June in Italy: Holidays, Festivals, and Other Events

Glorious June begins straight away with a celebration. Republic Day (Festa della Repubblica) takes place on 2 June with patriotic parades, particularly in Rome. Then summer truly gets underway.

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June in Italy: Holidays, Festivals, and Other Events

A quick guide to June dates follows

June 2, Festa della Repubblica

The tricolore flyover is a crowd favorite on Republic Day

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.

Early June, Pentecost Sunday Rose Petal Drop at the Pantheon, Rome

On the seventh Sunday after Easter Sunday, typically in early June, Rome’s Pantheon holds a special mass in which rose petals are dropped through the ancient building’s open oculus. Learn more about the rose petal drop at the Pantheon.

Early June, Lungo Il Tevere, Rome

In early 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.

Infiorata Festivals

A portion of the blanket of flowers from the Infiorata in Genzano
A portion of the blanket of flowers from the Infiorata in Genzano

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.

Notable Infiorata Festivals in June include:

June 13, Festa di Sant’Antonio da Padova, Padua

Padova (Padua) 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.

June 24, Festa di San Giovanni in Florence, Genoa, Turin, and elsewhere

San Giovanni, 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.

Turin celebrates the feast of San Giovanni with food and music as well as a bonfire (farò) that is lit on the eve of the festival

Medieval and Renaissance Pageantry

Corpus Domini procession, Orvieto
Corpus Domini procession, Orvieto

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 that includes a tug-of-war on a bridge and a parade of marchers in antique armor. The Gioco del Ponte takes place on the last Sunday of June.

In Umbria, the beautiful city of Orvieto celebrates Corpus Domini (second Sunday after Pentecost/ninth Sunday after Easter) with a stunning medieval parade, while Foligno holds the Giostro della Quintana.

  • Early June – Corpus Domini, Orvieto
  • Mid-June – Giostro della Quintana, Foligno
  • Mid- to late June – Giostro del Saracino, Arezzo
  • Late June – Gioco del Ponte, Pisa

Late June, Festival dei Due Mondi, Spoleto (Umbria)

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.

June 29, Santi Pietro e Paolo, Rome

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. This is a local holiday in Rome so many businesses will be closed.

Quick Guide to Dates in June

  • June 2 – Republic Day; Death of Giuseppe Garibaldi (1882)
  • June 4 – Liberation of Rome (1944); Death of Casanova (1798)
  • June 5 – Feast Day of San Bonifacio (Verona)
  • June 6 – Death of Ghirlandaio (1561); Death of Cavour (1861)
  • June 7 – Birth of Federico de Montefeltro (1422)
  • June 9 – “Maestà” by Duccio di Buoninsegna unveiled in Siena (1311)
  • June 11 – Feast Day of San Bartolomeo
  • June 13 – Feast Day of San Antonio da Padova
  • June 15 – Birth of Alberto Sordi (1920)
  • June 17 – Feast Day of San Ranieri (Pisa)
  • June 24 – Feast Day of Saint John the Baptist (Florence, Genoa, Turin)
  • June 27 – Feast Day of Sant’Andrea (Amalfi)
  • June 28 – Birth of Luigi Pirandello (1867); Death of Domenico Fontana (1607)
  • June 29 – Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul (Rome)

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