A summer of festivals and excitement will greet those visiting Italy over the next few months.
Italy is a country that takes pride in preserving tradition and customs, as evidenced by the array of traditional events that occur throughout the summer months and beyond. The only problem is that it poses a dilemma for travellers: which one do they festivals and pageants do they want to experience while on their holiday?
Those visiting Italy in June might be keen to visit the Verona Opera, which is one of the most prestigious events of the musical calendar. Held in the historic Arena di Verona, an open air amphitheatre, audiences are given the opportunity to experience Opera as it was meant to be heard: in breath-taking splendour. With somewhere in the region of 500 performances, from some of the most beloved operas, this is an event not to be missed.
Equestrians might like to journey to Sienna in July and August, in time for 'Il Palio', the medieval 'wild' horse race which pits riders from neighbouring districts against each other. The one-minute race, italymag.co.uk writes, has captivated locals and visitors alike since 1656. The publication recommends arriving a few days early in order to watch the riders hone their skills.
On a similarly medieval theme, Arezzo in Tuscany stages the Giostra del Saracino in July and September, lonelyplanet.com writes. The Joust of the Saracen is a recreated 13th century jousting tournament which takes over the whole town. A parade of suitably dressed people wind through the streets until they reach the Grande Piazza, where the action and the passion begins.
An embarrassment of riches, some might say but visitors can be certain of having a wonderful time in Italy this summer.