Verona

Join an audience of up to 15,000 in Verona’s ancient Arena which dates back to 30AD and under a canopy of stars watch some of the most awe inspiring operas in the world. The audience fills the auditorium of the ancient Roman amphitheatre and the performances begin at dusk. The audience brings small candles to light up the space. The performances are spectacular with extravagant sets, costumes and some of the world’s best opera singers. In summer 2013 the performances begin on 1st June and continue until 7th September with a different opera each night including RigolettoIl Traviata and Aida. See the program of Arena di Verona in 2013.

3. Rabbit Beach

Visit the Traveler’s Choice winner for 2013 for Italy’s best beach located at Via Ponente Lampedusa on the island of Lampedusa just off the coast of Sicily. The water is crystal clear and the sandy beach goes on for about half a mile. The beach is reached by descending from a cliff top road or you can reach the beach by boat. The beach is protected by rocks on either side of the lagoon-like inlet. The beach is unique in being home to Loggerhead turtles who come here to lay their eggs. From June to the end of August the surrounding cliffs are alive with color with replanted vegetation and in June a carpet of Capers plants.

4. Palio di Siena

On July 2nd and August 16th ten horse riders dressed in bright period costumes ride bareback around the Piazza del Campo Siena. The piazza is covered with a layer of soil and as the horses speed around the space the dust is kicked up and riders are often thrown from their horses. However the horse that crosses the finish line is the winner, with or without his rider. There are no holds barred and riders can push and shove each other to win. The race is preceded by Corteo Storico a pageant parade led by horse riders in Medieval costume. The entire event is full of pomp and ceremony in true Medieval style.

5. The Eternal Rome

Rome has to be on anyone’s list of things to do in Italy in summer but after you’ve visited the Coliseum and other standard sightseeing attractions the city has several unique experiences to offer. In the last two weeks of July visit the Trastevere District to attend the Festa de’Nontari street fair. Also in late July is an international fashion show, Donne Sotte Le Stelle, held on the Spanish Steps.

6. Cinque Terre

Visit the group of five villages with pastel colored houses clinging to the cliffs overlooking the sea along the Italian Riviera. Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso care picturesque villages nestled between the sea and terraced farmlands. Some of the area you can explore by car but other more isolated areas need to be reaches on foot or by boat. The nearby vineyards make this a perfect place for wine tasting as well. Rent a villa for the summer and follow the many hiking trails which meander along the coastline.

7. Venice Form the 19th Century – 20th century in Photographs by Tommaso Filippi

See this unique exhibition of classic and historic photographs, in all 150 photos by Tommaso Filippi are on show at the Villa Pisani in Stra near Venice until November 30th. See the striking photos of Venice and how it has changed over the years. Part of the exhibition includes use of thirty stereoscopes, a machine invented in 1832 which creates a 3D effect when looking at photos. For more information visit Villa Pisani for Tommaso Filippi.

8. Festa del Cristo degli Abissi

One of the world’s most popular dive sites is off the coast of San Fruttuoso Camolgi in Liguria to the Cristo degli Abissi a 2.5 meter high statue of Jesus located 15.24 meters under the water. The statue was made from melted down marine medals, parts of ships and even Olympic medals to commemorate those who have died at sea to protect others. The must-see underwater site is a unique dive but you can time it to attend the Festa del Cristo degli Abissi which takes place in late July. The festival is marked by a procession leading down to the beach, and into the water, out to sea to lay a wreath at the feet of the statue.

9. Dream in the Renaissance

This is a temporary exhibition being held at the Palazzo Pitti (Galleria Palatina) in Florence. The exhibition runs until September 15th and is the “hot ticket” for art aficionados in Italy this summer. The exhibition is in conjunction with the Musee du Luxembourg in Paris and focuses on how dreams are interpreted and represented in both ancient mythology and Renaissance art. On show are two works by Lorenzo Lotto and works by Dossi, Bologna, Bertoldo and Raphael. For more information visit: Palazzo Pitti – Renaissance Dream in the Renaissance

10. Sagra degli Gnocchi

Join the locals in San Lorenzo Nuovo when they celebrate the potato harvest at this outdoor Gnocchi Festival. Stalls are set up in the piazza and pop-up open air restaurants offer all the local delicacies and traditional dishes. Here you can party with the locals as you try the roasted sausage, pigskin beans and of course the gnocchi. The gastronomic celebration is accompanied by musical performances and people join in to dance the Liscio, the traditional folk dance.

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