Public holidays in Italy have it all, sun sea, sand and cities of cultural and rich heritage. Italy’s 20 unique regions feel more like 20 independent counties or states. Each region in Italy has its own dialects, heritage and traditions. Along with architecture and of course the glorious tasty Italian food.
From nibbling on knödel in an Alto Adige chalet to exploring souk like market streets in Sicily. In Italy the choices of what to do on vacation are as diverse as they are truly seductive.
Then there’s Italy’s incomparable artistic treasures. Frequently these amount to more than the rest of the world’s culture put together. It’s hard not to feel a little envious of this soulful country sometimes.
Yet it’s even harder not to fall madly in love with this majestic country in the heart of central Europe. Beside visiting Italy on vacation, Italians celebrate public holidays. However there are not as many public holidays in Italy as there used to be.
Let’s celebrate Italian holidays, not just as we do, but as it is done by Italians themselves. Indeed lets vacation in Italy and do it even better than the Italians themselves!
Public Holidays in Italy Can be Divided into Religious and Civil
Both groups of Italian public holiday in this case can be divided into unique holidays. They are the official and state public holidays.
In addition, religious holidays may fall on a fixed date or be on variable dates. That is, like Easter, from year to year they change date. Most of the public holidays in Italy are concentrated around the date of Easter.
The best way to keep current with date changes is to consult the Italian government web site. This will detail public holidays in Italy in the current year.
A Carnival in Venice
As in any country in the world, in Italy it is the case that some holidays are born, celebrated and then forgotten about. Then they are officially canceled, that is, cease to be public holidays anymore.
Sometimes these holiday are simply renamed or just vanish off the calendar never to see the light of day again.
Most Italian holiday were abolished at various points across the 20th century. For example, in 1977 the Italians parted with such public holidays, such as:
The Feast of St. Giuseppe (festa di S. Giuseppe) – March 19.
The Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul (festa dei SS. Pietro e Paolo) – June 29.
Also in 1977, and the Ascension holiday of Corpus Christi was moved over to the weekday. For the next Sunday and national holiday, namely the anniversary of victory in World War I (Anniversario della vittoria della Prima guerra mondiale). This public holiday was introduced in 1922 and later renamed the Feast of the Armed Forces (Festa delle Forze armate.)
Even later a public holiday in Celebration of National Unity (Festa dell’Unita nazionale) November 4 was moved to a Sunday in November.
Pisa – The Leaning Tower in Tuscany, Italy
In 1977 the public holiday was canceled on February 11, the anniversary of the Entente with the Holy See (Anniversario del Concordato con la Santa Sede). Also cancelled was the anniversary of the uprising in Naples (Anniversario dell’insurrezione di Napoli del 1943), September 28 and October 4, the day of St. Francis of Assisi (S. Francesco d’Assisi).
Videos of The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
Take a peek at this selection of videos of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.
Back in the 18th and 19th centuries many festivals in honor of the Apostles were abolished. Examples of these abolished public holidays include.
- St. Mark’s (S. Marco) – April 25.
- St. Giacomo (S. Giacomo) – July 25.
- St. Bartholomew’s (S. Bartolomeo) – August 24.
- St. Matteo (S. Matteo) – 21 September.
Italy is of course a fabulous country to visit for a recreational holiday. Or for a city break in locations such as Rome or Venice. Pay attention to the calendar though as you don’t want tourist attractions to be closed on the day you arrive.