There is no better way to explore and enjoy the colors, flavors and aromas of Summer than by following the experts of a territory: the locals! For us at Italian Special Occasions DMC, the locals are a constant source of inspiration in the creation of authentic activities and in discovering unique folk festivals. In today’s post, we want to share some of that insider’s knowledge: let’s uncover the most amazing traditional June events in gems that are located off the beaten track.


Foodie Events


Let’s begin by activating your taste buds in Spoleto, Umbria. Every year, this pretty town hosts Vini del Mondo, in other words: heaven for wine enthusiasts! Four days teeming with events devoted to the world of regional and international wine: meetings, exhibitions, tasting sessions and spectacles. The 2016 edition takes place from 2 to 5 June. The highlight? Probably the 4th of June, when an exciting Wine Night Show will take place with live music in the enchanting settings of Piazza Duomo, Piazza Garibaldi and Piazza Libertà.

Foodie June Events: Spoleto Wine Festival in Umbria


Let’s travel to Emilia Romagna, where one of the most prized cold cuts in Italy – the Culatello di Zibello –  is celebrated every year with its own foodie festival. Mentions of this delicacy date back to the 15th century. The Culatello di Zibello was given the DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) label from the European Union. Among the highlights of the Festa del Culatello, which takes places in the city of Zibello near Parma, are the medieval market, ancient games, artistic exhibitions and fun shows for children. And, it goes without saying, all the delicious local cuisine from Emilia Romagna. You can enjoy it from 1st to 5th June 2016.

Foodie Event in Italy: Culatello di Zibello

Foodies, Welcome! Image from


Folklore Festivals


Populations from all around the world celebrate the summer solstice, often with rituals that have been passed down from generation to generation. Things are no different in Piediluco, in Umbria’s province of Terni, where locals welcome the summer solstice on the waters of the namesake lake. This ancient traditional event is called Festa delle Acque (Water Festival), and involves a spectacular parade of boats and fireworks on Lake Piediluco. The display of allegorical boats was already mentioned in documents of the XVII century! The boats are proper works of art, the result of the creativity and skills of local artisans. Piediluco is a charming, off-the-beaten-path town that has been included in the list of Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages. The Water Festival takes place from 23rd June to 3rd July 2016.

Festa delle Acque (Water Festival) in Piediluco, Umbria

The evocative water floats on Piediluco Lake. Images from


About 30km away from Naples, the town of Cicciano travels 400 years back in time in occasion of the Palio dei Quartieri. The event relives the historic exchange of gifts between local neighborhoods, who today celebrate their friendship and history by competing in a fun Corsa delle Botti, or barrel race. The event, which in 2016 takes place from 2nd to 5th of June, also features a characteristic Renaissance market and exhibitions by flag wavers and drummers.

Palio dei Quartieri, Cicciano (near Naples, Italy)

A blast in the past! Images from


Religious Events


In the Marche region, Fabriano’s Palio di San Giovanni Battista falls between the categories of folklore and religion. The festival has religious origins, in fact it started as a celebration of the city’s patron, St. John the Baptist. But it also embraces the ancient crafts that have made Fabriano famous throughout the centuries. A number of games are organized during the festival, including the Sfida del Maglio (Challenge of the Hammer), an exciting race between local blacksmiths dressed in period costumes. You will be mesmerized by the infiorata, or beautiful floral carpets dedicated to the cult of St. John the Baptist, mixing collective, religious and folk art. This year’s event dates are 16-26 June 2016.

Fabriano Festival: Palio of St John the Baptist

Passions fly high in Fabriano! Images from


St. John the Baptist is celebrated all over Italy, especially in occasion of the saint’s birthday on 24 June. Few places show so much religious devotion and emotional events such as Sicily: the island is home to a myriad of religious celebrations dedicated to this and other saints! Among the most striking are the processions in Milazzo (province of Messina), featuring St John’s statue from the 1700s; the religious rituals in Chiaramonte Gulfi (province of Ragusa), where -among other acts- devotees walk barefoot to the Church; and the traditional pantomime in the waters of Acitrezza (province of Catania).

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Looking for more June events in Italy? Have a look at the most famous celebrations on


Are you planning a special occasion in Italy? Make it unique and authentic: enjoy an experiential journey by involving all of your senses and by interacting with the locals and their territory! Contact Italian Special Occasions DMC to plan, create and organize your bespoke experience.