A couple of years ago when I was still one of those nameless employees in a big corporate, a colleague of mine made a decision to take a sabbatical. He had just turned 30 (not sure what 40 was going to be like for him) and was having a mid life crisis, a marriage crisis and a career crisis. In his search for something better, a break from the mundane of life he sort out Italy as a retreat and with that a festival to entice him to just the right little Italian Village. If I remember correctly, it was the Palio of Siena, it has an exciting horse race which is run in Siena's fan-shaped main square, Piazza del Campo or Il Campo. It is one of the most popular and well-known historic festivals in Italy. It was a festival to be cherished, it brought him out of his crisis, and it was a story to be retold for years to come.
- Carnevale - Carnival Festivals - The best one to experience is in Venice (March 8 but many cities start in February, Venice being one of them)
- Palio of Sien Festival - Piazza del Campo - Where: Sien (July 2)
- L'Ardia di San Costantino - Ancient Horse Race - Where: Sedilo, Sardinia (July 5 - 7)
- Festa Della Madonna Bruna - Procession and Fireworks - Where: Matera (July 2)
- La Quintana: Medieval Parade - Where: Ascoli Piceno (First Sunday in August)
- Summer Music Festivals
- Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics - Venice (June 2)
- San Biagio Festival - Southern Italy's Saints Day Festival - Archery Contest amongst the neighborhoods of Fivizzano in the Lunigiana of Northern Tuscany (July)
Denise is an Expat, Mom, Wife and Marketing Manager at http://www.xpatulator.com/ a website that provides cost of living index information and calculates what you need to earn in a different location to compensate for cost of living, hardship, and exchange rate differences. The complete cost of living rank for all 300 locations for all 13 baskets is available here.