Your guide to what’s on in Italy this spring from art shows and sports tournaments to festivals and concerts.
The Ethnological Museum: History, Mystery And Treasures
Subtitled ‘A Journey Through The Splendour Of World Cultures’ this newly inaugurated exhibition is an attempt to make the public aware of the vast collection of the Vatican’s little-known Ethnological Museum. The museum is home to approximately 100,000 artifacts from ancient civilizations including the Americas, Asia and Africa. Among the objects on display are a statue of the Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl, warrior statues from Mississippi tribes and antique boomerangs.
Where: Ethnological Museum, Vatican City, Rome, Lazio
When: Ongoing permanent exhibition
Constantino 313DC (Constantine 313AD)
This exhibition celebrates the Edict of Milan (sometimes known as the Edict of Constantine) in 313AD when Emperor Constantine I declared Christianity legal in the Roman Empire. The show features examples of statuary, armour, imperial portraits, Christian and pagan icons, coins, jewellery and documents.
Where and when: Palazzo Reale, Milan, Lombardy until 17 March; Colosseum and the Curia Julia, Rome, Lazio from 27 March to 15 September
I Giorni Di Roma: L’Età Dell’Equilibrio 98-180DC (The Days Of Rome: The Age Of Balance 98-180AD)
The third in a series of shows dedicated to Rome’s history, this exhibition explores the artistic production of the golden age of Roman art. It offers an overview of the works produced during those 40 years, which was a period of artistic and political ferment that saw a balance achieved in the relationship between the government, the senate and the army.
Where: Musei Capitolini, Rome, Lazio
When: Until 31 March
A show of paintings by Giambattista Tiepolo, of one of the most celebrated painters in Europe during the 18th century, adorn the sumptuous rooms of Villa Manin in Passariano, the residence of the last Doge of Venice. The paintings of religious and secular subjects illustrate Tiepolo’s career, from his early pieces to his mature works that established him as a first-class painter.
Where: Villa Manin, Passariano, Codroipo, Friuli-Venezia Giulia
When: Until 7 April
An exhibition of 120 masterpieces by the 19th-century artist Giuseppe De Nittis. Some of the works on display are unknown to critics, and others left Italy many years ago and are on loan from galleries abroad to stage the most important exhibition ever organised about De Nittis, one the greatest of the ‘Italiens de Paris’ (Parisian Italians).
Where: Palazzo Zabarella, Padua, Veneto
When: Until 26 May
Pietro Bembo E L’Invenzione Del Rinascimento (Pietro Bembo And The Invention Of The Renaissance)
Heralded as one of the most important art exhibitions in Padua in 2013, after five centuries the great works owned by poet and scholar Pietro Bembo return to Padua in an exhibition devoted to the Italian Renaissance. The show includes bronzes, coins and major works by Giovanni Bellini, Titian, Andrea Mantegna and Raphael that the great patron of the arts had at his home when he lived Padua during the early 1500s.
Where: Palazzo del Monte di Pietà, Padua, Veneto
When: Until 19 May
Da Botticelli A Matisse (From Botticelli To Matisse)
The exhibition includes some 100 works that illustrate the importance of portrait painting throughout the ages. It includes paintings by Fra Angelico, Caravaggio, Sandro Botticelli, Andrea Mantegna, Paul Gaugin, Amedeo Modigliani and Pablo Picasso.
Where: Palazzo della Gran Guardia, Verona, Veneto
When: Until 13 April
Il Successo Italiano A Parigi Negli Anni Dell’Impressionismo: (Italian Success In Paris During The Impressionist Years)
The show features works on loan from the Musée Goupil in Bordeaux that are seldom seen outside France. Visitors can see paintings by Italian artists who worked at the Maison Goupil gallery in Paris during the Impressionist period. It includes works by Giovanni Boldini, Vittorio Corcos and Antonio Mancini.
Where: Palazzo Roverella, Rovigo, Veneto
When: 22 February to 23 June
Titian has gone down in history as the greatest painter of his time and as the portraitist of the rich and powerful throughout the known world. Visitors will be able to retrace the painter’s rise in this show that includes from his early days in the workshops of Giovanni Bellini and Giorgione in Venice, his large canvases for the Doges and D’Este and Della Rovere families, and his imperial commissions from Charles V and his son Philip II.
Where: Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome, Lazio
When: 5 March to 16 June
La Primavera Del Rinascimento, La Scultura E Le Arti A Firenze 1400-1460 (Springtime Of The Renaissance, Sculpture And Arts In Florence, 1400-1460)
This exhibition at Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi sets out to illustrate the origins of the Renaissance in Florence through sculpture and figurative painting. Renaissance masterpieces on show including works by Lorenzo Ghiberti, Filippo Brunelleschi, Mino da Fiesole, Desiderio da Settignano and Antonio Rossellino.
Where: Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Tuscany
When: 23 March to 18 August
Fiera di S. Giuseppe
The famous Piazza di Santa Croce, close to the Church of San Giuseppe, comes to life with about 60 stalls selling a wide range of goods.
Where: Florence, Piazza di Santa Croce
When: 19 March
Sagra del Carciofo
A weekend dedicated to one of the delicacies of the Lazio region, the artichoke. The best restaurants in the seaside town will be preparing special meals all based on the vegetable.
Where: Ladispoli, Lazio
When: 2nd Sunday of April
Festa della Liberazione
This is a national holiday to celebrate the liberation of Italy from Fascism and the occupying German forces at the end of the Second World War. The squares of cities and small towns fill with people marching to remember the Italian partisans and the English and American troop who helped liberate Italy. Shops will be closed.
Where: All over Italy
When: 25 April
Festa Della Sensa (Ascension Day Festival)
The Festa della Sensa is one of Venice’s best-known festivals and celebrates the city’s ties to the sea and the art of rowing. ‘Sensa’ is the Venetian dialect word for ‘ascension’. The festival was celebrated by the Venetian Republic on the day of Christ’s Ascension. It commemorates two important events in the life of the Republic: Doge Pietro Orseolo II came to the rescue of the inhabitants of Dalmatia, who were threatened by the Slavs, in 1000, and when Pope Alexander III and Emperor Frederick Barbarossa signed a peace treaty in 1177 that ended conflict between the papacy and the empire. The festival comprises rowing races, a market and a water parade of traditional rowing boats from St Mark’s Square to the Lido, where the ‘Wedding with the Sea’ is celebrated in a ceremony that includes the throwing of a symbolic ring in the water and a mass in the church of San Nicolò.
Where: Venice, Veneto
When: 11 and 12 May
Festa dei Ceri
Saints S. Ubaldo, S. Giorgio and S. Antonio are celebrated with a race through the streets of the town and up Mount Igino. There is a difference, however, as each of the three teams carries a 400-kilo ‘cero’ or gigantic wooden tower.
When: 15 May
Dolomiti Ski Jazz (Dolomites Ski Jazz)
The Val di Fiemme is the setting of one of the most important music festival in the Alps, ‘Dolomiti Ski Jazz’. The event combines music and skiing. European and American jazz musicians descend on Val di Fiemme to participate in eight days of concerts and jam sessions, performed along the skiing slopes and in the pubs, theatres and night clubs in the valley’s main towns.
Where: Val di Fiemme, Trentino, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol
When: 9 to 16 March
Picenza Jazz Fest
Picenza Jazz Fest. 2013 sees the tenth anniversary of the first jazz festival of the season in Italy.
The festival offers concerts, classes, and exhibitions and there are some free concerts too.
Where: Various venues in Piacenza, Fiorenzuola d’Arda, Fidenza
When: 14 April to 18 May
Each spring and autumn, Ravello becomes a destination for music keen to listen to the concerts held in the gardens and the rooms of Villa Rufolo, which is famous for having inspired German composer Richard Wagner for the stage setting of his opera ‘Parsifal’.
Where: Villa Rufolo, Ravello, Campania
When: 3 April to 30 October
Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Zubin Mehta and Peter Greenaway open the 71st Edition of Italy’s most famous music festival with music from Haydn, Britten and Schönberg.
Where: Florence,: Teatro del Maggio Musicale
When: 2 May to 24 June
Six Nations Rugby Tournament
The most important European Rugby Tournament returns to Italy with the following matches: Italy versus Wales on 23 February and Italy versus Ireland on 16 March.
Where: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Lazio
When: 23 February and 16 March
Maratona di Roma (Rome Marathon)
The marathon in the Eternal City is an event that shows it at its best: there are more than 500 monuments, landmarks and historic buildings along the course. The event also encompasses a 5k run, which is a non-competitive event in the very centre of Rome that start a few minutes after the 42k, finish in one of Rome’s historic parks with views over the Colosseum.
Where: Rome, Lazio
When: 17 March
Milan’s half-marathon attracts tens of thousands of participants of all ages and abilities. Register online in one
of the three categories, Senior, Amatori or Master for the half marathon of 21kms or the 6 km Stramilanina if you don’t feel up to the full race.
Where: Start from Piazza Castello
When: 24 March
America’s Cup World Series
The prestigious America’s Cup World Series returns to Naples in April this year. The Cup features tight, short race courses designed to deliver close racing for the fans on shore as well as TV audiences. The innovative regatta format includes a mix of speed trials, head-to-head match racing and fleet racing.
Where: Naples, Campania
When: 16 to 21 April
The Mille Miglia was an open-road endurance race which took place in Italy twenty-four times from 1927 to 1957, from Brescia to Rome. The reenactment of the Mille Miglia continues to combine tradition with innovation, creativity and elegance, beautiful scenery and the Italian way of living.
When: 16-19 May